The last week of preseason is over and it’s time to make some last minute roster decisions. To aid the decision making process, I would like to offer my evaluation of a few of the wide receivers going into their second year in the NFL. Please note that all ADP’s listed are for 1QB leagues, so you can assume 12-24 spots later in superflex or 2QB leagues.
First up is D.J. Moore. Moore was a first round pick last year and is still only 22-years-old. He had 55 receptions for 788 yards and 2 touchdowns in his rookie season which was good for 157 fantasy points in stock PPR formats. His current ADP in dynasty startups is 38 which makes him the WR17.
If I am a Moore owner it is going to take two first round picks (or players of that value) before I even consider trading him. If he is my team’s WR3 going into the season, I feel great about that and it will take a lot for me to move away from him.
As a buyer, I hope to get Moore for as close to one first in value as possible. It will be a very rare thing to find someone who will give you Moore for one first round rookie pick even with the class coming up next year, but a first plus a player might just happen. I would see if taking advantage of the Moore owner’s weakness in another position is possible. James White and a first for Moore is the type that comes to mind.
As the Moore buyer, I am also bringing up Cam Newton’s shoulder issues from last year along with all of the Hype that Curtis Samuel is getting as of late.
In a startup draft grabbing Moore is all about what draft position I was assigned. If I am early in the rotation I will likely go RB/WR/WR/WR or RB/RB/WR/WR and in either one of these scenarios getting Moore in the fourth is a real possibility and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick him there. A later draft spot will usually result in me going with some variation of “zero RB” and with my third pick there is a receiver I have ranked higher available and for my fourth he is already gone.
The other first round receiver last year was Calvin Ridley. Ridley had 64 receptions for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, a common refrain is that he will not be able to sustain that touchdown rate this year. While I suppose that is a fair worry when considering his value, I will counter with an obvious fact: Julio Jones is on the field with him and it is no secret that he is always going to draw the focus of every defense they play. I for one do not think it is unreasonable to expect him to stay close to his 13 points per game average from last year (PPR).
If I am a Ridley owner, I am not very keen on selling him. I would need to be very sure that the first round pick I was offered was going to be a top three pick and even then I would ask for an injury away guy to be added into the deal, preferably a running back.
To be a buyer of Ridley you are probably going to need a very favorable set of circumstances. Something along the lines of: the Ridley owner is in “win now” mode and you have an older stud you will sell for Ridley plus something.
If you are doing a startup draft, Ridley is going exactly one spot behind Moore, so all of the same scenarios of where to take him are essentially the same. However, unlike Moore I think I would be more inclined to take my shot on a few of the guys with a slightly lower ADP, such as Christian Kirk, Robert Woods, or possibly Jarvis Landry.
Moving on to the day two guys we start with Courtland Sutton. Sitting at an ADP of 60 he was a little bit of a disappointment to owners in year one, so if you can find one willing to move on, jump at the chance but very few of his owners will be in that camp. If you are the Sutton owner don’t move him unless some rabid Broncos fan offers you the farm for him.
For me, in a startup draft, I like his ADP but I am probably going to push my luck and see if he falls one more round. At this point in the draft I should have my likely starting wide receivers and taking a chance on missing a prefered bye week/flex option isn’t an unreasonable thing to try.
Our next day two guy is Dante Pettis. As I worked my way down the list of year two receivers I have not looked forward to getting to this guy. It really does seem to matter which day of the week it is whether you will find more people on his hype train or more people writing him off.
Instead of hemming and hawing, I will come right out and say i will be a non-buyer of Pettis. I am not going to be actively trying to sell him where I have him, but I’m not going to try and get him in leagues where I don’t. This is mainly because he is overvalued by a lot of people’s evaluation and I am not going to pay a first+ for him.
For a startup situation, he is really in the same situation as Sutton. He is going early in the seventh round and I don’t believe I took a receiver in any of the four startups I did this year in that range. I wouldn’t look for him to fall too far past that range either if you are doing a startup, because I can almost guarantee there will be at least one Pettis truther in every league.
Moving on to James Washington we have a guy in a much different situation. All of the reports I have seen point to Moncrief being the number two guy in Pittsburgh and his (Washington) value has dropped noticeably. I don’t have a problem paying a second for him, but I would try a third and a lower tiered guy first. If you own Washington, he is a long term hold.
Anthony Miller has had a few injury concerns this offseason, but it appears he will be ready to go by week one’s start. Right now Miller is being drafted as the WR 36. I like him as a good bye-week or flex option. If I am the Miller owner with good depth, I am probably just going to hold. However, if I am in need of a receiver, you could do worse than spend a second to secure him.
The last of the second round receivers I want to look at is Christian Kirk. I would call myself a buyer of Kirk, except none of his owners are selling. The excitement over his team and Kyler Murray is pretty wild, and anyone with a piece from that offense is keeping them. Unless a team is really stacked at wide receiver, I doubt you could buy him for a first and second, but I would be happy to pay that much if you are able to find an owner who will sell him.
The last receiver I want to mention, and the only round three guy, is Michael Gallup. The opportunity to truly buy low on Gallup might have passed, but it might not be too late to get him at less than his eventual cost. Gallup got off to the typical slow start of rookies, but after Dallas added Amari Cooper the passing game improved there and with it so did Gallup’s production and fantasy numbers. He is still being taken as far back as round twelve in startups and should be on your radar as a possible late round gem for your team.
If I am a Gallup owner, it will take a projected early round two pick for me to trade him. If you want to trade for him, the best bet is probably to have him added into a larger trade.