What are some of the best and worst case possible scenarios at the Fantasy Football WR position in 2019? We provide the answers as our positional ceiling/floor series continues here at FanTrax HQ.
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Unexpected, but possible Fantasy WR results in 2019.
- Antonio Brown could drop to back-end WR1 status: Before he left Pittsburgh, Brown was arguably considered the best Fantasy WR you could draft every year. Now he gets a significant QB switch going from Ben Roethlisberger to Derek Carr. I still believe Brown’s work ethic, fundamentals and a desire to show he is still great should keep him at least in the mid-range Fantasy WR1 conversation at the end of the year. But Carr could be unpredictable and has a volatile ceiling/floor situation of his own. The worst case scenario will have Carr’s play adversely affecting Brown’s output. I say it is not the most likely storyline, but it is certainly possible. We have seen Brown take a statistical hit without Roethsliberger before. This may not be a major downgrade for Brown, but it is still a lesser QB to work with.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster is a bust: This is the one that could have everyone really concerned in the early rounds. Smith-Schuster was a spectacular partner for Brown in Pittsburgh, but now he obviously has to step forward and be the clear No. 1 guy. Without Brown to command so much defensive attention, there is now a ton of obvious pressure on JSS. His current complements in the passing game do not scare opposing defenses, either. Every Pittsburgh WR other than Smith-Schuster has a lot to prove. Extra defensive attention and a much larger role to handle could push Smith-Schuster in either direction this season. He could be a ball hog that produces great numbers, or he could shrivel when asked to deliver at a higher level.
- Amari Cooper could become a WR1: We have been teased and disappointed by Cooper before, but his QB situation obviously improved last season, and now he gets to work with Dak Prescott over a full campaign. Cooper still has the potential to have a big breakout season, as he is still just 25 years old.
- Michael Gallup becomes a Fantasy starter: The Cowboys acquired Randall Cobb during the offseason, but his best seasons may already be behind him. Injuries have derailed him too frequently and may have robbed him of his better form by this point. Meanwhile, Gallup flashed some real promise late last year and in the postseason, and could emerge as a big-play threat opposite Cooper.
- Tyler Lockett could disappoint: With Doug Baldwin now out of the picture, Lockett may not only be expected to replace him as the slot receiver, but it’s also apparent he is being groomed to be Russell Wilson’s No. 1 WR. Lockett scored 10 times last year, but his new role may not suit him well. Lockett has looked like more of a big-play guy than a reliable possession WR so far in his career. Asking him to be a more frequent target and a more important one on key passing downs could be a wrong fit.
- Geronimo Allison may emerge as a fine Fantasy WR starter: We briefly saw the promise of what Allison could accomplish early last season before a groin injury and eventual core muscle surgery ruined his season. Now hopefully healthy heading into the new season, Allison has no real competition for the top spot opposite Davante Adams. He had a lot of value potential as a top wideout for Aaron Rodgers last year, and considering he seems to be going in later rounds in early drafts this season, he has retained his status as an excellent darkhorse target for very good production.
- Golden Tate will reclaim Fantasy WR starting status in PPR formats: Tate was moved from Detroit to Philadelphia during the year in 2018, and an in-season adjustment like that can often disrupt a WR’s flow and hurt his outlook. That is exactly what happened with Tate, who will now be a primary possession/after-the-catch target in a high percentage passing game with his newest team, the Giants. Tate will resurface as New York’s new No. 1 WR and he will be a busy guy no matter who the QB is. But I believe he was ideally acquired as a safety guy for an incoming rookie passer. I see Tate bouncing back to be at least a quality Fantasy WR3.
- Sammy Watkins has his best season yet: It seems almost certain that Tyreek Hill is going to be disciplined, and when that happens, Watkins will obviously become the new top target for Patrick Mahomes. He will have to really increase his usage and targeting of Watkins as the rest of the WR crew is unproven or unimpressive. If Watkins can actually stay healthy, he could post the best Fantasy WR numbers of his career so far.
- Tre’Quan Smith becomes a Fantasy WR starter: Smith was incredibly inconsistent as a rookie, putting on boom-or-bust displays that would make Devery Henderson proud. But the Saints seem to have confidence that he can continue to progress in Year Two, as they did not acquire any other WR to challenge him for a prime role in the passing game. Smith may start to blossom while Ted Ginn Jr. takes a back seat to him.
- N’Keal Harry struggles as a rookie: Many Fantasy types are instantly penciling the rookie into a solid WR2 role in New England. But opportunity does not always lead to desired production for first-year players, and that has often been the case in New England in the past. Harry has promising talents and an alluring skill set, and the Patriots have an obvious need across from Julian Edelman. But rookies had a steep learning curve with the Patriots in the past, and it’s always uncertain how any first-year pro may respond to significant expectations.
Scott Engel is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame and a four-time award winner. He was one of the driving content forces in the rise of RotoExperts.com and was the lead host on the RotoExperts in the Morning for six years on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was also instrumental in the launch of the FNTSY Sports Network. Scott was the first-ever Senior Writer and Managing Editor at CBS SportsLine and won a company Hall of Fame Award. He was also an Associate Editor and Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He has been the featured Fantasy Writer on Seahawks.com since 2012 and his work has been syndicated to the Associated Press, NFL.com, New York Daily News, New York Post, Yahoo Sports, Bloomberg Sports, Sports Illustrated and many others. He is a credentialed media member who won an FSWA award in 2016 for his Insider Fantasy Reporting. Known as “The King”, Scott is on Twitter @scotteTheKing
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