When drafting, it is important to stay up to date with what the market is doing as it also allows you to evaluate your rankings against the current ADP to find both potential values and pitfalls. Today we’re going to take a look at three of my favorite wide receiver values for 2023 fantasy football when looking at their current ADP (as of via 7/25 Fantrax).
ADP vs. Ranks – 3 Wide Receiver Values
Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers (56 PPR/64 Standard)
At a minimum, in 12-team leagues, Watson is being drafted as a high-end WR3 and while I might be getting ahead of myself, it would not be surprising to see him finish the season as a borderline WR1. Detractors are going to say that Watson will be going at it this season without Aaron Rodgers and instead will have the inexperienced Jordan Love under center, but I am not sure how much that will matter.
Between A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones, the Packers have one of the strongest running games and that should open things up for the downfield passing game which ultimately will benefit Watson. Depth behind the second-year receiver is lacking, Romeo Doubs failed to assert himself last season, so Watson should receive the majority of the targets and workload.
Watson did get off to a slow start last year, but the speedy receiver (with the size and vertical to match) found a groove and ultimately finished with 41 receptions for 611 yards and seven touchdowns. He had three games of 100-plus yards and only five drops overall. While all of his touchdowns did come in a four-week span, Watson did have a career-high six receptions as well as a 100-plus yard game outside of that stretch. Once he hit Week 10, Watson had two games with eight targets and he was not targeted less than five times in a game.
Everything is in line here for Watson to take the next step forward as we know he certainly has the physical tools to do so.
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (79 PPR/80 Standard)
While this is certainly about Pickens, it is also difficult to look at the second-year receiver without digging into Kenny Pickett. Ultimately, this duo will be tied together as Pittsburgh will be looking to build their future offensive plans around Pickett and Pickens.
Diontae Johnson will still be sharing the workload with Pickens but it is not like the former truly made much of an impact last season. Despite being targeted 147 times, he caught 86 passes for just 882 yards while failing to find the end zone. In his rookie campaign, Pickens did fare better with four touchdown receptions and 801 yards on 52 catches.
The good news with Pickens is that there is now another year between him and his ACL surgery — 2021 while he was still in college — so the hope is that things will improve from a separation standpoint. Between his size and speed, Pickens truly looks like a receiver out of central casting and he made his share of contested catches last season while building chemistry with Pickett.
From the perspective of Pickett, for the most part, things could not have really gone much worse for him in his rookie campaign as he finished with just seven touchdown passes against nine interceptions. The Steelers are committed to Pickett and he did take steps to improve this offseason and that will ultimately lift the talented Pickett up as their chemistry develops.
Nico Collins, Houston Texans (149 PPR/176 Standard)
To this point, Collins has been essentially free in drafts, and while his production in the first two years of his career supports that, there is also enough here to expect him to take a substantial leap forward in year three.
After the trade of Brandin Cooks this offseason, there is a substantial hole when it comes to available targets in Houston’s receiving corps, and Collins is in the best position to fill that gap. On paper, Collins looks the part of a big, prolific outside target and now, even if it is by default, he steps into the role of the number one receiver in Houston. While the Texans did add Robert Woods this offseason, it should not be enough to truly be a threat to Collins. Additionally, despite the fact that he is a rookie, C.J. Stroud is still the best quarterback that Collins has played with in his brief career.
In 10 games last season, Collins caught 37 of 66 targets for 481 yards and two touchdowns and now he enters 2023 seemingly with full health and he is already building meaningful chemistry with his new signal caller. At this point in the draft, Collins is a risk worth taking.
Who are your favorite wide receiver values for 2023 fantasy football? Drop some knowledge in the comments below. For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!
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