Standard roster construction in Best Ball leagues allows up to four wide receivers to be slotted into your lineup every week (three WR slots and one flex). With 18 to 20 roster slots, it is wise to make sure this is the most plentiful position on a Best Ball team. One strategy I have tried out is what I call the Quality and Quantity approach. That is, draft quality running backs early, then pick up a lot of wide receivers late – seven to nine depending on the size of the league. Like every year, there can be value found late in drafts, especially when you consider that these players do not have to be relied upon for week-to-week production. Here are some late-round Best Ball wide receivers that present value per their draft capital.
Late-Round Best Ball Wide Receivers to Target in 2018
D.J Moore, Carolina Panthers
Last season the Panthers came into Week 1 with two trees at the wide receiver position. Their 2014 first round pick Kelvin Benjamin was the perceived number one option while up-and-coming receiver Devin Funchess was due for progression. Both guys were over 6’4” and were not known as burners on the field.
The lack of speed was a problem early on for the Panthers passing game as they looked to replace Ted Ginn. The Panthers made a surprising decision to trade Benjamin to the Bills and the rest of the season they attempted to fill the role of a field stretcher as they have had rostered for so many years with Cam Newton.
D.J. Moore was the answer for the Panthers position of need and with a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine, he could be one of the Best Ball Wide Receivers that helps you win in 2018.
Moore was a standout at the University of Maryland and his Junior season solidified that he was ready for the NFL. With mediocre at best quarterback play, Moore put up 80 catches for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. However, it was his performance at the NFL combine that made him the first wide receiver selected in the NFL draft.
There are a lot of similarities between Ginn and Moore. Both are around 6’0” tall and ran a 4.4 40. However, Moore is about 20 pounds heavier and while his speed makes him a deep threat, like Golden Tate, he can be used on screen passes and is strong enough to break tackles for chunk plays.
Ginn had the best season of his career in 2015, catching 10 touchdowns with a whopping 16.8 yards per reception that year. Moore has a chance to be lined up on most two wide receiver sets (certainly three-receiver sets at the very least) but even if the rookie starts off slow, it won’t hurt you in Best Ball. Of course, being in his first year, he is the most likely of all of the late-round Best Ball wide receivers in this piece to bust depending on the week (game script, matchup, etc.).
Moore has all the tools to be a “boom” type of player in the NFL. He will be an asset for Fantasy teams on all formats but in Best Ball his down weeks are irrelevant. Moore is being drafted as the WR60 in Best Ball according to Fantasypros.com
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars
Full disclosure. I am staying away from all Jaguars wide receivers in redraft leagues. There are too many to choose from and there could seemingly be a different wide receiver that breaks away from the pack on a weekly basis. Marquise Lee, Keelan Cole, Donte Moncrief, D.J. Chark, and Dede Westbrook are all going to be used next season for the Jaguars. Good luck deciding who you want to own.
However, Best Ball is a beautiful thing and when I am constructing a roster I not only look at the big-play potential but I look at opportunity for these players. Westbrook has the most opportunity to succeed of the bunch in a Best Ball format and he is being drafted as the WR62.
Westbrook was injured for the majority of his rookie season in 2017. He was drafted in the fourth round out of Oklahoma and there was a lot of buzz about the explosive player who flashed a 4.44 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. The hype died down but as soon as he was activated,
Westbrook was used in the Jaguars offense. The Jaguars like to pass out of a three-receiver set and Westbrook was oftentimes used in the slot. After Westbrook’s first game back, he was on the field for at least 71.4 percent of snaps. In the final two weeks of the season, he was on the field for over 95 percent of the team’s plays. In six of seven games, he was targeted at least six times.
The crapshoot that is the Jaguars wide receiver conundrum is solved by the Best Ball format. Westbrook is an explosive player that was used underneath least season often in the slot. His usage could be affected by Donte Moncrief but there will be weeks where Westbrook will be the Jaguars receiver to own in Fantasy.
— Fantasy Geeks Football (@GeeksFF) June 15, 2018
Jordan Matthews, New England Patriots
With Julian Edelman out for the first four weeks of the season, Jordan Matthews is the Patriots wideout that has had the most success out of the slot in his NFL career. Of all of the late-round Best Ball wide receivers, Matthews can be drafted the latest as the WR69 and perhaps has the greatest opportunity to succeed early on.
Matthews only played 10 games last season for the Bills and was dealing with a knee injury and hip issues in games he did play. His lack of production on the field did not draw much interest in free agency but Bill Belichick and the Patriots took a shot on the former Eagle.
In 2014 and 2015 Mathews finished as a WR2 so we know the talent is there. He now steps into a role where Tom Brady will be throwing him dimes underneath. While it is yet to be determined who will take over slot duties, Matthews is the most proven wideout to get the highly coveted gig on an elite offense.
Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins
Just about everyone has given up on Devante Parker and I am not sure why. I get the guy has not produced anything close to WR3 numbers and, sure, he was drafted as the WR26 last year for some reason so he let a lot of people down.
But really folks, he was drafted that high after putting up 56 catches for 744 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. The only reason he shot up draft boards last season is because last year Smokin Jay Cutler compared him to Alshon Jeffery and everyone lost their minds and started drafting him in the fifth round. Yikes.
Now in 2018, there is an actual definitive reason to draft the former 14th overall pick in the 2015 draft and he is being taken as the WR43 in Best Ball leagues. This will be the first year that Parker will be lining up without Jarvis Landry. The opportunity for progression in Fantasy production is staring you right in the face. Forget about last year and use Best Ball as a vessel to heal the wounds of 2017. Since 2015 Landry’s target totals were 166, 131, and 161. While the Dolphins brought in two slot-receivers in Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola, Parker is still going to be lined up on the outside as long as he is healthy.
The fact remains that Parker has the makeup of a prolific player in the NFL. He is 6’3” and 209 pounds and has break-away speed. Last year’s career-high 96 targets in 13 games will go up with Landry out of town and his one touchdown catch can only get better next season. Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins will likely be down from behind often in games, which makes Parker an intriguing candidate for those oh, so precious garbage time Fantasy points.
Feel confident in buying in on Parker as one of the late-round Best Ball wide receivers who can return value with big games in 2018.
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