The worst thing about analyzing Fantasy football year-round is that I see guys I really like skyrocket up the Fantasy Football ADP charts right before my eyes. It is pretty sad. The theoretical teams I could make in June based off of projected ADP would be insane. The internet would break if I were to post my lineups on Twitter. Sadly all of us have to wait until August for football and July is prime time for the majority of public Fantasy football gamers to get caught up.
With the masses turning their attention to football in July, Fantasy Football ADP is going to fluctuate – and it sucks for those of us paying attention all year. However, at times you have to cut ties with players who are going to be too rich for your blood. Come draft day you have to decide whether to pass up on your guy or take a shot even though you are paying a pretty penny. That is the beauty of Fantasy Football. These are the decisions we make that can make or break a season, and today we are going to examine projected Fantasy Football ADP for star receivers that are becoming more sought out as we approach the season.
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Do you think that Juju-Smith Schuster is going to outperform Jarvis Landry next season in PPR? Landry was the WR4 last season in PPR, yet, Smith-Schuster is being drafted a full round ahead of him. Get both players? Go for it, but a fourth-round pick for a guy who is going to be the third-most targeted player on his team is steep. If there is running back value on the board, projected ADP says you can wait a round and get a player like Landry who has WR1 pedigree.
Let’s take a look at which wide receivers are rising up draft boards in this week’s Fantasy Stock Watch
Rising Fantasy Football ADP
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Current ADP: 3.08
T.Y. Hilton’s value in Fantasy football in 2018 is obviously connected to Andrew Luck. Hilton’s “boom” and “bust” patterns were even boomier and bustier with Jacoby Brissett under center in 2017 (easy now. This is family-friendly content). Hilton was the WR5 in 2016, the most recent season with his Pro-Bowl quarterback. He had 91 receptions on 155 targets and a league-leading 1,448 yards with six touchdowns. Last season he was the WR24 and was only a WR1 five times. He had three games with over 150 yards but had nine games with 30 yards or less. Woof.
His game in Baltimore against a stingy Ravens defense in Week 15 was what proved to me that Hilton is still one of the best receivers in the NFL. Brissett played a gritty game and hung in the pocket, taking a beating all night… Side note: I met Brissett that day in Baltimore at the (T.Y.) Hilton and shook his hand. My Fantasy team played the Ravens defense and Brissett did just enough to keep the Ravens D/ST tamed. I think my good luck rubbed off on him that day…Anyway, Brissett was sharp and targeted (wisely) his best receiver 12 times. Hilton had six catches for 100 yards in that game and his mean route-running is what impressed me most.
After we see Luck play in preseason people are going to lose their marbles if he hits Hilton for a long touchdown. Monitor this one as Hilton could bolt all the way up to the top of the third round. Drafting him before that happens could present great value (he was a steal in Best Ball – sometimes in the fifth round in May). Hilton can return value from this point in the draft as his projected Fantasy Football ADP of 3.03 puts him as the WR13 in PPR on both Fantasyfootballcalculator.com and my personal PPR Power Rankings. Hilton’s big-play ability can make him a Top 10 wide receiver if Luck is healthy.
For more great Fantasy Football analysis, check out Full 60 Fantasy Football with Joe Pisapia, Scott Bogman, and The Welsh
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Current ADP: 3.08
Projected ADP: 3.05
After three straight seasons of catching 100 passes, Larry Fitzgerald is finally getting some respect in the Fantasy Football community. Fitzgerald’s ADP in 2015 was 7.12. In 2016 it was 5.12 and in 2017 it was 4.12. Finishing at the end of any round has been pretty appropriate for Fitzgerald In Fantasy. He only has been a WR1 every one of those years, providing elite value from a WR3 roster slot.
One of the best wide receivers the game has ever seen, his peers recognize him as a legend and voted him as the 27th best player in football. It is about expanding his legacy for the 34-year-old Fitzgerald who realizes that father time is real. When it happens, it happens abruptly. It feels good that everyone is on the hype-train of an all-time great, but when it comes time to click we aren’t getting sentimental. It’s about winning championships. In most cases, Fitzgerald will be your WR2 and his stock is only rising.
Fitzgerald needs 93 receptions to pass Jason Witten on the all-time list. Simple math will tell you that 93 catches would be a regression for Fitz. I buy the Cardinals and Fitzgerald to get this record organically this season. Sam Bradford is a dink and dunk kind of guy and will fall in love with him as he will be by far the best wide receiver Bradford has played with.
Buy on Fitz to go for another WR1 season in Fantasy but keep an eye on his stock, He may push even further up draft boards.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Current ADP: 4.07
Projected ADP: 4.03
Demaryius Thomas has received at least 140 targets every season since 2012, regardless of who has been his coach or his QB. The system of feeding the four-time Pro-Bowler targets works. 2018 will be no different. Thomas finished as the WR16 in PPR despite having his fewest receptions and yards since 2011. While the dip in statistics could be attributed to old age, I am not buying that narrative.
He is rising up draft boards and is being taken at the end of the fourth round where about a month ago he was a fifth-round value. He is being taken as the WR19 and that will only rise as we approach Week 1.
Thomas is still a target monster and should be monitored during drafts because if he does slip, he is a guy who can gobble up 150-plus targets this season as a WR3 on a roster. However, Case Keenum coming to town should be enough to push Thomas up draft boards.
His 949 yards and 11.4 yards per reception in 2017 were career-lows, but that is a product of poor quarterback play. Trevor Siemian and company seemed to be on training wheels as most of Thomas’ opportunities were on short-yardage slants (which were inaccurately thrown). There is a world where Thomas has a WR1 season and that will catch on quickly once preseason starts.
Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas could be coming to the end of their Broncos tenures, plus more from around the league: https://t.co/05AuuSF8Ag
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) July 1, 2018
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