This Wide Receiver will be a Huge PPR Value
As you get to the WR3/Flex range, a lot of the wide receivers can blend together. Many have upside, but also come with blemishes, whether they be injury, opportunity or poor QB play. However, there is one WR that should not have any of these issues and can be a huge PPR value later in drafts.
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Jamison Crowder Offers Underrated PPR Value
It may be easy to forget but Jamison Crowder had a very strong 2016 season. While he let Fantasy owners down last year, he was not nearly as bad as you may remember.
In 2016 he had 67 receptions on 99 targets, for 847 yards and seven touchdowns. Last season he had 103 targets, for 66 receptions, 789 yards and three touchdowns. Yes, he dropped off in yards, but only by 58. The biggest decrease was in touchdowns. However, the opportunity was still there.
In 2016, he saw 21 percent of Washington’s red-zone targets, with 17. Last season he accounted for 21.5 percent of their red-zone targets, which equated to 14 targets. In fact, he had 10.3 percent of the end-zone targets, so clearly when they got near paydirt they looked Crowder’s way. Additionally, his targets-per-game jumped from 6.2 in 2016, to 6.9 last year. His target share also jumped from 16.7 percent in 2016 to 20.4 last year.
As you see, the opportunities were still there for Crowder, but the production took a dip. Part of that could be due to a hamstring injury he suffered before the season. According to a recent report, Crowder said the hamstring lingered all season, and he feels healthier now than he did at any point last year. He also has reportedly been showing off his speed and has been a standout at OTAs.
Jamison Crowder could benefit from a talented Redskins offense https://t.co/BFXpafXaaT
— Dujunnea Bland (@NotBland21) August 2, 2018
The fact that he is healthy is not the only reason I am buying in on Crowder this season. The Redskins made a QB change this year, replacing Kirk Cousins with Alex Smith. That is a match made in heaven for Crowder. As we all know, Crowder is a slot receiver and ran 55.6 percent of Washington’s routes from the slot last year. His aDOT (average depth of target) the past three seasons were 7.9, 8.2 and 6.6. That ranked 108th, 114th and 120th out of all wide receivers, respectively. Clearly, he is not a deep threat and will continue to run short, safe routes. That is where he can shine with Smith.
Smith has never been a down the field thrower. Even last season with his highest aDOT in years, at 7.9, he ranked 33rd out of 40 QBs. In 2016 he had a 6.9 aDOT, which ranked 35th out of 36 QBs. In the three-year span from 2013-2015 he ranked last amongst all qualified QBs in aDOT, with a high of 6.9. In 2012 he ranked second to last in the NFL, with a 7.7 aDOT.
As you can see, he clearly does not throw down the field. This is nothing new to us, as we all know Smith is a safe thrower who prioritizes ball control over taking a shot downfield. It may not be exciting at all, but Crowder is the possession receiver here and I expect Smith to pepper him with targets week-in and-week-out. This likely means Crowder will have the highest PPR value of his career.
A big reason he let Fantasy owners down last year was due to a rising draft cost, going as early as the fourth round. You can currently get Crowder in the seventh or eighth round of drafts, a cheaper price than last year. That is clearly because he had a ‘down’ year even though the opportunities were the same. I believe Crowder is in a position to not only outperform last year’s numbers, but to have a career season. I would not be surprised to see him set new career highs in targets, receptions, and yards (touchdowns are tough to predict especially with a slot receiver). To prove to you I feel this strongly, I have drafted Crowder in every draft I have done so far. Let others overlook Crowder and snag him as a PPR value for a huge discount.
Follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.
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