Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks
Doug Baldwin will likely be announcing his retirement in the coming months after having multiple offseason surgeries, per recent reports. With Baldwin stepping away it leaves an average of 103 targets to be accounted for and leaves Russell Wilson looking for a new number one.
Tyler Lockett had a breakout season with Baldwin in and out of the lineup. He achieved career highs in receptions (57), yards (965), and touchdowns (10), and became the go-to guy for Wilson. He went from averaging 8.4 points per game in his first three seasons to 13.8 points per game last season. Lockett can play both inside and outside, running 53.3 percent of his routes from the slot. He had 17 receptions of 20 yards or more, a stat he didn’t achieve in any previous season.
Second round draft pick, D.K. Metcalf should help cement Lockett as the new number one. Metcalf adds a big-bodied, downfield threat and allows Lockett to move inside and continue his progression into a dominant NFL receiver. If Baldwin retires, Lockett would become the most tenured receiver, and he should once again be the top target in 2019. If you‘ve been patient with him in dynasty, it’s about to pay off. He should be locked in as a high-end WR2 with low-end WR1 potential.
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
Josh Rosen’s time in Arizona is over after just a year. Rosen wasn’t able to move the chains and the offense as a whole never seemed to click. The sputtering offense should be reinvigorated and should get back on track with Kyler Murray running Kingsbury’s air-raid offense. Murray offers incredible accuracy on the deep ball, has a cannon for an arm, and has the athleticism to get out of the pocket and buy time to deliver an accurate pass downfield.
With Murray taking over at quarterback, and his ability to move in the pocket, Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals offense, should have a bounce-back year. Larry Fitzgerald had only 69 receptions for 734 yards last season, his lowest totals in both categories when playing a full season. He averaged 11.5 points per game, down from 16.3 per game in 2017. Fitzgerald dealt with a hamstring issue for most of the first half of the season. Using the FFStatistics player split tool, we can see that, as his hamstring felt better, Fitzgerald turned up his production scoring 13.43 in the final nine games of the season compared to 8.21 the first seven weeks.
Fitz has finished as a WR2 or better in the last four seasons and should be a productive WR2 this season. He could be a safety net for Murray while the offense learns to gel together.
The Cardinals were very offensive minded in the draft. Adding Kyler Murray, Andy Isabella, and Hakeem Butler, and having a healthy Christian Kirk (foot), the pieces Fitzgerald and the offense greatly needed are now falling into place. Butler offers size, which the Cardinals have desperately needed since Michael Floyds exit in 2016. Butler fits this offseason perfectly, he can work the edges, has good speed, and is the ideal complement to Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. Isabella gives the Cardinals more of what they already have: a short, fast receiver.
T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Another year removed from injury, Andrew Luck should be one step closer to being a top-five passer again. The offensive line finally clicked in 2018 and is projected to be even better in 2019. Eric Ebron revived his career last season and can make big plays underneath and in the red zone.
The Colts add speedster in Paris Campbell who complements Hilton and free agent Devin Funchess. Campbell’s 4.31 speed should also make defensive coordinators think about shading coverage to Hilton’s side, while Funchess, a big-bodied slot receiver, can be an over-the-middle target for Luck.
Hilton will be locked in as the WR1 in this pass-friendly offense. He should be good to go by training camp after choosing rest rather than surgery after low/high ankle sprains plagued him all last season. Hilton missed two games last season and still averaged 17.1 points per game, 8.5 targets, and added another thousand-yard season to his resume. He was Luck’s top target, and even with the addition of Funchess and Campbell neither should see enough targets to take away from what Hilton’s value. Hilton, if fully healthy, should be a low-end WR1.
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