I would like to preface this article by stating that the players I have listed in this article are those who I believe will under perform their current average draft position. I believe these players either have too many red flags, or are currently being over-hyped.
When I target wide receivers in dynasty leagues, there are a few different factors I like to look for. These include overall talent, situation, depth chart, and quarterback play. Also, to a lesser extent, I consider age and injury history, though I don’t really factor that in as much compared to the factors previously mentioned. The players on my list will usually have more things not to like- as opposed to more things to like- about them. With that said, let’s begin to explore which players I believe are being over-drafted or over-hyped.
Tyrell Williams – Los Angeles Chargers
Tyrell Williams performed very well in 2016 thanks to various injuries in the Chargers offense. However, I am a bit concerned with Williams’ long term outlook for several reasons. The first concern is his spot on the Chargers’ depth-chart. Williams is currently projected to be the number three wide receiver for Los Angeles this season, behind Keenan Allen, and first round pick Mike Williams. Not only that, but the Chargers have two really great tight ends in veteran Antonio Gates and rising star Hunter Henry. On top of that, Melvin Gordon, a top tier running back, is also a Charger. Sounds like an absolutely loaded offense, right? That’s the problem. There are too many mouths to feed. Someone is going to have a down season. I think that will be Tyrell Williams. Keenan Allen has proven that he is this team’s true number 1 wide receiver. Allen has shown time after time that he can fill that role when he is on the field. With a top ten selection in the 2017 NFL draft, the Chargers took Mike Williams. NFL Teams do not take wide receivers that early in the draft not to use them often. The concern with Mike Williams is the injury that he suffered during the offseason.
Speaking of that injury, if you own Tyrell Williams, the perfect time to sell him is right now. With Mike Williams’ injury situation up in the air, there might be people who are concerned about this being a long term issue, and trying to buy Tyrell. As long as Mike Williams’ injury is not a nagging one, Mike Williams talent, and draft-pedigree will almost surely be able to beat out Tyrell Williams. Not only that, Hunter Henry is a huge part of the Chargers’ future, as seen in his rookie season. I feel like I just repeated myself about two times, but as you can see I am very concerned about Tyrell Williams’ future as a viable dynasty asset. I would only be willing to roster Tyrell Williams if I was looking to handcuff either Keenan Allen or Mike Williams, other wise, I would sell Tyrell Williams now, while there is an opportunity.
Tyrell Williams has an average draft position of 94 overall, and around the 45th wide receiver off the board according to Dynasty Football Factory ADP. There are much safer options at that cost, such as John Ross, or veterans such as Larry Fitzgerald and Pierre Garcon.
Cameron Meredith – Chicago Bears
The next player I am looking to sell is Cameron Meredith. Meredith came out of nowhere in 2016, due to injuries in the Bears’ receiving core. He performed surprisingly well, finishing the 2016 as a fantasy WR3. However, a lot has changed in 2017 for Meredith. The Bears added two new quarterbacks this offseason, signing Mike Glennon and also drafting Mitch Trubisky to be their long-term QB at number 2 overall in the NFL Draft. Last season, Meredith’s QBs were Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley. Meredith performed best with Hoyer, though Hoyer is now in San Francisco. Jay Cutler is now a broadcaster and no longer a member of the Bears. Barkley is likely the team’s number-3 QB this season. This all means that Meredith will have a new QB throwing him the ball in 2017, which leads to uncertainty. Will Meredith have the same success as last season, or will the new QBs look to throw to Kevin White more often, considering White is a former first round pick?
Not only does Meredith have a new quarterback in town, he also has more competition for targets. The Bears brought in wide receivers Victor Cruz and Markus Wheaton to improve their depth and the 94 targets Alshon Jeffery was getting. Neither Cruz nor Wheaton would necessarily jump Meredith on the depth chart, but both should receive a decent amount of targets – not to mention the presence of Kevin White.
Meredith is not really someone I am really looking to build my teams around. My biggest issue with Meredith is that there is too much uncertainty with the passing game in Chicago. We do not really know who the Bears’ starting quarterback is at the time of this writing. We also do not know what Meredith’s role really is, and how that offense as a whole will perform in 2017. The Bears’ receiving core is also just too unpredictable at this point, and I am looking to avoid that situation as a whole.
Cameron Meredith’s current average draft position is 87 overall, around the 42nd WR, according to DFF ADP. In that price range, I would prefer to target Willie Snead, Breshad Perriman, or John Ross at that cost.
DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins
DeVante Parker is an interesting player to look into as a sell. Parker is a former first round selection by the Miami Dolphins in the 2015 NFL Draft. Parker has been touted by many people to be the long-term number 1 receiver of the Dolphins for several years now, and he has yet to prove that he can live up to that role. I do not believe Parker is a “bad” receiver, at all; however, I do think Parker is a bit over-hyped. I think Parker is a WR I would rather trade for after a start-up draft, later on in the offseason, as opposed to drafting him at his current ADP, which is 53rd overall, according to DFF. We saw glimpses of Parker’s talent in 2016, but I just need to see him put it all together before really buying into him and paying that price.
Here are my biggest concerns with Parker. Jarvis Landry has out-produced Parker every season they’ve played together, yet somehow people still talk about how Parker is better than Landry. If Parker really was so great, he would have at least narrowed the gap between himself and Landry as the Dolphins’ number-1 wide receiver by now, right?
The next concern with Parker is that his current quarterback is Ryan Tannehill, who has proven that he is very inconsistent, which hurts the value of his receivers. Jarvis Landry seems to be the only consistent WR in Miami, finishing as a WR2 or better the last few seasons.
Another concern with Parker is that Miami added Julius Thomas, and Thomas has been receiving a lot of hype this offseason. The reason behind this is Thomas’ previous success with Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, who was Thomas’ former offensive coordinator when he was playing for the Denver Broncos. The Dolphins also re-signed Kenny Stills, so that will always be a concern for Parker as well. Parker has also battled with injuries throughout his brief career.. None were major injuries, but they are still something to keep an eye on.
DeVante Parker is being drafted as the WR28 off the board. I would much prefer to take Stefon Diggs, Jamison Crowder, and Donte Moncrief who are all near that ADP.
Terrelle Pryor – Washington Redskins
The next name on my list is Terrelle Pryor, 28-year old wide receiver for the Washington Redskins. Pryor is among the players who are in a new situations this season. Pryor gets a much better quarterback situation, which many people believe will lead to even greater fantasy football success. However, I am here to provide the counter-argument.
The biggest concern with Pryor is the amount of receiving options currently in Washington. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder, tight end Jordan Reed, and former first round pick Josh Doctson are all on the team. These are all very good players. Crowder is an under-rated top-25 wide receiver, Reed is a top-5 tight end when he is healthy and on the field, and Doctson was drafted to be the Redskins long-term number-1 wide receiver in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Also, let’s not forget the running backs in Washington either: Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, and of course… pass catching RB Chris Thompson. As you can see, this is a pretty crowded depth chart.
Where does Pryor fit in? Well, the Redskins did lose 216 targets in their offense in 2017; Pierre Garcon’s 114 targets are now in San Francisco, and DeSean Jackson’s 100 targets are now in Tampa Bay (Target data per fftoday.com). That is a lot of targets missing in 2017 for Washington. As previously mentioned, Josh Doctson was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft to be Washington’s number 1 wide receiver of the future. Doctson battled with injuries in his rookie season, plus he was buried on the depth chart. One would think that Doctson is going to see his fair share of targets if he can stay healthy on the field, given how much stock the Redskins have in him. The rest of the targets would probably go to Pryor, and the other options as previously mentioned, but how many of those targets are really left for Pryor?
Another concern with Pryor is his quarterback play. Is Kirk Cousins a good enough quarterback to have four top-tier fantasy options, plus a strong run game? I do not think so. I think most of the targets will go to Crowder and Reed, since they have the most chemistry with Cousins right now. Doctson will also see a good amount of targets as well, considering the Redskins invested a mid-first-round pick in him. Pryor will have a few good games here and there, but he will be very inconsistent and thus maddening to own on your fantasy team. I would want Pryor as my WR4, though he is being drafted as a WR2 with an ADP of 40, according to DFF, which is a bit too steep of a price to pay.
You can make the argument that there are health concerns for the players previously mentioned, and I understand that argument. With Reed’s concussion history, and Doctson’s recent injuries, you have to wonder if either of them can stay healthy for a full season. If either Reed or Doctson get injured, I would feel much better about Pryor’s outlook. However, as it stands, there are too many mouths to feed in Washington to justify Pryor’s ADP.
Talent is not an issue with Pryor as the former quarterback proved he can be a credible receiving threat with Cleveland quarterbacks, with an average of 13.4 points per game in PPR scoring. That is one positive. However, I believe there are too many negatives with Pryor, and a lot of things must go right in order for him to live up to his current draft position.
Alternative options around this price point include Doug Baldwin and Corey Coleman. I like both of these options more than Pryor for 2017 and beyond.
Golden Tate – Detroit Lions
Tate is a player who has been rising up people’s draft boards, but there are several concerns about his long-term outlook.
To start, the Lions were forced to throw the ball quite a lot in 2016, finishing 11th overall in terms of pass attempts. (388 Pass Attempts) Tate saw a major increase in targets & receptions down the stretch, and that was thanks to the Lions’ running backs, Ameer Abdullah, and Theo Riddick, who were both injured late in the season. Another reason Tate saw an increase in targets was because his teammate, wide receiver Marvin Jones, really struggled down the stretch, after a strong start to the 2016 season.
Tate was almost non-existent at the start of the 2016 campaign, specifically in weeks 1-5, where he caught a combined 17 catches for 134 yards, and 0 touchdowns in a 5-week span. (Average of 3.4 Catches, 26.8 Yards per game). In weeks 6-16, Tate averaged about 9 targets per game, and averaged 6 catches for 86 yards. That includes the week 11 game against Jacksonville, where he only had 3 catches for 27 yards. As you can see, there was a major increase in the average mount of targets per game. I think the Lions will have a more balanced approach in 2017, and I also believe Marvin Jones is not as bad as he played towards the end of 2016, either.
Another concern with Golden Tate is that in his last two seasons, Tate has a combined 3 games over 100 receiving yards (all 3 were in 2016) and he has only had two games with multiple Touchdowns in a game during that same time frame. Tate also has only had 1 game in the past 2 seasons over 10 catches. The point I am trying to make here is that Tate has not shown that massive upside, or consistency that we look for in our WR2s.
To conclude, I think that Tate is too volatile to warrant a top 65 selection in dynasty start up drafts. Tate is currently being drafted as the 62nd overall player off the board. I would much prefer wide receivers such as Mike Williams, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Martavis Bryant, and Corey Coleman, in that similar price range over Tate.
To conclude, my top-5 wide receiver sells are Tyrell Williams, Cameron Meredith, DeVante Parker, Terrelle Pryor, and Golden Tate. I believe all of these wide receivers are being over-drafted and will not live up to expectations.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article Please follow me on Twitter @JoeyColonna!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Article updated 7/12/17]
Charity Fantasy Leagues
The fantasy community is doing its part to help ensure that as many underprivileged children as possible get to celebrate Christmas this year. Continuing the great work started by DLF’s Jeff Miller, Scott Fish has grown the #FantasyCares Charity Leagues into an amazing success that allowed over $6,000 in presents to be given to children in 2016.
This year John Bosch (@EmpireFFL) decided to expand on this and is running “Celebrity Eliminator” contests.
For just $10 you can draft with and compete against some of the most notable fantasy minds in our industry.
You can sign up via the link below and challenge yourself against:
- Alex Gelhar
- Nathan Powell
- George Kritikos (and he doubles his pot, so you can win twice as much)
One celebrity not enough?! You can play against entire podcasts!
- DHH (Dynasty Happy Hour)
- DLF (Dynasty League Football)
- Dynasty Life
- UTH (Under the Helmet)
- Soon, you’ll be able to compete against us here at DFF! Stay tuned!!
Sign up here: http://fantasycares.net/