Fantasy Football Lottery Tickets: WRs
We’re probably just a couple of weeks, or days away from your fantasy draft, and it’s time to fit in that final prep work to build your fantasy roster. As you come to the final rounds of your draft, you have a lot of options. You could be predictable and draft your DEF and K, like most of your league-mates, or you can have some fun. There are some players going very late, or undrafted, that have the opportunity to make a serious impact on the 2020 fantasy season. We call those guys lottery tickets and this article will cover the WRs, but if you are looking for late-round QBs or low-cost RBs, I have options for you there too.
Just a quick summary of what I will be looking for:
- To start, the guy has to be available in the 13th Round or later (Based on a 12-team league, so an overall ADP of 145 or higher). These are truly guys that you are taking a flyer on at the end of your draft.
- There has to be a reason to believe they can outplay their ADP. Every late-round guy isn’t a lottery ticket. These players, or their coaches, have proven their fantasy success in the past. Sometimes, it may even the addition, or subtraction, of another player or coach that is going to elevate the games of those around them.
- They need to be in a position to prove themselves right away. If you cut them before they perform, it doesn’t matter that you were right about them.
If you’ve read or listened to just about any fantasy football content this year, you’ve likely heard the phrase “WR is as deep as it’s ever been” or some variation. This is a sentiment that cannot be echoed enough. There is a good chance for you to go RB in each of your first three or four rounds, or even gamble on a top-tier QB or TE, and still walk away with solid WRs in the 5th round, or later. Speaking of later, even as you hit the waning rounds of your draft, there are a handful of guys that have the potential to be their team’s WR1 and have fantasy value written all over them.
Golden Tate (Current ADP: WR55, Pick 145)
The addition of Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator should help Daniel Jones and this offense be extremely relevant in 2020. Garrett has produced a QB1 in each of his last four seasons with Dallas and eight of his last nine years overall. Daniel Jones doesn’t have far to climb to reach those ranks. With improved QB play, there should be some hype around there WRs and yet, the most reliable one is being virtually ignored. Tate was the WR42 last season, despite playing in just 11 games. If you take his pace out to 16 games, he would’ve been the WR20 and he’s being drafted as the WR55 (FIFTY-FIIIIIVE!) He could miss half the season and still hit his ADP. Tate will be competing with Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard for WR targets, but Garrett had three WRs finish with over 80 targets in Dallas last year. Tate will play the slot and will end up being a security blanket for Daniel Jones, he is a proven fantasy WR2 that can be had for next to nothing.
If you want to see how I think all of the targets will break down for the New York Football Giants, check out my Fantasy Football Target Practice on the team.
N’Keal Harry (Current ADP: WR59, Pick 152)
While he never got the chance to show much as a rookie, it is still fair to say that N’Keal Harry is going to be the “deep-threat” for the New England Patriots in 2020. The other two WRs he’ll be competing against are Julian Edelman and Mohammed Sanu, both traditional slot-WRs that love the short and intermediate routes. When Cam Newton looks deep this season, it will be Harry that he is looking for. There aren’t a lot of stats to back Harry’s game up, he only played 7 games last year, reeling in just 12 balls. He is a true lottery ticket, you might get a WR1, you might get nothing. Harry’s college film had fantasy analysts excited last year and the Patriots took him, a WR, in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft, something they almost never do. When Cam last played a full season, back in 2017, he threw the 13th most deep balls in the league. Brady threw the 15th most in this offense last year. There will be plenty of opportunity for Harry, it will just be a question of him seizing it.
Breshad Perriman (Current ADP: WR65, Pick 164)
Earlier this spring, I intended on writing an article cautioning against hyping Perriman up. Then I saw his ADP and had to change my tune completely. Back then, Perriman was going undrafted, now he’s leaped all the way to 14th Round of fantasy drafts. It’s safe to say this is a slow-moving hype train. There is plenty to hate about Perriman, most of which starts with his head coach Adam Gase, but you can’t discount that he was basically a bust until the last five games of 2019. He did more in those five games than he had in any season of his career. The main point to get across here is that he is almost a guarantee to outplay his ADP. In this exact role last year, Robby Anderson was the WR39. Perriman is likely a back-end WR3 being taken as a WR6. The boom-or-bust nature of his role makes him hard to trust but you should know very early in the season whether or not he is a guy you can safely plug into your Flex spot.
Randall Cobb (Current ADP: WR72, Pick 181)
No one player leaves behind bigger shoes to fill in 2020 than DeAndre Hopkins. While everybody wonders and argues whether or not it will be Brandin Cooks or Will Fuller to take his WR1 spot, the man who could easily lead this team in targets is going basically undrafted. Randall Cobb had a bit of a bounce-back year as the WR3 in Dallas last season. He was targeted 83 times and finished with a respectable 55/828/3 stat line, good enough to be the WR44 in fantasy football. While there is every bit the chance he will still be the WR3 in this offense, he’s already proven he can outplay his ADP in that role. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are a better duo than Cooks and Fuller, and if Cobb starts to cut into their work, he could be a 100-target WR by the end of the year. No WR with 100 targets finished worse than the WR45 last year, so you’re going to get what you pay for at the very least. You might have to wait out a Cooks or Fuller injury to see Cobb’s true potential, but he should establish himself as a WR3/4 in fantasy football pretty quickly.
Steven Sims Jr (Current ADP: WR79, Pick 188)
If there is one piece of advice I can give you this year, it’s draft Terry McLaurin in the 5th Round of your fantasy draft. But if there’s two, the other is grab Steven Sims with the last pick of your draft. The poor play from Washington last year has scared people off of these WRs and that is a mistake for you to jump on. To start, Ron Rivera replaces Jay Gruden and brings Scott Turner to run the offense. They should be throwing the ball a lot more in Washington this year and that can only mean good things for these WRs. Sims quietly exploded to end 2019 and, judging by his ADP, nobody cares. It’s a minuscule sample size but Sims was the WR15 over the final five games and the WR7 over the final three games in 2019. He ended the year 3rd on the team in targets despite not seeing consistent playing time until Week 12. Like Cobb, Sims has a real shot at 100 targets in 2020, and will easily outplay his ADP. If he continues his TD tear that he ended last season on, he could be the single greatest value in fantasy football this season.