Fantasy Football: Three Wide Receivers You Can Trust in 2018
Before you dive into the three wide receivers you can trust in 2018, I’d like to clarify why I’ve chosen the players below. If I just said “You can trust Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and OBJ”, that would be absolutely no help to you. My goal here is to help make a decision on players drafted after the “elite” group to provide solid, reliable depth to your fantasy rosters. Hopefully, this helps your confidence when you get to the mid-late rounds and need a trust-worthy WR.
This man will also be featured soon in The Fantasy Footballers Writers‘ “My Guy” article as he is “My Guy” for 2018. Golden Tate has at least 120 targets and 90 receptions in each of the last 4 seasons. If his TD number increases, he is easily in the WR1 discussion. He was already a WR1 last season (PPR) with only 5 touchdowns on the year. Tate is Matthew Stafford‘s most trusted target. The volume will not be an issue for Tate as Stafford threw for his lowest attempt total last season since 2010 with 565 attempts and that was still 4th best in the league in attempts.
Tate led the NFL with a 76.7% catch rate last season. Combine his catch rate with his expected volume and he will get you a great return on your draft investment as he is currently the 21st WR off the board on the 4th round turn.
If you want to learn about how Golden Tate can be a WR1 in 2018, check out: Golden Tate: The Path to WR1 Season.
In 2017, Jamison Crowder suffered from hamstring issues which led to a very slow start, turning a lot of Crowder owners against him. This is likely the reason for his ADP (WR33, 7.10) for 2018. He did begin to turn his season around in the second half but had some less than desirable weeks down the stretch. Crowder is healthy, has spent a lot of time on conditioning his body this offseason, and says he feels great.
Crowder is entering his 4th season in the NFL, which also happens to be the last year of his contract with the Redskins. I hate to use money as a motivator here but Crowder has made pennies compared to most WRs today. He will make under $2M this season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. He knows this is his chance to get that big contract next season.
Josh Doctson is expected to have more of an impact this year, partnered with the addition of Paul Richardson to handle outside duties and stretch the field. This plays right into Crowder’s favor as it will open up the inside for him as the Redskins slot receiver. Alex Smith (with the exception of last season) tends to favor the short slant route WRs. Smith has spoken multiple times of the great chemistry he and Crowder are developing in camp and is clearly Smith’s go-to target. Combine his contract year, his rapport with Alex Smith, the other WRs to stretch the field, and the devastating season-ending injury to rookie RB, Derrius Guice, the stars just seem to be aligning for a breakout season for Jamison Crowder.
Although Alshon Jeffrey had 25 more targets than Nelson Agholor, it was Agholor who led the Eagles’ WRs in receptions (62) last season. More importantly (for fantasy purposes), Agholor led all Eagles in red zone targets and receptions. He was the most efficient target of the top 3 Eagles’ WRs with a 65.3% catch rate (Torrey Smith: 52.9%, Alshon Jeffrey: 47.5%). Agholor ended 2017 as the 23rd best WR in 0.5 PPR, making him a low-end WR2.
Expect his touchdown numbers to remain at or above what we saw last year. He knows how to get open in the red zone, catching half of his 8 total TDs in that area. This also shows you that Agholor is capable of making big plays between to 20s and converting those plays into touchdowns. Agholor can score from anywhere. He had 4 TDs the were taken in from within the 15 but added scores from 24, 27, 58, and 72 yards out. He’s a reliable target in what should be a high-powered offense.
Things are looking bright for the speedy, slot receiver in 2018. Alshon Jeffrey is already struggling with injury and the addition of Mike Wallace on the outside to help open things up for Agholor. Combine that with the expected return of Carson Wentz and Nelson Agholor is poised for an even more productive year. He should easily be in the top 24 WRs in 2018 and you can get him in the 10th round as the 45th WR taken in drafts.