Four Wide Receivers with Massive Upside in the Slot (Fantasy Football)
My love for slot Wide Receivers in PPR scoring formats is tough to match thanks to their reliable route trees and high catch probabilities. But I also love big-play upside pass catchers that get utilized downfield. Rarely do slot Wide Receivers stretch the field, but there are exceptions to the rule.
Here are four stud hybrid pass-catchers that consistently combine reliability and upside from the slot…plus two bonus players as well. (ADP Data is gathered from over 100 FFPC Classic Best Ball Drafts over the past two weeks and Deep Target/Slot Performance rankings are out of qualifying Wide Receivers).
The Main Four
ARob only lined up in the slot on 41.1% of his snaps but he was targeted out of the slot 24.3% of the time, which ranked third in the league, last season. Incredibly, Robinson also ranked tied for third in Deep Targets (29). Robinson ranked tied for fifth in targets per game (9.6) in the entire league and that volume helped him rack up upside both out of the slot and downfield.
Thing is, nothing should change this season. Robinson has very little target competition on the Bears outside of Anthony Miller and Tarik Cohen and should once again be the alpha WR1. Even better, he could actually receive a Quarterback upgrade in Nick Foles, and I’m projecting that to happen. Robinson is a total stud and deserves every bit of his WR10 and 34.8 overall ADP.
Lockett lined up in the slot on 69.4% of his snaps and was targeted out of the slot 18.8% of the time last season. He also ranked tied for sixth in Deep Targets (Targets 20+ Yards Downfield) 28 and 12th in Deep Target Percentage (25.9%). Lockett is a total stud, gets to play with future Hall of Famer Russell Wilson, has a solid rapport with his Quarterback during a COVID interrupted offseason, and benefits from limited passing options on the team outside of D.K. Metcalf. Lockett is a no-brainer target at an ADP of WR22 and 56.3 overall.
Landry lined up in the slot on 61.6% of his snaps and was targeted out of the slot 22% of the time last season. And this surprised me, Landry actually ranked tied for 21st in Deep Targets (22) and 29th in Deep Target Percentage (16.9%). That’s exciting for a player generally thought of as reliable, but offering very little upside.
It’s crucial to note Landry is coming off of hip surgery this offseason and has a new Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. Still, he’s a guy I’ll continue to bet on, especially thanks to his affordable cost. Landry’s ADP currently sits at WR31 and 81.9 overall. Why lean into uncertainty when it’s not necessary? Landry has been a stud his entire six-year career, averaging 94 catches and 1,031 receiving yards per season.
Allen lined up in the slot on 51.7% of his snaps and was targeted out of the slot 23.1% of the time last season. He also ranked tied for 25th in Deep Targets (20) and 33rd in Deep Target Percentage (13.6%). Priced at an ADP of WR24 and 61.6 overall, Allen is not part of my draft plans this season.
Consistently one of my favorite players, this scares me and I absolutely could be wrong. But the Quarterback change from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor and Justin Herbert reduces his high catch bankability and thus, reduces his reliability and upside. I’d like to add if there’s any player I’d be happy to be proven wrong by, it’s my boy Keenan.
Two Bonus Players
Boyd lined up in the slot on 65% of his snaps and was targeted out of the slot 21.4% of the time last season. Boyd is a bonus addition rather than a focal point player within this article because he only received 14 Deep Targets. But he’s noteworthy thanks to his projected Quarterback upgrade with first overall pick Joe Burrow now leading the Bengals.
Having posted 166 receptions for 2,074 receiving yards and 12 TDs over the past two seasons, Boyd’s WR33 and 83.1 overall ADP actually perplexes me. He’s one of my main targets in drafts this year as I believe his slot reliability will continue and he also offers untapped upside that could come to fruition in a better overall situation this season.
Godwin lined up in the slot on 63.4% of his snaps and was targeted out of the slot 18% of the time last season. He also saw 17 Deep Targets. Drafters already understand Godwin’s dual-threat upside as his ADP remarkably sits at WR6 and 22.6 overall.
Despite being a huge fan of Godwin, that price is too rich for me in an offense I project to be less Wide Receiver friendly from a fantasy perspective thanks to the Buccaneers being a much better real-life team in 2020. Still, his usage from 2019 en route to a 86 reception, 1,333 receiving yard season is definitely worth mentioning.