Three Receivers With the Potential to Crush Their Current ADP (Fantasy Football)
Fantasy football is a game where we pick players that we hope will score a lot of points. That’s the general concept. When looking deeper, it’s actually a game that’s very similar to financial markets, sports betting, and even trying to get a promotion at some of our day jobs. We want to find assets that will perform better than the general public expects them to, and we’re rewarded if we find more than everyone else. The data point we use in fantasy football to determine whether or not we succeeded is ADP or average draft position. If the fantasy market (all of the people drafting) forms a consensus, then we need to find players that will perform better than that consensus. It’s not as easy to identify receivers that outperform ADP as it is running backs, but there are a few of them that pop up every year. The key is always finding guys that are tied to either a pass-heavy offense or an elite quarterback. Sometimes both.
ADP mentioned here is from best ball ADP at Underdog since it’s the most commonly used platform for drafting this early in the year:
Current Best Ball ADP: 113.5
Positional ADP: WR54
I think the keys that type Michael Gallup’s name on my keyboard have to be completely worn out by now, because I have been screaming about his talent for multiple years. Much to my dismay, he hasn’t turned into a fantasy star in the way I had hoped. He never set the world on fire, but his full body of work has shown that he’s a high-quality NFL receiver who would be a top option on plenty of teams around the league. Amari Cooper has been the biggest roadblock for him throughout his career, and CeeDee Lamb’s ascension certainly didn’t help. He’s likely to be the Robin to CeeDee’s batman in 2022, but Cooper’s departure should lead to full-time snaps for Gallup, something that hasn’t happened for him up until this point.
The Dallas offense will be explosive and productive for every pass catcher in town, and Dak Prescott is a top-tier quarterback who can make throws to every part of the field. The erosion of Ezekiel Elliott will lead to even more prioritization of the passing game, and CeeDee Lamb will help Gallup face plenty of single coverage looks and demand red zone usage. I would not be shocked at all to see him finish as a top 25 receiver in fantasy for the year, and his explosive play ability and touchdown upside should make him an enticing weekly flex option at the bare minimum.
Current Best Ball ADP: 70.2
Positional ADP: WR34
Before you roll your eyes at another St. Brown opinion, try to remember that his explosion at the end of last year was not something that happens often. In fact, I’d be inclined to use the word historic. His 90 receptions in 2022 were tied for the fifth-most by a rookie receiver in NFL history, and he only started 9 games on the year.
Read that last sentence again. Despite the ridiculous polarization surrounding him in the dynasty community, it’s very possible that we are still overlooking St. Brown.
The Lions’ offense was missing some key pieces over the final stretch of the 2021 season, but this type of breakout on any offense in the NFL doesn’t go unnoticed and doesn’t happen simply because targets become available. St. Brown was an electric playmaker who not only capitalized on his opportunity but forced the Lions organization into giving him a whole lot more of it. Veteran receivers are given similar target bumps every week in the NFL due to injuries or roster moves, and more often than not they sputter on Sunday. The Lions rookie took the league by storm week in and week out. He was given the chance to produce, but he earned the production. Once you bake in the second-year leap for rookie receivers and the long road ahead for Jameson Williams, all signs point to a potential fantasy star in 2022.
Current BestBall ADP: 181.1
Positional ADP: WR79
DPJ is a name that I brought up a couple of times last year for dynasty purposes, and I’m going to continue to drive this train here. The early draft ADP seems to indicate that the fantasy community may be underreacting to the Deshaun Watson addition in Cleveland. From a strictly football perspective, Watson has made every offensive asset around him better in both real life and in fantasy. Will Fuller was a textbook deep threat who turned into a bona fide WR1 for his team, partially because of the connection he had with Watson. DeAndre Hopkins was a different kind of animal, but we’ve seen the fantasy impact of his departure from the Texans and from Watson, too.
The Browns may still be a run-leaning offense in 2022, but the accuracy and playmaking ability of their new quarterback is going to produce results for the pass catchers. Amari Cooper just joined the fold as well, and he should obviously be the top dog right away, but behind him, there is very little experience to work with. David Bell should be a factor from day one, but rookie receivers often take time to grow into their roles and Bell is a possession receiver as opposed to a downfield threat.
Peoples-Jones is a freakish athlete who made strides last season in his route running and separation ability. The former Michigan Wolverine lead the Browns receiving corps in both yardage and touchdowns last season, and the quarterback upgrade here is monumental. His numbers weren’t too impressive on their own, but ending the season as the statistical WR1 on his team is an underrated testament to the talent he possesses. That same talent could be put on display with someone like Watson behind center. It’s very possible that DPJ produces WR3 numbers in 2022 through downfield efficiency and playmaking in the play-action game. He should have no issue smashing his outrageous WR79 draft position. I’m paying close attention to his season-long prop lines once they’re released by the sportsbooks.