Target: Julio Jones
Yes, he seems like an obvious guy to target atop of draft boards. However, Julio Jones is currently becoming a bargain at his current ADP. Jones is now being had at the back end of round one, and early stages of round two. This is highway robbery for one of the two best WRs in football. In a PPR league, Jones has top 6 upside. Jones finished 2018 with 113 catches for 1,677 yards and 8 receiving TDs. Jones has topped 1,400 receiving yards in 5 straight seasons and had PPR finishes of 6th, 2nd, 6th, 7th and 2nd over the past 5 years. To put that into perspective, Jones was a ten-yard TD catch away from being the number one PPR WR. Jones has veteran signal-caller Matt Ryan behind center, who has had two top 3 QB finishes in the past 3 seasons. The return of former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter should also play a vital role. With so many question marks at the top of drafts, holdouts (Zeke and Gordon) and injuries (Gurley) Jones is an ideal candidate to target in round one as a rock-solid WR1 with potential to finish number one among the WR position.
Target: Chris Godwin
The biggest appeal of Godwin, already an emerging young WR in his own right, is his path to a viable target share. The departures of both Adam Humphries (105 Targets) and Desean Jackson (74 targets) left a large void in Tampa Bay’s pass-happy offense. Perhaps the worse stable of running backs assembled in the NFL in some time, means the Bucs are again going to be an aerial attack led by pre-season sleeper Jameis Winston. Godwin was able to garner 95 targets this past season, finishing as the PFF 26th ranked WR. Expect that number to grow well into triple digits, with 150 targets being a real possibility. You want to hitch a ride to any part of this Tampa Bay passing attack, and Godwin is a much cheaper way to do so than his teammate Mike Evans, who is fantastic in his own right but will cost you a pick about 2 to 3 rounds higher.
Pass: Emmanuel Sanders
You probably should not have to tell someone that targeting a 32-year-old wideout who is coming off a torn Achilles is not exactly a recipe for success. Having been consistently burned in Baltimore year in and year out, you probably should not be targeting any WR catching passes from Joe Flacco. He has some upside later in the season when he may be fully recovered and the possibility of catching passes from Drew Lock is on the horizon. If he’s there at the conclusion of the drafts he is worth a stash, but don’t be the one who overdrafts him based on name recognition alone.
Pass: Davante Adams
There may not be a more overrated WR in football than Mr. Adams. Sure, catching passes from Aaron Rodgers never hurt anyone, but the availability of Rodgers at this stage in his career is never a given. Adams was fantastic last season finishing with 111 catches for 1,386 yards and an astounding 13 TDs. Those are truly WR 1 numbers and the kind of production you envision when spending a pick on a WR early. The problem is that last season was the first time Adams eclipsed the century mark in yardage in his 5-year career. Considered a bust by many going into year 3, Adams has quietly developed into one of the better RedZone targets in the NFL, catching 35 scores in the past 3 seasons. Picking Adams is not going to break your draft, but if I have to spend a first-round draft pick to do so, I am out. Under no circumstances will I advocate spending a first-round pick on a TD dependent WR wildcard. Mike Evans can be had several picks later and provides a safer floor with equal upside.
League Winner: AJ Green
AJ Green is a legit WR1 in fantasy and has been for some time. A guy who has finished as a top 10 WR in both standard and PPR in two of the past three seasons, AJ Green should be a mainstay of most line ups. So, then why is he currently slipping to the middle rounds of fantasy drafts you may ask? Injuries and age are two factors working against Green, who will miss the start of the 2019 season. The thought of missing two to three games is not enough to scare me off the potential of landing a top 10 WR at a huge discount. I am in on AJ Green in all formats at his current ADP. If healthy this was a guy who would have cost you a second to third round pick, and getting him as low as the 10th round in some drafts is highway robbery. In fact, highway robbery does not do this pick justice, be careful after selecting Green that the cops do not show up at your front door to charge you with grand larceny.
Nick Nazzario (the Statistically Superior Mr. Roto)