Fantasy Football Draft 2014: Wide Receiver Busts
Taking a Look at Some of the Overvalued Players at Wide Receiver
August 20, 2014
It’s fantasy football draft season, and we prospective owners are knee-deep in speculation and research in preparation for the upcoming fantasy campaign. In that spirit, we’ve been checking out some of the potentially overvalued players in the NFL landscape this week.
Today it’s time to survey the wide receivers out there, and though some of these players may not be considered “busts” in the classic sense of the word, they probably won’t end up delivering on their lofty draft expectations. Here’s a closer look at the situations and numbers on the WR landscape.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Like so many fantasy players out there right now, Fitzgerald seems to be getting by on a healthy dose of name recognition these days. He’s coming off a reasonably productive year, though, posting 82 grabs for 954 yards and 10 scores.
Here’s the drawback with Fitzgerald: He’ll be 31 years old when the season begins. We’re not saying he’ll completely implode due to his age, but he’s likely to regress a bit as father time and a heavy workload take their toll. He won’t be a complete bust, but by year’s end we doubt he’ll be inside the top 15 wide receivers in fantasy. Don’t overreach here.
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Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos: Speaking of name recognition, Welker (and his uniform) have plenty of fantasy owners clamoring to add him as a No. 1 receiver. He’s coming off a 73-catch year in 2013 with 778 yards and 10 touchdowns to his credit in 13 games, but we’re not going to see that type of electricity during this campaign.
The Seahawks gave the definitive blueprint on how to defend the Broncos’ attack during the Super Bowl, and though you can expect Denver to still put up a good amount of points, they won’t be blowing people out this season. Add that to the fact that the injury-prone Welker will be lost amid a sea of potent receiving options, and he’s simply not reliable enough to spend a top WR pick on.
Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Cooper was very impressive last year, breaking out with a 47-catch, 835-yard season that garnered eight scores. Those numbers, along with a second year in Chip Kelly’s high-flying Philadelphia offense, have many fantasy owners pegging him as a solid WR3.
We’ve made no secret about our low expectations for the Philly offense this year now that DeSean Jackson is gone, and we’re not buying into a repeat performance. Cooper and company are destined for a regression, so your best bet is to let someone else figure that out.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: Here we are getting into the name recognition game again, and with all the red flags covering Johnson this off-season it’s a wonder why anyone is still drafting him at all. He made quite the stink about his unhappiness with the Texans organization before training camp, and with the age and injury concerns clouding him that makes a three-way combo of Stay Away in fantasy.
Sure, Johnson’s still capable of big numbers (109 grabs, 1,407 yards in 2013), but with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing him the ball within an anemic offense he won’t get anywhere near them.
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