So far in my DYNASTY OUTLOOK segments, I have discussed the rookie quarterbacks and running backs and how they could impact your dynasty league. Now, we move on to the wide receiver position. There were only six wide receivers taken in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL draft. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other gems for you to add to your team. Take a look with me and see if we can sort out who to take and who to pass up.
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (Round 1, Pick 5): Davis is already slotted as the No. 2 wide receiver on the Tennessee depth chart with Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker. Marcus Mariota needs playmakers on the outside and Davis should provide plenty of it. Tennessee wants to develop young talent around Mariota and did just that by drafting Davis and third round pick Taywan Taylor (see below). This could be the start of Tennessee becoming a contender in the AFC for a long time to come.
Outlook: The Mariota to Davis connections could become as legendary as the Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison connection. A definite player to target very early.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (Round 1, Pick 7): Williams was touted as the best wide receiver in the draft by many experts. Since then, he has not shown much because of injuries. As of now he is on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Chargers need him to be healthy and to do it quickly. Having Williams in the lineup with Keenan Allen (when healthy), Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin will give Phillip Rivers plenty of targets to light up opposing defenses.
Outlook: When healthy, Williams will be a top scorer in your dynasty league for years to come. Draft very early but look for a less injury prone wide receiver later as insurance.
John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals (Round 1, Pick 9): Speed kills. And in this case, speed lifts the top off of opposing defenses and opens up more opportunities for Andy Dalton to succeed. Compares to DeSean Jackson in many ways. If his catching skills can match his speed skills, he won’t have to have many targets to get 100-plus-yard games. Not to mention, he is going to line up opposite of A.J. Green. Defenses will have to pick their poison between the two of them.
Outlook: Ross is going to get plenty of opportunities to score on the long ball. Draft early.
Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills (Round 2, Pick 5): Wow! What an opportunity for Jones to come in and make an impact for Buffalo. With wide receiver a very weak point for this team, Jones was slated for plenty of targets before the team traded away Sammy Watkins. Even though the team acquired Jordan Matthews, Jones is going to end up being the No. 1 receiver on this team. Tyrod Taylor has a great deal to prove this year and Jones may help him do just that.
Outlook: He landed in the perfect spot. I don’t expect him to last long in many drafts, especially after the Watkins trade.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (Round 2, Pick 8): Carolina receivers haven’t been that successful in recent years. Kelvin Benjamin has been a lone bright spot, when healthy. Devin Funchess still has a lot of developing to do but looks promising so far in the offseason. Samuel can easily work his way into the rotation. There is not much competition after Benjamin and Funchess. Greg Olsen also factors in as someone who will play a huge part in the passing game. Don’t expect Samuel to have 1,000 yards, but don’t sleep on him either.
Outlook: Will be a productive player in an explosive offense. Grab him before everyone else realizes he is still there.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (Round 2, Pick 30): Pittsburgh is looking to its future with this pick. There are plenty of capable wide receivers on this team with Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Smith-Schuster could force his way into the starting rotation with a good preseason showing.
Outlook: Look for him to push into the rotation but don’t expect him to become the No. 2 in this offense. Take a shot at him in the late rounds and monitor how his situation pans out.