Here are five more offenses that you should look at that have productive two- and three-spot wide receivers on teams that throw a lot.
Both Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are on the last stretch of their long careers. But, Palmer threw for 4,233 yards last year and had 26 passing touchdowns, and Fitzgerald had 1,023 receiving yards on 150 targets with six touchdowns. It’s safe to say both players are still productive in the late stages of their careers. They both return next year in their starting positions and it should be business as usual. Which is to say, Palmer will throw a lot and Fitzgerald will reap the majority of benefits but there are two other (young) wide receivers to look out for that also saw a lot of action last year as John Brown and J.J. Nelson each had similar numbers last year. Both had around 70 targets and both had around 500 receiving yards. Nelson had six touchdowns to Brown’s two. They both will compete for the No. 2 spot but only one will come out on top. Nelson increased his production from 2015 to 2016 (27 targets in 2015 to 74 targets in 2016). Brown put up good numbers in 2015 (101 targets for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns), but those numbers fell in 2016. With Fitzgerald’s age (and nagging injuries), a young wide receiver will soon break out and that will be Nelson.
Take J.J. Nelson.
It was a good choice for Washington to stick with Kirk Cousins. In the past two years, he has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and threw 25 touchdowns in 2015, and 29 touchdowns last year. With the departure of both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, two receivers will need to step up this year. There is no clear No. 1 receiver for Washington, but Cousins likes to throw and someone will benefit greatly. The addition of Terrelle Pryor provides Washington with a somewhat positive outlook in their receiving core. Last year, Pryor had 140 targets for 1,007 receiving yards and four touchdowns (not bad for a Cleveland Browns team that had about four or five quarterbacks during the season). With Cousins as his quarterback, Pryor could see a similar amount of targets for more yards and touchdowns. Jamison Crowder led the team last year with seven receiving touchdowns, he also had 99 targets for 847 yards and it’s safe to say that he’s a favorite of Cousins. Garcon led the team last year with 114 receiving targets and Jackson followed with 100 targets. With both gone, Cousins will either look for security in Crowder, or potential with Pryor.
Take Jamison Crowder.
Poor Derek Carr. When he went down last year, I felt bad. Not only for him, but for the team. Oakland had such a good team going into the playoffs, I thought it could play its way into the AFC Championship game. But without Carr, the team struggled. Also without Carr, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree struggled. They put up dismal numbers against Houston in the Wild Card game, but during the season, they both had similarly productive numbers. In 2015, Amari Cooper had 130 receiving targets for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns. In 2016, he had 132 receiving targets for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns. Déjà vu. In 2015, Michael Crabtree had 146 receiving targets for 922 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2016, he had 145 targets for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns. Déjà vu again. I always see Cooper’s name on the top of fantasy draft lists, but Crabtree should be right next to him. They both see a lot of targets from Carr, but Crabtree scores a few more touchdowns than Cooper. Although Cooper is listed as the No. 1 wide receiver, I’d say it’s a toss-up. Most people will take Amari Cooper higher in the draft, but I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up Michael Crabtree.
Take Michael Crabtree with confidence.