Thursday - Apr 18, 2019

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ADP FACE-OFF: Wide Receivers

Numbers in parentheses are the MFL10s current ADP for that player.

Antonio Brown (5) vs. DeAndre Hopkins (7)

The best of the best is what these two wide receiver’s are. Antonio Brown has been the most dominant fantasy wide receiver for quite some time now. Deandre Hopkins, after a sluggish 2016 season, came back in a big way in 2017, setting a career high in receiving touchdowns (13) and finishing as the best fantasy wide receiver. Hopkins accomplished what he accomplished with Tom Savage at quarterback for half the season. It’s conceivable to think Hopkins can go over 100 receptions, 1,500 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns with DeShaun Watson at the helm for a full 16 game season. That said, as long as Antonio Brown is playing at an all-world level, I’ll take him on my team over Hopkins; but it’s closer than you think it is.

Odell Beckham Jr. (10) vs. Julio Jones (13)

I’d say only 5 wide receivers have the potential to finish as the best fantasy wide receiver. These two are two of them. Julio Jones is the only wide receiver to have at least 1,400 receiving yards in each of the past 4 seasons. He has also finished as a top 7 fantasy wide receiver each of the past 4 seasons. Odell Beckham Jr. had at least 90 receptions, 1,300 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns AND finished as a top 7 fantasy wide receiver in each of his first three seasons (2014-2016). It’s close, but I think Beckham has a bit more upside than Julio. It’s not a huge gap, but until Julio hauls in 10+ touchdowns in a season (which he hasn’t done since 2012), I’ll choose Beckham over Julio in the mid to late 1st round of my draft this summer.

Keenan Allen (16) vs. Michael Thomas (15)

Keenan Allen had a career season in 2017. He set career highs in receptions (102), receiving yards (1,393) and finished as the 3rd best fantasy wide receiver last season. Whether or not he can duplicate those numbers remains to be seen. Michael Thomas is entering his 3rd season in the NFL and has solidified himself as one of the best wide receivers in the game. He was 3rd in the NFL last season with 104 receptions and is the go-to target in a Drew Brees led offense. Remember how I said that only five wide receiver’s have the potential to finish as the best fantasy wide receiver? Well, I think Thomas is that 5th player. The fact that Drew Brees looks his way in the red zone (16 red zone targets in 2017) means the potential for over 10+ touchdowns is within reach. Given the option, I’d rather have Thomas over Allen for 2018.

Davante Adams (20) vs. Mike Evans (21)

The plate is on the table, accompanied by the silverware, napkin, and cup. Dinner is in 10 minutes. The table is all set up for Davante Adams to break out in 2018. Gone is Jordy Nelson from the Green Bay offense. Adams is now the de-facto go-to wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers. If there was ever a time for Adams to crack the top 10 at the wide receiver position, the time is now. Mike Evans had a season to forget in 2017, but hey, it’s almost always happened to the best of em’ at some point early in their careers. Don’t believe me? Look up Reggie Wayne‘s stats in 2003, Larry Fitzgerald’s in 2006,  Calvin Johnson’s stats from 2009,  Brandon Marshall in 2010. Both of these wide receivers have incredible upside, but I lean slightly towards Adams in this matchup.

Tyreek Hill (26) vs. Doug Baldwin (28)

Tyreek Hill reminds of a young DeSean Jackson. He’s lightning fast, can take the top off a defense and has a knack for making big plays (9 catches of 40+ yards in 2017). He is quickly becoming one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL. The Seahawks parted ways with Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson and Luke Wilson this off-season. Those departures are going to have an enormously positive impact on the potential of Doug Baldwin. Why? Well, for starters, Jimmy Graham led the entire NFL with 27 Red Zone targets in 2017. Guess who is going to see a good chunk of those targets in 2018? That’s right, it’s Baldwin. Bold prediction time; Doug Baldwin will have 12 receiving touchdowns in 2018. Mark it down, folks. You heard it here first. In conclusion, I covet Baldwin’s reliability (has not missed a game since 2012), consistency (at least 75 receptions, 900 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons) and sudden colossal upside over the boom or bust player that Hill is.

Larry Fitzgerald (36) vs. Amari Cooper (38)

Entering his 11th season at age 35 (when the season starts), Larry Fitzgerald has shown no signs of slowing down and is still in my eyes one of the better fantasy wide receivers out there. He finished as the 4th best WR in 2017, yet guys like T.Y Hilton (WR27 in 2017), Stefon Diggs (WR19) are being drafted ahead of him. It’s a head-scratcher, to be honest. Opposing defenses are going to have their hands full with the return of David Johnson; which in turn will open up plenty of space in the middle of the field for Fitz. Quickly on Amari Cooper – drafting him is a gamble. Period. I have high hopes for him but admittedly am skeptical. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance and flashes of abysmal play; so will 2018 be the year he proves he is among the elite wide receivers in the league? Here’s how I’m choosing between the two; Cooper is a low floor/high ceiling type of player. Fitz? I think he’s got a high floor and a high ceiling. As a result, I’m taking Fitz over Cooper this season.

About Evan Reardon

An avid Boston sports fan, Evan has been a Patriots and NFL fan since the 1990's. Fantasy football runs in his family. He grew up in the 90's watching his father and uncles play in a 6-team, Touchdown-only league. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000's and has been writing fantasy sports content since 2014.