DeAndre Hopkins is the best Fantasy Football Wide Receiver at the moment. Coming off three straight seasons with 151+ targets. In his prime. He might just be the guy in 2018 to supplant A.B. at the top spot. Potentially seeing 160+ targets, 88+ receptions, 1k+ yards and double digit touchdowns. Hopkins is a great pick if your drafting 5th or later in full ppr.

Deshaun Watson is starting week 1 and Bill O’Brien utilizes Hopkins weekly. Making him the focul point in their offense. Where as A.B. will be competing with Le’Veon Bell, Ju Ju Smith Schuster, James Washington and the Steeler’s tight ends. Make no bones about it, A.B. is the proven #1 receiver in Fantasy. I’m not questioning that. Rather Im projecting Hopkins to take the number one spot and he is going after running backs with question marks. Not to mention A.B. is getting injury after injury in the past couple seasons which begin to mount up as he ages. I’ll take the guy in his prime versus the guy potentially exiting his prime.

Watson played in 7 games, started 6 and was injured in the 7th. Hopkins recorded 7 tds in that stint. Unlikely to maintain that pace is fair. It is still likely that Hopkins produces 12 touchdowns at a reduced pace from that stint. Using that stint and Hopkins could produce 14+ touchdowns. A.B. will not record 14+ touchdowns and 12 is A.B.’s ceiling in 2018 from my stance.

2017 – 174 Targets: 96 receptions, 1,378 yards, 13 touchdowns.

2016 – 151 Targets: 78 receptions, 954 yards, 4 touchdowns.

2015 – 192 Targets: 111 receptions, 1,521 yards, 11 touchdowns.

2014 – 127 Targets: 76 receptions, 1,210 yards, 6 touchdowns.

2013 – 91 Targets: 52 receptions, 802 yards, 2 touchdowns.

Antonio Brown – Antonio Brown is reliable. However with Big Ben, a new offensive coordinator which will iniate minor offensive changes. Ju Ju Smith Schuster performing well in 2017 may lead to a few less targets for Brown, increased rushing attempts for Bell (reduced targets), James Washington effect and two tight ends in McDonald/James in the redzone.

A.B. is still a stud. Im just a bit lower on him than others and am anticipating the Steelers to be a well rounded offense in 2018. They want to win at the end of the day and forcing the ball to A.B. is less likely. Big Ben’s recent concussion is not helping and this is the year Brown fails to snag 100 balls. Ju Ju and Brown together make break the record books for most receptions/yards combined by two receivers.

2017 – Targets 163: 101 receptions, 1,533 yards and 9 touchdowns.

2016 – Targets 154: 106 receptions, 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns.

2015 – Targets 193: 136 receptions, 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns.

2014 – Targets 181: 129 receptions, 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns.

2013 – Targets 167: 110 receptions, 1,499 yards and 8 touchdowns.

2012 – Targets 106: 66 receptions, 787 yards and 5 touchdowns.

2011 – Targets 124: 69 receptions, 1,108 yards and 2 touchdowns.

2010 – Targets 19: 16 receptions for 167 yards.

Tier II

This tier is filled with #1 wide receivers who have high seasonal total floors, potential to finish as a Top 3 scorer in point per reception leagues.

Keenan Allen – A full year healthy in 2017. Allen is a candidate to lead the league in receptions, produce double digit touchdowns and finish in the top 10 for total receiving yards. Keenan Allen in 2017 went for 159 targets, 102 receptions, 1,393 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is just scratching the ceiling on what he can do in Fantasy. I have no issue with anyone drafting Allen as the 3rd receiver off the board. I value weekly consistency with my early round picks.

Julio Jones – 80+ receptions, 1,000+ yards and 6+ touchdowns is Julio’s floor. The last four seasons, Julio Jones finished 6th, 6th, 2nd and 8th in fantasy scoring for wide receivers. Julio continues to see an uptick of usage all over the field including the slot. This increases his value. Positive touchdown regression potential, Matt Ryan improving in year 2 with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and his high floor/ceiling make him a viable late 1st round pick. Julio or Keenan basically comes down to my 1st round selection, whether a league offers big play bonuses (Julio), the PPR structure (Keenan), touchdown value (Julio) and the mood I’m in.

Julio saw 148 targets in 2017, 129 targets in 2016 (14 games) and 203 targets in 2015. My major gripe with Julio is the duds he produces and being on the injury report weekly.

Michael Thomas – Week in and week out consistency offers a high floor and dependability. He is “Fantasy Football’s Mr. Consistent”. In an explosive offense that is advantageous for playmakers. The working man’s Michael Thomas is the best at what he does. He crushes his division opponents, is Brees number 1 target, entering his prime, on a potent offense, a winning team and is a lock to finish in the Top 10.

Entering year 3, he is already a top Fantasy Football option. Itd be nice to see a few game changing performances from the consistent Thomas. The return for a second round pick is worth every penny and doesn’t include headaches from week to week. No injury report and no 1 catch games from Thomas make him a no brainer start every week. Matchup Proof!

2017 – 149 targets: 104 receptions, 1,245 yards, 5 touchdowns.

2016 – 121 targets: 92 receptions, 1,137 yards, 9 touchdowns.

Tier III

Odell Beckham Jr. – New Head Coach Pat Shurmur in town means Saquon Barkley is the player to own on offense in New York. I was on point with ranking him outside the Top 5 in 2017 and am doing it again in 2018. I do think OBJ will offer consistency and a high floor weekly. Hence ranking him 6th overall in August.

The Giants offense is ridiculously talented and if we were to use Kyle Rudolph, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen as examples. Then Evan Engram, OBJ and Sterling Shepard should see targets spread amongst themselves. With neither producing 1st round worthy draft picks. The real question is about Eli Manning? How is he not a QB 2 if Barkley, OBJ, Engram and Shepard produce through the air.

A.J. Green – Underrated and underappreciated. Its not his fault but rather Marvin Lewis still being in town and Andy Dalton’s inconsistent play. Andy use to be a solid Fantasy streaming and even starter a few years back before his injury. The positive with the same old same old is we know what to expect. The negative is when A.J. Green doesn’t get a reception in the first half and checks out when the Bengals go 7-9. Again?

A.J. Green is a receiver #1 with upside/downside. Basically he has risk involved, will produce huge games for you, duds and solid games. The Bengals spent $$$ on offensive lineman and Joe Mixon is legit. Whether or not John Ross performs will be the key to the Bengals success. Teams need multiple options to help lift the lid off the defense. Otherwise they can gameplan for Green and let Mixon beat them but not enough for an opponent to lose the game. Tyler Boyd helped my Buffalo Bills enter the playoffs for the first time since Episode 1 of the Star Wars movies was released. Maybe just maybe the Bengals return to a well rounded offense and A.J. reaches his upside.

Tier IV

Davante Adams – Aaron Rodgers number 1 target who is likely to produce 7+ touchdowns. Lands Adams at the eight spot. Adams is where I begin to feel slightly uncomfortable with drafting a receiver as my sure fire #1 option. My number 10 ranked receiver at this point in the draft would be a reach and going zero running back in most drafts thus far. Let’s me get one of the next two receivers in rounds 3/4. His concussion history worries me. Other than that, the Packers run game being a top 5 producing committee in 2018 will help Rodgers stay on the field. Ty Montgomery, Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham are superb redzone competition which is a great counter argument to Adams producing double digit touchdowns. Il take Rodgers tossing at least 34 touchdowns which allows for Adams to still hit the floor of 7 touchdowns with 108-127 targets.

As you can tell, I’m all over the place with Adams. I probably won’t draft him but that doesn’t mean he won’t produce. I mean, I’m the guy taking Ezekiel Elliott with the number 2 pick in drafts. I love me a touchdown per game, 100+ yard rushing average with receiving upside.

Tyreek Hill – The last two years Hill produced top notch efficiency per touch, big plays and offers trick play/run play touches to boot. I’m not ready to accept regression because I think he might just be that exception, as proven for two years straight. However, I’m inclined to take Joe Mixon over him in round 3. Sammie Watkins will help him by opening up the underneath routes for him and my main concern is Patrick Mahomes. Excited to watch week 2 of the preseason in which Mahomes will play the first half. His minimum of 5 targets a game, playmaking abilities, offensive system lead me to think he will be that dude at least one more year. Ride or Die with Tyreek Hill!

Amari Cooper (Raiders) – All you need to know is that John Gruden was hype on him as an announcer and will utilize him in 2018. A lock for 114 targets and being targeted early in games, to get him into a rhythm will be a familiar gamescipt. How do I know this? Well, because memory serves me and I recollect Gruden blasting the Raiders coaching staff for not using him. He seemed flabbergasted on air back in the day. He said something to the tune of the Raiders coaching needing to target him, get him involved and how talented Amari was. This was then and in the now Cooper is a steal in round 4 of drafts. Amari bulked up to beat press coverage, Gruden produced 1,000 yard receivers a plenty back in the day, Derek Carr is healthy again and the Raiders offense will run the ball efficiently. New offensive calls have the advantage over defenses. Cooper should go off early, then come down to earth by season’s end and finish a top 12 Fantasy Football receiver in full ppr formats. This offense will go off often as I wrote about months ago.

 

As Always,

(Teams Going Off + Thoughts Flexed In) = Combination Lineups

May the Fantasy Force Be With You.

Follow Moon Man on Twitter @FFPmoonman

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