Bargains and busts in redraft leagues are inevitable. Every year the hype train barrels down the tracks for certain players that end up being huge busts. Conversely, every year there are diamonds in the rough or values that are too good to pass on. The 2020 season is no different.
The wide receiver crop is the deepest of them all. If you don’t snag a Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, or Julio Jones, do not fret. You can still find a more than competent WR1 in later rounds. Players at the position that can be had in round three or later include Mike Evans, DJ Moore, and even Amari Cooper.
WR Bargain: Tyler Lockett (WR 21, ADP 50.5)
For redraft bargains and busts wide receiver we start with our bargain. Let’s examine a wideout that is rarely discussed as someone with WR1 potential despite having flashed the upside to do so the past couple of seasons. Getting a potential WR1 in the fifth round is straight stealing.
Derailed by Injury
Before suffering a gruesome injury in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers, Tyler Lockett was the WR5 in PPR formats. Granted he played one more game than most but was still 10 points clear of the others behind him. Those players include Cooper Kupp, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, and Kenny Golladay.
|1. Michael Thomas, NO||212.7||23.6||9||579||93.5||103||86||1027||11.9||53||4|
|2. Mike Evans, TB||188.4||20.9||9||603||89.7||89||54||924||17.1||44||7|
|3. Chris Godwin, TB||180.0||20.0||9||641||95.4||83||60||840||14.0||44||6|
|4. Amari Cooper, DAL||179.8||20.0||9||479||75.6||71||53||848||16.0||36||7|
|5. Tyler Lockett, SEA||177.3||17.7||10||657||91.5||76||62||793||12.8||42||6|
|6. Cooper Kupp, LAR||167.3||18.6||9||563||86.5||91||58||793||13.7||32||5|
|7. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU||158.5||17.6||9||629||97.5||92||68||665||9.8||42||4|
|8. Julio Jones, ATL||156.1||17.3||9||485||75.5||83||53||791||14.9||42||4|
|9. Kenny Golladay, DET||155.7||17.3||9||559||87.1||71||38||697||18.3||32||8|
|10. Julian Edelman, NE||153.3||17.0||9||585||88.4||90||63||663||10.5||31||4|
Even with a slow second half of the season, the young wideout managed a WR13 finish on the season. Not too shabby for someone currently being drafted 21st overall at the position.
More With Less
The Kansas State Grad saw a career-high 110 targets last season, up 40 from the 70 he received in 2018. While there was a steep decline in production on a per touch basis (likely due to injury), the former Wildcat still did better than the aforementioned Kupp and Amari Cooper.
You see the potential exists with the 3.05 points per opportunity recorded in 2018. That season Lockett recorded an insane 81.4% catch rate. That number was nearly as impressive last year at 74.5%. These are the type of upside players we covet in the middle rounds of drafts.
While in Manhattan, Kansas, the 5’10”, 182-pound versatile receiver hauled in 11 touchdowns each of his last two seasons on campus. This includes a nice total of 1,532 yards over 13 games during his senior campaign.
While Lockett will be 28 when the season starts, we do not need concern ourselves with age in redraft. He has steadily improved every year in the league and has a solid rapport with quarterback Russell Wilson. The arrival of DK Metcalf can only help but draw some of the better defenders away from him, thus providing Lockett with better opportunities. Do not shy away at the current price.
WR Bust: Kenny Golladay (WR 7, ADP 25.7)
The redraft bargains and busts wide receiver continues with our bust. There is a lot of buzz around what Kenny Golladay will be able to do with a healthy Matthew Stafford. It is certainly understandable. Stafford has not been healthy for two straight seasons, playing 2018 with a bad back and missing most of 2019 with a similar issue.
More Consistent Options
While the upside is legit, the consistency is lacking over those being drafted behind the young wideout. These players include Allen Robinson and Mike Evans. In half of his 42 games played, Golladay finished as a WR3 or worse.
Looking at this data, one has to wonder how the Northern Illinois grad is being drafted ahead of Evans, who is clearly more reliable. The emergence of Chris Godwin has certainly scared some people off, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver has gone over 1,000 receiving yards all six seasons in the league.
The Stafford Narrative
What evidence do we have that Stafford will approach close to 16 games played this season? Backs are a tricky injury to deal with and typically never fully heal, especially taking hit after hit from 250-plus pound defensive players. While splits merely paint a small portion of the picture, the data suggests there really is not much difference for Golladay with or without the Georgia Bulldog at the helm.
You can see here that in the 33 games played with the former overall number one pick leading the offense, Golladay is actually a little worse, coming in at WR24 versus WR20 without. The numbers are down in targets, yardage, and touchdowns. That is a lot of guesswork for someone going seventh overall at the position.
It is not all doom and gloom in the Motor City. Golladay did finish as the WR8 in 2019. Could this have been a product of being on a team that was behind often and throwing late? Also, the addition of D’Andre Swift may reek of a potential change in offensive philosophy.
Head coach Matt Patricia is a Bill Belichick disciple. While Julian Edelman has thrived as a WR1 in that type offense, the molds are completely different. Speaking of coaches, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell does not have a great history of producing WR1 sans Doug Baldwin’s mini-run from 2015 to 2017.
The price is just too rich when there are more stable and reliable options available after the 6’4″, 214-pound receiver is coming off the board. Heck even DJ Moore has more upside. Wait for a round or two and take him and do not look back.
Thank you for reading part three redraft bargains and busts, wide receiver. The hope is this breakdown helps steer you towards some value during your upcoming draft. You do not have to jump on the receiver position early, you can still find a WR1 a little later. Just try to avoid the land mines, as you would at any position.
As mentioned in the open, the position is deep. We can wait until rounds four or five and still find a serviceable WR1. Tight end is up next and we will see you back here soon. Feel free to leave comments below and I will respond as soon as possible.