Unless you’re playing in a 17-week league, the fantasy football season is officially at its’ end. Before turning the page to the 2019 season, let’s take a look back on the best players, biggest surprises, and biggest busts at the wide receiver position. Antonio Brown was his typical dominant self, but players like Tyler Boyd also had breakout campaigns in 2018.
Antonio Brown, Tyler Boyd Top 2018 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Superlatives
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was the first receiver selected in most fantasy drafts and with good reason. The longtime superstar posted another great fantasy season, finishing the year with a league-best 14.6 points per game in standard scoring.
Even with second-year receiver Juju Smith-Schuster emerging, Brown still managed to be top-two in PPR, half-PPR, and standard scoring formats. He wasn’t quite as efficient as he normally is, but that speaks more to how high his normal standard is. He’s easily the best receiver of his time and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Everyone expected Davante Adams to be a “set and forget” player in 2018, but not many were expecting top-two production at the wide receiver position. Serving as basically the only weapon that quarterback Aaron Rodgers consistently trusted, Adams finished the year with 14.6 fantasy points per game, less than 0.1 points per game less than Antonio Brown. In half-PPR and PPR leagues, Adams actually finished with more points than Brown.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Adams’ season was his consistency. Adams only had one game of single-digit scoring in standard leagues, and that came all the way back in Week Four. In a season otherwise marred by inconsistent play, Adams was far-and-away the most reliable and consistent player on the Green Bay Packers.
Some people expected a breakout season from one of the Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers, but not Tyler Boyd. After the John Ross hype train sizzled out after the first few weeks of the regular season, the Bengals needed someone to step up alongside A.J. Green. Boyd answered that call, finishing his season with 76 receptions for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns.
What’s crazy is that Boyd’s numbers could have easily been better. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton went down for the season in Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns. While Dalton isn’t a top-10 quarterback by any means, he’s a lot better than Jeff Driskel. Additionally, Boyd missed the final two games of the season with a season-ending injury of his own. After going undrafted in most leagues, Boyd came out of nowhere to give solid WR2 production for the entire fantasy football season.
Entering the 2018 season, Robert Woods was something of an overlooked name. The Los Angeles Rams just pulled off a blockbuster trade for Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp was coming off a promising rookie season. Because of this, Woods came into the season ranked as the WR32 in standard scoring, per FantasyPro’s.
Instead, Woods enters Week 17 as the WR8 throughout the league. Serving as arguably the most consistent receiver in an offense stuffed with talent, Woods currently has 84 receptions for 1,195 yards and six touchdowns on the season. The fifth-year receiver has played some of the best football of his career and should carry that success into 2019.
Everything aligned for Chris Hogan to have a breakout 2018 season. The New England Patriots lost Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola in the off-season, and Julian Edelman was coming off an ACL injury and was suspended for the first four games of the season. Hogan had experience and success in the system and was basically the only wide receiver left in New England. By all logic, Hogan should have given WR2 production, at least.
Instead, Hogan is in the midst of the worst season of his Patriots career. Through 16 games, the speedy wide receiver has just 29 receptions for 468 yards and three touchdowns. In fairness to Hogan, his poor season isn’t entirely his fault. Still, everyone expected a lot more out of the third-year Patriot entering his contract year.
Nobody expected Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to be good, but there were those who expected him to be worth rostering. Benjamin, a former first-round pick, was on an otherwise-talentless Bills offense and was entering a contract year. By this logic, he had potential as a low-end flex option.
That didn’t come to fruition. Benjamin was one of the worst receivers in football, both in fantasy and real football. Benjamin caught just 37.1% of his targets with the Bills, ultimately leading to his release early in December. While he landed on with the Kansas City Chiefs, Benjamin has a measly 24 receptions for 371 yards and one touchdown throughout the season. This is below-replacement level production for a player some mistakenly put their faith in.
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