Fantasy Football Bargain Bin: Wide Receivers

Fantasy Football Bargain
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: C.J. Anderson #35 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates with teammates after a 1 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The 2018 fantasy football season has come and gone.  Winners have been crowned, paid, and are probably still gloating. While there are certain players that are common to championship teams, not all of them are acquired in the first round of fantasy drafts. In fact, this season saw several waiver-wire picks become absolute studs at their positions. Patrick Mahomes, James Conner, and Phillip Lindsay all come to mind as players that often went undrafted in some redraft leagues.

In this article, we’re going to examine some wide receivers that exceeded their draft cost and made huge impacts for fantasy owners this last season. (All stats are from half-point PPR scoring format.)

Fantasy Football Bargain Bin: Wide Receivers

Robert. Woods – Los Angeles Rams

One of the biggest surprises this season was the efficiency of Robert Woods. There was speculation that with red-zone-target-machine Cooper Kupp and the acquisition of Brandin Cooks that the player who’d be scrounging for scraps was Woods. However, Woods finished with career-bests in both fantasy and real-life production. He set personal bests in targets, receptions, total receiving yards, and touchdowns during the 2018 season. It was his first season eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards or more than 65 receptions.

During the draft season, Woods was taken in the middle of the ninth round, per

Robert Woods finished as the WR9 for the 2018 fantasy season. His 222.6 fantasy points placed him ahead of Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, and teammate Brandin Cooks, all of which were drafted well ahead of him.

Woods was an auto-start in line-ups this season. He finished with fewer than 61 receiving yards in only two games this season, one of which was week 17 when most fantasy seasons are already complete. Another impressive fact was that Woods success wasn’t tied to any other player’s performance. Cooper Kupp had a stellar performance in week four where he totaled 162 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In that same game, Woods hauled in five passes for 101 yards and a score of his own. Brandin Cooks’ highest yardage output was week two where he finished with 159 yards. Woods finished that game with six receptions for 81 yards.

Woods dominated the value scene of average draft position to real season production. His outlook for the upcoming season should be positive. However, coming off of his best season to date is going to drive his draft capital up.

Tyler. Lockett – Seattle Seahawks

It was a strange season for the Seahawks offense. The transformation to run-first-run-often, old-school offense was incredible to watch. The interesting part of the run-heavy approach was that Russell Wilson was barely a part of it. It was the second-lowest total rushing yards (376) of his career and the first time he didn’t finish with at least one rushing touchdown. It was also the second-least passing attempts (427) of his career but the most passing touchdowns (35) he’s ever had.

Of those 35 touchdowns, Tyler Lockett had 10 of them. He finished with 965 receiving yards on only 57 receptions. Lockett finally had the breakout season so many analysts were expecting two seasons ago. He averaged 14.3 yards-per-reception and boasted a 70% catch rate. The receptions, yards, and touchdowns were all career bests for Lockett.

Lockett finished the season as the WR14 with 193.9 fantasy points. His 2018 average draft position was WR52, or pick 11.10. Lockett’s early season value seemed to hinge on Doug Baldwin‘s injury. However, even after Baldwin returned, Lockett continued to perform at a high level.

Tyler. Boyd – Cinncinati Bengals

Tyler Boyd enjoyed the best season of his career. The third-year wide receiver finished with career highs in targets (108), receptions (76), receiving yards (1,028), and touchdowns with seven on the year. He managed to accomplish this in only 14 games. Boyd showed up early and remained an involved target even when A.J. Green was on the field.

In redraft leagues, Boyd went largely undrafted and was a hot waiver-wire commodity after putting up back-to-back solid performances in weeks two and three. He finished the season with 183.1 fantasy points which is well above teammate John Ross, who’s ADP was 61st receiver off the board. Boyd established himself as a more reliable fantasy asset than Ross and should continue to be an ancillary weapon for the Bengals heading into next season.

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