A.J. Green has been a favorite wide receiver by many in the fantasy football community for years. Though he plays on the Cincinnati Bengals, who don’t get a lot of respect in the league, he has put up big numbers to gain fame at the position. Green’s 2018 season was cut short due to injury, but he was on a path to an elite year. Though getting up there in age, Green is an excellent draft choice considering his ADP for 2019.
Editor’s note: Click here for Green’s updated projection following his latest injury
A.J. Green a Safe Pick for the Third Round of Drafts
An Early End to a Promising Start
Last year, Green was off to an awesome start to his 2018 campaign. In just eight games, he compiled 687 yards and six touchdowns. Green didn’t have under 50 yards receiving in even one of those games. Most probably thought he was going to go on to terrorize the league after his Week Two Thursday Night Football performance. He only caught five balls, but three of them went for touchdowns.
However, injuries were the story for the remainder of the year. Green missed most of Week Five’s game against the Carolina Panthers with a groin injury. He pushed through it and didn’t technically miss any games due to it. But, things went south quick after he injured his toe in Week Eight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Green sat out until week 13 when he tried to play on it. It didn’t go well for him. He ended up exiting the game after only one seven-yard catch. He found out later that he needed surgery to repair it, ending what started out as an extremely promising season.
A Top-Talent When Healthy
Up to his toe injury in Eeek Eight, Green was the WR6 in standard scoring. This is representative to most of his career with the Bengals. In fact, 2018 was just his second season where he had under 1,000 yards receiving in his career. He also has only one season where he scored less than six touchdowns one season where he had less than six touchdowns.
When healthy, there is no question that Green is one of the best wide receivers in the league. In fantasy, he was a top ten fantasy wide receiver as recently as 2017. Basically, he has had a safe floor for his entire career. But, he will be 31 before the season starts. After missing the most games of his career in 2018, there is a chance his body continues to break down.
Still, there is more upside than risk. Aside from a questionable offensive line, he has the best offense he’s had his entire career. Many will question just how good of a quarterback Andy Dalton is. But, there is no denying the chemistry he and Green have. From there, Tyler Boyd had a breakout year at the wide receiver position, and the team boasts Joe Mixon, who was one of the last players standing on an injury-riddled team last year.
If all of them can stay on the field together, this should be a high-powered offense.
ADP and Draft Strategy
Green’s ADP is very reasonable. He’s rated as about the 12th best wide receiver, and looking at around a third-round draft pick. He’s someone who fits right into his rankings. Sure, he can outperform players ranked ahead of him like T.Y. Hilton, Keenan Allen, and Amari Cooper. But he also might not. He’s currently ranked right ahead of the two Vikings receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, which makes sense. The nice thing about Green is that he is going to put up WR1 numbers when he is on the field.
Fantasy team owners just need to remember that Green is past the 30-year-old mark, so he carries some risk. Green is a great option for players wanting to go running back in the first two rounds, and then wide receiver the next two so they have some backup in case things go south.