This is an article from our Value Player series.
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It’s fair to say that come draft day; I often hope that the owners who will surround my draft position will be those with a strong affection for “yellow stickers.” After becoming the first-ever back-to-back FFWC Top 100 Players in the World Invitational Champion (2017 and 2018), I decided to take my game to the next level of high-stakes and jump into the 10K Top Gun League in 2019.
In that league, I was awarded the 12th overall pick, and I was disappointed when eight of the first eleven players off the board in front of me were all running backs. However, it allowed me to grab Saints stud Michael Thomas and Chiefs electric speedster Tyreek Hill on the wrap-around. Grabbing those two early helped open the draft board, enabling me to grab Austin Ekeler in the sixth round, Mark Andrews in the 14th, and Dak Prescott in the 15th.
Those selections helped me earn my first-ever high-stakes FFWC Top Gun Championship, but it’s also important to highlight the effects that mid-round wide receivers John Brown and Darius Slayton had on my team. To achieve fantasy glory in PPR formats, fantasy owners must target mid-round wideout value.
As we all know, there is no way any fantasy football player will see Michael Thomas fall beyond the top-five players off the board in 2020. Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, and Chris Godwin will all require high capital to secure their services this upcoming season.
The strategy should always be to let the board come to you and never “follow the run” come draft day. If you can lock-in two workhorse running backs early on, there is a plethora of mid-round wide receiver talent to target later in drafts in 2020.
Now we get to the fun part, which mid-round wide receiver talent offers the best value in 2020? My model has five players flying below the radar who fantasy owners should target this season. You may be surprised at who my projections are high on, but I can tell you that I am not high on either Brandin Cooks or Will Fuller in 2020.
AJ Green, Bengals WR – ADP 61 (5.01)
Many fantasy owners have soured on Green, but you should not be one of them. As we know, we haven’t seen Green in between the white lines since 2018 due to injuries. However, since he has his name written in red ink on many owners’ draft boards, we are seeing the former fantasy stud fall into the fifth round or later.
With LSU star Joe Burrow now under center and a season-win total projection of 5.5 in Las Vegas, it’s fair to surmise that the Bengals will be behind in many games this upcoming season. Garbage time” is often “glory time” in fantasy football, and my model projects the rookie quarterback leaning on the veteran who has amassed 6,500 receiving yards and 45 touchdowns in just 80 games in the NFL.
If Green is healthy, he could easily be the steal of drafts.
Robby Anderson, Panthers WR – ADP 119 (9.9)
Sam Darnold will miss his top target in New York in 2020, but new Carolina Panthers signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater will be delighted to now have his services. It should not be overlooked that Anderson will also be reunited with his former Temple head coach Matt Rhule in Carolina, so we know he will know how to best use the speedy wideouts’ talents. The Panthers are another team with a 5.5 game season-win total in Las Vegas, and that once again means Carolina will be playing from behind often, leading to a reliance on the passing attack in the second-half of games. Being drafted outside the top-100 equals a late-9th to early-10th round range that screams value. There is no doubt that the Panthers offense will feature star running Christian McCaffrey and fellow wideout D.J. Moore. However, it should also not be overlooked that Bridgewater spent time in New York back in 2018 in the pre-season and training camp throwing passes to Anderson. The downfield threat will have all the support of his college coach to become one of the true breakout stars at the position in 2020.
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