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Fantasy Football: Three overdrafted wide receivers to avoid


As we’ve already put our look at overrated and underrated fantasy football quarterbacks and running backs to bed, it’s time to turn our attention to the wide receivers. Like the signal callers and rock toters, it’s important to get players at value. Wide Receiver is incredibly deep, so it’s important you don’t reach this position because of the immense number of receivers who can be supported as usable WRs; even undrafted wide receivers will be key to your success. With this in mind, stay away from overdrafted receivers, especially those below.

Jordy Nelson (WR9, 18th overall)

When healthy, Nelson is one of the best wide receivers in the league, and he is playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league, so it’s easy to see why fantasy owners want to snag him. There are plenty of downsides to Jordy, however.

People are drafting him as their WR1 by ADP, though more likely he’s someone’s WR2 who is going WR-WR. That’s too much risk for me, since Jordy just participated in his first full practice on August 29th. Just about two weeks until the first game. I’d love him as a second WR, but at an ADP and price point of a WR1, that’s too much draft capital.

He’ll probably need a month to get up to game speed and conditioning. He’s going to lose a quarter of the season, so you don’t want to draft him. He gets a ton of bad defenses after that, so he’s definitely a player to buy low on when bye weeks kick in.

That’s too much risk for me since Jordy just participated in his first full practice on August 29th. Just about two weeks until the first game. I’d love him as a second WR, but at an ADP and price point of a WR1, that’s too much draft capital. He’ll probably need a month to get up to game speed and conditioning. He’s going to lose a quarter of the season, so you don’t want to draft him. He gets a ton of bad defenses after that, so he’s a player to buy low on when bye weeks kick in.

Golden Tate (WR25, 54th overall)

It isn’t that Tate is a bad player, and it isn’t that Tate is in a bad position, but he has equal talent to Marvin Jones and has seemingly taken a backseat to Jones. Why, then, is Golden Tate going 39 takes later? Going after Tate is chasing stats from years gone by. Without Megatron, the Lions turned towards Jones to the tune of 1300+ yards on 99 catches in 2014.

The easy translation is that they will go to him again, but during the preseason, Jones, not Tate, has emerged as Stafford’s preferred weapon. I’d rather have any of the three receivers going after him (Donte Moncrief, Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald). Tate is paying the higher bet on a WR situation that is neck-and-neck, and that is a bad proposition.

Jordan Matthews (WR30, 69th overall)

While it would be nice for Matthews to have a good season, he doesn’t have much upside or pop. He ended the season last year with a respectable 85 receptions for 997 yards and eight touchdowns. He even finished the season strong, with 317 yards and 4 touchdowns in his final three games.A third of his yards and half his touchdowns in his final three weeks.

The truth behind Matthews’ season is that excluding his two Dallas games (which he torched, inexplicably), Matthews was nigh-on useless between weeks one and thirteen. He averaged 42.5 yards and had only two touchdowns in those eleven games. People forget how frustratingly bad Matthews was for a large stretch of last season, mostly because he turned it on at the very end.

Those 42.5 yards per game are in that sweet, sweet Marquess Wilson/Kenny Britt/Jermaine Kearse Territory. This was all in Chip Kelly’s more up-tempo, high production offense. Now he moves into Doug Pederson’s Andy Reid inspired slow and low offense, with Sam Bradford… and maybe Chase Daniel… and maybe Carson Wentz at the helm.

These three wide receivers are three I will not own on any roster. Nelson has too many questions surrounding his knee to be taken as a WR1. Tate is going to the much more expensive half of a platoon, and may be losing out as the top target earner in that platoon. Jordan Matthews had good final numbers but was mostly useless for too much of the season last year to justify his draft stock with better players in better offenses going behind him.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com