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Fantasy Football: Three underdrafted wide receivers to target

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Friday, we explored the over drafted fantasy football wide receivers, and today we take a look at the inverse of that. These wideouts are primed to be three of the breakout receivers that will lead your team to fantasy glory at years’ end.

Marvin Jones (WR36, 93rd overall)

This one is a cop out since yesterday I outlined all the reasons why Golden Tate is over drafted. For those same reasons, Marvin Jones is a highly underdrafted commodity. He has become Matthew Stafford’s favorite preseason target and is set to get the lions’ share of targets (pun very much intended). Jones has been a forgotten commodity after he broke out in 2013. He lost all of 2014 to a foot injury, and 2015 his numbers were overshadowed by an unsustainable Tyler Eifert touchdown pace. Now he’s set to be the top receiver in an offense that wants to throw at least 600 times this season. Jones is a back-end WR3 right now and has high-end WR2 upside. All of that in the eighth round! Snag Marvin Jones as your third or fourth wide receiver and laugh all the way to the bank.

Kamar Aiken (WR50, 139th overall)

The key to fantasy football is acquiring depth at every position, and Kamar Aiken provides you just that depth. The Ravens receiving corps is a jumble of players, and Aiken will likely make his way out of that group. One massive assumption people are making about the Ravens receiving corps is that you need to pick a player in the corps to be relevant. The truth is that in the seven seasons where Flacco has played every game (all but last season), he was able to two top-36 wide receivers in six of them (Derrick Mason stood alone in 2009).

Baltimore’s receiving corps is incredibly muddled on its face, but when you consider it consists of a 37-year-old coming off a horrific Achilles injury, a sophomore with two bad knees, two bad hands and zero NFL snaps, a former deep threat who hasn’t been relevant since 2014 and… Kamar Aiken. Aiken had 944 yards and five touchdowns on 127 targets last year, but his second-half was pure fire. He was on pace for 100 catches and 1200+ yards in his final eight games last year. He’s currently available in the twelfth round. So you can reach on his teammate, Justin Tucker, or you can grab a startable weekly WR. You don’t even have to have him be the top receiver in Flacco’s passing attack, just being #2 is enough for him to be a wide receiver you use weekly.

Tajae Sharpe (WR58, 174th overall)

Sharpe may be the buzziest deep dive wide receiver this preseason, with a myriad of reasons to be in on the rookie wide receiver. He had a very impressive camp and preseason, which can’t be taken 100% at face value. What can be taken at 100%, however, is the fact that the Titans dove away from two very talented, but irksome, wide receivers in Dorial Green-Beckham and Justin Hunter, who both were competing for Sharpe’s role. DGB is now an Eagle and Hunter will be looking for his next team as he failed to make the 53-man roster. Sharpe is now the starter opposite Rishard Matthews, who had next to no preseason accolades. He’s going to be the #2 target in Tennessee behind Delanie Walker, which gives him some definite value. He’s nearly undrafted in twelve-team drafts, and you should fix that.

The joy of the wide receiver position is that list easily could have been a dozen receivers long. However, these three receivers are best poised to improve upon their current ADP vastly. They are in the best situations to succeed, and in the case of Aiken or Sharpe, are essentially free in the last few rounds of your draft. At that point, you’re gambling on the upside, and Sharpe & Aiken provide great value. As for Jones, snagging the player who will emerge from a “1A/1B” role while the roles are still questionable will net you great value. Do so.

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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