The 4th Down Decision: Fantasy impact of rookie WRs

Written by Zach Lyons, co-host of Football & Other F Words and The Flex, “The 4th Down Decision” will look at various fantasy topics from whether you should “Punt” or “Go For It”. When reading the advice please keep these league settings in mind: 12-team league, PPR, 6-pt. passing TDs. All ADPs based on FantasyPros.com‘s web site.

This wide receiver class was simply amazing. I looked at it top to bottom and for the first time in a long time, I see huge potential. I actually feel very comfortable in my league of record taking risks on a lot of these rookies. It would tempting to write go for it for everything if I was only looking at the situation they are heading to. So, instead, I am going to talk strictly about value relative to current ADP. 

Special Note: Due to COVID-19 every rookie will face more difficulty than usual in getting up to NFL speed. That’s true for all these guys and should be baked into your expectations.

Go For It: CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy’s fantastic value

CeeDee Lamb

  • Current ADP: 122 (11th Round)
  • Current Positional Ranking: WR47

Jerry Jeudy

  • Current ADP: 115 (10th Round)
  • Current Positional Ranking: WR43

Are you kidding me? What is going on in the fantasy community? Both of these WRs at these values makes me want to load up on running back so early, and let these two guys be my WR1 every week.

CeeDee Lamb has some contending to do for targets, but there will be tons of opportunity. Mike McCarthy is the new head coach in Dallas, and he loves him some 11-personnel. What is 11-personnel? For the purposes of this, it’s a three-receiver set. According to “Inside The Star”, CeeDee Lamb is likely to line up in the slot. He will feast there.

Where Dallas struggled last year was the lack of four- and five-receiver sets. Coming from Green Bay, we know Mike McCarthy loves those way more than Jason Garrett ever did, and he has the weapons to utilize it. Remember, Dallas was the number one offense in yards per game (431/g) and was sixth in points per game (27.1/g), despite having a predictable head coach in Garrett.

There is absolutely no reason not to jump all over CeeDee Lamb in the 11th round.

Jerry Jeudy as the 41st wide receiver off the board is also a mind-boggling, complete steal. Courtland Sutton is already a true WR1 that will demand attention. They have Noah Fant as their tight end. Do not sleep on their run game either. Sure, Drew Lock is a complete wild card, but from what I have seen I think he has legit QB1 upside for fantasy.

Pat Shurmur is the new offensive coordinator in Denver. Now, some call him a QB Whisperer, but I do not think that is true at all. However, while it is a new system, Drew Lock has been hosting players-only practices with the full squad running the full offensive system. This is a huge plus. Another huge plus is the fact that in 9 of his 12 seasons as an offensive coordinator, Shurmur’s offenses have been top-15 in pass attempts. Then in 6 of 12 seasons (including 2018 and 2019 for the Giants), he’s been top-10 in pass attempts. So what I’m saying is, Jerry Jeudy will have every opportunity to eat.

There is no reason that players like Diontae Johnson, Tarik Cohen, Darrell Henderson, and Tyler Higbee should be going ahead of these two talents. They can do it all. Run any route. Line up at any position. This is absolute thievery if either guy is still there in the 10th round.

Go For It: I lied again

I lied up top, I am going to have to force myself to do a “Punt”, because all of the WRs are at incredible value. So I am just gonna hit a list real quick:

  • Justin Jefferson (10th Round) – Stefon Diggs went to the Bills and left behind 94 targets that have to go somewhere.
  • Brandon Aiyuk (15th Round) – Deebo is injured. Marquise Goodwin is gone. So is Manny Sanders. That’s 155 targets not accounted for heading into 2020.
  • Denzel Mims (15th Round) – Automatic WR2 for the Jets with WR1 upside for sure. His biggest hurdles are Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and… Adam Gase.
  • Joe Reed (Undrafted) – Keep an eye on Joe, he may be a last round stash. The Chargers have no depth at WR, and he could be a guy that gets some significant snaps later down the line.

Punt: I lied again, I hate the situation of the Raiders new WRs

Henry Ruggs

  • Current ADP: 123 (11th Round)
  • Current Positional Ranking: WR48

Bryan Edwards

  • Current ADP: Undrafted
  • Current Positional Ranking: WR80

I think the rookie WRs for the Raiders are not going to have a lot of fantasy impact. I am a Ruggs fan, and as much as I want to say drafting him in the 11th isn’t a bad value (because realistically it isn’t), there are three reasons that Ruggs in the 11th is too rich for my blood.

First, you have Mike Williams, Mecole Hardman, Preston Williams, and fellow rookie Jalen Reagor that can be drafted after Ruggs currently, and I would rather get a player at a different position in the 11th and take one of these other guys in the next round than take a chance on Ruggs.

Secondly, Ruggs has all the talent you want in a fantasy WR2, but it’s a crowded wide receiver room. Tyrell Williams, Zay Jones, Nelson Agholor, and Hunter Renfrow are all there. Most of those are yuck names, but they have the benefit of being NFL veterans who know how fast the game is. Tyrell and Hunter both had some very good chemistry with Derek Carr, as well. 

Lastly, the Raiders ranked 21st in the league in pass attempts. Even if Carr gets benched (Editor’s Note: He won’t, email all death threats to mike@broadwaysportsmedia.com), Marcus Mariota is not going to come in and suddenly be something he has never been. This offense runs through Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller, and the WRs are a last resort.

I think Ruggs is a long play in non-dynasty fantasy leagues. There are just too many mouths to feed in Las Vegas currently for me to want to draft him in the 11th.

Love my opinions? Hate my opinions? Leave comments below, and let’s discuss!

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