Part 3 of my value picks for players that I feel will outperform their ADP focuses on the wide receivers and tight ends. Both positions are making moves in fantasy relevance with the new pass friendly NFL. Tight ends can no longer be considered a “later” pick, and with more and more leagues moving to PPR both positions require almost as much study as the running back position.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG (current ADP – 5.07) – I believe that Nicks is simply the most talented WR on the Giants. I also don’t fully buy into the thoughts that the Giants will revert back to a run-heavy team. They may have the most talented group of WRs in the league and Nicks leads the pack in terms of pure talent. He will start the season as the WR2 but look for a quick ascension to WR1 status and a possible top 10 finish in WR stats.
Derrick Mason, WR, BAL (current ADP – 9.08) – Poor old Derrick Mason. All the guy does is play the game of football very well. He should be a target of every single person playing FF. Here is where he was taken and ended up for the last three years. In 2009 drafted as the WR37 and finished 17, in 2008 drafted as the WR38 and finished 21st and finally in 2007 drafted as the WR50 and finished 20th. Is he flashy or a game breaker? Well, no. Is he the easiest and most reliable WR3 in FF? I think he is.
Mike Williams, WR, TBB (current ADP – 11.04) - How good is this kid? A first year WR on a team with a second year QB and no other legitimate talent around him and he is lighting it up. Character concerns are long behind him and only fellow rookie Arrelious Benn has a chance to cut into his production. That will not happen any time soon, and Williams will be the focal point of the Bucs passing game. Can he be top 10? Certainly not this year, but he does have that kind of talent. Is he going to be better than the WR46 where he is currently being taken? You better believe it.
Jacoby Jones, WR, HOU (current ADP – 11.07) – Jones has taken a little bit of a step back lately and has been unable to wrestle the WR2 position completely away from incumbent Kevin Walter. Coach Gary Kubiak is on record calling them both WR2s, and I have little doubts that Jones will officially have that title soon enough. Jones only had a single start in 2009 yet was able to put up better numbers than Walter in his 14 starts. Jones needs to step up and take control of this opportunity, and he has the ability to become a serious factor in fantasy football.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, DEN (current ADP – 11.10) – Well, someone is Denver has to catch the ball right? Demaryius Thomas is dinged up, Eddie Royal doesn’t have the confidence of the coaching staff and I don’t think Eric Decker is ready. This leaves Gaffney. That’s not much of a build up, but in almost exactly the same situation last year, Gaffney managed to put up 54/702/2 in only seven starts. He is the WR1 for Denver and oddly enough, Orton has had a solid preseason, making for a decent scenario for Gaffney to exceed his current 11.10 ADP.
Zach Miller, TE, OAK (current ADP – 10.05) – The other darling of the FF world, Miller has drawn nothing but extreme praise from coaches and reporters. Coming of a fantastic 2009 campaign of 66 catches for 805 yards, he should easily eclipse those totals for 2010. Miller already has a great rapport with new QB Jason Campbell and has the potential to hit top five if not top three TE stats for 2010.
Kellen Winlsow, TE, TBB (current ADP – 10.07) – Winslow is a TE that just kind of gets overlooked. Bad knees and a mediocre team justify that to extent, until you look at his totals over the years even when playing hurt. He is an elite talent — or a warrior, as he would put it — and well worth the pick in the 10th. He can put up top 4-7 numbers, and I think he will.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, NEP (current ADP – 14.01) – How well did New England do in drafting TEs this year? Did they actually find two superstars? I think they did, but Hernandez gets the nod from me for this year. A pure pass catching TE, Hernandez will be utilized as the pass catcher while Gronkowski get the call in 2010 to be the blocking TE. Both have performed exceptionally well in camp and preseason, and while I am leery at calling a rookie TE a possible top 10 guy, I think Hernandez may be the real deal.
Fred Davis, TE, WAS (current ADP – NA) – I have two reasons for this call. The first is that I just don’t trust Chris Cooley to stay healthy, and secondly, I truly believe Davis is a better TE than Cooley. Given the starts while Cooley was injured in 2009, he came out as the 15th best TE while only starting half the season. A huge specimen, Davis is a match up problem for an opposing defense.
Tony Scheffler, TE, DET (current ADP – NA) - You forgot about him? Well, so did I, until I saw a couple guys draft him late and got me thinking. This guy can catch balls and make plays. I may not like him very much, but if you are looking for that late round flier TE then this is the guy I would steer you towards. Available in most drafts in the last round, Scheffler is predicted to be the #1 TE in Detroit.
Michael Hawes is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. In nearly 20 years of FF, I had to have learned something in that time. You can catch up with Michael in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bungle613.
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