Sconnie Sports Talk

Late Round Wide Receivers

Advertisements

In most years, there are two or three wide receiver sleepers lurking in the later rounds of the draft. This season, however, it seems like every wide receiver being taken after Round 9 has high potential. As a result of this phenomenon, a subtle strategy change could be to target running backs in middle rounds before focusing on wide receivers later. Since teams are increasingly using three wide-receiver sets as well as shifting away from situational running backs, it opens the door for more pass-catchers to have success. The wide receiver group runs out of players worthy of being drafted in the late seventies of the rankings, while the running back pool is tapped out at around sixty. The group of wide receivers ranked on ESPN from 36 to 42 (DeVante Parker, Tyler Lockett, Kevin White, Sterling Shepard, Torrey Smith, Stefon Diggs, and Josh Gordon) has much more upside than the running backs in that same range (Bilal Powell, Jay Ajayi, Theo Riddick, Charles Sims, Isaiah Crowell, James Starks, and LeGarrette Blount). Those wide receivers are all among the names discussed for fantasy breakouts, while those running backs are all on the margin of being relevant. While handcuffing running backs can pay off, those wide receivers have a significantly higher ceilings while maintaining the same floor as their ground game counterparts. As the draft pool gets deeper, the parity remains. Some of the running backs have value in the late fifties and sixties, such DeAndre Washington and CJ Prosise, but it’s tough to justify taking a rookie backup running back over possible #1 wideouts for their teams (Tajae Sharpe, Steve Smith/Kamar Aiken). With less running backs in circulation, make sure you get them before all the good ones are gone.

Advertisements

Advertisements