In trying to suss out some value receivers for my latest MFL10, I picked out five to queue up. They range from an Average Draft Position of 45 to 86. There is little doubt that I'll have one or two of this group on every one of my MFL10 teams.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts, ADP WR 26, Overall 45
Moncrief seems poised for a great 2016 after showing signs of a breakout last season while Andrew Luck was upright. To start 2015, Luck threw 11 touchdowns in his first five games, and five of those went to Moncrief. After that Luck had his spleen splinched and Moncrief's numbers plummeted along with the Colts' offense. The good news, of course, is that Luck will return healthy this season and Moncrief should pick up where he left off. At 6-foot-2, 222 pounds, Moncrief is the better suited between himself and the 5-foot-9, 180-pound T.Y. Hilton for end-zone targets. Hilton still may have more 40+ yard plays, but Moncrief could easily out-TD Hilton this season and you can get Moncrief a round later.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks, ADP WR 27, Overall 50
I understand the hesitation on Baldwin. Last season, he came out of nowhere to put up massive numbers in a short period of time, which correlated somewhat with the loss of tight end Jimmy Graham. Can Baldwin come at all close to repeating his 2015 stats? I believe so. From Week 10 through 16 last year, Baldwin averaged six receptions on eight targets for 96.9 yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game. Prior to 2015, Baldwin had just 15 games with seven or more targets in 62 games played. Whereas last season, Baldwin had eight more of those games, with six of those coming in the last eight games of the season.
When Baldwin has seen seven or more targets, he's averaged six receptions for 85 yards and .83 touchdowns per game; throw those into a full 16 games of seven or more targets and you have a Top-10 receiver. I expect the Seahawks to throw the ball more this season and match those eight targets a game for Baldwin, but through 16 games. The offense was markedly better when Russell Wilson was given more leeway to throw the ball, and the emergence of Tyler Locket helped open up the deep ball to give Baldwin more space in the slot. This is now Russell Wilson's team with Marshawn Lynch gone, and that in turn makes Baldwin a much more important piece.
Eric Decker, WR, Seahawks, ADP WR 28, Overall 52
Decker is perennially underrated. I understand not having him where he finished last season, which was 11th for wide receivers, but 28th is just too far back for my liking. Now in his four seasons as a full-time starter, Decker has averaged 81 receptions for 1,085 yards and 10 touchdowns. Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't a great quarterback, but Decker was his preferred red-zone target last season with 29 to Brandon Marshall's 25, which tied for the league lead with DeAndre Hopkins. The league leader in red-zone targets last season is going off the board as the 28th wide receiver in MFL10s. Maybe people are just worried that the great Ryan Fitzpatrick won't return. I have a feeling the Jets get a deal done, but someone like Brian Hoyer isn't much of a step down from the bearded one. Decker is good at football, and I think it is time to accept that fact.
Marvin Jones, WR, Seahawks, ADP WR 40, Overall 83
Marvin Jones will be the Lions' No. 1 receiver this season. That fact doesn't seem to have caught on yet, so he can be had at a nice discount. Jones received a $17 million signing bonus on a 5-year, $40 million contract and at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, will not be second fiddle to Golden Tate, who is 5-foot-10, 198 pounds and currently on a 5-year, $31 million contract. Money and height are of course not the only reason Jones will take the lead role, but they are a factor. Jones played second fiddle to A.J. Green in Cincinnati and also dealt with injuries, but often flashed his ability when healthy. His 10 touchdowns in 2013 were not a fluke and neither was his 130-yard playoff game that year.
Now over a year removed from his broken feet that kept him out during the 2014 season, Jones moves to a team that was the most lopsided passing team in the league in 2015, with a pass-to-run ratio of 64 percent to 36 percent. Matthew Stafford passed the ball 592 times last season and had his best completion rate of his career. A less than 100 percent Calvin Johnson saw 149 targets, which ranked ninth for wide receivers. Jones had 103 targets in 2013 and turned those into 10 touchdowns. Jones with 150 targets is not the 40th best fantasy wide receiver.
Willie Snead, WR, Seahawks, ADP WR 41, Overall 86
Snead finished 2015 as the 35th-best fantasy receiver with 70 receptions on 102 targets for 990 yards and three touchdowns. Those three touchdowns are what intrigue me. Snead is not a scrappy slot receiver who just picks up receptions and no touchdowns, or at least he shouldn't be. But last year, he only had nine red-zone targets compared to Brandin Cooks' 10 and Marques Colston's eight. As for total targets, Snead had 102 compared to Cooks' 129 and Colston's 67. Now without Colston in the mix, Snead should see a boost in targets while his touchdown numbers have a very good chance of increasing. He spent 2014, his rookie year, on the practice squad and is just 23 years old. I still expect some growth from him this season to go along with more usage, and with Drew Brees throwing the ball, I feel great getting him at this kind of value.