Fantasy Football Draft Queue: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

By Chet Gresham – @ChetGresham
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In every draft I enter, I always go straight to my queue and add my guys. It’s a way to keep a focus on the players I really want versus the players I’m picking just because they fell too far in the draft. I will draft either, but I don’t want my team filled with guys I picked just because they were still there. I want players I truly believe in, which is why I will often reach for someone. I can see why someone would want to diversify their lineups if they are in many leagues, but I want to have some core players who I believe in, and I have a group of them below this here paragraph.

Wide Receivers:

A.J. Green, Bengals
The Bengals won’t be as diverse on offense with Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones gone, and now, the Bengals have injuries to both Tyler Eifert and Brandon LaFell to start the season. That should parlay into A.J. Green seeing more targets; enough targets to make him a safer and higher-upside option than he’s been in the last couple of seasons.

Allen Robinson, Jaguars
Robinson should see his team put together more scores through the running game this season, which could limit his upside, but the guy has shown that he is the best offensive weapon the Jaguars have and he will force his way into another great season because he is a great player. Talent sometimes is the deciding factor, and all signs point to Robinson just getting better and better.

Keenan Allen, Chargers
Allen was on pace for a huge season last year when he was injured, but his target share should remain the same going into this season. The Chargers should be more efficient this season, which may mean a few less targets, but more opportunity for touchdowns and a more robust yards per reception.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears
The Bears aren’t going to be able to run the ball as well as they would hope and their defense is going to have trouble keeping the team in games by itself. That should lead to more passing, and Alshon Jeffery is the guy for Chicago. Jeffery is one of the best players in the league at fighting for jump balls and shielding off defenders for receptions. Even if defenses know what’s coming, Jeffery is a player who can still get his fantasy points.

Sammy Watkins, Bills
Watkins is a passing offense unto himself when he’s on and healthy, as seen in the second half of last season. His ADP is a little deflated due to his offseason foot injury, but he’s back practicing and he’s that difference-maker who can win you fantasy weeks.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
Baldwin put up insane numbers in the last half of 2015, which many have pointed out as being too insane to sustain. But it seems everyone agrees, so his ADP has that regression baked right in. That, plus the fact that Russell Wilson throws the ball more each season, leads me to believe a full season of Baldwin leading the team in targets is going to get him close to the numbers he put up last year.

Donte Moncrief, Colts
To start the 2015 season, Andrew Luck threw 11 touchdowns in his first five games, and five of those went to Moncrief. Luck then had someone try to remove his spleen via a helmet and shoulder pads and had to miss most of the season. Moncrief is the No. 2 receiver in Indianapolis, but there should be enough targets to go around to give him double-digit touchdowns.

Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs
Maclin isn’t a sexy pick due to his team and quarterback, but he is a good pick and one who will help anchor your wide receivers. Maclin started slowly last season, but came on strongly to finish, ending up as the 17th-best fantasy wide receiver while he goes as the 23rd wide receiver in ADP. That’s value right there, as I see him exceeding his numbers this season.

Marvin Jones, Lions
I’ve always been a fan of Marvin Jones, but injuries and A.J. Green have not been kind to Jones’ fantasy numbers. He now gets to be the No. 1 receiver for the Lions, and that role should allow him to show his full potential.

Sterling Shepard, Giants
Shepard is a rookie, but fits in perfectly with the Giants’ up-tempo offense. He is a precise route runner and can create space quickly, which should mean a lot of targets while defenses focus on keeping the ball out of Odell Beckham Jr.’s hands.

Devin Funchess, Panthers
Funchess continues to receive rave reviews for his training camp so far, and it’s beginning to look like he’ll be a staple with the starters. We’ll see how far the hype builds up his ADP, but right now, he’s still going off the board as the 59th wide receiver, behind such names as Victor Cruz and Josh Doctson.

Travis Benjamin, Chargers
Benjamin hasn’t had much press this offseason, but I love his ability and believe it meshes well with Philip Rivers. Last season, Benjamin put up nice numbers in a horrible passing offense, and he should be able to succeed under a good quarterback.

Michael Thomas, Saints
Thomas, like Devin Funchess, has been getting a ton of good press this offseason for his ability in practice, and it showed in the Saints’ first preseason game. He has a tough road, with Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Coby Fleener ahead of him, but Thomas is still a flier in most drafts and his ability could just be too good to take him off the field.

Bruce Ellington, 49ers
Ellington will be needed often in this 49ers’ offense. They will likely be behind often and will need to throw the ball, and if Blaine Gabbert is their quarterback, you know the check-down king is going to find the slot man more than not. Chip Kelly’s offense has always been good to slot receivers, and even though there won’t be many touchdowns for him, Ellington should be able to accumulate receptions.

Sammie Coates, Steelers
Coates still has to beat out Markus Wheaton, but if Coates does, his upside is great in an offense that is without Martavis Bryant and possibly Ladarius Green.

Tight Ends:

Dwayne Allen, Colts
Like quarterbacks, I usually wait on tight ends. If Rob Gronkowski falls to me late in the first round or early in the second round, I’ll gladly snatch him up, but for the most part, I prefer waiting for as long as I can, and this year the outcome has landed firmly on Dwayne Allen. Allen is the 17th tight end being picked and 174th pick overall. I’ve been grabbing him earlier than that because I think he’s good enough to destroy that ADP and I want to get him at value while also keeping others from getting him instead of me! Coby Fleener is gone, and in this offense, the tight end is used more than enough to have Top-5 upside.

Zach Miller, Bears
Miller isn’t going to blow anyone away, but he put up starter-tight end numbers at the end of last season and should be a safe pick as a fringe Top-12 tight end who can be had as the 19th-overall tight end.

Will Tye, Giants
I’m okay with just Dwayne Allen as my sole tight end in smaller leagues, but if Allen is scooped, I’ll try to get two of these last three players. Tye’s biggest concern is Larry Donnell. If Tye can pass Donnell on the depth chart, the former is in the catbird seat. But even if Tye doesn’t, I believe his offensive ability will be needed in the red zone and he should be worth enough touchdowns to bring value.

Virgil Green, Broncos
Green is an athletic marvel by all accounts, but still doesn’t have the finer points of the game down. This is his make-or-break year though, as he only has Jeff Heuerman to beat out. This offense will be run heavy, which is usually a good sign for tight ends who block and release, which Green is skilled in.

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