Digging Deep: Wide Receiver Dynasty Targets

dynasty fantasy football
Matt Hicks

This season I’ll be focusing on waiver wire targets, specifically for our dedicated dynasty football readers here at dominatefantasy. The preseason is well under way, and it’s making fantasy players salivate over guys we only get to see in August. To celebrate, I’m continuing my 4-part series on players that can pay off in the long-term for patient, invested owners. The majority of the players in this series are players you can trade for at a value, draft late in rookie drafts, or draft mid to late in start-up dynasty drafts.

Keke Coutee

Coutee is one of my favorite dynasty stashes for 2018, in large part because he can make an immediate impact. Coutee tore it up in his final season at Texas Tech; catching 93 balls for 1,429 yards and 10 touchdowns. In Lubbock, Coutee complied 2,424 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns, and averaged 15.2 yards per catch over his 30-game career.

With the return of a healthy Deshaun Watson comes considerable upside. In his 7 games last season, Watson averaged 242 yards, 29 attempts, and 2.7 touchdowns per game. Coutee’s largest criticism is his size, he’s just 5-11, 180 pounds, but that benefits him in Houston. I expect him to see considerable volume in the slot as Watson looks for a consistent receiver to balance out the deep ball and red zone threats of DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Coutee has consistently fallen into the third and fourth rounds of rookie drafts and is the cheapest you can get a wideout in a shallow depth chart who will be catching balls from a quarterback with top 5 fantasy potential.

Albert Wilson

Remember when I said Coutee was one of my favorite dynasty stashes? Well, Wilson is my absolute favorite. Wilson was lost in a Kansas City offense that featured Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, and Travis Kelce. Albert Wilson was quietly the next man up; catching 42 of his 62 targets (67%) for 554 yards and 3 touchdowns. His stats look even better if you control for when he gets volume. In Wilson’s 6 games with at least 5 targets he averaged 4.8 receptions and 59 yards per game. In his 3 games with at least 7 targets, he averaged 6 receptions for 85 yards per game.

This offseason Wilson signed with Miami, giving him the opportunity fantasy players need. Miami a ton of that: they’re trying to fill the 161-target void that Jarvis Landry has left. Stills (105), Parker (96), and Amendola (87) combined for 288 targets in 2017. In Tannehill’s 4 full seasons, he’s averaged 562 attempts per season. That leaves a lot of room for Wilson to come in and contribute. He’s currently going undrafted, making him the cheapest Dolphin wide receiver, behind Parker (10th round ADP), Stills (11th Round ADP), and Amendola (14th round ADP).

Courtland Sutton

You’re going to have to be patient with Sutton, but it will pay off. Sutton dominated at SMU: in his three seasons as a starter he racked up 195 receptions (5.2 per game) and 3,197 receiving yards (86 per game). Sutton (6-4, 215 pounds) proved to be a big play threat, averaging 16.5 yards per reception and a red zone monster, catching 31 touchdowns in 37 games. Sutton landed in Denver’s revamped offense, featuring the first stable quarterback they’ve had in years and the dynamic rookie Royce Freeman.

The problem is the other features of the Broncos offense: Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. These two players essentially cut Sutton out of the offense for this season, however, that will not be the case after the 2018 season. Thomas and Sanders’ contracts are the 2nd and 8th most expensive ones, respectively, on the Denver payroll. Thomas’ contact will hit the Broncos for $17.5 million in 2019, if they move on from him he will only cost them $4.4 million in dead cap. Sanders’ contract will hit the Broncos for $12.9 million in 2019, or they can take a $2.6 million dead cap hit. It’s clear  at least one of these aging wide outs will not be in Denver next season, creating room for Sutton to emerge and lead patient fantasy players to glory.

John Ross

I understand if you’re turned off from Ross, he had an ugly, ugly rookie season. Still the 5-11, 188-pound burner out of Washington was the 9th overall pick in the 2017 draft for a reason: he has serious upside. Ross is healthy and involved this preseason; giving him little competition for Tyler Boyd’s 89 vacated targets. Ross will be catching passes from Andy Dalton, who has averaged 529 passes per season over the last two seasons, with a 65% completion rate. Dalton is on a make or break year and needs to utilize Ross if he wants to keep his job. That’s a lot of positives for a player with an ADP of 14.05.

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