Late-Round Flier Wide Receivers
August 8, 2013 | C.D. Carter
If you’re keen on buying a fantasy football lottery ticket just before you draft your defense and kicker – and really, you should always do this – you might as well make it count.
It’s always nice to stack your bench with supremely talented players who just need an opportunity to rack up a little fantasy production and prove a draft day steal. There’s a lot to be said, however, for players who might be best described as “the only option their team really has.”
Below are two receivers who fit the description, or something close to it. They can all be had for pennies on the fantasy dollar.
Jeremy Kerley, NYJ
Average Draft Position: WR79
Kerley, who is going undrafted in all but the rare 38-team fantasy leagues that require 19 receivers, will be the Jets’ default No. 1 wide receiver come Opening Day. Even the prospect of Mark Sanchez starting the season as Gang Green’s signal caller shouldn’t dampen enthusiasm for Kerley’s early-season prospects, as Sanchez posted a nice 7.5 Adjusted Yards/Attempt (AYA) when throwing to Kerley in 2012 – his highest AYA to any Jets’ pass catcher.
New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s propensity to pass should serve Kerley well, especially in PPR formats.
Santonio Holmes is going to miss at least the first month of the season, according to New York beat writers, leaving Kerley and second-year Stephen Hill as the likely Week 1 starters. Most encouraging for those willing to use a late-round pick on Kerley are his targets during a 2012 midseason stretch in which he served – once again – as the team’s default No. 1 wide receiver.
|Week 5 vs. HOU||9 targets|
|Week 6 vs. IND||6 targets|
|Week 7 vs. NE||11 targets|
|Week 8 vs. MIA||11 targets|
|Week 10 vs. SEA||8 targets|
Golden Tate, SEA
Average Draft Position: WR59
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Caroll, in the wake of Percy Harvin’s hip surgery that could keep him out until the waning weeks of 2013, said Tate has been involved in every offensive package over the past month, standing out as an offensive threat who could be used similarly to the multi-use Harvin.
Tate, who drew 68 targets last season – nine fewer than teammate Sidney Rice – showed fantastic chemistry with Russell Wilson. Wilson posted an AY/A of 12.05 when throwing to Tate – one of the highest AY/A of any combo in the NFL.
“There is quiet buzz about [Tate] in the coaching and front office here, with every belief that he is ready to make a leap into the upper echelon of receivers and not just a guy who flashes remarkable skills but then fades in and out of games,” CBS writer Jason LaConfora wrote shortly after Harvin’s hip surgery. “Carroll said the Seahawks have Tate in pretty much every package they run, and will use him not just deep but in the shallow, tempo passing game, across the middle.”
I think Tate could rise into the seventh round of drafts come late August, so if you’re drafting early – a move of questionable wisdom – I think taking Tate late could return huge dividends.