For those implementing a Robust RB strategy in the early rounds of Best Ball leagues, it’s imperative to identify late-round receivers who can contribute through either consistent production or difference-making boom weeks. Using PlayerProfiler’s advanced metrics, we’ve identified five undervalued wide receivers to target late in best ball.
Randall Cobb (FFPC ADP: 228.40)
After a bounce-back season in which he scored 10.3 (No. 51 among qualified wide receivers) Fantasy Points per Game as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Randall Cobb signed a three-year deal to play for the Houston Texans. The 30-year-old receiver will play the majority of his snaps from the slot on an offense that operated out of 11 personnel 64-percent of the time in 2019. That same offense vacated 167 targets (No. 4) in the offseason with the departure of DeAndre Hopkins.
Though he’ll fight for opportunity with Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, Cobb’s 10.0 (No. 9) yards per target in 2019 indicated that he can still be efficient in the face of middling volume. Yes, injury concerns remain, but the same can be said for his teammates; Fuller, Cooks, and Cobb each rank in the top 12 league-wide in PlayerProfiler’s Injury Probability rankings; Given all that uncertainty, Cobb is a high-floor bargain at his ADP – 135 picks after Cooks goes.
Russell Gage (FFPC ADP: 283.07)
As highlighted earlier this summer by Jovani LoRe, Russell Gage steps right into the slot role in a Falcons offense that vacated 258 (No. 1) targets with the departures of Devonta Freeman, Austin Hooper, and Mohamed Sanu. Though Hayden Hurst and Todd Gurley have joined the fold, that’s an enormous amount of opportunity available on a team that notched a league-leading 45.9 team pass plays per game in 2019. Can Gage be efficient with that opportunity? He won’t be mistaken for a deep threat, but his 1.82 (No. 17) average yards of Target Separation and 84.5-percent (No. 28) True Catch Rate speak to a player who can get open and convert on his opportunities. With a current ADP of 283.07 in FFPC leagues, drafting Gage is a dirt cheap option to get exposure to the prolific Falcons passing offense – especially relative to the unproven Hurst going 220 picks earlier.
Mohamed Sanu (FFPC ADP: 270.27)
After posting 24.1 (No. 8) fantasy points in Week 9, his second game with the New England Patriots, Mohamed Sanu suffered a high ankle sprain that hindered his play and ultimately required offseason surgery. Though Sanu posted 11.0 Fantasy Points per Game leading up to that injury, what most fans remember about his season is the price New England paid to acquire him and his subsequent disappearance down the stretch.
Check out Mohamed Sanu’s 2020 Projection on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:
This all adds up to a depressed ADP for a player who has been a reliable and productive receiver when healthy. Given that New England failed to bring in legitimate competition at wide receiver, we can confidently project that Sanu will factor heavily into the mix with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry. With Cam Newton now at the helm rather than Jarrett Stidham, Sanu is an easy buy at his ADP.
Miles Boykin (FFPC ADP: 292.23)
After posting exceptional workout metrics at the 2019 Combine, Miles Boykin endured growing pains en route to a 40.8-percent (No. 143) Snap Share in his rookie season for the league’s run-heaviest team. Entering year two, there’s hope for an increased role in the Baltimore offense. The Ravens added intriguing slot speedster Devin Duvernay in the third round of the NFL Draft, but he’ll face immediate competition in the form of Willie Snead, who has two years of familiarity with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense. Boykin, on the other hand, is a near shoo-in for the outside receiver role opposite Marquise Brown.
Yes, Baltimore will again seek to impose its will via the ground game, but there’s reason to believe the team will have to pass more in 2020. Not only does the AFC North look significantly tougher, but Baltimore is certain to see regression from its +6.97 (No. 1) Game Script in 2019. Boykin will be a more volatile option than Randall Cobb, Russell Gage, and Mohamed Sanu, but he’s an athletic marvel whose big-play upside will produce the type of spike weeks conducive to the Best Ball format.
Tre’Quan Smith (FFPC ADP: 336.30)
Maybe you’d rather target a higher-volume passing offense for your upside wide receivers. Look no further than Tre’Quan Smith, the forgotten man in the New Orleans Saints offense. The size-speed specimen missed five games with an ankle sprain in 2019 and failed to build on the promise of his rookie season, but Smith is poised to be reborn in the departed Ted Ginn’s field-stretcher role in 2020.
Yes, the arrival of Emmanuel Sanders puts a cap on potential target volume, but Smith showcased the ability to make the most of his targets with a +65.2 Production Premium and 94.7-percent True Catch Rate in 2019. Sanders is no sure bet to stay on the field, either; now 33, his 65.8-percent (No. 4) Injury Probability ranking is cause for concern — especially when you can draft Smith over 200 picks later.
With the specter of the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the NFL, roster depth will be more important than ever in 2020. Lock in these receivers in the late rounds of your Best Ball draft and watch them easily outperform their respective ADPs.