WR – Targets On My Back

For fantasy football, it’s all about target shares and receptions…or volume.

Each off season, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends (and Running Backs) that make moves are meticulously assessed for changes in their fantasy output potential.

In this post, we’ll look at players that will see major increases or decreases in workload and therefore, fantasy football output.

Which players will be saved by PPR leagues in terms of scoring? Which players will be touchdown dependant where previously PPR goldmines? Which teams/offences do we want to be investing our draft picks in to come August/September and where should they be drafted?

Well, let me tell you…

For the purposes of this, we’ll use a 1pt PPR format and 10 Team league.

First up:

Jarvis Landry – WR – Cleveland Browns

Jarvis Landry, won me over last year (despite multiple attempts to trade him away). Was on a poor run first Dolphins team, an erratic quarterback in a seemingly crowded WR group. Jarvis Landry has been an absolute goldmine in PPR fantasy over the past few years. Posting the most receptions in the first 4 years of any player in NFL history, Jarvis heads over to Cleveland, a WR wasteland since Churchill led us into battle (maybe a bit of an exaggeration).

I like using the metaphoric of pies when it comes to fantasy skills positions. How big a pie is and how good it’s slices are

If Cleveland WR production was a pie (in fact Cleveland in general), last year it would have been an out of date, mouldy steak and ale pie. More importantly, it would have been a small pie.

Jarvis Landry goes from Jay Cutler/Ryan Tannehill’s security blanket to Tyrod Taylor’s move the sticks guy and that doesn’t mean good news for fantasy football GMs.

Whilst Jarvis Landry is a good move for the Browns (cost aside) in terms of helping them sustain drives and staying in games, giving them some of the safest hands in the game for 3rd down plays, last year’s production will probably translate over to Cleveland, with less touchdowns. Landry’s 9 TDs last year represented what looks to be an outlier. The previous 3 seasons Landry scored 4,4 and 5 TDs. I cannot see any plausible outcome range for Jarvis Landry where he surpasses 1000 yards or 7 TDs in this offence.

There are too many mouths to feed in Cleveland for production that is probably going to be lower than average. Tyrod Taylor isn’t a trailblazer at the QB position. He is just simply average. But that’s what Cleveland needs this year. He is conservative, he is smart but also very clever at not turning the ball over or making mistakes. Cleveland completed 280 passes last year, 319 the year before with car crash QBs. This was when Cleveland were constantly chasing games and always playing from behind. That trend should start to fade slightly but you should still find this year that you should see an increase in receptions as drives should last longer and Tyrod is a more competent QB.

Cleveland will get enough out of the run game (himself included, but may change if Barkley is drafted) and throw the ball when he needs to.  This essentially culminates in a sharp decline for Jarvis Landry and should not be considered more than a WR3. He may still provide value in full point PPR leagues but i certainly wont be considering him in standard scoring and maybe not even 0.5pt PPR leagues. Landry averaged 8.8yards per catch last year and had over 100 catches and unless he is given the green light to run some deep routes, he is not going to scare any defences. Nor will he scare any opposing GMs if he starts on your fantasy teams in 2018.

I think its reasonable to expect around 60 receptions for Landry for around 650 or so yards and around 6 TDs. In a full PPR league that gives him 161 points and around WR 34. Hardly inspiring.

So my advice for Landry is to pick him up in the later rounds in 1pt PPR only if he is still there and should still considered for best ball leagues in the same format. People may draft him in single digits rounds in more relaxed leagues due to his name. He is only worth a late round flyer who should be cut if things don’t gel (chances are he is out of Cleveland next year too if things don’t go well).

As for the Browns offence in general, there is production to be taken advantage of. Forget what has happened in previous years as this is a new Browns team with a new GM and a new outlook.

Tyrod Taylor will always have a place in fantasy due to his mobility and his rushing TDs. He’ll be a stream candidate but wont win you titles (not a bad compliment if you draft 2 late round QBs to mix an match throughout the season a la Phillip Rivers or Andy Dalton).

Carlos Hyde will be another that probably gets overdrafted and his appeal in PPR is little due to Mr Duke Johnson having full dibs on passing down work. Expect Carlos to catch around 20-30 passes and be a slight upgrade on Isiah Crowell. Cleveland had 102 receptions to the RB position last year and i expect Duke to hit around the 80 mark. Seeing as though Cleveland struggled to run last year (mainly due to gamescript), you should expect the actually talented offensive line to be better this year and slightly more production to come from the RB position. Problem is for Hyde, is that Tyrod will vulture a lot of that from him. I have Carlos Hyde as an RB3 so shouldn’t be relied upon for consistent fantasy production.

At the WR and TE positions, it really is a stab in the dark at what to expect and everyone’s favourite person to draft will be Josh Gordon from this team. Josh Gordon is certainly one for best ball leagues considering his style of play and his big play ability. Gordon’s problems seem to be behind him and was good to see him “flash” some ability towards the back end of last season. If Landry, Coleman and NJoku help take some coverage off of Gordon, he could have a monster year. If you can get Gordon in round 3 or 4 as your WR 2, you’ll be in good shape. The slight question mark on him stops me from making him a WR candidate. David Njoku isn’t a bad option if you stream the TE position but the same earmarks of issues in Cleveland with a small pie and many slices of it to go round.

Player to draft: Josh Gordon – Round 3/4

Late round flyer: Tyrod Taylor – Round 11/12

Avoid: Corey Coleman, Carlos Hyde


Next edition – Davantae Adams and the Green Bay Offence.