Rob Sullivan | Dec 7, 2018 | 0
Quarter Pole – Wide Receivers
Back in June, I wrote my debut article for DynastyRedZone.com; Sully’s Way Too Early Bold Predictions piggybacking off episode 3 of the Dynasty RedZone Podcast with Rick Butts and Nicolai Groves. I’ll just leave this here so you can revisit that beauty https://dynastyredzone.com/sullys-way-too-early-2018-bold-predictions/
The WR position is really deep, deeper than I can remember. Reviewing the WR position at the quarter pole is the most challenging position. One big game can really sway how a player sits, and on the flipside, if have an off week and you can see your stock drop dramatically.
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Current Top 12;
12. JuJu Smith-Shuster – JuJu has had a nice start to his sophomore season. He went over 100 yards in the Steelers first three games and currently sits as the leading WR on his team. I am a Smith-Shuster truther, but I do not see him staying in the top 12 for much longer.
11. Calvin Ridley – Ridley is a touchdown catching machine. Ridley was shutout in week 1, and since he has caught 15 passes (6 for TD). Ridley’s week 3, 3 TD performance was the first rookie hat trick since Odell Beckham Jr.in 2014. The Falcons are passing at a high rate due to the fact their defense blows. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense has been overachieving, and Ridley is making the most of his opportunities. Since 2010, there have only been two rookie WR to finish in the top 12 (OBJ in 2014, and Michael Thomas in 2016). Ridley will start to cool off and will not add his name to that list in 2018.
10. Brandon Cooks – Big miss here on my part. I was expecting Cooks to be marginally better than Sammy Watkins was in Los Angeles last year. Thru 4 weeks, Cooks is the 10th highest scoring WR and he should be even higher. He has had two TD receptions reversed already this year. Cooks is a key component in at this potent offense. I currently have a bet with a member of the Dynasty RedZone team, involving Cooks and it’s not off to a great start for me.
9. Stefon Diggs – Diggs had a huge game in week 2 (35.9 points), driving his results and catapulting him into the top 10. Diggs has yet to play a full season or record a 1000-yard season. If the Vikings continue to pass as often as they have in the first four weeks, I expect Diggs to eclipse 1000 yards and finish as a WR1.
8. Julio Jones – Jones remains the primary target in this Falcons offense. The puzzling part of this for me is he seems to be ignored in the RedZone. Often this season when the Falcons have lined up in the RedZone, Jones hasn’t been on the field. Thru 4 weeks, Julio has 29 catches for 502 yards. As long as he maintains the 7.25 catch, 125.5 yards average each game he will remain in the top 12.
7. Cooper Kupp – Similar to Stefon Diggs, Kupp pushed himself into the top 12 based on his week 4 result (37.2 points). Kupp is a talented WR and will be a large part of the Rams offense this season. Based on the overall talent of the Rams offensive personnel, I do believe that Kupp will struggle to stay in the top 12. Cooper should wind up as a top WR2.
6. Tyreek Hill – Tyreek Hill is a huge part of Patrick Mahomes early season success with the Chiefs. Hill is the fastest player I can remember watching in the NFL and he combines that speed with great vision and the ability to create separation. Hill has been lining up all over the field and thru 4 weeks he has 23 catches for 364 yards and 3 TDs. I see Hill adding more rushing to his receiving and I also see him as a mainstay in the top 12.
5. Deandre Hopkins – Hopkins was my top ranked dynasty player entering the 2018 season. After four weeks, he has slid to my #2 rank. Regardless Nuk, is one of the top WR in the league and despite nagging injuries and double coverage has himself at #5. Hopkins will continue to move up the ranks and he likely lands in the top 3 by seasons end.
4. Golden Tate – Tate flew up the rankings with a 33-point week 4. I do not see Tate in the top 12 at the end of the season. I believe that Kenny Golladay is the top dog in Detroit and more weeks than not will be the highest scoring Lions WR. Martin Jones is also in Detroit and will eat in the production totals of Tate as well. The Lions still throw a lot and Tate will land in his comfort zone as a WR2 when it is all said and done.
3. Mike Evans – Evans has had a great start to the season. He seemed to click with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the first three weeks. The Buccaneers have made the move to Jameis Winston and it will be interesting to see if Evans can expect to receive the same target share with this change. Is Evans a top 3 WR the rest of the way, I would say no. Is he a top 12 WR, to that I would say yes.
2. Adam Thielen – This is another WR that I missed on in my predictions. As I have stated numerous times I felt the Vikings were going to be run a lot team and I predicted that the WR to fall off the most in Minnesota would be Thielen. After 4 weeks, Adam is averaging 24.8 points per game and appears to be Cousins favorite target. I am on the fence when it comes to predicting Thielen’s end of season rank, but I’m still leaning to him landing outside the top 12.
1. Michael Thomas – MT is the top WR in fantasy currently and I believe that is exactly where he finishes at the end of 2018. He is on pace to break the receptions record and even after a dud of a week 4 performance is averaging 25.1 points per game.
Revisiting my Breakout and Bust Predictions
Breakout Wide Receiver: Josh Gordon – Flash has had an interesting start to the 2018 season. He had one target as a member of the Cleveland Browns and he secured that target for a touchdown. He has had some well documented off-field issues throughout his career and this season is no different. Thankfully for Josh, he seems to have his demons under control thus far. He is entering week 3 with the New England Patriots and is still looking to recover from a hamstring injury and take his place in the offense. Flash will not be a breakout this season, I only hope he stays on the field and becomes productive.
Bust WR: Julio Jones – It’s hard to call a guy that is currently the 8th ranked WR a bust. It certainly feels that way though because he could be and should be much higher. Dating back to the start of 2016, Julio has 9 TD catches. He has 6 in 2016, and 3 in 2017. He has failed to reach the end zone in 2018. My take on Julio being a bust had him finishing as a WR2 in 2018. I think I got this one wrong as well.