Fantasy football drafts are right around the corner and it’s time to get in draft mode. Grabbing solid, consistent wide receivers is my goal and sometimes you can even find that kind of consistency late in drafts. I’m still very much on board with grabbing Davante Adams or one of my favorites this season, Calvin Ridley, in the first and second rounds though and see value even that early. Below are six receivers I like to see good workloads, giving them high floors for their average draft position.
Wide receiver draft targets
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (WR6, Overall 20)
Ridley is going to absolutely smash this season, and if you can grab him in the second round, you are off to a nice start in your draft, no matter who you took in the first round. The Falcons No. 1 receiver is in line for a enormous amount of targets, as the Falcons defense will still be below average and his biggest competition for targets is a rookie tight end. Yeah, he’ll face off with the No. 1 cornerback for every team and see a lot of extra defenders, but I think he’d got what it takes to thrive.
In eight games with Julio Jones last season, Ridley caught 58-of-890 targets for 856 yard and three touchdowns. You double that to 16 games and he has 116 receptions for 1,780 yards and six touchdowns and we know how unpredictable touchdowns are. That number could easily be higher. Over 100 receptions, 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns are in line if he can stay healthy.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR16, Overall 43)
I love the Buccaneers receivers this season, but since Mike Evans played all 16 games and beat out Godwin in touchdowns last year, he’s ahead in ADP. I think they are much closer than that and I expect Godwin to lead the way this year in receptions and yards while getting much closer in touchdowns.
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (WR28, Overall 72)
Tee Higgins had a great rookie year and with a rookie quarterback and plenty of backups after the rookie was hurt. He split No. 1 WR numbers with Tyler Boyd and surpassed him in yardage and touchdowns. The addition of Ja’Marr Chase has some people worried about Higgins, but so far we’ve heard that Chase is still a work in progress in training camp. I already believed Higgins would beat him out statistically this season, but now even more so now. The Bengals defense will remain weak and force Joe Burrow to throw a lot this season and Higgins is best suited to take advantage as the No. 1 receiver at a goof fantasy price.
Marvin Jones, Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (WR51, Overall 127)
There was no doubt that Trevor Lawrence likes Marvin Jones after watching their first preseason game. Jones caught 3-of-4 targets from Lawrence for 52 yards on their two drives. The receiving core in Jacksonville is fairly wide open and Jones, who was picked up in free agency, is the veteran of the group and I expect Lawrence to lean on him this season.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (WR36, Overall 88)
Cooks is still an extremely talented receiver and despite DeShaun Watson likely not throwing him the ball this season, he has plenty of upside as the best offensive player on the team. Cooks led the team in receptions, targets and yards last season with 81 receptions on 119 targets for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns while Will Fuller and Randall Cobb were next in the pecking order. Fuller and Cobb are both gone now and Chris Conley, Keke Coutee, Anthony Miller, Nico Collins and Alex Erickson will fight for work behind Cooks. It won’t be easy for Cooks, but his opportunities should be great, giving him a ton of fantasy upside and a valuable floor.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (WR80, Overall 241)
Meyers has been the best receiver at Patriots camp this season per reports, despite the additions of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne through free agency. He led the way in receiving for New England last season, but his zero touchdowns make his fantasy output look awful. The offense for the Patriots was awful last season and it should be better this year, no matter if Cam Newton or Mac Jones take the lead at quarterback. Meyers could easily be the No. 1 receiver on a winning team and be had at the end of drafts.