We looked at the quarterbacks and the half backs which are undervalued. Now, let’s turn our attention away from the hash marks to determine which receivers will outperform their ADPs.
Who will exceed expectations?
Golden Tate, Giants
The fantasy community tends to leave the ship too soon when it thinks a player is past its peak. Tate, who turns 32 in August, is a perfect example of this type of thinking – he comes out of the picture outside of the top 50 receivers in the drafts.
But the veteran is far from having failed. During his 11 appearances in 2019, Tate was on the pace of 71 catches, 983 yards and nine touchdowns. These statistics would have made him the WR18 if he had adapted to the 16 games.
It came after a disappointing 2018 campaign, which can be largely attributed to a mid-season swap that sent him from the Lions to the Eagles. Although he failed to make an impact at Philly, he was playing a music video of 101 catches, 1,182 yards and seven touchdowns in his first seven outings before the trade. Numbers like this were common for him in Detroit, where he had four consecutive 90-game seasons from 2014 to 2017.
Will Tate fight consistently in an attack full of playmakers capable in the passing game? Perhaps. But it also means that often injured guys like Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard can stay on the pitch.
Tate took advantage of their absences last year and had the second highest percentage in the first 36 weeks of half-PPR (9 of 11 games), according to Draft Sharks ‘Jared Smola.
With everyone in good health, Tate may not reach his ceiling as a fantastic WR of the top 24 and we don’t need him to make any value. One of the best low-risk investments you can make in the receiver and someone who could easily carve out his place as a weekly WR3 in his WR51 June ADP in the best ball leagues your programming.
Mecca Hardman, chefs
In the last off-season, we wondered if Hardman would be able to fulfill the role of Tyreek Hill in the Chiefs’ offense if the Chiefs was suspended due to his problems off the field. Although Hill avoided a suspension, an injury to the opener sidelined him and forced the rookie to play an important role.
During this four-game streak, Hardman had three notable statistics lines of 4-61-1, 2-97-1 and 4-79-0 while seeing at least five targets on each outing. After Hill returned to the lineup, Hardman became a rotating weapon and was kept under 50% of the snaps in all but two remaining games. However, he continued to make an impact, scoring touchdowns on five of his 16 hits the rest of the way.
This kind of efficiency is impossible to maintain, but it does provide a glimpse of the revolutionary talent of the second round enlarger. Despite playing fewer snaps than Hill and getting half the number of targets, Hardman tied his teammate for the league lead in touchdown over 40 yards with four, according to Pro Football Focus.
The capacity is there, now we need to expand. Special teams coach Dave Toub gave hope in this area during a recent conference call, admitting that increased use of Hardman in attack could limit his availability in the second leg. The chiefs reportedly offered other options to replace him in Toub’s unit.
So we have an explosive sophomore with a speed of 4.33 who can score from anywhere on the field and is tied to the best quarterback in the league, arguably the most prolific attack in the NFL . Does this sound like something that might interest you?
The 22-year-old has shown that he doesn’t need 100 targets to be a fantastic asset, so we don’t need to plan a massive volume boost for him to emerge as a fantastic starter. With Sammy Watkins taking a pay cut to stay in Kansas City, you can expect Hardman to siphon off some of the veteran’s looks. It doesn’t even mention what would happen to its value if Hill were to be sidelined at some point, making Hardman an ideal upward option in the 8th to 10th round of fantastic projects.
N’Keal Harry, Patriots
After being drafted 32nd overall by the Patriots last year, many were thrilled to see what Harry could do with such an attractive combination of working capital, quality metrics and freshman opportunities in a team that needed help from the catcher.
Unfortunately, a variety of injuries plagued him throughout training camp and preseason and ultimately landed Harry in the wounded pool for the first nine contests of his first campaign. The loss of these precious representatives was costly for its development and left us wondering what could have been, especially after New England’s experiences with Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon exploded at the start of the season.
Once Harry arrived on the field in Week 11, he was given limited goals as a part-time contributor who never seemed to be on the same wavelength as his demanding quarterback Tom Brady , 42 years old. Overall, this has been a year of lost rookie, and while this can often be a bad sign for a receiver’s prospects, some assisters simply need more time to adjust to the pros. We’re not writing Harry yet.
Harry’s inability to separate seemed to surprise some in the world of football, but he has never been that type of receiver. The 6’4-inch, 225-pound Arizona state product poses as a big-body threat that can excel by winning contested balls and picking up meters after capture. In fact, the image above was taken on what should have been an impressive touchdown where Harry broke several tackles only for officials to incorrectly judge him out of bounds. If Harry had scored in that game, it would have given him three touchdowns in less than half a season of action.
The extended youth was not discouraged, working hard with several coaches this off-season – including footwork specialist Rischad Whitfield – in order to improve his performance.
Although Brady’s departure is detrimental to the offense, projected starter Jarrett Stidham brings a more athletic element that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can use to his advantage. Stidham also spent time pitching with Harry from the rookie camps and their time together in the second unit. It’s unclear if this will translate into production in 2020, but it can’t do any harm. Outside of 34-year-old Julian Edelman, there is little competition for targets in New England, opening the door for Harry to take on a fairly large part of the reception work if he is up to the task.
The last reason to write Harry is his price. It is selected as WR60 in the drafts and is often available on the 12th or 13th round. It doesn’t take much to know if he can take a step forward with better health, a full year of experience and a quarterback who is ready to grow with him.
Parris Campbell, Colts Campbell was another 2019 rookie rookie whose launch has been delayed by an injury-ridden season, and now the fantasy community is sleeping on its potential. Even with Michael Pittman Jr. adding another set of capable hands to the Colts’ ballroom, Campbell should not be overlooked as an electric playmaker with field stretch speed and RB / WR hybrid construction . General manager Chris Ballard has named him someone who “hasn’t left the building” since the end of the season in order to prepare his body for next year. With Philip Rivers providing a quarterback upgrade, we could see Campbell take off in the second year.
Devin Duvernay, Ravens – John Harbaugh was excited to get Duvernay on his list, and you should be too. The speed of the recruit compensates for the fact that he is not a particularly precise road runner. Even so, it has the potential to be an impact lunge receiver with large hands and a solid body that can take on any defender in contested situations. Meanwhile, the Ravens led the league in receiving touchdown out of the slot in 2019, according to PFF. It’s a perfect marriage in real life and fantasy.
Kendrick Bourne, 49 – Bourne’s fantastic relevance may be short lived, but it is worth registering now that Deebo Samuel’s early season availability is in doubt. Bourne was fourth in most of the key receiving categories last season behind Samuel, George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders, but tied for first with five touchdowns. Until we have a better understanding of Samuel’s recovery timeline, Bourne is a worthy bench end reserve.
Who will exceed expectations?