There are all kinds of strategies to assembling a Fantasy Football team, but an approach I seem to find myself sticking to across all Fantasy Sports is ensuring to balance my high risk picks with what I consider safe and reliable options. And that’s why I started writing my 2013 Fantasy Football All-Risk Team.
For the purpose of this post, players who aren’t projected to be starters at their positions based on FantasyPros consensus rankings and standard league roster formats aren’t included.
For example, we all know that rookie wide receivers have inherent risks involved with their fantasy potential, but because Tavon Austin isn’t currently projected as a starter he isn’t included on this list.
2013 Fantasy Football All-Risk Team: Wide Receivers
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
Sometimes there is a significant disparity between real and fake football. I know, it is an earth-breaking concept, but was there another move this off-season that makes perfect sense on the field, yet might actually hinder an impact player’s fantasy output?
Welker only scored 6 TDs last season and with Demariyus Thomas and Eric Decker already locked in as reliable touchdown targets for Peyton Manning, matching that number shouldn’t be viewed as the floor. Furthermore, Thomas and Decker have an additional season of developed chemistry with Manning.
Wes Welker should maintain his value in PPR formats, but at his current ranking and ADP any regression in receptions and scores could make for a draft day disaster. In addition to sharing targets, the Broncos could find themselves on the favorable side of the scoreboard frequently enough to further cut into the offensive attack through the air.
This was a great move and addition for the Broncos, but the addition of Wes Welker to your fantasy team may not be. Especially at the current price tag.
Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks
I love Harvin, I’m a Gators fan, but lets get this hype-train back on the track for a minute. Harvin has yet to top 1000 receiving yards in his 4 year career and has only once stayed healthy for an entire season.
Yes, he is a major threat wherever he lines up on the field and boasts sneaky rushing yards and scores, but only 4 times has he ran across the chalk in his career. Additionally, Harvin has a career season high of just 8 combined rushing and receiving TDs in 2011.
Again, I’m a huge fan of Harvin, he is an exciting player, game changer and potential fantasy star, but are you willing to make him your #1 WR in the 3rd round? Because currently that is the price tag and unless your abandoning your running backs he’ll serve as your top wideout.
Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
Entering his 3rd season, there appears to be some serious optimism for Shorts heading into draft season, as the Jags wideout is climbing up rankings. There are certainly going to be opportunities, with the Jags likely having to air it out a lot, but there is no track record of high-level competition on Shorts’ resume.
He burst onto the fantasy scene and had a great 2nd half, was a waiver wire diamond and even a likely fantasy MVP for some teams in 2012. So what does 2013 bring?
Firstly, it is no secret that the Jaguars don’t boast the top quarterback in the league, although a healthy Maurice Jones-Drew may help Shorts’ cause. With Justin Blackmon out until at least week 4, the targets should be there too, which is another bonus. However, Shorts has also dealt with some concussion issues and if he isn’t on the field, he can’t post fake points.
The main reason Shorts is listed here is because of his current ADP and climbing consensus ranking, there are risks, but if you’re turning to Shorts as anything more than your #3 WR you’re not taking up too much space man, you’re living on the edge.
Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
Speaking of unproven hype-trains, how about this guy? Amendola has cruised into many top 25 rankings at his position, yet has never cracked the top 40 in fantasy scoring. Amendola’s best fantasy finish was 47th in 2010. Injuries have hindered his ascend to stardom along the way too though.
Obviously, Amendola is a more of a PPR player, but a closer look at the numbers over his career are telling. 3 times he has hauled in more than 10 catches in a game, only twice did he go for over 100 yards and only 3 times in his entire career has he gone for over 70 yards in the air. And what about a mere 7 touchdowns in 42 career games?
So there is upside in New England and with Wes Welker’s departure he could stand to see a lot of targets and will certainly be playing in the best offense of his career. But he has to also stay healthy and that should be worrisome. Coupled with his lack of any real proof of being a legit fantasy contributor, I’m not sure why he is being ranked and drafted so high.
Updated Thoughts on Fantasy WRs
In the All-Reliable Team breakdown, I talked about the depth amongst the position. There are a lot of solid middle round options that carry similar upside and risk to a Danny Amendola, or Cecil Shorts. Furthermore, at a lower price tag, you can get the same upside and risk in a Hakeem Nicks as Percy Harvin.
There is a big shift in Fantasy Football that has made WRs coveted, the actual game has changed, so you have to be ready to snatch a wideout early. The big guns are coming off the board quick beginning anywhere in the first round and by the 3rd you may even find teams with a pair already.
I’ve been finding myself reaching for Kenny Britt a lot as my 3rd WR in the 7th and 8th rounds, which to me screams value given his upside. There are obvious risks associated with Britt, but if you’ve taken a few reliable options early, he is capable of producing top 30 wideout numbers. I’d rather chase a risky upside player in the 7th round than the 5th, which is where Welker and Amendola are coming off the board.
You can’t sleep at WR either though, ending up with Roddy White, Greg Jennings and Kenny Britt is a reality if you stick to your running backs and reach for either a TE or QB. I’ve been trying to land my 2nd wide receiver by the 6th round at the absolute latest.
I’m a Loyal Leafs, Cubs, and Cowboys fan for decades. I wear the C for The Fake Hockey, in addition to contributing to The Fake Baseball and The Fake Football in more of a Timmy Try Hard role. You can also find my work here at davidgonos.com and can reach me on Twitter @naparker77.