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TGIF: Wait on Wide Receivers

Andre Johnson

It has been common practice in a fantasy football draft to draft two running backs with your first two picks. It seems like I avoid this strategy every season, and then my team falls into obscurity. I don’t know why, but I think I might give the old dual RB strategy a second look in my upcoming draft.

Hell, I even suggested drafting two QB’s with your first two picks last season. Did I follow through on that strategy? No! Instead, I took Marion Barber and Braylon Edwards with my first two picks in one league.

Wow, hold on a second! Braylon Edwards in the second round? What the hell were you thinking? Well, I guess the problem was that I wasn’t thinking. Hey come on, in 2007, Edwards had 1,289 yds and 16 TD. So naturally, I expected him to do that again. That my friends, is the downfall to having a positive attitude. Actually, in that particular league, those who took a WR within their first three picks ended up finishing with the lowest point totals in the league.

Holding Off on Wide Receivers

The Receiver-Happy Draft

The scoring system in this league was slightly different from Yahoo! default settings in that a rushing and receiving TD were worth four points instead of six and a passing TD was worth three points instead of four. Other than that, it was relatively unchanged. This was also not a points per reception league.

In this one particular league, there were 12 teams with a set-up that required two QB’s, two RB’s, three WR’s, and one TE. Five of the six teams that had the lowest point totals for the entire season each had one thing in common: they drafted at least one WR within their first three rounds. Some dumbasses (like me), took two.

Eight teams were allowed to make the playoffs and three of the five teams that took WR’s within the first three rounds were left watching from the sidelines.

This was a head-to-head league, so the element of a lucky matchup also contributed to the failure or success of a team. In one case, the team with the lowest point total ended up finishing in 3rd place. Oh and believe me, he took a WR in round three. While luck has its advantages sometimes, reality has a better lifetime record.

The Numbers

In this particular league, with two QB slots to fill, you can’t waste time taking a WR early. With these league’s settings, the top 10 players in total points were RB’s and QB’s (7 QB, 3 RB). The first WR to make an appearance was Houston’s Andre Johnson at #19 with Larry Fitzgerald following at #20. Fitzgerald is actually projected to be drafted at #8 in Yahoo! leagues.

So are you going to sit there and tell me to draft Fitzgerald, a man who got the 20th most points out of all the players in football, in the first round? Keep in mind, those numbers (remember, 20th highest total in fantasy) were the best of his career. His 1,431 yds and 12 TD were the highest he has ever achieved and it still made him less valuable than 19 other players in the fantasy realm.

If we look closer, we can see that in this league, the top 10 ranking players at WR are much lower down the point totals than at RB and QB. Confused? Let me explain. Here are the top 10 WR from last season according to total points and where they were positioned in relation to overall points for the season.

Wide Receivers

  • 19. Andre Johnson
  • 20. Larry Fitzgerald
  • 26. Calvin Johnson
  • 32. Steve Smith
  • 36. Greg Jennings
  • 38. Roddy White
  • 42. Antonio Bryant
  • 48. Terrell Owens
  • 50. Anquan Boldin
  • 54. Brandon Marshall

The best wide receiver only had the 19th best point total and rounding out the 10th spot was Brandon Marshall with the 54th best total. The rank of total points ranges from #19 to #54. This may not seem bad on its own, but in comparison to the RB and QB position, it looks pretty pathetic.

Running Backs

  • 4. Michael Turner
  • 5. DeAngelo Williams
  • 10. Adrian Peterson
  • 11. Matt Forte
  • 13. Thomas Jones
  • 14. Steve Slaton
  • 15. LaDainian Tomlinson
  • 16. Clinton Portis
  • 21. Maurice Jones-Drew
  • 22. Brian Westbrook

When it comes to total points, the RB position’s ten best players range from #4 to #22. It gets even better with quarterbacks.

Quarterbacks

  • 1. Drew Brees
  • 2. Aaron Rodgers
  • 3. Jay Cutler
  • 6. Philip Rivers
  • 7. Kurt Warner
  • 8. Matt Cassel
  • 9. Peyton Manning
  • 12. Donovan McNabb
  • 17. David Garrard
  • 18. Chad Pennington

The 10 best QB’s all crack the top 20 in terms of overall points. This leads us to the logical conclusion that your first three rounds should be used to draft a combination of QB’s and RB’s.

Andre Johnson, the points leader for WR’s, accumulated 194.50 points last season (with this league’s settings). Depending on your league size (usually 12 teams) and your position in the draft, you could easily grab two players that each got more points than Andre Johnson last season.

So there is no reason to touch a WR that early in a draft. By taking a WR that early, you are basically surrendering larger point totals just to grab the best WR on the board. It is not worth sacrificing points just to have the best WR in the world.

In Conclusion

If you want to get the maximum points from your draft, then wait on a wide receiver. The best WR from last season doesn’t even outrank the 10th best QB and he barely outranks the 9th best RB.

Learn from my mistakes and please address your RB and QB concerns before you draft a WR. Oh and please don’t take two WR’s as early as I did. As we have learned in the past, we can all learn a thing or two from my own stupidity.

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Discussion

2 comments for “TGIF: Wait on Wide Receivers”

  1. [...] necessarily explain my disgust for wide receivers, I just pointed out that you can afford to wait on them (in a two-QB league [...]

    Posted by TGIF: Wide Receivers I Like That Are Not Named Fitzgerald, Johnson, or Moss | Sports of Boston | August 14, 2009, 8:31 am
  2. [...] made this argument before and I will make it again. Don’t take a WR in the first round regardless of skill. You [...]

    Posted by TGIF: What Do You Do With the 5th Pick in 2009? | Sports of Boston | August 28, 2009, 11:36 am

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