Fantasy Stock Up/Stock Down: Wide Receivers

In a previous post, I took a look at the fantasy impact of some running backs who switched teams this offseason. Today, I will dive into the fantasy stock of the WR who will be playing for a new team this season.

Antonio Brown:

With his frostbitten feet and helmet tantrum, AB has already created a stir in Oakland without even playing a snap. Who knows what else he will be up to by the time this blog is posted.

However, when the season kicks off, Brown’s talent will somehow find a way to speak slightly louder than his antics. His route running and absurd athleticism definitely earns him a high floor, regardless of who is throwing him the ball. However, the drop off going from Roethlisberger to Carr will certainly limit Brown’s ceiling.

The following numbers are Brown’s year end fantasy football rank out of all WR from 2013-18: 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 5. He won’t drop too far out of the top 7, but I doubt him being able to duplicate his productivity in Pittsburgh. His draft rank as WR9 is accurate. This move will just shift our definition of what an average, good, and great Antonio Brown fantasy performance is.

Verdict: Stock Down

Odell Beckham Jr:

Before his injury in Week 12 that ended his season, OBJ was on track for his career best season in catches. And that was with Peyton Manning’s dweeb brother throwing him the ball.

Needless to say, he is poised to put up a big season. Some think that there are too many mouths to feed in Cleveland between OBJ, Landry, Njoku, and Chubb. However, I think that will strengthen OBJ’s fantasy value as defenses will no longer be able to have their sole focus on Beckham like they could for most of his time in New York.

His ADP is 2.04 and is WR6 which I think is fair. While his ceiling is limitless, there is more risk of bust in Beckham than the 5 receivers in front of him. However, I’ll take the good odds on him flourishing with Baker as we will all start to see Beckham’s true potential.

Verdict: Stock Up

DeSean Jackson:

Jackson returns to Philly, but this time things are much different. The Eagles receiving core is much stronger and Jackson will solely be a splash player in this lethal attack. Word on Twitter says that Jackson hasn’t lost a step and I absolutely believe that – dude can still fly and stretches out a defense better than anyone.

His value in Philly will be as a game-changer in how the other team’s secondary has to cover Philly’s other weapons like Jeffrey and Ertz. He ended last season ranked as the 42nd best receiver (PPR). He shows more value in standard scoring leagues, but there are better WR3 options out there in PPR leagues.

I think his year-end ranking will be better this year, but I see him as more of a streaming option than anywhere near a regular starter. This is consistent of where has stood in the last few years.

Verdict: Stock Neutral

Adam Humphries:

Last year in Tampa, Adam Humphries ended the year as the 24th best WR in PPR leagues. He averaged a hair under 5 receptions per game and almost 11 fantasy points a week. He never lit up the scoreboard with yards or touchdowns, but provided value as a FLEX or WR3 play in much deeper leagues.

This offseason, he was a free agent and was looking for a place to land. Coming off a lower breakout year, he could have joined several teams looking to fill a need for a slot receiver. The Patriots were very interested in acquiring the average-sized white receiver (stop me if you heard that before). However, he passed on the Pats and took an offer with the Tennessee Titans. That’s like the completely hypothetical time I turned down a job offer from the FBI to take a position with the neighborhood watch.

Pure lack of volume will destroy any fantasy value Humphries had. The Bucs threw the fourth-most passes last season with 625. The Titans ranked second to last with almost 200 less pass attempts. And that’s going to continue with the Titans’ exotic smash-mouth offense.

Verdict: Stock Down

Devin Funchess:

Underwhelming so far in his career, Funchess will definitely welcome a switch from Carolina to Indianapolis. Andrew Luck is a much more accurate passer than Newton and I expect Luck to continue to flourish as a passer in Frank Reich’s offense.

There are more mouths to feed in Indy, but I like the potential of the 6’4″ Funchess in the red zone lining up opposite of the small T.Y. Hilton, who has never been much of a red zone target.

Regardless of his disappointing production at this point in his career, the 25 year old Funchess is a physical talent and is a breakout candidate. Not a huge breakout by any means, but one that brings value from his ADP of 12.02.

Doesn’t this sound familiar, a big pass catcher resurrecting his career with Reich’s offense and Luck’s arm? That’s because it happened last season with TE Eric Ebron. I expect something similar this year with Funchess.

Verdict: Stock Up

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