Updated: Aug. 21 at 4:30 p.m. EDT
We won’t focus on any of the big-name players who tend to be reception hogs. The less heralded names who can bring consistency and value to a roster will be highlighted. Knowing where to turn is crucial to make up ground in the event draft flow or personal strategy kept an early-round stud receiver off of your roster.
These names won’t be sexy and may even draw snickers from league mates. A steady stream of receptions translates to easy points in PPR scoring, sometimes making all of the difference in multiple wins over the span of a season.
Jamison Crowder | Redskins | ADP: 6:04
Pierre Garcon waived goodbye in free agency. DeSean Jackson is strutting his stuff in Tampa. Jordan Reed returns as a phenom at tight end, but for how long is anyone’s guess as he is already battling a toe injury. Crowder, who has a minor hammy strain, plays all over the field from any receiver position and is the top possession guy now that Garcon has defected. He has drawn praise from the coaching staff and has trained with Randy Moss this offseason. Crowder is a strong bet to snare 100 passes from Kirk Cousins in 2017.
Pierre Garcon | 49ers | ADP: 7:03
Since an injury-shorted 2012 Washington Redskins debut season, Garcon has played in all 16 games each year. He has hauled in at least 68 balls and as many as 113 when he was the focal point of the passing game — like he is now in San Fran. The quarterback play is admittedly suspect, and being the only guy in town worthy of fantasy attention could mean Garcon is held to a low yards-per-reception average and a handful of touchdowns. Nevertheless, he should offer a wealth of catches and make for a sound No. 3 receiver.
Jeremy Maclin | Ravens | ADP: 7:10
It was learned after the season Maclin played through 2016 with a torn groin muscle, and it showed. Now healthy, the new Ravens slot receiver returns to a system he knows well from his time in Philly. Only Mike Wallace on the Ravens roster has matched Maclin’s career average line of 67-913-7 in a single season. As a WR3 with some upside, Maclin is probably good for 65 receptions or more … what he does with them is the bigger debate.
Zay Jones | Bills | ADP: 12:02
East Carolina force-fed Jones in 2016 to the tune of 158 receptions in 12 games. Yeah, you read that correctly. Buffalo’s offense won’t be nearly as friendly for aerial assets by design. Jones profiles as the best safety valve, especially after the trade of Sammy Watkins. The deal, along with Anquan Boldin’s retirement, thrusts the rookie is thrust into a larger role. Think of Jones when it is time to draft a flier WR4 or safer fifth option.
Allen Hurns | Jaguars | ADP: 14:03
Hurns added muscle in the offseason to play out of the slot in 2017, also focusing on improving his hamstrings to avoid injury. He is expected to be heavily targeted in the new offensive system. A pair of strong years to begin his career shouldn’t be overlooked based on what was a disastrous season for the entire Jacksonville passing game in ’16. Hurns will lose looks to Marqise Lee and maybe even Dede Westbrook, although there should be enough to keep the former Miami Hurricane relevant as a matchup play or regular flex consideration.
Mohamed Sanu | Falcons | ADP: 14:03
Talk about a lackluster pick … even still, Sanu has value as a matchup play because of all of the effort expended on stopping Julio Jones. Sanu put up at least 12.4 PPR points in each of the six games in which he caught at least four balls last year. There is a reasonable chance Sanu will be undrafted in more casual leagues and could serve as roster depth off the waiver wire.
- Brandon Marshall, Giants
- Stefon Diggs, Vikings
- Cole Beasley, Cowboys
- Robert Woods, Rams