Injuries happen. It’s just the nature of the NFL, and the fallout has ruined many a fantasy season over the years. After all, there’s nothing quite like the sting of losing your first-round pick a month into the season. That’s the game, however, and it’s why finding good depth at the end of drafts is so vital. With that in mind, here are five wide receivers to consider in the later rounds.
Kenny Golladay, New York Giants (ADP: 13th round)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Heading into 2020, Golladay was coming off back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard campaigns and had established himself as a legit WR2 in fantasy leagues. Injuries have limited him to 19 games over the last two years, however, and his debut effort in New York was an unmitigated disaster. While all that is true, it still feels ill-advised to completely write off Golladay, who still has tremendous physical tools and a proven ability to get deep. If new head coach Brian Daboll can get that offense headed in a positive direction, the sixth-year pro could surprise.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs (ADP: 11th round)
This may not be the first time that Valdes-Scantling has been on a list of this sort, having teased his potential during four seasons with the Green Bay Packers. It never panned out consistently, but he’ll be playing with another elite quarterback in KC, and a head coach that loves to throw the ball. With his size and speed, MVS should get a lot of snaps for the Chiefs, and the hole created by the departure of Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins must be filled by someone. If Andy Reid can unlock Valdes-Scantling’s potential, he could pay handsome dividends.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (ADP: 12th round)
There isn’t a lot of interest in the Patriots’ passing game from fantasy owners, in general, with offseason addition DeVante Parker (131.8) being the highest drafted receiver. That’s understandable. The Pats like to run the ball, and their receiving corps is deep on experience but light on star power. All that said, Meyers still feels undervalued here. The NC State product has led the team in receptions each of the last two seasons, including an 83-catch performance in Mac Jones’ rookie year. While his red-zone struggles are well documented, Meyers could still be solid depth in point-per-reception leagues.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: 11th round)
Granted, Claypool didn’t build on an encouraging rookie campaign, but he still finished 2022 with 860 yards on 59 receptions and a pair of touchdowns. As such, it’s a bit shocking to see the 24-year-old wideout languishing this deep into drafts — making it more surprising is that George Pickens (11th-round ADP) is in the same area, so it’s not as though the rookie is stealing Claypool’s thunder. Evidently the retirement of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is scaring off prospective owners, but Claypool has good size and should work primarily from the slot, making him a target of convenience for whoever is under center. Getting someone with Claypool’s pedigree in WR5 territory is a strong move.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (ADP: 9th round)
Although he’s not expected to play in the opener, Gallup (knee) will avoid the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, meaning he’ll be eligible to return at any point. When he does, he should slide right into the No. 2 slot opposite CeeDee Lamb in an offense that threw for just shy of 5,000 yards last year. While injuries ruined Gallup’s 2021, he missed just two games combined over his first three years and should be in a higher profile role now that Amari Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns. There is a lot to like about Gallup’s potential for this season in general, much less late in drafts.