Auctions can be more art than science at times. In a traditional snake draft, a simple question like, “should I draft Player X?” often isn’t that complicated, but in an auction draft the answer is almost always, “It depends.” Player prices can vary greatly. With that in mind, my best advice for targeting WRs is simply to target WRs that project to be values but also score enough that you can consistently start them. Even if they go for more than you expected, they should still figure to be a bargain. Here are five such WRs:
1) DeAndre Hopkins
Hopkins is currently being drafted as the WR13, but our composite projections have Hopkins pegged to finish 2015 as WR8. According to ESPN mock draft data1 Hopkins is going for $20.80 out of a 200 dollar budget. Hopkins is significantly cheaper than brand name WRs like Alshon Jeffery ($30.60), A.J. Green ($34.00), and Randall Cobb ($30.60) while also having a higher RotoViz projection. 14Team Mocker thinks DeAndre Hopkins could lead the league in targets. Patrick Kerrane thinks a high-end WR2 finish is likely, but sees a possibility for Hopkins to finish in the top five.
2) Jordan Matthews
Matthews is currently being drafted as the WR16 for $15.10 but is projected by RotoViz to finish as the WR11. That projected finish puts him ahead of fellow sophomore WR Mike Evans, who figures to be significantly more expensive in auctions (currently at $26.00). Evans had the better rookie season, but that also means he has the higher price. Matthews is also projected to outperform Brandin Cooks who is a few dollars more expensive at a price of $18.50. Matthews may also be the most cost-effective way to get a part of the valuable Eagles offense.
3) DeSean Jackson
Jackson is being drafted as the WR26 for $11.20 but is projected by RotoViz to finish as the WR19. While Jackson has a reputation for being a boom-or-bust guy on a game-to-game basis, he’s actually been a very consistent fantasy producer on a seasonal basis. In seven seasons in the NFL he has finished as a top 30 WR five times, including two low-end WR1 finishes. I explored why Jackson is a bargain in greater detail here.
4) Torrey Smith
The only WRs we have projected to be bigger bargains than Smith are the three Browns WRs, but none of them figure to be top 30 options. Torrey Smith however is being drafted as WR37 for only $2.70 and is projected to finish at WR20. Even if you disagree with the optimism of that projection, Smith is basically free. He’s so cheap that you could potentially overpay for Smith, he could fail to live up to his projection, and he could still be a bargain. And Smith even has WR1 upside. You can’t afford to not draft him in an auction.
5) Breshad Perriman
Perriman wasn’t the first WR off the board in 2015 draft, but he does figure to be the biggest bargain at WR among the rookies. Perriman is projected to have a WR23 finish despite a WR39 ADP and can be had for $2.40. The only rookie WR projected to outscore Perriman is Amari Cooper, who figures to be far more expensive at his current $10.50 pricing. Perriman’s value may be at a tipping point, but it seems unlikely that his ADP would raise so much that it would preclude him from being a bargain. If you’re a Perriman skeptic, here’s how a fellow skeptic became a believer. Or you could acquaint yourself with Perriman’s incredible pro day performance.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s certainly not the sexiest list. But that’s a big part of why the players involved are all projected to be values. If you just drafted these WRs you would have five guys projected to finish in the top 24 while getting all of them at a discount. At their current values they can all be had for a total of $52.20, barely a quarter of your total budget. In an auction draft where maximizing the value you’re getting from your players and roster spots is even more important than in a traditional draft, that would be a very strong team.
- What I will be using when citing prices throughout the piece (back)