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The Elite 26 Wide Receivers and Defying Age

I’ve been writing about the same wide receivers finishing in the top-24 for a couple years now. The yearly PPR finishes offer clues to players’ potential futures and may possibly point to undervalued players in both dynasty and re-draft.

This grid is the antithesis of the One and Done club. These WRs have logged three or more WR1 finishes.

 

Nearly 63 percent of the 192 WR1 seasons since 2000 are on this grid. Twenty-six is a relatively small number of WRs when you consider around 150 WRs will register at least one catch every single year. Short and simple, these 26 have dominated the position. They are the epitome of what a dynasty asset should be.

Elite 26

These are the WRs that could join this list with one more Top 12 finish.

Elite next to

Mike Wallace will be 31 years old this year. Eric Decker and DeSean Jackson are both 30. They all have a decent chance of getting that last top 12 season. TY Hilton, Doug Baldwin, and Alshon Jeffrey are all heading into their age 28 – 29 seasons might have several more opportunities.

So what do the Elite 26 tell us about age? Here’s what the career finishes of the Elite 26 looked like starting at age 30.

Elite past 30

With the exception of a few, most continued to produce at least one more top 12 season starting at age 30. There’s plenty to be optimistic about with Demaryius Thomas who will be 30 years old this year. Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and A.J. Green are all in their age 28 or 29 season. If you own any of these in dynasty, don’t fret. Any could go the way of Calvin Johnson or stumble like Chad Johnson, but Terrell Owens and Marvin Harrison are also in their range of outcomes.

There have been several instances over the years when one of these WRs went undervalued. Steve Smith won leagues with his late ADP following his age 31 season when he looked washed up. The same was true for Reggie Wayne at age 34, Larry Fitzgerald at age 32, and Brandon Marshall at age 31.

I’m still betting on Brandon Marshall even though Andre Johnson’s age 34 move to Indy offers a cautionary tale. Time will tell on Jordy Nelson and Larry Fitzgerald.

We don’t know what the future holds for any of these WRs. One thing that history has shown though, is that elite WRs can defy age. They may be the obvious outliers staring us the face.

The only thing that needs to be determined is the proper price to balance their production with the risk of decline. Most these WRs are a hold for me in dynasty. They’re generally undervalued considering the potential of finishing their careers with multiple top-24 and possibly top-12 finishes.

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