The running back position bounced back in a big way last season and an insane amount of touchdown scoring was a huge reason why. With that high rate of TD scoring from the position unlikely to repeat, Zero RB is once again a relevant strategy heading into 2017. However, in best ball leagues where working the waiver wire is not an option, this strategy becomes less ideal. In fact, with so many RB question marks around the league, it has become even more important to grab RBs with locked and loaded opportunity early on.
This approach has the added benefit of not having to predict when players at a more volatile position, wide receiver, are going to perform. Taking a quantity over quality approach to the WR position makes sense. The overall idea is that your depth at WR will combine with your guaranteed opportunities at RB to solidify the two most important positions on your best ball rosters.
Don’t fall asleep at the wheel. Here are three WRs to target in the last few rounds of your best ball drafts. Due to roster cuts and injuries, all three are looking at increased opportunities compared to their initial offseason outlooks.
Jeremy Maclin was cut and is no longer a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. This fact has led many to predict big seasons for both Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Yet, that’s where the analysis usually stops. Why is that? Chris Conley projects as a starting WR, and his usage in Week 1 of the preseason did nothing to shake that assessment.
KC WR snaps with 1s: Chris Conley 14 Tyreek Hill 12 Albert Wilson 11 Seantavius Jones 5 Demarcus Robinson 4 De'Anthony Thomas 1. Out of 19— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 12, 2017
Even though Conley’s boom weeks will be tough to predict in a low volume passing attack led by Alex Smith, the luxury in best ball formats is these predictions don’t have to be made. You just get to reap the benefits when Conley produces.
Here’s the best part: His current ADP of WR78 and 208.8 overall suggests he can be had in the 18th round. This makes an investment in Conley a low-risk, high-reward proposition. There are still questions about Hill’s ability to succeed as a true No. 1 and Conley’s athletic profile, per our friends over at Player Profiler, is about as good as it gets.
Conley boasts a 100th-percentile Burst Score, 99th-percentile Catch Radius, 97th-percentile 40 Yard Dash, 97th-percentile Speed Score, and 97th-percentile SPARQ-x score. Use of the Box Score Scout provides some even more interesting insight.
Combining athletic measurables and college production, we see interesting comparisons to Donte Moncrief and Mike Wallace. Can he produce like those athletic freaks? I’ll take a late-round flyer on Conley in order to find out. Plus, with the Chiefs facing the second-toughest strength of schedule in the league according to Warren Sharp’s use of Vegas forecasted win totals, there’s a chance we see gunslinger Patrick Mahomes in Year 1, which could increase Conley’s chances of making big plays.
With Will Fuller reportedly out 2-3 months with a broken collarbone, there are targets up for grabs in Houston. Enter Braxton Miller. Miller did suffer an injury of his own in preseason Week 1, but initial reports state it is just a mild ankle sprain. Prior to his injury, he played all 11 snaps with the first team offense and caught three passes in that span.
Before Braxton Miller's injury, he saw all 11 of the teams first 11 snaps as did DeAndre Hopkins. Jaelen Strong just 3 snaps in that time.— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 10, 2017
Despite very limited playing time at WR in college, the Texans still invested a third-round pick in Miller, and now he’s under the tutelage of new offensive assistant, Wes Welker. Despite playing in the slot and not replacing Fuller’s exact role in the offense, Miller’s game suits full PPR scoring systems extremely well.
Now in Year 2, with more experience under his belt and room to grow, Miller has an intriguing combination of athleticism and opportunity. I’m investing in that at the end of my best ball drafts. His current ADP of WR84 and 213.5 overall suggests he can be had in the 18th round.
It was disappointing to see Quincy Enunwa lose the season to a neck injury, as he was a popular value pick in his own right. Yet, the show must go on. Ardarius Stewart now projects as a starting WR alongside Robby Anderson.
But as Anderson’s ADP continues to rise, Stewart’s remains in a place where he can be had in the last few rounds of best ball drafts.
Per the RotoViz Screener, Stewart has some intriguing comparisons such as Golden Tate and Justin Blackmon. Despite likely inferior quarterback play, Stewart’s bottom of the barrel price and projected opportunity are more than enough for me to take some swings on his unknown upside.