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Will Fuller Is Healthy And Ready To Join The NFL’s Elite In 2019

Will Fuller was averaging 15.2 PPG in 2018 when he tore his ACL in Week 8. Expected to be close to 100% in Week 1, the young field-stretcher is set to star this season.

Dynasty owners and swashbuckling best ball drafters everywhere breathed a huge sigh of relief when Fuller arrived at training camp healthy.

“It feels good to be back out there, running routes and dealing with the guys again on the field, communicating, the whole thing. In the beginning it was real tough. But just being with Roland and Kap and those guys, they did a good job. Just being up there, putting in consistent work got me feeling good now.”

Had Fuller stayed healthy last year, he would have finished as a solid WR2 with week-winning upside every time he took the field. When he and Deshaun Watson are healthy simultaneously, there’s little doubt about Fuller’s explosive ability.

The TD numbers represent an extreme upside scenario,1 but we might expect the target numbers to increase as both Fuller and Watson develop.

Watson has plenty of incentive to feed his vertical receiver. Houston’s young QB is a fantasy force almost on the level of Patrick Mahomes when Fuller is available, averaging 7.2 PPG more in that split. We can also see from the AYA app that Fuller is his most efficient target.

There has been a lot of buzz around Keke Coutee this offseason. While poor rookie efficiency numbers are a red flag, we shouldn’t immediately discount him, especially since his routes he’s offer less total value. We can see this by examining their location charts.

There are two potentially important takeaways:

  • As a rookie, Coutee had almost no overlap with Fuller’s 15+ workload, insulating Fuller from a loss of high-value targets even if a Coutee emergence cuts into his overall target share.
  • Since Watson’s arrival, Fuller has also been more efficient than Coutee in the underneath zones.

This is an apples-to-oranges comparison and doesn’t indicate that the electric Coutee can’t emerge as a dynamic underneath threat. It does bring us to Fuller’s other offseason storyline. He’s continued to develop as an all-around receiver. Bill O’Brien believes that work has paid off and now makes him one of the league’s most dangerous players.

“Will’s an excellent player. He’s worked very hard to become a great route runner. He catches everything thrown his way, very smart player, hard-working player.”

How To Play It

Sandwiched between a superstar (DeAndre Hopkins) and an emerging threat (Coutee), you don’t want to reach for Fuller. Fortunately, his ADP makes it easy to avoid that temptation. I was able to grab him at WR32 in both the MFL10 of Death and SFB9.

While you’re loading up in redraft, don’t forget to put those feelers out in dynasty. Should Fuller stay healthy, 2019 training camp could be your last chance to ever buy him at a reasonable level.

Make sure to check out 5 Strong WR Buys in Dynasty as Patrick Kerrane explains why you should also try to steal Coutee.

Image Credit: Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Will Fuller.

  1. We have to go back to 2014 to find a WR season with at least 16 TDs. Dez Bryant caught 16 that year.  (back)

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