Let’s take a look at some of the wide receivers who “experts” have been predicting will have a great season, but won’t. One of my golden rules when drafting a receiver is avoiding players who have skeptical quarterback situations. Larry Fitzgerald is the perfect example of this as his statistics were drastically different from when Kurt Warner was the quarterback. Let’s take a look at some wide outs you should avoid this season.
Odell Beckham Jr. New York Giants
Beckham has sort of this mythical figure behind him after putting on a human highlight reel towards the end of last season. The real question is can he can it again in 2015? I may be in the minority on this but I simply cannot see how he puts up the kind of production he had a season ago. There are a number of reasons fantasy owners should avoid OBJ outside of his appearance on the cover of this years Madden game. Beckham’s injury concerns should top the list as he has been susceptible to hamstring injuries in the past. Are you willing to give up your 2nd round pick on a guy who may only play in 12 games as he did a year ago? Furthermore Eli Manning is not the most dependable quarterback to rely on. Personally I would feel much more comfortable Randall Cobb knowing Aaron Rodgers is going to be throwing those guys the ball every week. Eli on the other hand has always been known to put on ugly performances from time to time. It is also unclear how the return of Victor Cruz impacts Beckham’s value. In the two games that Beckham and Cruz were on the field together Beckham recorded 6 catches for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. Those numbers over a two game span certainly do not warrant consideration in rounds 1 and 2. I may be going out on a limb here but it is absolutely possible that Eagles wide receiver Jordan Mathews out performs Beckham this year if Sam Bradford can remain healthy for 16 games. Of course this is a big if.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
Alshon Jeffery has been one of the most dependable receivers since coming into the league in 2012. After recording 89 catches for 10 touchdowns a year ago what’s not to love? Brandon Marshall’s departure is the most worrisome as teams may be able to double and triple team Jeffery this season without worrying about Marshall on the other side. The Bears did replace Marshall with over hyped first round pick Kevin White but now he will miss the entire season due to injuries. Can we really expect Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson to scare teams from away from strictly game planning towards Jeffery? Probably not. Having Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett helps but again are you willing to place your fantasy championship aspirations in hands of Jay Cutler? No Thanks, I’m willing to wait a round and snag Emmanuel Sanders who I know will produce in large part to Peyton Manning.
Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs
This one may be the most obvious but one worth stating. For those who don’t remember Maclin committed career suicide this offseason when he decide to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs. In case anyone forgot Alex Smith hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass to a receiver since December 8th of 2013! Maclin is rated so far down my draft board that he really is not an option until round 9 or 10 as guys like Nelson Agholor, Martavis Bryant, Jarvis Landry, and Breshad Perriman all have the potential for higher ceilings in 2015. If there is any receiving target you should keep your eyes on in Kansas City it’s Travis Kelce not Jeremy Maclin.
Brandon Marshall, New York Jets
Whether it was Geno Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall wasn’t going to have a talented quarterback throwing him the ball this season. Now that Geno Smith is out of the picture after breaking his jaw in a locker room fight we know Fitzpatrick will be the guy for the foreseeable future. Marshall’s rankings have been a bit generous in sites I have seen over the past few days. Marshall, 31, is likely headed for a decline as he continues to age. Again let’s keep in mind the quarterback situation. Can I realistically expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to get Marshall 8 touchdowns as he had in 2014? Probably not. Sticking to the golden rule of staying away from mediocre quarterbacks will mitigate the risk in choosing a receiver come draft day.