2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Drafting the perfect Zero-WR team with D.J. Moore and Sterling Shepard
Heath Cummings takes a look at a Zero WR approach to Fantasy drafts.
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If you read my piece in July on, this may seem like a strange fit.
After all, how could someone extoll the virtues of passing on running back risk early and then come back and write a piece on loading up on them in the early rounds?
Well, have you heard about my No Intentional Positional Strategy? The point is not to go into the draft with a rigid strategy you must implement. The point is to use the strategy that works best in your league. You can study ADP until you're blue in the face, but there's just no telling what's going to happen during your individual draft. So let's start by talking about why someone might consider Zero WR.
The most obvious reason is if you have a top-four pick. If you look at current CBS ADP, you could start a draft with Saquon Barkley, Melvin Gordon (or Leonard Fournette) and Kerryon Johnson. When you get to the four-five turn, you may be lucky enough to find Deshaun Watson and you may secure tight end with Evan Engram or O.J. Howard. You now have three top-15 running backs, my No. 2 quarterback and a top-five tight end.
It's also possible, if the drafters in your league love receivers, that you could find yourself looking at a James Conner and Nick Chubb turn in a non-PPR league. You could take George Kittle at the end of the third and Josh Jacobs or Chris Carson at the start of the fourth. You might even take Tevin Coleman at the end of the fifth. Again, your team is in great shape at running back and tight end. You've got great depth at the riskiest of positions. But what do you do at receiver?
The difficult part of this strategy is it takes a little more imagination to find receivers late who you think could legitimately turn into No. 1 receivers. There are a bunch who could crack the top-25, but you're probably going to have weak receivers if you use this strategy. That's OK if you're awesome everywhere else. Here are my favorite receivers to target if you do find yourself with a Zero-WR build:
Tyler Boyd WR
CIN Cincinnati • #83
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I can't quite see a top-12 season from Boyd, but he definitely has top-15 upside. He could also get off to a monster start without A.J. Green.
D.J. Moore WR
CAR Carolina • #12
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Moore was on a 1,000-yard pace once he settled into the Panthers offense last year. The only real concern about his breakout is how many targets Curtis Samuel takes. More on him below.
ARI Arizona • #13
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
If this Cardinals offense hits its upside, Kirk could be a top-15 receiver, but even if it doesn't I'd expect him to be a solid No. 3.
KC Kansas City • #14
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Watkins' pace when he was healthy in 2018 was much better than were he's being drafted. If you go Zero WR, you're going to draft six or seven receivers, and Watkins is going to be a starter when he's healthy.
CHI Chicago • #12
Age: 25 • Experience: 6 yrs.
It wouldn't take much of a boost from Robinson's per-game pace last year to make him a top-25 wide receiver. He's another year removed from his ACL injury and Mitchell Trubisky is in his second year in this offense. We've seen the upside.
Marvin Jones WR
DET Detroit • #11
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
In the few games Jones and Kenny Golladay played without Golden Tate, Jones was actually more involved in the passing game. At the very least he's a great flex with weekly touchdown upside.
JAC Jacksonville • #12
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Westbrook is one of my favorite breakout receivers, and I expect him to lead the Jaguars in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. There's top-15 upside here with a more creative offense and Nick Foles playing quarterback.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #87
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Shepard should get off to a great start with Golden Tate suspended for the first four games of 2019.
Corey Davis WR
TEN Tennessee • #84
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Davis is entering his third year and still has the pedigree of a former top-five pick. Whenever Mariota and Davis have both been healthy, Davis has been a startable Fantasy receiver. The Titans have a schedule filled with great offenses so they may have to pass more than they want.
CAR Carolina • #10
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Samuel has been the star of training camp and has seen his ADP skyrocket. As long as he stays a couple of rounds below Moore, I'm in.
OAK Oakland • #16
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Williams will outperform his ADP even if Antonio Brown plays 16 games, but if Brown misses time, Williams could be a league winner at this cost. On a per target basis he's been one of the most efficient receivers in the league.
John Brown WR
BUF Buffalo • #15
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
I have no idea what's wrong with Brown's ADP, but it's a great feeling to finish off your receiving corps with the No. 1 receiver for the Bills. Brown gave us a top-25 season the last time he topped 100 targets.
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