Fantasy Football: Receivers key to 2016 draft strategy

Right now, receivers have all the juice. You probably credit your success in 2015 to a receiver or two. And plenty of you are already pledging your allegiance to receivers with your top picks in 2016 drafts.

This is all well and good, but don't think for a second that receivers blew up overnight. The truth is, they shined brighter because running backs faded. Year-over-year results have the Top 12 wideouts averaging a tenth of a point less in 2015 than in 2014 while receivers who finished 13th through 24th averaged 1.1 Fantasy points less per game than those a season ago.

That's right, they got worse. Technically. But don't let that get in the way of your urge for pass catchers.

Going with receivers early, including with first- and second-round picks, will be a popular move. It's also one that won't hurt many owners because there are a lot of quality receivers to go around.

However, just as many owners will cherry pick the top receivers early on in drafts, also expect an overwhelming majority of folks to take a ton of running backs later on. That's going to make for some really exciting receiver bargains once you get to Round 5, if not earlier.

Here's a question to ask yourself: How many receivers do you need to make it through a season? Let's say you have to start two and there's a flex. If catches count then you'll probably lean toward starting three every week, plus you'll need a backup or two. So ... four? Five? Six tops, right?

You'll get your two early. By the time the 50th overall pick comes around, teams will start throwing darts at running backs and pass on good values at every other position. This includes receiver, which means you can find potential starters and build some really attractive depth starting in Round 5. As always in Fantasy, when you see value, take value.

You might even finagle a No. 2 caliber receiver after 50th overall in smaller and/or non-PPR leagues. That would open the door to spend those first four picks on other positions, including a tight end you'd really be happy starting from week to week.

Keep this in mind as part of your strategy building for 2016.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories