You’ve Been Warned: Five Risky Wide Receivers for the 2013 Season
Peter Engel, man. That guy is a legend.
Not sure who I’m referring to? Perhaps you’ve heard of Zack Morris, A.C. Slater and Screech Powers? Well, Engel created them. From his mind.
Yes, Peter Engel is the mastermind behind the hit show, Saved by the Bell. A risky venture for him at first I’m sure, he’s the one who thought of The Zack Attack, Rich and Rod Belding, The Max, Jessie’s caffeine pill addiction, the episode with the homeless girl at the mall and Miss Bliss. He did that. All of it.
When the show ended in 1993, Engel didn’t just ride off into the sunset like many would. Why not retire on top (probably because he was just 33)? Why not realize that every move you had made – every risk that you took – was that of utter brilliance?
No, Engel didn’t want that. Instead, he decided to produce Saved by the Bell: The College Years, featuring a few members from the old cast alongside ex-NFLer Bob Golic.
Who thought that was a good idea? Seriously, why was there nobody stopping this?
Engel took a risk and it failed. The show was miserable, lasting only one season. Instead of being remembered for producing one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, Engel now has the burden of carrying Bob Golic’s 300-pound frame everywhere he goes.
He took a giant risk with The College Years. It didn’t pan out. That happens. But if it had gotten to the level of the original show, Engel would probably be living a life of royalty today. Probably.
On a smaller scale, this is the risk and reward dilemma we all deal with on a daily basis. In fantasy football especially, you could have the best start to a draft imaginable, but if you continuously select risky players and none of them pan out, you could be in trouble.
The five receivers below are ones with immense risk. If you draft them, you could be getting the fantasy football equivalent of the original Saved by the Bell. But be warned: selecting one of these pass catchers could lead you down a dark path; one that involves Bob Golic.
5. Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots
Danny Amendola is certainly in the best situation on this list, but has quite the injury-plagued history. His favorable standard scoring 155-point projected ceiling would make a sound WR2, but it’s not that simple. A new situation may make for a slow Amendola start, and the Patriot offense has a lot of room to grow. When you factor in his past injuries, Amendola’s projected floor could be as bad as 100 standard points, making his fourth-round ADP anything but attractive.
Do you take the risk? Only in PPR leagues. We currently have the new Pats wideout projected to snag almost 84 passes, making him a potential PPR machine. But because of his six to seven probable scores, Amendola may not be as appealing in standard formats, especially given his ADP.
4. Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans
Second-year wideout Kendall Wright is looking to improve from his rookie year, where he compiled 64 receptions for 626 yards and four scores. His advanced numbers weren't all that impressive though, ranking 77th of 84 among receivers in terms of receiving net expected points per target (minimum 50 targets). His efficiency was about as smooth as Screech Powers’ ability to get Lisa Turtle.
We can say that, with 68% confidence, Kendall Wright will score between 80.43 and 128.45 standard points this season. Exactly. He’s either going to be a serviceable WR3, or one that ends up on your waiver wire.
Like Amendola, Wright has a chance to be a solid PPR wideout in his offense. Unlike Amendola, his quarterback is borderline atrocious. It’s difficult to see Kendall Wright being a huge fantasy asset this season without better play from Jake Locker, so if you don’t believe in Locker, you may want to stay away from Wright.
3. Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans
Not surprisingly, Wright’s teammate, Kenny Britt, made the list as well. There may be no other receiver in the game who’s been more volatile than Britt, as he’s averaged just 11 games played per season over the first four years of his career.
Britt’s contribution to his team’s point total last season was actually worse than Wright’s. Though the rookie, as noted, ranked 77th out of 84 in terms of receiving NEP per target, Britt actually ranked 78th. Again, much of this has to do with poor quarterback play, but that same signal-caller is tossing the pigskin in Tennessee this year.
Britt’s upside lies in the fact that he’s shown flashes of greatness. In limited time in 2010 and 2011, Britt had a 1.01 and .95 receiving NEP per target score, which would place him in the top 20 at wide receiver in nearly any given year. Keep in mind, these scores correlate nicely to fantasy football success. And of course he’d have to keep that type of efficiency up across an entire season, but the numbers show that Britt is capable.
We currently have him tagged to get 72.85 to 118.63 fantasy points this season. If you notice, these numbers aren’t as good as Wright’s, but plenty of that has to do with Britt’s tendency to be injured. Regardless, like Wright, you have to trust Jake Locker to trust Kenny Britt.
2. Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks
I’ll spare the rambling with Golden Tate, as I wrote about him extensively here. Essentially, Tate’s 2013 prospects are that of the Seahawks newly-acquired Percy Harvin. His ceiling is as high as a WR2, and considering his ninth-round ADP, Tate could be a value. Mind you, his floor, according to our projections, is as low as just 82 standard fantasy points, which is about as good as Santonio Holmes.
1. Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego Chargers
Nobody knows what to make of the situation in San Diego right now. Their offensive line is brutal, and Philip Rivers showed serious decline in play last season. But with Danario Alexander now sidelined for the season, it could be time for Vincent Brown to step up and be San Diego’s top receiver.
He’s been one of the more polarizing sleepers in the fantasy community this offseason, and our projections feel the same way. While he could be an absolute dud at his ninth-round ADP, there’s a chance that Vincent Brown scores low-end WR2 numbers. Our projections, however, even out and say that he’s going to haul in 56 catches for a little over 700 yards and 4 touchdowns. His ADP is probably correct, but he may not have as much upside as people are hoping for.
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WR, Seattle Seahawks
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WR, San Diego Chargers
WR, Tennessee Titans