Wide receivers have pushed their way into possibly the most important position in fantasy football rankings. The days of loading up on running backs are over. For one thing, there simply aren’t that many productive RBs, plus many teams are using split duty in their backfield.
Half the field time, severely drains fantasy football rankings and productivity. Where the fantasy points are being produced, is at WR. Here’s how you can set yourself up for a productive season by loading your WR positions and not compromising your roster to do it.
- Do Your Homework
The way to ensure wide receiver production from players drafted in the later rounds is to do your homework. One piece of research concerns WRs who may have sat out the previous season, or had limited productivity for one reason or another. One candidate that meets both criteria is the Pittsburgh Steelers Martavis Bryant.
- Defenses Must Stop the Run
Bryant has yet to have a fully productive season, but after sitting all last year on suspension, he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. More than one of his teammates is going to draw a great deal of attention.
Middle coverage is going to have to pay attention to Le’Veon Bell, or Pittsburgh will simply pound the ball on the ground. To combat against Bell, defenses are going to have to lean towards stacking the box. That reduces pass coverage efficiency.
- Defenses Must Address the #1 Wide Receiver
Now, once the Steelers have forced opposing defensive coordinators to stuff the box, they also must contend with one of the most prolific pass catchers in pro football. Most fantasy football rankings stamp Antonio Brown as the first WR off the board, if not overall player. The top coverage man is going to hawk Brown first, either that, or Ben Roethlisberger will make them pay the price.
That means Bryant will invariably see a second-level defender on every play. What these two factors combined do, is loosen up coverage. The middle will be cleared by the threat of Bell’s rushing prowess and a second-rate defender will try to keep up with the speedy Martavis Bryant.
Don’t mistakenly feel you’re the only team owner in your league to have a hunch on Bryant, waiting until the late rounds to draft him. However, you should be able to wait until at least the 5th or 6th round to steal what by all accounts looks to be a WR3 listed player in fantasy football rankings. Bryant is a player who has the talent to produce fantasy numbers like a WR1.