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While you may have the most roster sports allocated for your wide receivers, hitting on the right ones isn’t always easy. In the early rounds of Best Ball drafts, it is best to build a core of running backs and wide receivers and then filling out the rest of the positions. Even possibly setting up some stacking options later as well.
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Top 4 Best Ball Value wide receivers
Last year, grabbing Cooper Kupp or Deebo Samuel was a key to jumping up in the rankings as they had career years, capped off by strong finals stretches to win fantasy championships. Other league winning pickups last year at the wide receiver spot were Mike Williams owners, who had a top wide receiver for the first half of the season, and Hunter Renfrow who incredibly finished WR11 last season in 0.5 PPR rankings. Four rookies even crashed the top 30 of all wide receivers in 2021: Ja’Marr Chase WR5, Jaylen Waddle WR19, Amon-Ra St. Brown WR21, and DeVonta Smith WR29.
D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (Underdog ADP: 40)
The Carolina Panthers truly got themselves in a pickle after trading for quarterback Sam Darnold last off-season and watching him completely fade off in 2021. Darnold had a strong first couple of weeks, but injuries to key players around him and just overall lack of game hurt his chances at being the starter for a second year in Carolina. Less than a couple days ago it was announced that the Panthers had acquired quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield should be an improvement over what Moore has been playing with throughout his first four seasons in the NFL.
Moore finished as WR18 last season, sandwiched between CeeDee Lamb and Jaylen Waddle. Moore actually had three quarterbacks throwing him the ball during periods of last season, the other two being Cam Newton and PJ Walker. Moore’s biggest issue has been a lack of touchdowns. He has maxed out at four touchdowns. If he is able to get more red zone looks, only had 13 all of last season, he is a no-brainer to improve on his career totals in every stat category. See where Moore is ranked compared to other wide receivers in Stokastics Best Ball Draft Guide.
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Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (Underdog ADP: 69)
There is nothing sexy about drafting Brandin Cooks and that is exactly why his price continues to drop in fantasy drafts. Cooks plays on one of the worst teams in the NFL and has one of the worst quarterbacks in the league at the helm, Davis Mills. He used to be that boom-or-bust player people loved to take a shot on in drafts and ever since going to the Texans, it just seems like everyone is down on him.
However, he was WR20, and he even missed a game. He was fully entrenched as a WR2 last season and did it all with Mills at quarterback. Cooks had 90 receptions for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns. The hate against Cooks has gone too far. He is currently being drafted outside of the top 30 receivers and will be the focal passing attack on a team that will no doubt be playing plenty of their games from behind.
Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (Underdog ADP: 67)
The Chicago Bears are currently searching to see if quarterback Justin Fields is actually going to be their future or if they are going to be forced to take another quarterback in the next couple of drafts. Plain and simple, Fields had an awful rookie season, but let’s be honest, he shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame. Former head coach Matt Nagy clearly did not want him and did not have any plans to use him or let him lose. Well, it’s 2022, and the Bears have a new head coach, their top wide receiver signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams, and they are also down their top red zone target over the last couple years, Jimmy Graham.
Step in, Darnell Mooney. Mooney had a very respectable 2021 season even with Robinson playing in 12 of the team’s 17 games. He finished as WR25 last year sandwiched between Terry McLaurin and Christian Kirk. In Mooney’s first two games as the top wide receiver on the Bears in Weeks 11 and 12, he managed to put up a 121 yard and one touchdown game and 123 yards in the other. Even though the Bears did sign new wide receivers to join him out there, the likes of Byron Pringle and N’Keal Harry don’t offer much excitement. See where Mooney in sandwiched in between in Stokastic’s Best Ball rankings by players going multiple rounds in front of him.
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (Underdog ADP: 71)
The Ravens 27th overall pick in 2021 got off to a difficult rookie campaign after missing his first five weeks. Rashod Bateman managed to play in all of the team’s final 12 games of the season and averaged 42.9 receiving yards per game. He did that while seeing over six targets just four times. In the four games he saw eight or more targets, Bateman averaged 73.25 yards per game.
The departure of Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins provide even more clarity that the Ravens are ready to roll with Bateman as their alpha this year. Considering the Ravens did not go out of their way to sign any new wide receivers or use a top draft pick on any either, it looks like Bateman will be given every chance to succeed in this offence. While Brown and Watkin’s departures may not entirely swap people, Bateman had just five total red zone targets last season but managed to haul in all five and put one in the end zone for his only touchdown on the season. Meanwhile, Brown had 16 red zone targets, converting two of them into scores, and Watkins had four targets, converting one for a score. Bateman will take a jump in his sophomore year the only question is how high he will fly.
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