“Sauer Notes” Wide Receiver Rankings for 2015: 100-120 (Part 1 of 6)
As we approach the 2015 fantasy football season, we will take a gander into the mass that is the wide receiver position. For this weeks rankings, we will be discussing receivers 100-120. These players most likely will have little-to-no fantasy relevance come the start of the season for standard sized leagues. However, injuries happen and we see time and time again, players step-up and become fantasy relevant in others place. Many of these players will end up on the waiver-wire at the end of your drafts, some are better suited for daily fantasy values, giving you the ability to stack some studs into your lineups, and others may just be on your watch list for dynasty leagues. So, without further adieu, let’s divulge into the back-end of my wide receiver rankings. I want you to be aware of the position battles to watch and injury replacements you may be looking for, should you run into trouble.
100. Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks– The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta expects Jermaine Kearse to remain an every-down receiver for the Seahawks. Many are calling for more snaps for Super Bowl standout Chris Matthews, but Condotta expects him to operate as the No. 3 receiver behind Doug Baldwin and Kearse. Kearse is as streaky as they come, a pure deep threat. Do not expect the Seahawks to change their offensive philosophy of running the ball into the ground. But, with Kearse potentially being on the field for most of the teams snaps, this opens-up the opportunity for him to become Russell Wilson’s down-the-field threat.
101. Albert Wilson, Kansas City Chiefs– With the loss of Dwayne Bowe, there is some hope that Albert Wilson can duplicate Bowe’s production and Jeremy Maclin can be an addition all on his own. Last year, the Chiefs’ had a notoriously bad offense from a WR production stand-point. But, Wilson was actually a more efficient WR than Bowe was by the end of the year. To compare, some of their numbers from last year:
Targets Per Game: Bowe 6 – Wilson 6.33
YAC: Bowe 4 – Wilson 7.5
Broken Tackles Per Catch: Bowe 1 every 10 catches – Wilson 1 every 3 catches
Yards Per Catch: Bowe 8.39 – Wilson 11
The passing attack actually seems to be in much better shape, even with the loss of Bowe, and Wilson may be a big part of their resurgence.
102. Jeff Janis, Green Bay Packers– He impressed many while filling in for Jordy Nelson (hip surgery) during the spring, soaking up valuable first-team reps with Aaron Rodgers. Janis, the prototypical size/speed prospect, will enter camp with his nose in front for the fourth wideout job. He is playing with possibly the most gifted QB in the league and Rodgers has shown that he can make many different targets viable in terms of fantasy.
103. Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers– Taking a year to develop in the background wouldn’t be the worst thing for Coates; a physically gifted, yet unpolished prospect. That said, many had similar thoughts about Martavis Bryant last year. Coates will start off as a backup to Bryant, but is an injury away from a major role in one of the league’s best passing attacks. He’s at least a name to keep on watch lists for dynasty formats.
104. De’Anthony Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs– “Black Mamba” showed that his unbelievable speed and shifty moves translated to the NFL. With a year of games under his belt, he is poised to take on more work and responsibility. This is great news for a Chiefs team that needs all the explosiveness it can get. Thomas has a chance to become Alex Smith’s best friend as he is the perfect candidate for a screen pass or dump-off type of play.
105. Taylor Gabriel, Cleveland Browns– ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports Taylor Gabriel has been the Browns’ best receiver at OTAs. He posted a 38/633/1 receiving line as an undrafted rookie last season on 71 targets. A whopping 29.6 percent of his targets were 20-plus yards downfield and Gabriel had an impressive 38.1 percent catch rate on such passes. He should have an upper-hand on being the team’s down-field threat over plodders like Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline.
106. Jarrett Boykin, Carolina Panthers– The Carolina Panthers have a need at WR and he could get decent playing time with a strong camp and preseason. That being said, his value is extremely low for fantasy owners given his struggle to make any meaningful impact with the best QB in football last season.
107. Kamar Aiken– Aiken will be entering his third season this year and will likely take on more responsibility after Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones left in free agency. He played in every game in the 2014 season, but rookie WR Breshad Perriman will likely fill the void of Torrey Smith. He will be battling for snaps with Marlon Brown, but Aiken has already made some impressive catches on the sidelines this offseason, and has run some first team snaps as well.
108. James Jones, Free Agent– The Chiefs, Giants, and Seahawks had already been linked to Jones. The Jags would be an interesting fit, as they’ve seemingly been interested in adding a veteran receiver all offseason, first targeting Randall Cobb before making a run at Greg Jennings. Jones played for new Jaguars OC Greg Olson last year. Depending on where Jones lands up for the 2015 season will help determine how fantasy relevant he is, so keep an eye out for news on signings.
109. Louis Murphy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Murphy will try to beat out rookie Kenny Bell for snaps in the slot for the Bucs’ this season. This should be a relished role playing alongside the trees that are Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He did not have a horrible first year with Tampa Bay last year, but the passing attack relies heavily on the arm of first overall pick Jameis Winston in 2015.
110. Justin Hardy, Atlanta Falcons– Hardy was fantastic at East Carolina finishing with career totals of 387 catches, 4541 yards, and 35 TD’s. Hardy brings fantastic production, hands, and route running to the Falcons passing attack. Every season, Roddy White and/or Julio Jones miss some significant time, and with Harry Douglas now gone, the WR three slot is open for Hardy or former Redskin Leonard Hankerson. This battle will be one to keep an eye on as Douglas has been fantasy relevant over the past few seasons with the Falcons.
111. Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets– Kerley will likely lose snaps to rookie WR Devin Smith on offense, but his special teams ability should make his spot on the game-day roster secure. Kerley has a 9.8 punt return average with three touchdowns in his career, but he averaged just eight yards a return last season. If Devin Smith can not pick up the offense in his rookie campaign, Kerley could find himself with a lot of snaps coming out of the slot. Look for the Jets’ offense to make an improvement on their dead last ranking in passing yards from 2014.
112. Chris Conley, Kansas City Cheifs– Conley has above average size sitting at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. All the physical tools are there as he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash, and a 45-inch vertical. If he can hone his craft, he has the chance to beat-out veteran Jason Avant for the Chiefs’ third WR spot. He can be a deep-threat alongside Jeremy Maclin, with the potential to become much more. It just depends on whether or not he can develop at a decent enough rate, both physically and mentally.
113. Philly Brown, Carolina Panthers– He played at 180 pounds last year, and is working on getting his weight up to 185-190 this offseason. The Panthers want Brown to get better at his intermediate route-running. Brown is competing with Ted Ginn to serve as Carolina’s situational deep threat behind Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess.
114. Leonard Hankerson, Atlanta Falcons– Hankerson is vying for the Falcons third WR spot on the depth chart with rookie Justin Hardy and veteran Devin Hester. Hankerson, who was previously with the Washington Redskins, is already familiar with what new OC Kyle Shanahan is trying to accomplish offensively. Both were part of the Redskins organization under Kyle’s father, Mike. Keep an eye closely on this situation as the winner of this battle will have some deeper league relevance and a bigger share of the pie if Roddy White or Julio Jones go down. Do you remember what Harry Douglas produced when one of these WR were out of the lineup?
115. Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots– Possibly the biggest winner for the Patriots on draft day was Dobson. They chose to pass up taking a WR in two straight drafts, both were described to be deep at WR. They already have Julian Edelman, Brandon Lafell, and Danny Amendola on the roster, but there is promise that Dobson could be fourth on the totem pole for Tom Brady.
116. Duron Carter, Indianapolis Colts– Son of Hall of Fame WR Cris Carter, Duron played two seasons in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes where he finished with a total stat line of 124/1,939/12. He has possibly the best QB throwing him the ball in Andrew Luck, but the drafting of Phillip Dorsett makes things complicated behind T.Y Hilton and Andre Johnson.
117. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers– Even though he is behind the likes of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Devante Adams, he will help the team on kick and punt returns. So, he is somebody to look for if your league awards points for those categories. He will likely fight for the fourth WR spot, and if he lands the job, he may carve out some production in the 2015 season.
118. Andre Holmes, Oakland Raiders– Newly-drafted Amari Cooper will lead the Oakland receiving corps; followed by Michael Crabtree and Rod Streater. He will battle the likes of Kenbrell Thompkins for the fourth WR spot on the Raiders and mainly serve as a deep-threat. Although, Derek Carr did not throw many deep balls in his rookie campaign.
119. Jerricho Cotchery, Carolina Panthers– Carolina has Kelvin Benjamin and rookie Devin Funchness. t would take one of them to go down for Cotchery to find the field in 2015. For now, he will serve as a veteran back-up and mentor to the young WR core they have assembled in Carolina.
120. Corey Fuller, Detroit Lions– A third-year receiver, drafted in the sixth-round by the Lions, made big steps in his sophomore season last year. The Lions are very high on him and he could fill a Robert Meachem or Devery Henderson role in ex-Saints assistant Joe Lombardi’s offense.
Stay tuned, as I will reveal 20 more WR each week as we take it all the way down to the number one guy for this year’s fantasy football rankings.
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