The WR2 Report: NFC West
Before I start the WR2 report for the NFC West, I need to say thank you to some people in the community. This is my first year writing about fantasy football, and I have had an absolute blast so far. Thank you to Addison Hayes (@amazehayes_) and Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams) for giving me this great opportunity. I have followed the Scott Fish Bowl for a couple of years and applied to get in as a fan, but never was selected. I applied again this year and finally got in! I’d also like to give a huge thank you to Scott Fish (@ScottFish24) for putting on this fantastic tournament. Everyone, please donate whatever you can http://fantasycares.net/. I pick at the 1.12 in the Mother Brain division. If you are reading this and are in my division, I’m taking George Kittle and Zach Ertz at the turn. Good luck to everyone involved!
Alright, with that out of the way, this is the second of eight articles in the WR2 report. You can read the first article on the AFC West here. This time I will cover the NFC West WR2’s and their fantasy impact for the 2019 season.
Christian Kirk, Overall ADP 79, WR32 (ADP from Fantasy Football Calculator)
Kirk was WR57 a season ago with mediocre quarterback play. Enter Kliff Kingsbury. Enter Kyler Murray. After Steve Wilks was canned following a 3-13 season, the Kingsbury/Murray combo is the savior. During Kingsbury’s time at Texas Tech, the offense was never the problem. Quarterbacks threw for near or above 4,000 yards in all six seasons he was at the helm and receivers saw plenty of targets. That will not change with the jump to the NFL. Matt Williams talked about the Cardinals increased offensive volume in his article on Kirk and Dante Pettis. Kirk saw an increase in production when Josh Rosen took over as the starting quarterback.
Rosen is now in Miami, but Kirk flashed his skill set in just 12 games as a rookie. Now he gets the chance to catch passes from a former Heisman Trophy winner. His upside as a legitimate fantasy WR2 in this revamped offense and his ADP reflects that. The reason Kirk makes the WR2 report is because of Larry Fitzgerald. He is back for another year and saw 112 targets in 2018. Fitz averaged 7.0 targets per game compared to Kirk’s 5.6 targets per game. Kirk has the ceiling to be a very dangerous fantasy piece in 2019, but he is still behind Fitz for at least one more season.
Los Angeles Rams
Robert Woods, Overall ADP 45, WR18
The curious case of the 2019 Los Angeles Rams begins at the running back position and the health of Todd Gurley. But the real battle will be for targets as the second wide receiver. Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp all figure to be featured in an offense that ranked second in the NFL with 421.1 yards per game and fifth in the league with 281.7 passing yards per game. When Kupp went down with an ACL tear, Robert Woods took over the role of WR2. He finished as the overall WR10 and led the Rams receivers in targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns and fantasy points.
Woods finished at or above the positional average in nearly every week except Weeks 1 and 17. With Kupp returning from injury, Woods could lose out on some targets. The Rams offense should remain in the top five in the league in 2019, depending on Gurley’s health. Cooks is still the WR1 in LA, but Woods is right on his tail. There is room for multiple top-24 receivers on the same team. In fact, on average since 2000, four NFL teams support two top-24 fantasy wide receivers per season. Woods is a WR2 on both the Rams and overall in 2019.
San Francisco 49ers
Dante Pettis, Overall ADP 76, WR31
Some of you may be wondering why Pettis is on here as a WR2. The answer is George Kittle. Obviously, Kittle is a tight end. But he really is the WR1 in this offense. And the 49ers options beyond Pettis are pretty slim. Plus, he has a limited sample size. He played in just nine games in 2018. In those nine games, he caught 27 passes for 467 yards and five touchdowns. His production was off the charts, but a majority of his production came in just four games.
From Weeks 12-15, Pettis never ranked outside the top-24 wide receivers. He posted at least 13.3 fantasy points in each of those four games. That is why Pettis is going as WR31 as of now. The 49ers do not have any other receivers with a realistic shot to have more targets than Pettis in 2019. He has the potential to be great, but he will need to stay on the field for all 16 games to have a huge fantasy impact. I think he is a great player to own in dynasty, but I am not sure he finishes the 2019 season higher than where he is currently being drafted.
David Moore, Overall ADP 208+, WR69+ (not ranked on FFC)
Sorry, D.K. Metcalf. It is not you, it is David Moore. This is obviously not applying to dynasty leagues, but Moore can serve the WR2 role in Seattle for 2019. Tyler Lockett should repeat as the Seahawks WR1, but the number two spot is up for grabs. Moore will battle with Metcalf and Gary Jennings Jr. for the second spot following Doug Baldwin’s retirement. Moore has some time in the offense and familiarity with Russell Wilson which gives him the upper hand in this battle. He reeled in 26 passes for 445 yards and five touchdowns. His numbers are extremely similar to Pettis, but Moore is going at a much cheaper price.
The similarities between Moore and Pettis continue as Moore did most of his damage in a small stretch of the season. From Weeks 5-8, Moore finished as a top-36 receiver in each week. With Baldwin’s retirement, there will be 73 vacated targets. If Moore can take 20% of those, he could get up into the 75-80 range for targets. Tampering expectations from Moore, or whomever the WR2 may be, is necessary for a Russell Wilson led offense. Wilson’s best WR2 finish was in 2017 when Paul Richardson finished as WR39. Moore could be in the WR40-45 range for 2019 if he takes command of the number two job, but do not expect him to finish as a top-24 or even top-36 receiver.
Everyone has value at some level. It is up to the individual to decide what each player’s value is. I think Woods and Moore are excellent values right now at their current ADP. Moore is essentially free in leagues right now. As for Kirk and Pettis, the community is a little higher on them than I am right now. They would need to drop a little bit in drafts for me to pounce on drafting two unproven second-year receivers. Overall, the NFC West is loaded with WR2 talent that could be potential league winners in 2019.
THANK YOU FOR READING AND COME BACK NEXT WEEK FOR THE WR2 REPORT ON THE AFC NORTH. YOU CAN READ SOME OF MY OTHER WORK AND THOUGHTS ON TWITTER @LGNDOFCHAW. FOLLOW FFSTATISTICS ON TWITTER @FFSTATISTICS_. PLEASE CHECK OUT EVERYTHING THAT FFSTATISTICS HAS TO OFFER. NEW STATISTICS AND DATA ARE BEING ADDED CONSTANTLY. READ MORE IN MY COACHING CHANGES SERIES AS WELL AS OTHER ARTICLES FROM THE FFSTATISTICS WRITING STAFF HERE. LISTEN TO THE FFSTATISTICS FAMILY OF PODCASTS HERE.