5 Receivers Who Will Be Undervalued On Fantasy Draft Day
Brandon Marshall (CHI): Marshall has sort of fallen under the radar ever since leaving Denver for Miami two years ago, but what is interesting is that he has still put up more than 80 catches and 1000 yards in each of his two seasons. While his numbers did decline, they still remained very solid, especially in PPR leagues. Now departing a troubled Dolphins offense to play with the Bears, Marshall should see less attention from opposing defenses and find some room to get back to his days of catching 100+ passes.
In addition, Marshall returns to his favorite quarterback, Jay Cutler, who will be reunited with his favorite receiver, Brandon Marshall. These two players have had the best years of their careers while playing with each other. Cutler's career bests in passing yards, completion percentage, and QB rating came while throwing to Marshall. Marshall's career bests in receptions and receiving yards came while catching passes from Cutler.
ESPN ranks Marshall 12th among fantasy receivers. If Cutler can help him return to his days of 100+ catches and 1300+ receiving yards, it's reasonable to believe Marshall could be a top-5 receiver this season.
Brandon Lloyd (NE): Lloyd is one of the several additions to the Patriots' wide receiving core that many say is the best that Tom Brady has ever had. The depth at receiver has caused analysts to drop Lloyd's value, but it really shouldn't affect it at all. Lloyd is the far and away most talented deep threat that the Patriots have. The last talented deep threat for the Patriots that I remember goes by the name of Randy Moss, and if I recall correctly, he did pretty well in New England.
Lloyd will be reunited with Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who coached Lloyd two years ago with the Broncos. The last time Lloyd and McDaniels teamed up, Lloyd erupted for 77 catches, 1448 yards, and 11 touchdowns. As the 17th ranked wide receiver by ESPN and 26th ranked receiver by Fantasy Football Guide, Lloyd could be an incredible value pick on draft day.
Reggie Wayne (IND): A lot of people seem to be writing off Reggie Wayne these days, but he's being judged unfairly. Sure, his numbers did drop significantly without Peyton Manning last season, but the guy still caught 75 passes for 960 yards in an absolutely abysmal offense. Just two seasons ago Wayne caught 111 balls for 1355 yards. Don't downgrade him just because he had to deal with Curtis Painter's erratic knuckleballs all season. With "the best prospect since John Elway" coming to Indy, Wayne will have a great opportunity to reclaim a starting spot on any fantasy roster. I would never expect him to return to his numbers from 2010, but somewhere towards the middle of 111 and 75 catches is quite likely.
With ESPN ranking Wayne 40th among receivers, and Fantasy Football Calculator reporting an average draft position (ADP) of 76.6 (29th among receivers), Wayne could be one of the gems in the middle rounds of your draft.