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How many “big” purchases have you made in your life? And how many of those big purchases did you make without doing the necessary research prior to the investment? In fact, when buying something on the scale of a car, or maybe even a house, most folks will hire someone else, such as a mechanic or home inspector, to scope it out before they ever sign on the dotted line. Very few of these products will be perfect upon purchase, and you may even end up buying one with several blemishes, but it is wise to know the risks going in.

With all that in mind, let’s take a similar approach to preparing for the upcoming fantasy football season. The following group of wide receivers are most definitely going to be selected, most of them quite high, on fantasy draft day. The goal is not necessarily to talk anyone off of them, but rather to reveal and inform of some flaws from last season or over the course of their careers.

Doug Baldwin (SEA) - Baldwin has caught 21 touchdowns while playing in all 32 of the Seahawks’ regular-season games the past two years. That seems to support his placement among the better WR2 options by many around the industry right now. However, Baldwin collected 11 of those scores during a memorable five-game streak from November 29 through December 27 of 2015. Of the other 27 games he’s played since the start of the 2015 season, well, the six-year veteran has scored in only 29.6 percent of them. If you are playing in a league that uses a 14-week regular season, do you really want your WR2 that you used a third-round pick on to hit paydirt in just four of them?

Allen Robinson (JAX) - Anyone that drafted Robinson as an elite wide receiver coming off his breakout 2015 season needs no reminder of just how frustrating he was in 2016. He is indeed a terrific athlete with the ideal physical stature to be a force at his position. However, led by quarterback Blake Bortles, the Jaguars’ passing attack is just maddeningly inconsistent on the whole. Take a look at some stats Rodinson has put up over his three NFL seasons.

 

Games

TD

Yards/G

Yards/R

Catch%

2014

10

2

54.8

11.4

59.3

2015

16

14

87.5

17.5

53.0

2016

16

6

55.2

12.1

48.3

Checkout that steady decline in catch percentage. Enticing, huh? At this point, it certainly seems that 2015 was, and may stay, the outlier for Robinson. The addition of rookie running back Leonard Fournette, who the Jags took with the No. 4 pick of this year’s draft, signals that Robinson is now in an offense that will look to the ground more in 2017. It just might be wise to search elsewhere for your WR2 this year.

Amari Cooper (OAK) - Cooper has finished with less than 60 receiving yards in eight of his last 10 regular-season games. Does that sound like a WR1 in a standard fantasy league? Not even close. He is immensely talented and worthy of Top-20, possibly Top-15, respect at the position, but playing alongside veteran Michael Crabtree in an offense that most would be surprised to hear finished sixth in rushing yards and 11th in attempts last season, Cooper is far from a target-demanding focal point in Oakland. Oh yeah, the Raiders also brought five-time Pro Bowler Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to spearhead their running game.

Nate Miller is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and has been an analyst in the industry since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad, where he is always up for fielding any Fantasy Baseball, Fantasy Football or DFS questions.

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