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Fantasy football: 10 wide receivers that are undervalued based on their projected targets

New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) runs with the ball in the second half. The Giants lose to Washington, 22-7, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Nyg Vs Was

Volume is king in fantasy football. You might find this shocking, but it’s scientifically impossible for a player to score fantasy points unless they possess the football at one point or another during a play.

It usually costs a lot to draft a talented wide receiver that is set up for loads of volume. Of course, one red flag (bad talent, porous quarterback performance, run-first scheme, tons of depth chart competition, etc) or another can drive down a player’s average draft position (ADP) in a hurry.

Still, there are instances when players fall brutally far in fantasy drafts despite potentially having enough volume to make up for their personal lack of skill and/or mediocre offensive environment. I compared PFF’s projected targets with every wide receiver's average draft position to get an idea of 2022’s potentially undervalued wide receivers.

The following 10 players are projected for at least 90 targets next season, yet their corresponding ADPs are rather affordable at the moment over at Underdog Fantasy. The wide receivers are listed in order of the largest difference in their projected target rank and ADP.

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WR Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders: 105 projected targets, WR63 ADP

Expecting Carson Wentz to enable more than one fantasy-relevant wide receiver might be wishful thinking, although Dotson wasn’t selected in the first round to be an afterthought. PFF’s 2022 Draft Guide noted the following on the Penn State receiver:

  • Where he wins: Sudddenness. Dotson not only wins with his ability to cut on dimes but also by hauling in everything thrown his way. That kind of combination will earn a quarterback's trust early on in his career.

  • What’s his role: Reliable slot. Dotson is really tailor-made to play slot in today's NFL. He's as shifty as it gets with enough speed to challenge vertically. But, more importantly, he has a massive catch radius for a player listed at only 5-foot-11.

  • Where he can improve: Muscle mass. Dotson could stand to add muscle to his frame and develop a more diverse release package. Being able to dictate terms at the line would take his game to the next level.

Dotson’s status as the 16th overall selection of the 2022 NFL Draft should give him the inside track to work as the offense’s No. 2 pass-game option behind only Terry McLaurin. Perhaps a healthy version of Curtis Samuel and/or 2021 third-round pick Dyami Brown battle for reps early, but Dotson showed on plenty of occasions that he’s capable of winning all over the field and shouldn’t necessarily be considered just a sub-six-foot slot receiver.

Throw in the potential for TE Logan Thomas (ACL) to miss some early action, along with pass-catching friendly backs J.D. McKissic and Antonio Gibson losing snaps to third-round RB Brian Robinson, and Dotson's pathway to receiving triple-digit targets in 2022 appears to be going under the radar.

Dotson is the WR54 in my current fantasy football rankings. I’d take him ahead of currently injured guys with lower ADP, such as Robert Woods, Michael Gallup and Jameson Williams, as well as receivers with far less investment from their respective organizations, such as Jamison Crowder, Jarvis Landry and Mecole Hardman.

WR Nico Collins, Houston Texans: 95 projected targets, WR77 ADP

The Texans don’t seem to be overly inclined to push their chips in to compete in 2022 — just look at the running backs and wide receivers they have signed over the past 12 months.

Still, the organization stumbled upon a potentially promising young quarterback in Davis Mills, who was arguably 2021's second-best rookie quarterback, behind only Mac Jones. Of course, he was still anyone’s idea of “bad” relative to the rest of the league, but the rookie put more than a few great throws on film. The counting numbers were at times solid: Mills surpassed 300 yards on four separate occasions last season, more than the likes of Jalen Hurts (two), Mac Jones (two), and Ryan Tannehill (two) among others.

Brandin Cooks was usually the primary beneficiary of this production, but a full season’s worth of Mills under center could feasibly produce a decent No. 2 passing-game option considering the lowly Texans will likely once again face plenty of pass-happy trailing game script.

Enter Collins, who offers an intriguing combination of size (6-foot-4, 215-pounds) and speed (4.5-second 40-yard dash) but fell to the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft after a relatively modest career inside Michigan’s typically run-heavy attack. Collins’ season-long 33-446-1 receiving line as a rookie wasn’t anything special, but he deserves credit for playing through the pain of shoulder, foot and hip injuries throughout the season.

Collins profiles as the early-season No. 2 target while second-round WR John Metchie (ACL) recovers, and even then, there’s enough room for both talents to start in three-WR sets ahead of career backups Chris Conley, Phillip Dorsett and Chris Moore, among others. He comes in as my WR70 and is ahead of veterans with more target competition yet lower ADP, such as D.J. Chark, Corey Davis and Marvin Jones.


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