FFWC Target Points for Starting WRs: Minimize Weekly Lineup Decisions
(Editor's note: The FFWC Targets Points series explains how point totals & projections should factor into roster construction within the context of the Fantasy Football World Championship.)
Before I start drafting each Fantasy Football season, I need to get an understanding of the player pool. I then need to understand the drop-downs at each position. There are all different kinds of Fantasy Football leagues across the country. For the casual player, most leagues are trading with a playoff system at the end of the year. In most cases, the best team doesn't necessarily win each season.
The goal is to draft a team that has enough depth and upside to compete for the overall title and that would net you $150K in the Fantasy Football World Championship! Each owner will be dealt a different hand as they will pick from different slots. Without a top draft selection, most Fantasy owners will have to be creative in gaining edges at different positions to compete for a league or an overall title.
One of the first steps, before you sit at the draft table, is developing an understanding of what you need out of every position to be a contender. I'm going to go through every position and give you the average player stats to help you understand what it takes to have an edge at a position. Each player’s Fantasy points are based on the Fantasy Football World Championship scoring.
FFWC Rules & Settings
The Fantasy Football World Championship is a 12-team format with the overall main event winner taking home $150,000. My goal is to draft the perfect team that allows me a chance to compete for an overall championship.
This scoring system awards four points for QB passing TDs with 0.05 points for each passing yards. Each rushing and receiving yard is worth 0.10 points. Every reception is worth one point. Each rushing or receiving TD is worth six points.
The tables below show the average scores for the top 12 options at each position over the last four seasons.
The first part of the equation is learning the gaps and edges of each position. Here are the average position scores for all 11 starting roster slots for the Fantasy Football World Championship over the last four seasons:
FFWC Target Points (2015 - 2018)
I have to admit I have a weakness for the WR position. I like strong WRs, which allows me to make less decision at the position when setting my starting lineup. Here's look at the top 12 WRs over the last four seasons:
Starting WR1 point totals (2015 - 2018)
WR1: Last year the average top 12 WRs averaged 104 catches for 1,381 yards and 9.4 TDs (2017 – 92 catches for 1,231 yards and seven TDs, 2016 – 92 catches for 1212 yards and 9.2 TDs, 2015 – 103 catches for 1,396 yards and ten TDs, 2014 – 97 catches for 1,406 yards and 10 TDs, and 2013 – 95 catches for 1,401 yards and 10 TDs), which translated to 304.9 Fantasy points in full-point PPR leagues or 19.06 points per week.
The WR1 position had its weakest output (16.19) in 2017 over the past six seasons (2012 – 292.28 average Fantasy points, 2013 – 296.65, 2014 – 302.52, 2015 – 308.11), and 2016 – 269.95).
2018 ended up being the return of the elite WR1 after showing similar stats in 2015. The average WR1 outscored the average RB1 by 4.74 Fantasy points in 2015, which is the big reason WRs were flying off the boards in the 2016 draft season.
In 2016, the top 12 RBs won the battle lover WRs by 0.26 Fantasy points in PPR leagues thus putting them on an even playing field in 2017.
The top 12 WRs lost value in 2017 (259.11 Fantasy points) while being outscored by the top 12 RBs (274.77) by 15+ Fantasy points per week.
FFWC Point Totals Starting WR1 Observations
Overall, an elite three-down RB has an edge in almost every season. There will be an exception when a top receiver catches plus receptions or scores a high volume of TDs (Randy Moss 2007 - 98/1523/23, Calvin Johnson 2011 - 96/1681/16, Marvin Harrison 2004 -143/1722/11, and Wes Welker 2011 - 122/1569/9).
We added Antonio Brown into this category after his elite 2014 season (129/1698/13) only to see him raise the bar even further in 2015 (136/1834/10). Julio Jones had his career year in 2015 as well (136/1,871/8), but he hasn’t put together that impact season in TDs so far in his career.
The whole Fantasy world also knows the high upside of Odell Beckham (91/1305/12 in 12 games in 2014). His next step could be a special season that matches or beats the best receivers in the game in NFL history.
Last year three wide receivers (DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, and Mike Evans) had over 1,500 yards receiving plus Tyreek Hill had over 1,500 combined yards.
Keenan Allen finished with over 1,500 receiving yards in 2017, and no one WR broke the 1,500 yards mark in 2016.
In 2015, four WRs had over 1,500 yards receiving (Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, and Brandon Marshall) while Brown and Jones both posted 136 receptions (2nd highest total in NFL history). They finished with 1,871 (Jones) and 1,834 (Brown) yards, which placed 2nd and 4th all-time as well.
In 2018, the passing game made a rebound helping set the stage for the most passing TDs (847) in NFL history.
Total NFL Rushing & Passing Stats (2010 to 2018)
At any position, plus touchdowns will separate the top players from the field. Over the last 20 years, we have seen some fantastic RBs that posted some crazy touchdown totals. On occasion, we have seen a WR be an edge player in Fantasy football. In the past, there will be a handful of receivers that will score between 280-300 fantasy points each year in PPR leagues. Over the last five seasons, 31 combined WRs scored more than 280 Fantasy points due to the recent changes in the NFL rules.
In 2015, there were 842 passing TDs, which were the most in the history of the NFL by 25 TDs before 2018 (847 TDs) after setting high in each of the previous three years (2012 – 757, and 2013 – 804, and 2014 – 807).
In 2016, WRs only scored 786 passing TDs, which was a drop of 56 passing TDs followed up by only 741 passing TDs in 2017. The value of the passing game in the NFL moved in the wrong direction leading to mediocre QB play and weaker talent at WR heading into 2018.
One of my goals on draft day is to eliminate as many weekly lineup decisions as possible. The more choices a Fantasy owner has to make from week-to-week; the higher the chance a Fantasy owner has of being wrong. The WR position is very volatile. If a Fantasy owner has too many players that look the same, it is nearly impossible to maximize your success over a long football season.
A Fantasy owner that decides to draft a WR strong team in a PPR league will eliminate much of the decision-making process for two possibly three WR positions. This owner MUST draft one strong RB as the core of his roster.
Here’s a look at the second 12 WRs over the last four seasons:
Starting WR 13 to 24 point totals (2015 – 2018)
WR2: It is interesting to see the gaps tighten up at the WR2 position. Last year the second 12 wide receivers averaged 73 catches 993 yards and 6.3 TDs, which works out to be 217.19 Fantasy points. The top four WRs at the WR2 position in 2018 averaged 234.25 Fantasy points.
The gap was even smaller in the WR2 group in 2016 (13th – 234.40 and 24th – 201.10) and 2017 (13th – 224.10 and 24th – 187.50), but a Fantasy owner can't afford to wait too long to draft wide receivers.
Last year the 13th ranked WR (243.20 Fantasy points) had about a 55-point gap over the 24th ranked WR.
As I mentioned earlier, the easiest mistakes to make in Fantasy football will happen at the wide receiver position. There's nothing worse than having five wide receivers that have similar value. It makes it extremely tough to predict every week.
A WR2 averaged about 13.57 Fantasy points per week in 2018, which was still below the WR2 success in the recent NFL history in most seasons (2013 – 14.17, 2014 – 13.87, 2015 – 14.25, 2016 – 13.72, and 2017 – 12.75).
The RB2s averaged 11.96 Fantasy points last year.
FFWC Point Totals WR2 Observations
The second wide receiver for most Fantasy teams is just a steady piece to the puzzle. When you're making this selection, you are looking for a solid 200+ point receiver. The closer we get to the live draft season; the inventory will tighten up. In most seasons, there are about 17 wide receivers that will score 225+ Fantasy points in PPR leagues (19 in 2015, 15 in 2016, 12 in 2017, and 17 in 2018).
As much as some Fantasy owners want to finesse the position, they can be short at WR if other Fantasy owners decide to triple up at the WR position in their first three or four draft picks.
By the end of round five, most of the secure WRs will be drafted. The first five rounds of FFWC drafts in 2019 should consist of about one QB, about 27 RBs, about 29 WRs, and three TEs in PPR leagues.
A Fantasy owner will need to identify the opportunities at each position to help them determine which direction they want to go when building their team. A Fantasy owner from an early draft position will have a much different thought process than a player from a late position. A team selecting two WRs early in drafts will be shopping in a different aisle than a player choosing two RBs with their first two picks. Every draft will be different, but the opportunities after round five will somewhat be consistent.
Expected Gains/Losses for the Top 12 2019 WRs
These are based on our early projections here at Fulltime Fantasy. (Note: Tyreek Hill’s projections have been updated).
In 2019, the front of the WR pool is loaded with talent and upside in PPR leagues. The backup end top 12 Fantasy WRs may lack explosive upside in TDs, which is why they project about 60 Fantasy points fewer in PPR league behind DeAndre Hopkins and some of the top WRs in the game.
A Fantasy owner will need to jockey his decision making between RB and WR over the first few rounds of the draft to come up with the best draft plan for success. A team drafting in the top four positions will have a different plan and opportunity from the back eight draft slots.
It’s essential to get in tune with the incoming talent all positions, which is where the folks at FulltimeFantasy.com plan to give you the inside edge to your winning season.
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