Fantasy Breakout Wide Receiver Report – NFL Week 1

Jeremy Maclin may not duplicate last season's magic, but he might come close

Jeremy Maclin may not duplicate last season’s 1,300 receiving yards, but he might come close

With just one day to go before the kickoff the 2015 season, we wanted to take one last look at the wide receiver position. This is a position that is rich with talent and depth this season, which makes it easy to overlook the diamonds in the rough. Today we feature three players that are bound to make a big splash during Week 1.                                     – ADP rankings powered by

Jeremy Maclin (ADP: WR #22)

Many experts wrote off Jeremy Maclin when he got shipped off to Kansas City, but he’s seems determined to make many of those experts eat their words. Since being reunited with his former Eagles HC Andy Reid, Maclin has been on fire showing amazing chemistry with K.C. quarterback Alex Smith. Also, let’s not forget that Maclin is coming off the best season of his career in Philly where he registered 85 receptions for more than 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Chiefs head to Houston to take on the Texans to start the season and Maclin owners should enjoy a big day. Houston’s defense features strong players in J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Jadeveon Clowney, but that shouldn’t be seen as terribly threatening. Houston will have trouble dealing with versatile RB Jamaal Charles, as well as red-zone target TE Travis Kelce, leaving Maclin in single coverage situations more often than not. Expect Maclin to produce like that of a middle-of-the-pack WR1 this week.

Tyler Lockett (ADP: WR #57)

Lockett is more of a reach play for Week 1, but he could be worth the risk in deeper fantasy formats. The rookie wideout from Kansas State has made some impressive special teams plays this preseason, scoring on punt and kick return TDs and also torched the Raiders defense for a 63-yard TD during Seattle’s preseason victory. Lockett has competition for targets in the Seahawks’ newly acquired freak-athlete TE Jimmy Graham, and WRs Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin, but his upside could allow him to steal targets from his fellow receivers. One preseason trend that should bode well for Lockett’s potential moving forward, is that Jimmy Graham was used as a blocker on nearly 37 percent of his snaps, leaving room for others to step up. Expect Lockett to see minimal snaps in Week 1, but with his big-play ability, he could definitely come down with a couple long receptions and a touchdown.

John Brown (ADP: WR #36)

John Brown is currently listed as Arizona’s WR3, but he could become Carson Palmer’s most trusted target. Brown is behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd on the depth chart, but uncertainty surrounds that wide receiver corps situation. Fitzgerald is undoubtedly on the decline, as he has failed to eclipse the 1,000 for three straight seasons, so his current place atop the depth chart is in jeopardy. John Brown will also most likely replace Michael Floyd for Week 1, as Floyd is listed as questionable with three dislocated fingers. Brown’s ability to take over as a starter later on in the season, but with Floyd out immediately, John Brown should be in line for a big game Week 1. The Cardinals are set to host the New Orleans Saints, who ranked 31st a season ago, allowing 384 yards per game, and 25th in surrendering an average of 251 passing yards per contest. Barring an out of body defensive performance from the Saints, the Cardinals offense should put up 21+ points, making a touchdown from Brown fairly likely. Consider John Brown a middle WR3 week 1, and a high WR3 if Michael Floyd is unable to play.


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