According to one major fantasy site, the Jordan Cameron concussion wouldn’t create much of a ripple effect. The writer suggested that there really weren’t any Cleveland Browns worth owning at this point, especially with the team’s running game struggling so badly.
The same site has historically discounted players from less-than-explosive teams. The Jaguars, Buccaneers and similar squads, however, can have some very valuable fantasy commodities.
Considering we are entering Week 9 of NFL action, this is the home stretch for squads hoping to make a playoff push. The following receivers are a few of my second-half value options moving forward — some of which may even still be sitting in your respective free agency pools.
1. Andrew Hawkins, WR, CLE. Yes, this is who I was referencing above. Yes, the Browns are void of massive playmakers, but that is why a player like Hawkins has such value. He may not be the ideal red zone target, but he does offer super-reliable hands and impressive speed. He’s looking more and more like this year’s version of Kendall Wright (last year’s Kendall Wright that is). Outside of weeks 5 and 6, Hawkins has caught at least five balls and responded with solid yardage. His TD last week was the first of the season.
Jordan Cameron’s concussion may keep him out a while and even when he comes back, Hawkins has established himself as the top receiver. Those worried about the return of Josh Gordon in Week 12 should remember that most NFL players can’t miss most of a season and suddenly be super productive their first week back. Hawkins is here to stay as a weekly PPR flex starter, especially this week vs. Tampa Bay.
2. Allen Robinson, WR, JAX. Another receiver on a less-than-desirable team, Robinson has established himself as the top dog in the Jacksonville receiving pecking order. It’s a lucrative position to be in with the Jaguars regularly playing from behind. Robinson has great rapport with Blake Bortles, more than ample talent and is in a position to be a regular PPR difference maker every week.
3. Julio Jones, WR, ATL. Not a guy you’d consider a value in most cases, but his owners are getting very nervous. Jones just completes his third-straight mediocre game, averaging just 10 points per contest over the past three weeks in PPR. He now is entering his bye week, which makes him even more potentially valuable if his owner is scrambling for wins and can’t afford to bench a stud. However, Julio is still relatively healthy, is nearly unstoppable when the ball is in his hands and plays with a QB that can air it out. The four-week span after the Week 9 bye is also very tantalizing (Tampa, Carolina, Cleveland and Arizona).Hr
4. A.J. Green, WR, CIN. Missing an extended period of time with a severely injured toe, Green is expected back this week. However, reports suggest the injury may hamper him the rest of the season. That is the kind of scenario that can make even the steadiest of fantasy owner star t to quiver. However, Green at even 80 percent is still better than most receivers in the league and the Bengals are sorely in need of his services if they want to stay relevant in the AFC North. Add in the cupcake schedule vs. the pass (Jacksonville, Cleveland, New Orleans, Houston, Tampa, Pittsburgh and Cleveland again) over the next seven weeks, and you have the recipe for a comeback surge. If you can get him cheap enough, he could be the type of player that puts you over the edge.
5. Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT. He’s 6-foot-4, 211 pounds and uber-athletic. Bryant has officially broken out over the past two weeks, showing he can be a very red zone target for a rejuvenated Ben Roethlisberger. With Antonio Brown drawing the primary defensive attention, Bryant has excelled in the No. 2 role, usurping Markus Wheaton’s job responsibilities and looking like an every-week starter. He gets help from the schedule too coming up, facing less-than-stellar pass defenses in Baltimore, the Jets, Tennessee, New Orleans, Cincinnati and Atlanta bookending his Week 12 bye.
Who are your favorite second-half value receivers? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.