Fantasy Football 2020: The Case for Drafting Will Fuller

Will Fuller ADP: WR36

 

I’m hesitant to do this, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  Fantasy football is a weekly game. The objective is to win as many individual weeks as possible to make it into the playoffs and then win all of those.  Sure, you’ll get a few pats on the back, and maybe a seeding tiebreaker by having more total points over the season, but largely the season-long numbers don’t matter. 

 

So what does this have to do with Will Fuller?  His PPR end of season point totals over his first 4 years in the league have landed him at WR65, WR61, WR69, and WR53 and he hasn’t played in more than 11 games since his rookie season due to injuries.  Looking at those numbers alone, I too would be asking why he’s being drafted as the 36th WR off the board, 20+ spots ahead of those performances.  But here’s the thing:  in games, he has started, including those where he left early due to injury, he finished 25% of them as a WR1 for that week.  Meaning in one quarter of the weeks in which he played, he placed in the top 12 of all receivers that week.  To put that into context, only 16 active WRs with a 30+ game sample size had a higher WR1 percentage: Thomas, Julio, Hopkins, Hill, Evans, OBJ, Adams, Theilen, Green, Allen, Kupp, Baldwin, Cooper, Cooks, and Jeffery. Not bad company. 

(Interesting tidbit: one other player has played in exactly as many games (40) with the exact same number of top 3 (2) and top 12 (10) weekly performances: Kenny Golladay, ADP: WR8)   Now the injury risk is real and he can put up some duds between the big games – both of which have contributed to those not so great season-long point totals.  But when you’re getting WR1 numbers out of your WR3/4 25% of the time you’re starting him… who cares?  And there is reason to believe, those duds might be fewer and further in between because the third guy on that list took his 150+ targets with him to Arizona.  Even if you believe Fuller will be the WR2 on his own team – which I hope he is so that the top DBs are on the other side of the field – we’re not going to assume that Cooks = Hopkins are we?   So worst case, you bank on 2-3 week winning performances out of your flex in 8-12 games which can be the difference of making the playoffs or not and best case, he stays healthy and you’re looking at WR1 upside. I like my playoff chances.

 

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