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Judging Mid-Round WR ADPs

Mike Evans - WR34, 66.3 (6th Round)

Is this the year Evans is held back from his perpetual 1000+ yard season? It might be, especially if Chris Godwin leads in target share once again. It's hard to imagine Baker Mayfield allowing a perimeter WR to be very fantasy relevant because we haven't really seen it before.

Evans is still very talented, but if Tom Brady was struggling to get Evans to be consistent for fantasy, I don't see a scenario where anything gets better for him this year in his age-30 season. He had the lowest 3rd lowest target share of any 100+ target WR last year, and the 5th lowest targets/route run. He had the 4th lowest 1st read share of any of those WRs too... I'm fading Evans this year.

Verdict: AVOID


Rashod Bateman - WR48, 98.2 (9th Round)

Bateman will likely start the year a little slow due to his off-season Lisfranc surgery, but he could be his full self in the October time frame. When that happens, don't be surprised if he takes the league by storm.

I've been a Bateman truther, and while I don't have him ranked too high right now, it's mainly because of the potential slow start and to guard myself against any potential setbacks before he's back at 100%. If I miss out on Ravens receivers and Bateman is off to a relatively slow start, I might buy him low after a few weeks into the season.

Take a look at his Reception Perception profile - the dude is an alpha WR just waiting for the opportunity. On a way more balanced offense, if he's the alpha I think he is, Bateman can be a league winner. All eyes are on Zay Flowers, rightfully so, and he is who I am drafting first because I'm a fan of his too (he's healthy), but I would not be surprised if he takes a backseat to Bateman once he's at 100%.

Last year, Bateman ranked 12th in yards/route run among 120 WRs before he got hurt. He was banged up during his first several weeks of the season too, but in the first three weeks when he was completely healthy, he ranked third in YPRR (3.55) only behind Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs - a ridiculously small sample size, but just trying to paint a picture of how good he can be.

Whoever the #1 WR on this offense is - whether it's him or Zay, can be a league winner.

Verdict: TARGET


Courtland Sutton - WR45, 92.4 (8th Round)

Sutton has consistently been quarterback Russell Wilson's top target in training camp. He is fully healthy and has demonstrated more explosiveness than in any training camp since 2020, when he was dominant in practices leading up to his ACL injury.

"We kind of favor bigger receivers, so he fits that prototype, or that type that we like," Payton said. "It would be too early to make that comparison (to Thomas), but they are 'Xs' that are good-sized players. When you look at their stature, I would agree." Sutton and Jeudy have nearly identical target numbers when they were both on the field together last season.

Verdict: SLEEPER


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