Where Would You Take 1st WR in Standard Leagues?

Michael Thomas fantasy football

The rise in the popularity of PPR and half-PPR fantasy football leagues has nearly made standard scoring extinct. However, there are still thousands of players who either prefer or are grandfathered into that format.

Over on Sports Illustrated, I broke down what the first round of fantasy football drafts could look like in standard formats. You can check that out here. The big question I ran into is when should the first wide receiver come off the board? After that, how many receivers should be taken in the first 12 picks?

To answer the first question, I landed on pick No. 6 for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas. Here’s part of what I said about him:

Some may consider his No. 6 overall ranking low, but I’ll always prefer elite running backs to elite receivers on position scarcity alone. Plus, Thomas’ lead over the rest of the field is more muted in standard formats because it doesn’t account for his wide gap in receptions. In standard leagues, there’s a gap between Thomas, Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, etc., but the drop off isn’t as large as it is for the running back position.

It’s hard to pass on a running back anywhere in the Top 10 of standard leagues, but it’s important not to ignore the merits of value based drafting. The gap between Thomas and the field last season was massive enough to warrant this draft slot if you believe he can replicate his yardage/TD output in 2020.

Thomas had 1,725 receiving yards and 9 TDs last season. Vegas oddsmakers have his over/unders for this season set at 1,500 yards and 8.5 TDs. Given his reliability and lack of injury history, I’m comfortable saying he can get close to his 2019 totals, especially if you don’t directly care about receptions.

As for other receivers, I had Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins going off the board in the final third of Round 1 in that order. I saw a drop off after the top 7 RBs that warranted a mini-run on elite WRs.

What do you think? Let us know over on the Forums.

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