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Early Round Fantasy Receivers and the Road to WR1 (Rounds 3-5)

Credit: Anthony Quintano

After doing many mock drafts, a rough spot is knowing which early round receivers to target. All major sites like ESPN and Yahoo have had mock and live drafts up for a while, which has helped me get lots of practice in. A lot of experts have published their own rankings (FlurrySports Rankings), sleepers, busts, and breakouts, which along with mock drafts have helped us already perfect our drafting strategies. However, after a lot of mock drafts, I’ve noticed that rounds three, four, and five have been tough for me.

It’s important to understand what players you’ll be looking for in rounds three and four. Now ideally, the goal is to take the best player available of either running back or wide receiver. Even though there are other positions like quarterback and tight end, it isn’t recommended that you draft them this high. With the abundance of running back committees in the league, I strongly recommended that you grab a bellcow back in either the first or second round. If this is how your first two rounds go, then wide receiver is definitely a position to look at in rounds three or four.

Fortunately, there are a lot of talented wide receivers in these two rounds, the downside is that everyone has some issue or risk involved. Whether there is concern regarding injury history, quarterback play, or added competition at the position from last season, every receiver listed below has something working against them to make them a WR1. Now some of these receivers may overcome their obstacles, but it’s not always easy to predict.  

Below I have a chart of all receivers going in rounds three through five of most mock drafts. I have organized the receivers into rankings based on ADP, and my recommended rankings for standard and PPR scoring systems. I will dive into the rankings, explain why players are ranked differently under certain formats, and why some players are ranked far differently from their ADP.

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