2014 Speed Bump 7: This Poll Sponsored by the Letter W – Sponsored by Fantasy Football Chick (Rachel Wold)
Speed Bump 7 finds us teeing up four wide receivers whom happen to have their last names start with the letter W, and aptly joined by today’s guest Rachel Wold, the Fantasy Football Chick. All of these four receivers (here in mid-July) are right near one another in ADP, Wes Welker is the 24th WR selected on average, Roddy White next at WR25, Kendall Wright soon thereafter at WR 27 and then slightly back is Mike Wallace at WR 31. Who are you adding to your championship Speed Bump entry, and selecting on draft day this year if you can only add one? We have now covered 25 players and with these four options the odds of getting all seven polls correct so far has reach 1 in 6,912 (in terms of random guessing as this is now the number of entry combinations).
Well, if we are basing this on who will be paid the most money this season, it’s a slam dunk winner in Mike Wallace. One of last year’s big free agent signings, the Dolphins inked Wallace to a massive 5-year, $60M deal (including $30M guaranteed). Wallace certainly is not 2-3 times better than other W’s in the poll Wes Welker and Roddy White, or 15 times better than Kendall Wright, but he is getting paid like it. Wallace will make $15M this year, compared to $6M for Wes Welker, $5M for Roddy White and just over $1M for Kendall Wright (who is in his original rookie contract). On net, it was a disappointing year one for Wallace in Miami who collected just 903 yards (Brian Hartline had more at 1,016) and Wallace averaged a career-worst 12.7 YPC. Miami, however, has reportedly vowed to move Wallace around more to utilize his talents and the team welcomes a new offensive coordinator in Bill Lazor, which has to help.
For years now, Wes Welker used to get his own named poll, “The Wes Welker Poll”. It almost was a sarcastic tribute to the little white receiver (no offense intended) that would never get his just due in fantasy circles, and he would take down the biggest of names year after year. Last year, Welker met his match in Speed Bumps as he went up against an all-Caucasian WR field of he versus Danny Amendola, Eric Decker, and Jordy Nelson (Decker went on to win). Can Welker get his Speed Bump mojo back? On the plus side, Eric Decker is gone from the Broncos which could provide even more targets for Welker. The downside, of course, the risk of concussions – Welker had two more last year (missing three games). Including the playoffs last year, Welker played in 16 games so a full-season pace if you will of 91 receptions, 938 yards and 11 TDs. Welker owns the NFL record for the most seasons with 100+ receptions (5), which was broke last year as now a Bronco.
Who do you see in Roddy White – a soon to-be-33 year-old wide receiver who is now more susceptible to being nagged by injuries (White missed three games last year but was completely ineffective and hobbled in three others), or the savvy veteran who can still get it done? With no Julio Jones, and the ankle finally healed, White came back down the stretch last year and delivered as Atlanta’s #1 WR with 43 receptions, 500+ yards and 2 TDs over the final five games of the season.
If there is a “3rd-year breakout” coming in Kendall Wright, then look out as Wright was a bit of a PPR gem last year logging 94 receptions. Wright saw significant spikes from a relatively busy rookie season with his receptions up 47% as a rookie (64 catches), and his yards up 72% (from 626 to 1,079). However, Wright did next to nothing in the red zone and scoring overall, totaling just 2 TDs on the season (after 4 as a rookie). Wright and the rest of the Titans welcome in a new head coach in Ken Whisenhunt.
GUEST EXPERT ENTRY
This Poll Sponsored by the Letter W, Fantasy Football Chick selects (07/20/14): Roddy White.
Of these four, Wes Welker had the best season last year and finished 2013 ranking 23rd, Mike Wallace followed next ranked as the 24th best WR last year, then Kendall Wright who ranked 30th, and lastly poor Roddy White who staggered to the finish line ranking 53rd among his fellow wideouts.
The question for this year is which of these wide receivers will perform better and ultimately reward the most fantasy points in 2014?
Despite his horrific ranking, I say it will be the Atlanta Falcons veteran wide receiver, Roddy White. Yes, White struggled last season with an ankle injury, and ranked far below the others mentioned in this poll, but he should be healed now returning to past form. The presence of fellow wide receiver, Julio Jones back on the team will have defenses striving to keep him covered, making White more accessible to Matt Ryan. Ryan will much better protection with his new shiny tackle, Jake Matthews, whom the team drafted with their first round pick in order to help keep their quarterback safe.
Star tight end Tony Gonzalez is out of the picture now, so he will not be cutting into White’s red zone targets. Let’s forget White’s lowly 711 yards and three touchdowns last season, and keep in mind that he has averaged eight touchdowns and 1,295 receiving yards per season from 2007 through 2012.
White ultimately will improve the most and reign in better numbers than Mike Wallace, Kendall Wright and Wes Welker in 2014. Therefore, I would recommend drafting the four-time Pro Bowler, Roddy White over the other three this season.
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About Fantasy Football Chick: The Fantasy Football Chick provides Free 2014 Cheats, Rankings & News. Prepare to dominate your league! At FFC, you will get not only player rankings, sleepers, mock draft coverage and access, player news and analysis, sit or start recommendations, but you will also see additional content not found elsewhere – such as our “NFL Wags and Fantasy Football Chicks” section and “Tailgating Sunday”. Rachel Wold is the Fantasy Football Chick. Rachel is a also a journalist at eDraft Sports and Sportsnaut, where she has written hundreds of Fantasy Football and NFL related articles.