The wide receiver class is incredibly deep this season. If you miss out on some of the top guys such as Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald don’t panic. There is value to be had in the middle and late rounds. A few days ago, I was thinking of featuring San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown in this space, but his broken ankle will leave him shelved for at least half of the season. That makes Brown undraftable now, and even when he comes back he might need some time to get back to speed with the offense. Fear not, there are still plenty more WRs out there.
Today we will feature Titus Young, WR, Detroit Lions. Young had a bit of an up and down rookie season, which isn’t all that surprising, finishing with 48 receptions for 607 yards and 6 touchdowns as the Lions’ primary slot receiver. Detroit led the league last season with 666 pass attempts, with 84 targets going to Young. The biggest thing that stands out to me form Young’s numbers last season are the 6 touchdowns which tied for 2nd on the team. This shows me that even as a rookie, Stafford obviously trusted Young where it counted.
There has been a lot of talk this preseason from Lions camp about Young’s progression and speculation is that he will overtake Nate Burleson’s starting role opposite of Calvin Johnson. Anytime you have a receiver as talented as Johnson, that receiver will garner a lot of attention. That is good news for all of the other receivers and as long as Johnson stays healthy everyone else should see single coverage.
If Young in fact does take over on the outside for Burleson it is reasonable that he would take on close to Burleson’s 110 targets from last season. With those targets Burleson managed a line of 73,757,3. I think Young could easily reach the 73 receptions, and should wind up somewhere around 1,000 yards and 7-9 touchdowns. With an ADP of 117 (41st among WRs) and a price tag coming in the 9-12th round depending on league size, I think Young is an excellent value. I would take him somewhere between the 7th-8th rounds, maybe even a little sooner, as he should easily outproduce a 9th round value.