Fantasy scouting report: Getting to know the top-five rookie wide receivers in the 2018 draft class

Roto Arcade
<span>Many scouts have WR <a href="https://twitter.com/SuttonCourtland" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Courtland Sutton" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/244932/" data-ylk="slk:Courtland Sutton">Courtland Sutton</a></a> at the top of their 2018 NFL Draft rankings.&nbsp;</span> <span>What makes him so good? And where do other wideouts rank? <a href="https://twitter.com/YahooFantasy" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Yahoo" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Yahoo</a> analyst <a href="https://twitter.com/LizLoza_FF" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Liz Loza" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Liz Loza</a> explains.</span>
Many scouts have WR Courtland Sutton at the top of their 2018 NFL Draft rankings.  What makes him so good? And where do other wideouts rank? Yahoo analyst Liz Loza explains.

While we won’t know these players’ fantasy values until their landing spots are announced later this month, it is helpful to know what they do (and don’t do) well. Here’s a snap shot of the most commonly ranked receivers. Obviously, the position is deeper than five players. We’ll cover many more names (D.J. Chark, James Washington, Michael Gallup, Auden Tate, etc.) during our LIVE draft coverage on April 26 and 27. Stay tuned!

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Fun Fact: Played tight end and safety in high school, excelling at both positions.
Claim to fame: A confident player with desirable size (6 feet 3 and 218 pounds) and an impressive catch radius.
Trying to tame: Speed is wholly average (4.54). Relies on size and physicality (rather than technique or quicks) to gain separation. Struggles with focus drops.
Comp: Alshon Jeffery (with worse hands), Brandon Marshall
Fantasy fit: The Panthers and the Colts could both use a long and sturdy red zone weapon like Sutton, especially given the respective departures of Kelvin Benjamin and Donte Moncrief. The SMU product would likely see immediate high-value targets were he to land in Carolina or Indy.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Fun Fact: Young brother Riley is a Georgia Bulldog and also plays receiver.
Claim to fame: Expert route-runner with electric speed (despite a disappointing 40-yard-dash time), which allows him to continually gain separation and fluster DBs.
Trying to tame: At 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds there’s some fear Ridley could be pushed around by bruising DBs at the next level. He’s also already 23 years old.
Comp: Jeremy Maclin, Emmanuel Sanders
Fantasy fit: The Cowboys, the Ravens and the Packers are all teams in need of youth and speed. Ridley’s explosiveness, in tandem with his route-running ability, would be a boon to either squad.

Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Fun Fact: A Fruity Pebbles enthusiast.
Claim to fame: Agile and tough in the open field, he’s a potential YAC monster.
Trying to tame: An undersized slot-man (5-10 and 201), some scouts believe he lacks versatility.
Comp: Golden Tate
Fantasy fit: I know it’s unlikely, but I’d love to see Kirk go to the Pats. With Brandin Cooks in LA, Dion Lewis in Tennessee and Julian Edelman entering his age-32 season (not to mention coming off of an ACL surgery), New England could use a speedy slot-guy. It’s doubtful that Kirk will be on the board when Kraft & Co. pick, but a girl can dream. Otherwise, the Cardinals are an interesting landing spot, as their receiving corps appears to be in full-reboot, and the crew needs depth behind Larry Fitzgerald.

D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Fun Fact: Posted an 80-1,033-8 stat line (school record) in 2017 despite catching balls from four different QBs.
Claim to fame: An ultra-versatile player with quick feet who can be used all over the field. He also CRUSHED the combine, which has given his draft stock a significant boost.
Trying to tame: Inconsistent hands. Moore needs to do a better job of winning 50/50 balls (but clearly has the talent to the climb the ladder, as evidenced by a 39.5-inch vertical jump score).
Comp: Stefon Diggs, Alvin Kamara
Fantasy fit: The Bills are a receiver-needy squad that could use a chess piece like Moore, especially given the bust that was Jordan Matthews, Kelvin Benjamin’s recent knee surgery, and Zay Jones’ latest incident.

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Fun Fact: Father was a two-time Mr. Universe, who named his sons (Osiris and Amon-Ra, also football players) after Egyptian Gods.
Claim to fame: A long-limbed, tall receiver (6 feet 5) with who can dominate the perimeter, play inside, and remains fearless over the middle. He’s a smooth route-runner who moves quickly for a guy his size.
Trying to tame: Needs some yoga in his life. Has got to use those long arms and REACH to pluck the ball out of the air. His hand strength is also below average. Could add some bulk to his otherwise reedy frame.
Comp: Vincent Jackson
Fantasy fit: The Falcons have to be looking beyond Mohamed Sanu (who will be 29-years-old when the 2018 begins) for a compliment to Julio Jones, though they may prefer a gadgety speedster since letting Taylor Gabriel walk in free agency. Seattle is another potential home for the Notre Dame product, as the team will enter the 2018 season without Paul Richardson or Jimmy Graham, who combined for 47 percent of Russell Wilson’s 34 touchdowns.

Where would you like to see each WR land? Follow Liz and tweet her your projected landing spots @LizLoza_FF.

 

What to Read Next