2014 Projection: Is Kendall Wright A Wide Receiver Worth Targeting?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Titan’s Kendall Wright’s is probably going to be a popular name heading into fantasy drafts this season, but should it be? First, let’s look at his production from 2013:

Receptions: 94 (140 targets)
Yards: 1,079
Touchdowns: 2

Obviously the receptions jump out at you, but he averaged just 11.5 yards per catch (10.8 over his first two seasons). At 5’10″ he clearly isn’t an ideal red zone target so instead of being a big-time elite threat could he really be nothing more than a possession receiver?

When we look at the distance the passes thrown to him went, that’s certainly what appears to be the case:

  • Passes Thrown Behind The Line Of Scrimmage – 21 receptions for 132 yards
  • Passes Thrown 1-10 Yards – 56 receptions for 566 yards and 2 TD
  • Passes Thrown 11-20 Yards – 14 receptions for 284 yards
  • Passes Thrown 21-30 Yards – 2 receptions for 63 yards
  • Passes Thrown 31+ Yards – 1 reception for 35 yards

The numbers were similar in his rookie season, with 55 of his 63 receptions coming on passes 10 yards or shorter. That’s not too promising, unless he starts to show an ability to take the ball to the house on these short passes.

We can’t even point to the quarterback play, because he was consistent all season long regardless of who was under center:

  • First 8 Games – 43 receptions, 11.7 YPC
  • Final 8 Games – 51 receptions, 11.3 YPC

Was it the system, perhaps? It’s interesting, because prior to being drafted Walter Football compared him to Percy Harvin saying:

“Like Harvin, Wright projects as a threat to score on any touch. He will add a big play element to his NFL offense. He has the ability to work from the slot or line up on the outside.”

We are going to find out if the coaching was the issue, with Ken Whisenhunt now in control, but that’s not the only factor to watch.

While Wright may be the best receiver on the team, and they also finally rid themselves of Kenny Britt, that’s not to say that there aren’t still other options on the roster. Justin Hunter could take a major step forward and emerge as the red zone threat, while Nate Washington and tight end Delanie Walker should continue to be a steady presence. Dexter McCluster also has the potential to make some plays, and the team looks primed to rely on the running game behind rookie Bishop Sankey (with Shonn Greene as well).

It all comes together for the following 2014 projection:

90 receptions for 1,025 yards and 5 TD

Those aren’t bad numbers, and are definitely more valuable for those in PPR formats. However, his size and lack of TD upside does cap his value a bit. He also has not shown the ability to make big plays, making him dependent on a significant number of opportunities to produce.

There’s too much risk to consider him as anything more than a WR3 in PPR formats and a player I’d rather draft as depth in non-PPR leagues.

Source – ESPN, Walter Football

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4 comments

  1. Peter Murphy says:

    Would you keep Kendall Wright or Trent Richardson in a 10 team PPR dynasty league?

    • Who are your other options? Generally is lean the RB, but Richardson scares me after last season. There’s a lot of talk surrounding Richardson, but at this time of year that’s all it is. If you have RB depth and need WR I’d probably go Wright, but it is close.

  2. Kermit Lingard says:

    We have already drafted for 2014. I picked up Dem. Thomas, J. Edelman, J. Boykin and Kendall Wright at WR in a 10 team PPR league. I was antsy right off the bat with Boykin and dropped him for rookie Brandon Cooks as PURE speculation. Was this a good move? Should I be looking at Hunter in place of Wright or another WR like Kelvin Benjamin, Reggie Wayne or Brian Hartline who went undrafted. Season hasn’t started, but I’d like to “tweak” where I can. Thanks for your help Prof!

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