On The Clock: Antonio Brown vs. Alshon Jeffery vs. Keenan Allen (PREMIUM PREVIEW)
You had a top-five or top-six pick and went with a running back instead of Calvin Johnson. Demaryius Thomas, Jimmy Graham and perhaps Dez Bryant capped off the first round. The demand for hands doesn't stop as A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Brandon Marshall are all gone midway through the second round, before you can pick again. Your first tier of wide receivers is now scratched out.
Just as you are mulling over Jordy Nelson, the owner directly before you takes his name off the board. Receivers are starting to thin out, meaning some of the backs you like are starting to fall a bit and now make a lot of sense in the third round. This second-round pick is your plan 1A at wide receiver and three A's, Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery and Keenan Allen, headline that list.
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Antonio Brown (18.34 ADP, WR7)
Consistency and assured opportunities are major factors in favor of Brown. He's also a workout warrior with unquestioned conditioning and just turned 26 years old. Last year's breakout resulted in Brown finishing second in receptions (110) and receiving years (1,499). Brown was seventh among all players and fourth at wide receiver in yards after catch (602), thanks to a slew of broken tackles and overall masterful work in the middle of the field.
Gone are Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery, the only other wide receivers the Steelers tossed the ball to last season. Sanders was second to Brown in receptions with 67. Cotchery led the team with 10 touchdowns, and they combined for more than 1,300 yards. That void is not going to be filled by the offseason additions of Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, although Moore can play well when healthy. Heyward-Bey suffered a concussion last week and could be a long shot to stick given the group of young receivers that needs to be sorted out. In fact, Markus Wheaton, a second-round pick in 2013 and another smallish receiver like Brown, appears to have the inside track to start opposite him. The rest of the group includes a few inexperienced tall guys: rookie Martavis Bryant, Justin Brown and Derek Moye.
Clearly, touches will not be an issue for Brown as he also gets the ball in other creative ways. Brown has 21 career rushing attempts and three pass attempts in the past three seasons. However, fantasy owners would prefer that he be taken off of punt-return duty.
Alshon Jeffery (19.38 ADP, WR8)
Jeffery came into the league with conditioning issues, something that could have played a part with the injuries he labored with as a rookie. The year-two breakout saw Jeffery finish the season sixth in receiving yards (1,421) and 10th in catches (89). He was also among the top-15 wideouts in targets and yards after catch.
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