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Fantasy points per touch: 2018 WR leaders

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The wide receiver position has taken a backseat to the running backs in the terms of overall fantasy value at the top of drafts, but it's still a very productive and deep position. In fact, wideouts totaled 532 touchdown catches in 2018. That's the most in NFL history. The position also accounted for 18,040.76 PPR points, which is the most since at least 2000 (as far as we can look back). With points being scored at such a high rate in the high-scoring NFL, let's dig a little deeper into who was the most productive when the football was in their hands. And no, I'm not talking about just overall points scorers.

While the final scoring leaders offer a look at how well a player performed in the stat sheets, it fails to offer us a complete picture of how good the player really was for fantasy fans. In the case of the wideouts, here are the position's top 25 players (minimum 50 touches) in fantasy points per touch (attempts plus receptions):

1. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (3.60 fantasy points per touch): It's no surprise to see Williams ranked this high on our list, as he barely met our touch requirement (50) but finished tied for fifth in touchdowns (10) at his position. The Clemson product is a player to watch in 2019, as he still hasn't hit his stats ceiling.

2. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3.38): Evans bounced back last season after a lackluster 2017 campaign, finishing ninth in points among wideouts. He also saw his points-per-touch average rise more than half a point from (2.86). I'd expect Evans to be a second- or third-round selection in 2019.

3. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (3.18): Lockett is another no-brainer as a strong performer here based on his high touchdown to reception ratio (7.0). What's more, Lockett and Russell Wilson did something pretty amazing ... Wilson had a perfect passer rating when he targeted Lockett on offense.

T-4. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (3.14): Hilton was inconsistent at times this past season, but he still bettered his point-per-touch average (3.08) from 2017 and got back in the top 15 among wide receivers. His low touchdown output will put a cap on his value to that of a No. 2 option, however.

T-4. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3.14): Godwin finished an unimpressive 27th in points at the position, but he made the most with his 59 touches. Depending on what the Buccaneers do with DeSean Jackson this offseason, Godwin could wind up on a lot of fantasy breakout candidate lists for next season.

6. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (3.11): No surprise here, as Brown is a regular top-10 finisher in the point-per-touch conversation among wideouts. Here's what we don't know, however ... he's done in Pittsburgh, so what kind of numbers will he produce at his next destination? Stay tuned, fans.

T-7. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (3.01): Hill is coming off his best pro season, finishing third in PPR points while also bettering his point-per-touch average from 2017 (2.67). What's impressive about Hill is that he saw 17 more touches in 2018 and was still able to increase in high PPT average.

T-7. Robby Anderson, New York Jets (3.10) Anderson didn't have the huge season a lot of us had projected, but he finished very strong. In fact, he averaged 2.74 points per touch over his final four games, during which time he averaged 5.8 catches. He averaged just 2.7 catches in his first 10 contests.

9. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (2.97): Adams proved that he belongs among the elite wide receivers in fantasy football after producing a career season in 2018. He scored a touchdown every 8.5 catches en route to the most consistent fantasy campaign of the year. He'll be a second rounder in 2019.

10. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (2.95): Ridley finished 22nd among wideouts during his rookie year, and his 2.95 point-per-touch average is impressive. His downfall, however, is that Ridley was a top-10 receiver in just 31.3 percent of his games, and he scored 42 percent of his points in three games.

11. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (2.92): Golladay ranked 23rd in points among wideouts in his second NFL season, and he still has plenty of room for growth in the stat sheets looking ahead to 2019.

12. Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills (2.90): Jones might seem like an odd name to find here, but he had a touchdown on every eight of his 56 catches last season. There could be some deep sleeper appeal here.

13. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (2.88): Hopkins saw his point-per-touch average drop a bit compared to last season (3.41), but that's forgivable based on his sheer volume. He's my WR1 for 2019.

14. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (2.85): Jeffery actually ranked second in this category a season ago at 3.44. He averaged more catches per game compared to 2017, but he scored three fewer times.

15. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (2.84): Injuries caused Baldwin to have a down season, but he did average a ridiculous 3.65 points per reception over the final three games of the 2019 campaign.

T-16. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (2.84): Jones had the same PPT average as he did in 2017, but he had more targets, touches and catches. He also found the end zone five more times compared to 2017.

T-16. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (2.83): People tend to forget how good Boyd was before A.J. Green went down to injuries. He could turn into a decent draft bargain under new head coach Zac Taylor.

18. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (2.81): Beckham Jr. is coming off a disappointing (at times) season that saw him miss four games due to injuries. He averaged 2.83 points per reception.

19. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (2.79): Cooper was a far different fantasy player in Dallas, as he scored six touchdowns and averaged an impressive 2.94 points per touch in his nine games in Big D.

20. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (2.74): Robinson, who finished with just 56 touches, has put up an average of 2.7 points per touch in his last 30 games. He averaged 3.8 in his breakout 2015 campaign.

21. Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams (2.70): Cooks saw his PPT average decline 0.29 points in his first season in Los Angeles. Robert Woods averaged 2.54, but he also had 15 more touches than Cooks.

22. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (2.69): Fitzgerald posted just 69 catches last season, which was 40 fewer than he had in 2017. Christian Kirk averaged 2.68 points per touch in his 46 touches.

23. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos/Houston Texans (2.66): Thomas is coming off his worst year in the stat sheets since 2011, and his career is in question coming off a torn Achilles at the age of 31.

24. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (2.65): Smith-Schuster saw a decline in his PPT average compared to 2017 (3.41), but he also saw an increase of 54 touches. He'll be a WR1 in drafts.

T-25. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (2.64): Sanders missed the final four games of 2018 due to a torn Achilles, and you have to wonder if the Broncos move on from him as he enters his age 32 season.

T-25. Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (2.64): Shepard finished 30th in PPR points among wide receivers. He also ranked 31st in touches at the position, but Shepard only found the end zone four times.

Notes: A.J. Green averaged a stellar 3.25 fantasy points per touch last season, but he failed to meet our touch requirements by four (46). The veteran averaged 3.02 and ranked 10th among wideouts in the category in 2017. ... Will Fuller saw just 32 touches last season as injuries cost him nine games, but he did average a very solid 3.32 points per touch. Unfortunately, Fuller hasn't been able to meet expectations due to various ailments that have limited him to 31 combines games in his first three pro campaigns. ... Adam Thielen averaged 9.3 catches, 115.6 yards and scored six touchdowns in his first eight games of the 2018 season. That was good enough for 2.7 points per touch. His average dropped to 2.4 in the second half, however, as he averaged just 4.9 catches, 56 yards and scored three times in his final eight contests. .... Devin Funchess went from ranking fifth among wideouts in points-per-touch average (3.1) in 2017 to 2.79 this past season. He also saw his targets, catches, yards and touchdowns all fall. D.J. Moore will be the Panthers wideout to target in 2019 drafts, while Funchess could be wearing a new uniform as he enters free agency. ... Cooper Kupp missed our requirements by six touches due to injuries, but he did post a solid 3.04 point-per-touch average in his eight games. Barring any setbacks in his return from a torn ACL, Kupp could turn into one of the better draft bargains in 2019 fantasy drafts.


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for the latest fantasy football news and analysis!

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