Seven receivers come off the board in the fifth round as fantasy owners are left to decide between taking quality WR2s or respectable RB3s in 10-team leagues.
41. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP 5.09)
Brown’s return skills in the open field were on display on his long touchdown catch and run against the Colts, and we should expect big things from the third-year receiver. Some may not like offensive coordinator Todd Haley, but Brown has developed a good relationship with his new coach.
Looking comfortable in the offense, Brown will excel even if Mike Wallace misses time, but he will be helped if the speedster is in because of what Wallace presents to a defense, with his long speed.
Going almost a full round ahead of his ADP trends, Brown is a respectable pick at this point and will deliver a quality season.
42. Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots (ADP 5.04)
With all do respect to Brown, I would go with Lloyd before him.
The table is set for Lloyd to have a career year, and given what he did in 2010, that’s saying something. In fact, I would recommend you target Lloyd as a fourth-round pick and a low-end WR1 in standard-scoring leagues.
Defenses will be forced to choose whom they will take away on any given play between Lloyd, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Don’t think for a minute that Tom Brady won’t exploit defenses down the field when opportunities present themselves, and it will be Lloyd on the other side of most of those deep balls.
The only thing I can see holding Llyod back is the offensive line's pass protection, but I believe the coaching staff will correct this through the first month.
43. Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins (ADP 5.09)
A better PPR running back, Bush has looked good in the preseason.
I’m still concerned that the coaching staff will cap Bush’s workload in the running game, opting to use him more in a passing game that needs all the help it can get. If Daniel Thomas or Lamar Miller can emerge as a viable option in the backfield, it could frustrate owners who are counting on Bush as a regular starter.
This is where his reception points will be important, and you won’t receive them in standard-scoring leagues.
44. Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings (ADP 5.01)
If you should find yourself choosing between Harvin and Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks or Demaryius Thomas, please don’t take the Vikings' talented receiver. Sure, Harvin could deliver WR1 production, but his health problems and attitude are question marks.
Harvin’s ADP is in the fifth round of late, and I believe he will disappoint owners who take him over some other very talented options.
45. Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers (ADP 5.03)
Still an explosive receiver, Smith will continue to enjoy the latter part of his career with Cam Newton as his quarterback.
Recent news of Smith’s foot injury is a little concerning, so maybe it’s a good idea to drop him a round until he gets back on the field.
46. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys (ADP 5.01)
Before Bryant’s knee problem, I was ready to have him up in the top 10 receivers. When Bryant is on the field, I’m convinced he’s ready for WR1 production, and he should be good for double-digit touchdowns.
Then again, it’s health that could hold him back (and maybe attitude problems) from delivering the numbers his skill set suggests he can give us.
This is a risk-versus-reward player, but I’m willing to roll the dice if I can get him as a second receiver in 10-team leagues.
47. Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints (ADP 5.06)
I'm not that high on Colston at this point in his career. More of a WR3, Colston will probably be third in line for receptions in the New Orleans Saints offense, behind Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham.
Not much upside in what you’re getting here.
48. Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants (ADP 4.06)
If you can snag Nicks late in the fifth round, you’re acquiring one heck of a receiver.
Nicks does have his health concerns, but it’s a good sign that he hasn’t suffered any setbacks (knock on wood) since returning from his foot ailment.
49. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP 5.06)
I’m not a fan of taking Green-Ellis at this point, mainly because of the receiver talent on the board. Green-Ellis can help fantasy teams, but look to the option below in Demaryius Thomas as one receiver who could deliver WR1 upside.
Go with Peyton Hillis a round later, or better yet snag him at this point if you’re taking a running back.
50. Demaryius Thomas (ADP 6.03)
It’s not as though Thomas thrives on the deep ball, and if we should trust anyone to figure a way to keep his team productive, it’s Manning.
ADP comes courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator.