WR A.J. Green | Cincinnati Bengals | 8th Year
2017 Stats: 75 rec., 1,078 yards, 8 TD
With another 1,000-yard campaign, for the sixth time in seven seasons, and a finish as WR10 in ESPN leagues (default PPR scoring), it’s hard to call 2017 a bad season for A.J. Green. But he set a career-low in yards per game (67.4) and his catch rate (52.4 percent) was a career-worst by nearly three percent. The drop-off in play from Andy Dalton can be blamed for the latter number, with almost a five percent drop in his completion percentage, but Green was also credited with five drops.
Green maintained a huge target share (28 percent) last year, and no matter how much improvement John Ross makes in his second season that’s not going away. Despite a career-low in yards per target last year (7.6), and all that reflects in terms of lack of big plays, there aren’t any significant signs Green is slowing down.
Apart from connecting better with Dalton, who will be operating behind an upgraded offensive line, Green is in line for an uptick in red zone targets this year (16 in 2017). Six of his eight touchdowns came in the red zone, and he was in the top-tier of the league in end zone targets among wide receivers last year (14). There is upside potential with just a little more red zone involvement, so double-digit touchdowns is firmly in play for Green.
Green went the final month of last season without a touchdown, and a Week 15 dud against the Minnesota Vikings in a blowout loss (two catches for 30 yards) came at a bad time for his fantasy owners. But the target volume was still there, with double-digits in three of those final four games, and going a quarter of the season with a catch rate less than 42 percent is not happening again.
Green’s ADP on Fantasy Football Calculator is trending up, however slightly. But he’s still in the mid-to-late second round range (pick 2.08 in both standard and full-point PPR) as WR8. It would be hard to clearly outperform that ADP, but Green has top-five potential with the easy expectation of positive correction in a few areas.
A.J. Green 2018 Projection: 92 receptions for 1,250 yards, 11 TD
Bounceback Percentage: 99%
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