This year, the wide receiver pool doesn't appear as deep as the RB pool. The reason is because outside of the Top 3 wide receivers: Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, and Antonio Brown, there's a huge drop-off in talent.
If you insist on drafting a running back early, keep the following 5 wide receivers in mind. That's what I'm going to do this Saturday if I end up going running back in Round 1. All 5 of the receivers listed below could turn out to be fantasy studs this season.
Top 5 Under the Radar WRs
1. Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins
Because Kirk Cousins is playing on the franchise tag this season, Pryor might get lost in the WR shuffle. Make no mistake. Any wide receiver that can catch 77 passes while playing for the Cleveland Browns is a WR worth drafting.
Pryor showed last season that he's got mad skills. He played quarterback at Ohio State. What it means is that Terrelle thinks like a QB while blowing past cornerbacks. He made Cody Kessler look good. Just think what he's going to do for Kirk Cousins.
2. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen got hurt early last season. It's difficult to draft a guy with Allen's injury history. Then again, when he's healthy, there are few wide receivers in the NFL that has a better rapport with his quarterback than what Keenan's got with Chargers' QB Phillip Rivers.
Allen should last until at least Round 4. If you can manage to load up on every position except QB and WR2, and grab Allen and Rivers, you might have a close to unbeatable QB/WR combo. It depends on if Allen can stay healthy this season.
3. Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams
Everyone knows how gifted Sammy Watkins is, right? He might be one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL. Then again, it's hard to know for a couple of reasons. First, Sammy played for a team that rushes the ball like there's no tomorrow. Buffalo ranked second in the NFL in rush yards per game this past NFL Season.
Second, Watkins has suffered through nagging injuries for most of his career. Things could be very different in Los Angeles. Coach Sean Mcvay is all about throwing the pigskin. He didn't trade for Watkins for QB Jared Goff to just hand the ball off to Todd Gurley. Watkins could have the best season of his career.
4. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Everyone and their mother knows that WR Jordy Nelson is Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers' go to guy. That doesn't mean Adams won't get his fair share of looks from the future hall-of-fame QB.
Adams had a decent 2016-2017 NFL Season. He caught 75 passes for 997 yards. He scored 12 TDs. The TDs alone means that Adams is a great pick from Round 3 on. If you go RB early, make sure to put Davante Adams on your radar.
5. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper is the big dog in the Raiders' receiving corp. But, Crabtree, whose rookie season was 2009-2010, caught 89 passes last season for 1,003 yards. He also scored 8 TDs. Crabtree is no slouch of a wide receiver.
If you can manage to pair him with Oakland QB Derek Carr, you might have a fantastic QB/WR combo to lean on. Crabtree appears more consistent than Cooper. Expectations on Cooper are high. I'm not saying don't draft Amari Cooper. I am saying Michael Crabtree could be drafted in Round 3 or later, and he has a shot to offer as much value as Cooper.
Load up on RBs and maybe one of the top tight-ends. Then consider pairing Carr with Michael Crabtree. that's one of the strategies I'm considering for my NFL Fantasy Football Draft this Saturday.