Kenny Golladay is Still Undervalued in Fantasy Football

May 22, 2019
Kenny Golladay is Still Undervalued in Fantasy Football

Only 14 receivers saw more targets in 2018 than Kenny Golladay, only 15 wideouts outscored Golladay, and the third-year receiver's touchdown rate could be primed for a bounce back in 2019.

Yet, Golladay—Babytron, if you will—is being drafted among some teams' No. 2 wideouts. Golladay's late fourth-round average draft position strikes me as the best bargain for a potentially top-end fantasy producer who could (should) be a higher priority in the Detroit offense than wideouts being drafted just before and after him.

And whatever you think of Babytron, whose nickname has driven the haters insane, his best-case 2019 scenario is clearly not baked into his current ADP. There's plenty of reason to believe you're drafting him at or near his redraft floor.

Kenny Golladay's 2018 Season

Golladay, after seeing more than three targets in just six games during his 2017 rookie campaign, finished 2018 with 119 targets, drawing a healthy 21.25% of the Lions' targets. He saw at least eight targets in nine of his 15 games. No other Detroit pass catcher was particularly close in the pecking order, with Theo Riddick finishing 2018 with 74 targets, second most on the team.

One doesn't have to ingest coach speak to believe Golladay can eclipse his 2018 target mark—one can simply look to what happened before and after Detroit traded away Golden Tate to the Eagles. Golladay, before the Tate trade, was notching a not-fantastic six targets per game (a 96-target seasonal pace). It was after the Lions dumped Tate that Babytron turned into a ball hog in Detroit's relatively conservative offense, piling up 71 targets in the team's final seven contests (I'm obliged to mention that Marvin Jones missed time with injuries in the season's second half). That's a season-long pace of 162.3 targets, a nice tidy number that would have put Golladay among the three most-targeted receivers in the NFL last season.

This isn't to say we should pencil in Golladay for more than 160 targets. The Lions' undying commitment to establishing the run at any cost means Detroit's offense, if things go according to plan, won't be among the top half in 2019 passing volume (Detroit was 11th in pass attempts last year, when things did not go according to plan). That caps Golladay's top-end opportunity a bit. It would be an upset, however, if Golladay didn't surpass his 2018 targets by a decent amount.

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