Making the Case to Not Draft Robert Woods

Making the Case to Not Draft Robert Woods

by August 20, 2020 0 comments

Fantasy football drafts are heating up right now as the NFL season is now less than three weeks away. There is a deep class of wide receivers to consider, but Robert Woods of the Los Angeles Rams shouldn’t be on your draft board. According to Fantasy Pros PPR ADP, Woods is being drafted 46th overall as WR19.

His teammate Cooper Kupp is being selected higher at WR15 and 39th overall. The case to draft Kupp was laid out here.

Woods is a talented receiver in, at times, an explosive offense led by quarterback Jared Goff and developed by a young, fresh, offensive guru Sean McVay. Last season Woods caught 90 passes for 1,134 yards and two touchdowns. He only had 10 red zone targets, which is a concerning number for a receiver who led the team in snap shares (92.9%) and target shares (23.4%) at the receiver position.

Kupp and Woods have been the top targets for Goff the past three seasons, and they will continue to be that after the loss of Brandin Cooks in the offseason. But his 718 snaps and 72 targets from 2019 won’t lead to much of an increase in looks for Woods, who had 139 targets. Those targets will go towards Kupp and second-round pick Van Jefferson, who is likely the slot receiver of the future for the Rams. The fact of the matter is, Woods isn’t a consistent fantasy threat for the Rams.

When you compare the numbers of Woods in 2019, to the numbers of Chargers’ receiver Keenan Allen, who is ranked as WR20 and being drafted 47th overall, you’ll see that Allen is the far better option because of his red zone targets, touchdowns, receptions, and touchdowns. And that’ll continue to be the case with an inferior quarterback in Tyrod Taylor throwing the ball to Allen. 

2019 Season Comparison

Player

Targets

Receptions

Touchdowns

Red Zone Targets

Robert Woods

139

90

2

10

Keenan Allen

149

104

6

19

 

Then you can look at the late fourth round/early fifth round and find receivers like D.K Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and D.J Chark, all of which have higher ceilings than Woods, but potentially lower floors.

The Rams are going to be a more pass heavy team in 2020, after the release of running back Todd Gurley in the offseason. In theory, this would lead to more production for Woods because of his usual number targets. However, Goff and this offense have been more successful when they’ve established the run and can exploit defenses in the play-action game. They now have to rely on Darrell Henderson Jr., Malcolm Brown, and rookie running back Cam Akers to increase their effectiveness in the run and play-action game. That’s not a recipe for success when it comes to Woods being more productive than other receivers near his draft slot.

Woods has the potential to finish as a top-20 receiver in 2020. However, the expectations for him as a WR1 aren’t realistic. If you’re drafting in the fourth round and haven’t taken a WR1 yet, Woods isn’t the answer. His role as the leading receiver on this team will be diminished because of a healthy Kupp, his lack of red zone targets, and an atrocious running game. 

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