The wide receiver position is really deep this season. Everyone knows about the top-five talents, but there are really great receivers that can make a case for a top-five spot. With some players returning from injury, other players take a fall in the rankings. Keenan Allen and Victor Cruz are top-20 receivers that can be had in Round 5. Which one would you draft?
Case for Victor Cruz
Cruz had a great 2012 season with 86 receptions for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. That momentum unfortunately didn’t continue into the following year. He had 73 catches for 998 yards and four scores. Cruz didn’t score a touchdown after Week 4 and had just one double-digit game from Week 5 to Week 17.
Cruz did have to deal with a lot throughout the season. He had a late-season injury, the wide receiving corps fell off greatly and Eli Manning threw a league-high interceptions. However, the change to a West Coast scheme will help Cruz and the New York Giants offense. Expect to see a lot of Salsa dancing.
Case for Keenan Allen
Allen entered the 2013 season as a rookie with the San Diego Chargers. He had just three catches and 30 yards in the first three weeks. When teammate Malcom Floyd went down with a neck injury, Allen stepped up big time. He had 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. He finished 17th among wide receivers in fantasy based on standard scoring.
Floyd is trying to make a comeback and Eddie Royal had a resurgence last year. With running backs who could catch passes like Danny Woodhead, Allen may not reach 70 receptions again.
Both wide receivers can be drafted in the fifth round as a WR2. They are ranked behind some aging veterans and bounce-back candidates like a Larry Fitzgerald and Randall Cobb. Opposing defenses will be ready to double cover Allen after what he produced last year. Cruz, and fantasy owners, needs Manning to tone down the interceptions and make smart passes.
Of the two receivers, I would feel more comfortable selecting Allen, especially with no other receivers around him and the consistent play of his quarterback.