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A Guide to the Draft: High Floor Vs. High Ceiling WR’s

The difference between a quality WR on a team with only one other, or no other receiving options, and a similar WR on a team with multiple receiving options is important to discern. Now, if you have done any reading or research prior to reading this, you most likely have heard the term “high floor” or “high ceiling” tossed around, and before you draft a player, more particularly a WR, it is important to know whether that player is a high floor or high ceiling player.

A high floor player is a player whose fantasy output won’t frequently drop below a certain threshold of points based on any number of factors. A player will most frequently have a high floor based on the sheer number of looks and targets he receives in any given game. Players with high floors this year include, but are not limited to: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, and Eric Decker. These players are the only receiving threat on their them and thus will generally receive enough looks and targets throughout any given game to keep their points from dropping below a relatively high threshold. But, and that’s a big BUTT, this does not mean that drafting players with high floors does not come without risk. Typically the foundation of any high floor is built upon the worthless backs of that player’s surrounding teammates. While they may stand tall atop the high floor of their sub-par counterparts, they will also most likely be blanketed by the defense’s best CB and often even double-teamed, therefore hindering their production by eliminating many would-be-catches all together and simply diminishing their yards after the catch.

A high ceiling player is a little bit trickier. High ceiling players often are the WR’s on a team with multiple other quality WR’s, TE’s, or pass-catching backs for a QB to throw to. High ceiling players include: any of the Bronco’s WR’s or TE Julius Thomas, Julio Jones and Roddy White, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. These players benefit from a defense forcibly spread thin by the multitude of offensive threats. Thus, these WR’s are more readily open throughout the game and, more often than not, have higher yards after catch than high floor WR’s. A high ceiling WR is the kind of WR to bust open a 99 yd TD or rack up 200 yards receiving throughout any given game. However, since the defense is spread thin, a good QB will find it easy to share the wealth and distribute the ball to not only your WR, but to all the other options on the field. So while your WR may be open, often enough, so is another option. Your WR may see games where he is only targeted a few times or not targeted at all, therefore most high-ceiling WR’s come with a disappointing low floor. Just keep in mind that if you are drafting a high ceiling player be wary of the odd spherical room built with the lure of high ceilings high above the despair of its low floors we like to call Fantasy Hell that you may be moving yourself into this year when you do.

Now if you are drafting your first WR this year, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest drafting one type of WR over the other, but it is after you have drafted your first WR and are preparing to draft your second that you may want to read a little more into what type of WR that player is. If you end up with your two starting WR’s as both high floor receivers your team may struggle to beat teams each week who have one to two players that break open those 99 yard TD’s or have 200 yard games. On the other hand, if your two starting receivers end up being both high ceiling players you may lose games simply because you hit weeks where both of your WR’s simply weren’t productive enough and the rest of your team is unable to tighten the slack. Therefore, when I go to draft this year, I will be aiming to mix up my WR options, trying to dip a little into both high floor WR’s and high ceiling WR’s and I think you should too.