Fantasy Football Scout 2017: Rashard Higgins

Injuries. They happen. And when they occur, they can cause your heart to palpate uncontrollably as you become inundated with frustrating thoughts about how you’re going to replace your top wideout.

Ok, so maybe that’s a gross exaggeration.

But for anyone that plays fantasy football, having a rising star on your squad that suffers a long term injury can be immensely aggravating as you scramble to find a suitable replacement. For anyone who lost wide receiver Corey Coleman (again) this past week to the IR, I can empathize with your frustration at losing one of the more underrated deep threats in football. But fear not fantasy owners. While losing a player is always devastating to some degree, you can take comfort in the notion that there is always someone waiting on the bench to prove themselves as your next viable fantasy asset. His name is Rashard Higgins.

Team: Cleveland Browns
Position: Wide Receiver
Percent Owned On Fantasy Teams: (Yahoo Fantasy): 33%
Fantasy Points Total Thru Week 2 (Half PPR): Projected: 2.25 Actual: 13.40

When you look at the number of targets and receptions Higgins garnered against the Baltimore Ravens, it becomes abundantly clear that he is more than just your run of the mill boom or bust deep threat flex player. With 11 targets and seven receptions for 95 yards, Higgins quickly emerged as a reliable and consistent target downfield. Better still, Higgins’ target shares were spread nearly evenly across the field. What this means for fantasy owners is that Higgins can be lined up and utilized in a variety of offensive schemes, which increases his chances of being targeted and ultimately increasing his reception total.

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Speaking of versatility, Higgins was also evenly targeted on 1st (3 targets, 2 receptions, 36 yards), 2nd (4 targets, 3 receptions 19 yards) and third down (4 targets, 2 receptions, 40 yards). These numbers are particularly noteworthy because they tell us that Higgins is not a situational piece whose success is predicated on making the most out of opportunities on a specific down. The fact that he is a go to target in any moment suggests that his abilities are coveted as a number one wideout in the absence of Corey Coleman. While it is a small sample size, it displays Higgins’ statistical prowess as a high volume pass-catcher, which is something that all fantasy owners should covet.

While it’s hard to get particularly excited about anyone who plays for the Browns, Higgins did something that not every wide receiver can do well and that’s being a reliable target on every down anywhere on the field. It’s easy to take that attribute for granted when you have someone like Antonio Brown on your squad who is expected to do it all, but when you’re searching for a productive sleeper, you have to appreciate what someone who was once on the practice squad can do in his professional debut in both fantasy and reality.

 

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