Wide Receiver Depth for the Fantasy Football Season

According to an estimate, there are more than 61 million fantasy players in the world. 78% of those play fantasy football leaving little doubt about what a new NFL season means for fantasy sports fans.

The season’s opening game will be played at the Raymond James Stadium Tampa when the Cowboys will play the Buccaneers. From the kick-off, the 2021 fantasy football season will begin.

The wide receivers’ depth for the upcoming fantasy football season runs deep. However, you can never guarantee that your drafted WRs will perform as well as based on the position you have drafted them.

Michael Thomas was WR1 before the 2020 season and was a total bust due to an ankle injury. He was being drafted well before elite RBs, yet he ended up a bust due to injuries and personal issues.

The National Football League is full of uncertainties, which means there will be uncertainty in fantasy football.

The final list of the players has been prepared based on the player’s previous year’s performance. We’ve combined the results of several mock drafts. The strength of schedule of the player’s team concerning wideout’s positions, and the general conditions of each franchise.

ROUND 1

Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs)

2020 Stats:

  • 87 Receptions
  • 1276 Recieving Yards
  • 15 Recieving TD’s
  • 13 Carries
  • 123 Rushing Yards
  • 2 Rushing TD’s

Tyreek Hill should be drafted somewhere in the late first round. If you end up with a 7th to 10th pick, you can safely draft Hill. Hill is on top of our list because of his relatively easy strength of schedule and, of course, Mahomes really like to throw deep towards Hill. Coming from a solid fantasy season, we expect Hill to perform well again.

2. Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers)

2020 Stats:

  • 115 Receptions
  • 1374 Recieving Yards
  • 18 Receiving TD’s

Davante Adams should also be drafted alongside Hill in the late first round. Adams is our number 2 WR and not WR1 because the Packers have some tough match-ups down the road. The Packers have also traded for Randall Cobb, who was a favorite target of Aaron Rodgers. However, Adams will continue to be the main focus of defense’s attention. Drafting Adams if you miss Hill will do your team well.  

ROUND 2

3. Stefon Digs (Buffalo Bills)

2020 Stats:

  • 127 Receptions
  • 1535 Recieving Yards
  • 8 Recieving TD’s        
  • 1 Carry
  • 1 Rushing Yard

Stefon Diggs was the most targeted receiver in the NFL, with 166 targets in 2020. Diggs proved his worth as an elite wideout. You can draft him in the early second round. Similarly, if you end up drafting Tyreek Hill in the late first round and your early second pick, Diggs, is available, don’t hesitate in taking 2 elite wide receivers. You could have the top WR’s in your fantasy league. The chemistry between Josh Allen and Diggs is exceptional, and we are predicting that it will be more of the same in 2021.  

4. Calvin Ridley (Atlanta Falcons)

2020 Stats:

  • 90 Receptions
  • 1374 Recieving Yards
  • 9 Recieving TD’s       
  • 5 Carries
  • 1 Rushing Yard

Ridley’s stock has gone up after the departure of the elite WR Julio Jones. Ridley should be drafted somewhere in the mid-second round. Even alongside Julio, Ridley was wracking up a good amount of targets, expect Matt Ryan to throw a lot more in Ridley’s direction. 2021 might be the best season of Ridley’s career and he could finish as high as WR1.  

5. DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona Cardinals)

2020 Stats:

  • 115 Receptions
  • 1407 Recieving Yards
  • 6 Recieving TD’s         
  • 1 Carry
  • 1 Rushing Yard

DeAndre Hopkins left the Texans to prove a point, and he proved that point. Hopkins wanted everyone to know that he can fit in any scheme and catch any ball thrown his way because he is an elite receiver. Hopkins is easily a mid to late second-round pick. Kyler Murray was better in 2020 than 2019, and we expect Murray to be even better in 2021, which means Hopkins is in line for a monster season.

ROUND 3

6. D.K. Metcalf (Seattle Sea Hawks)

2020 Stats:

  • 83 Receptions
  • 1303 Recieving Yards
  • 10 Recieving TD’s

DK Metcalf at WR6 is a late first-round to early second-round pick. If you have selected an RB in the first round and are looking for someone who will dominate with weekly reliability, then Metcalf is your guy. Furthermore, Metcalf has a combination of speed, mass, and talent, making him the most lethal WR in the entire NFL. Russel Wilson has developed a great connection with Metcalf, which makes his WR stocks even more valuable.

7. A.J. Brown (Tennessee Titans)

2020 Stats:

  • 70 Receptions
  • 1075 Recieving Yards
  • 11 Recieving TD’s

The whole receiving core of the Titans is possibly the most dangerous in the NFL compared to other teams because of Derrick Henry. Due to Henry’s heavy workload, the wide receivers can often get open plays. The Titans have added Julio Jones this off-season which is definitely going to cause slightly lower targets for Brown. However, expect Brown to continue to be a WR1 at Titans with his elite effeciency.

8. Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings)  

2020 Stats:

  • 88 Receptions
  • 1400 Recieving Yards
  • 7 Recieving TD’s          
  • 1 Carry
  • 2 Rushing Yards

Justin Jefferson was one of the highlights of the 2020 season and the top rookie. He proved to be both an extremely dynamic and fast receiver. Kirk Cousins is a pro-bowler QB who connected with Jefferson immediately. Jefferson is a late third-round pick. Jefferson will be a perfect pick if you have drafted an elite RB in the first round and WR in the second round. Last year he was in the top 10 in standard, PPR, and Half-PPR formats despite being a rookie. Jefferson is poised be even better in 2021.  

ROUND 4

9. Allen Robinson (Chicago Bears)

2020 Stats:

  • 102 Receptions
  • 1250 Recieving Yards
  • 6 Recieving TD’s         
  • 1 Carry
  • -1 Rushing Yard

Allen Robinson has never had even a top 20 Quarterback. Yet he has still found a way in Chicago to be an elite WR his entire career. The Chicago Bears selected Justin Field as their primary signal-caller in the first round of the NFL draft. This will greatly help Robinson because, along with being mobile, Fields is a great pocket passer. ARob is going to see lots of red-zone targets, which will propel his fantasy value this season.

10. Terry McLaurin (WFT) 

2020 Stats:

  • 87 Receptions
  • 1118 Recieving Yards
  • 4 Recieving TD’s            
  • 1 Carry
  • 15 Rushing Yards

Terry McLaurin is going to be starting his third year at Washington this season. We expect him to be a WR1 at Washington. McLaurin is going to be catching balls from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is a tremendous quarterback for receivers in fantasy. Fitzpatrick has proven that he can be extremely beneficial to his wide receivers. McLaurin is a mid-fourth-round pick this fantasy football season.  

11. Keenan Allen (LA Chargers)

2020 Stats:

  • 100 Receptions
  • 992 Recieving Yards
  • 8 Recieving TD’s            
  • 1 Carry
  • -1 Rushing Yard

LA Chargers were a perfect spot for Keenan Allen when he was drafted back in 2013. Philip Rivers was a prolific passer, and that really helped Allen understand the nuances of becoming an elite wide receiver. Now he is considered somewhat veteran receiver, and the Chargers have gotten the hottest rookie quarterback in the league in 2020. Justin Herbert will continue to be better, and Allen is the primary target for Herbert to throw to. Allen is a mid-fourth to late fourth-round pick with WR1 upside.

12. Mike Evans  (TB Buccaneers)   

2020 Stats:

  • 70 Receptions
  • 1006 Recieving Yards
  • 13 Recieving TD’s

Mike Evans’ overall stats were down in 2020 as compared to 2019, but that was expected. Tom Brady had never been the person who continually throws deep at ‘split-end or flanker receivers’ (apart from Randy Moss). Instead, Brady feels comfortable throwing at the tight ends and especially towards the slot receivers. However, Evans made the most of it with 13 Touchdowns -the highest of Evans’ career-. Evans is very tall with a secure hand, so we hope Brady will target him more in 2021.  

13. CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys)   

2020 Stats:

  • 74 Receptions
  • 935 Recieving Yards
  • 5 Recieving TD’s             
  • 10 Carries
  • 62 Rushing Yards
  • 1 Rushing TD

Analysts all over the NFL were praising Lamb even before the Cowboys drafted him. Lamb proved them right when he made most of it with a little chance he got. The whole offense team crumpled when Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott went down in the fifth game. The backup QBs weren’t good enough, so it was hard for the Cowboys to carry on with the season. Lamb caught some amazing throws. Lamb will take the primary receiver role this season, and his receptions, TDs, and yards will be in the top 5 of the leagues.

ROUND 5

14. Cooper Kupp (LA Rams)  

2020 Stats:

  • 124 Receptions
  • 974 Recieving Yards
  • 3 Recieving TD’s           
  • 1 Carry
  • 15 Rushing Yards

The blockbuster trade between the Rams and the Lions was one of the most dominant stories of the offseason. Rams coach Sean Mcvay really believes in Matthew Stafford, and that is why he gave so much to get him. Stafford has come into a scheme where more than long throws, short passes are more appreciated. Stafford is a really accurate QB, and we are expected to watch really ‘threading-the-needle’ kind of throws this season that will boost Kupp’s value more than any slot receiver. That’s going to benefit Kupp more than any other player on the team.

15. Amari Cooper (Dallas Cowboys)  

2020 Stats:

  • 92 Receptions
  • 1114 Recieving Yards
  • 5 Recieving TD’s           
  • 6 Carries
  • 16 Rushing Yards

Just like CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper suffered from the injury of Darek Prescott. Amari Cooper is expected to repeat his last year’s performances with the help of Prescott. By the fifth round, you must already have drafted a wide receiver and/or an elite tightened by now. Amari Cooper will be a perfect option for you if you are looking to draft a valuable wide-out.

16. Robert Woods (LA Rams)  

2020 Stats:

  • 90 Receptions
  • 936 Recieving Yards
  • 6 Recieving TD’s            
  • 24 Carries
  • 155 Rushing Yards
  • 2 Rushing TD’s

Robert Woods is another Rams player who will greatly benefit from the Stafford inclusion in the Rams franchise. Woods has a natural ability to catch the deep throws, and we all know how accurately can Stafford do that. In the 2021 fantasy football season, Woods might have the best season of his career.

ROUND 6

17. Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks)   

2020 Stats:

  • 100 Receptions
  • 1054 Recieving Yards
  • 10 Recieving TD’s

Tyler Lockett is down on our list because of D.K. Metcalf had some monstrous plays throughout last season. Lockett had some amazing games, but the very next week, he wasn’t able to do much. Lockett is a safe bet if you are looking to get around 10 points on average every week. You can safely draft Lockett at the bottom of the fifth round or even in the early sixth round.

18. Julio Jones (Tennessee Titans)  

2020 Stats:

  • 51 Receptions
  • 771 Recieving Yards
  • 3 Recieving TD’s

Jones used to be a first or second-round pick. It was due to the sheer attention Falcons used to give him. That’s not going to happen in Tennessee because Titans have a very conservative approach to offensive plays. They heavily rely on their run game. Nevertheless, Jones is still an elite receiver and will be a good option for your fantasy team. 

19. D.J. Moore (Carolina Panthers)  

2020 Stats:

  • 66 Receptions
  • 1194 Recieving Yards
  • 4 Recieving TD’s            
  • 2 Carries
  • 22 Rushing Yards

There has been some QB problem in the Panthers. This year Sam Darnold is expected to start, and if somehow Darnold can get his college form back (and forget some of the play he made in NY Jets), we’ll be in for a real treat. In fact, we might see the Panthers with a very nice season run. Christian McCaffery will also be back, which will additionally benefit the wide receivers. D.J. Moore can be a top-tier fantasy football player. However, the QB must up the game.

ROUND 7

20. Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)   

2020 Stats:

  • 65 Receptions
  • 840 Recieving Yards
  • 7 Recieving TD’s

Chris Godwin only had 65 receptions with only 840 yards. It was low from his previous performances, but the Buccaneers have lots of options. Mike Evans, Christ Godwin, OJ Howard, and Scotty Miller were already there, and when Brady arrived, they added Gronkowski and Antonio Brown. Let’s face it the fact that’s the most talented receiving core in the entire NFL, which is though good for the team it doesn’t do much for the player itself. Godwin will be much safer somewhere as a sixth-round pick.

21. Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings)     

2020 Stats:

  • 74 Receptions
  • 925 Recieving Yards
  • 14 Recieving TD’s            
  • 3 Carries
  • 15 Rushing Yards

Adam Thielen’s overall stats were down from previous years, but he made most of it by catching 14 touchdowns. From fantasy football’s perspective, Thielen was a top 10 wideout in the 2020 season. Thielen will continue to be a good fantasy option in 2021.

22. Kenny Golladay (New York Giants)     

2020 Stats:

  • 20 Receptions
  • 338 Recieving Yards
  • 2 Recieving TD’s

This will be Golladay’s first season as a non-Detroit player. The giants have some obvious quarterback problems, but Daniel Jones can somehow keep himself in the pocket. We will see some terrific plays by Golladay. The analysts were comparing Golladay with Calin Johnson, so it’s obvious that he’s got some talent. You can select Golladay anywhere in the sixth round, and he will fit your fantasy football team.  

ROUND 8

23. Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco 49ers)     

2020 Stats:

  • 60 Receptions
  • 748 Recieving Yards
  • 5 Recieving TD’s              
  • 6 Carries
  • 77 Rushing Yards
  • 2 Rushing TD’s

Brandon Aiyuk came out of nowhere and emerged as a WR1 by the end of the 2021 season. In addition to being a terrific receiver, Aiyuk got very good speed making him a dual-threat wide receiver. Aiyuk is a viable fantasy option, especially if you consider adding him to your flex or WR3.  

24. Odell Beckham Jr (Cleveland Browns)    

2020 Stats:

  • 23 Receptions
  • 319 Recieving Yards
  • 3 Recieving TD’s              
  • 3 Carries
  • 72 Rushing Yards
  • 1 Rushing TD

It’s been a rough few years for Odell Beckham Jr. Last year, after struggling in few earlier games, Bekham Jr showed some explosiveness as he used to at Giants, but it was short-lived after he tore his ACL. Baker Mayfield wanted to bring someone like OBJ to continue throwing the football in OBJ’s direction.

25. Diontae Johnson (Pittsburgh Steelers)    

2020 Stats:

  • 88 Receptions
  • 923 Recieving Yards
  • 7 Recieving TD’s              
  • 3 Carries
  • 15 Rushing Yards

Diontae Johnson showed some real promise last year when he made some amazing plays. He almost reminded us of Antonio Brown. However, -as oppose to AB- Johnson dropped a lot of passes. We hope that Johnson has managed to overcome his problem in the offseason. He can be easily started as a flex option or WR3, depending on your league’s settings.

ROUND 9

Note: The players listed in Round 9 and beyond are the players who can be used either at flex or as your backup. If you are in league with a WR3 option instead of flex, you can use the players in Round 9 and later rounds.

26. Ja’Marr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals)     

2020 Stats: (Drafted in 2021)

It’s very tricky to list a rookie anywhere because it’s tough to predict the possible outcomes. Ja’Marr Chase is considered by many to be the best college prospect since Julio Jones. Cincinnati can be a very opportunistic place for Chase because it will be a while before they get everything in order. With a talent like Joe Burrow, they will throw a lot, which will benefit Ja’Marr Chase a lot. If Chase is available in your league (or even in free agency), make sure to grab him and keep him on the bench if you are unsure. We may see the best rookie season by a wide receiver in 2021.  

27. Chase Claypool (Pittsburgh Steelers)     

2020 Stats:

  • 62 Receptions
  • 873 Recieving Yards
  • 9 Recieving TD’s            
  • 10 Carries
  • 16 Rushing Yards
  • 2 Rushing TD’s

Chase Claypool has yet to find his spot on the Steelers team. After the departure of AB, there seems to be space left to fill for WR1. So far, no one has been able to fill it. Claypool can catch the ball in a crowded place, and he’s got a secure hand. Chase Claypool can be a good flex-start. However, since there are already too many options in Pittsburgh, we like you to research before the game.

ROUND 10

28. DJ Chark (Jacksonville Jaguars)   

2020 Stats:

  • 53 Receptions
  • 706 Recieving Yards
  • 5 Recieving TD’s             

So, this can go either way. Either DJ Chark will be top 5 wide receivers, or he might be below 40 in stats. It all depends on the quarterback. It’s a huge transition when a college quarterback comes to the NFL, so there are many variables at play. Trevor Lawrence was often called the best quarterback since Peyton Manning, so if that turns out to be true, we can expect Chark to score huge in the upcoming fantasy football season.   

29. Tee Higgins (Cincinnati Bengals)   

2020 Stats:

  • 67 Receptions
  • 908 Recieving Yards
  • 6 Recieving TD’s           
  • 6 Carries
  • 5 Rushing Yards

If Jow Burrow gets his college form back then and Ja’Marr Chase, we are expecting Tee Higgins to be a beneficiary. But so far, it’s uncertain. You can draft him as your bench backup and see how the future plays out. He might be worth your efforts.

30. Courtland Sutton (Denver Broncos)     

2020 Stats:

  • 3 Receptions
  • 66 Recieving Yards

Courtland Sutton had an amazing season in 2019 when he finished in the top 20.  Drew Lock had some amazing workouts through the offseason, and Courtland Sutton can really benefit from that. Draft him as your backup or flex starter before drafting your DST and Kicker. However, make sure to keep checking the matchups before the game.

ROUND 11

31. Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints)     

2020 Stats:

  • 40 Receptions
  • 438 Recieving Yards

Michael Thomas was the biggest fantasy bust in the 2020 fantasy football season. Owners had drafted Thomas in the mid to late first round, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. This season there have been some news stores that Thomas is not happy with his current situation. Furthermore, he has been dealing with lingering injuries. However, Thomas has gone in his favor because he’s a rare athlete and possibly the best WR in terms of talent. If he can get his act together, we will see some amazing catches.

32. Robby Anderson (Carolina Panthers)   

2020 Stats:

  • 95 Receptions
  • 1096 Recieving Yards
  • 3 Recieving TD’s            
  • 4 Carries
  • 15 Rushing Yards

Robby Anderson had a good season. However, that’s not enough to put him in the top half of the list. The biggest problem in Carolina is their quarterback positions, and unless they resolve it will continue to be a problem for them. Right now, it’s up-top Sam Darnold to make sure how he handles the quarterback situation, and if he does, Anderson will benefit from it.

ROUND 12

Note: Players in Round 10 should be kept as backup and only started based on their matchups.

33. JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers)     

2020 Stats:

  • 97 Receptions
  • 840 Recieving Yards
  • 9 Recieving TD’s

JuJu Smith-Schuster was thought to be a viable replacement for AB. However, he proved to be a disappointment. There are way too many receivers in Pittsburgh, and no one is perfect. JuJu needs to step up his game to make it in the NFL and fantasy football.

34. Deebo Samuel (San Francisco 49ers)  

2020 Stats:

  • 33 Receptions
  • 391 Recieving Yards
  • 1 Recieving TD             
  • 8 Carries
  • 26 Rushing Yards

2020 fantasy football was not a season as Samuel might have intended it to be. Samuel can catch the ball and run fast, making him an up-and-coming wide receiver, but he must remain healthy. You can pick up Samuel as your backup just in case if he starts to find his rhythm.  

35. Will Fuller (Miami Dolphins)     

2020 Stats:

  • 53 Receptions
  • 879 Recieving Yards
  • 8 Recieving TD’s
  • 1 Carry

Will Fuller was a top 5 wide receiver in the 2020 fantasy football season when he tore his ACL and went on IR. In the offseason, he contracted with Dolphins, and therein lies the problem. Tua Tagovailoa is nowhere near as good as Deshaun Watson, and in 2021, the only way we can expect something from Will Fuller is if Tua makes some amazing plays, which is a huge variable. Will Fuller does have talent, but it’s not up to him how his talent gets used. He should be purely picked up as backup and should be stayed on your bench until Tua starts (hopefully) to make some plays.

Wide Receiver Depth for the Fantasy Football Season