Good morning! We’re back with another elite list of rankings, this time taking on the deepest position in fantasy football.
Before you keep reading, check waivers for Tony Jones Jr.
Tier 1: Elite of Elite
Highest floor & ceiling combos in the league. These guys have an unmatched combination of upside, volume, and skill. 15+ points is the weekly floor.
Stefon Diggs - Saw 10 targets/game in first season with Bills; 2021 preseason showed they plan on throwing even more. Only D. Adams has a higher floor-ceiling combo.
Tyreek Hill - Less consistent than Diggs due to lower target volume (8/game), Hill moves to #2 in best-ball formats.
DeAndre Hopkins - Finished year 1 in Arizona as WR4 despite no off-season in a new offense. Expanded route tree in year 2 will lead to deeper targets. Only Davante Adams bested Hopkins’ 29.4-percent target share last year.
Calvin Ridley - With Julio Jones gone, very possible Ridley finishes the season as the WR1. See below.
Tier 2: Elite
Close to entering the first tier, each of these WRs is missing one aspect that would vault them into the first tier. For most, it’s the volume that’s missing. Expect 13+ from each of these RBs with high ceilings.
Terry McLaurin - McLaurin played through two high ankle sprains last year, averaging 17.7 points prior to injury - this would’ve tied him with A.J. Brown for WR6 last season. And he now has a competent QB for the first time in his career.
Allen Robinson - The only WR in the NFL to eclipse 150+ the past two years, Robinson is playing with the most competent QB of his career (by far). And that’s with Andy Dalton starting - the sky is the limit when Justin Fields wins the job.
Tier 3: Studs
Each WR in this range has their own strengths, leading to high ceiling, 2+ TD weeks, but they average around 10-14 fantasy points per week. Most are missing the true number 1 role:
Amari Cooper - Cooper led all WRs in fantasy points scored in the four weeks Dak Prescott played last season, averaging 12.7 targets per game. And Dak’s back.
Julio Jones - The ageless wonder, last year’s injury-plagued campaign was the first time since 2013 that Julio Jones finished outside WR7. No reason to think he doesn’t fully bounce back, but the volume should take a hit.
Robert Woods - Never the sexy pick but always the reliable one, Woods is the most likely bet to finish exactly on his ADP.
Jerry Jeudy - Don’t leave your draft without him. If you did, trade for him. This is the last time you’ll see him outside the top 20 WR ADP. Finally has an accurate QB in Teddy B. Explosion incoming.
Mike Evans - He’s consistent, 1,000 yards in first-7 seasons, I get it. But I’d rather have Antonio Brown at ADP.
Tier 4: Make or Break Greats
These WRs have a high ceiling, but a low floor due to a lack of consistency. Expect most games in the 9-12 point range, but a few over 20+.
Tyler Lockett - Inconsistency and low target counts make Lockett difficult to trust, especially when making start/sit decisions.
D.J. Moore - Was outscored by both Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel last season. But, still only 24, Moore should continue to improve, and Sam “gunslinger” Darnold is a massive improvement over Teddy “check down” Bridgewater.
Tee Higgins - The Bengals’ best WR, Tee Higgins shined with Joe Burrow in year 1, finishing third in the 2020 class with 1.83 YPRR.
Tier 5: High upside, a few question marks
These guys should be taken for their upside alone. They could easily put up 15+ per game, but need their QBs to feed them.
Odell Beckham - “Looks like his old self” and should be fully healthy going into a make or break season. Browns owe him no money past this year. Can’t bet against Odell this year, WR25 is a safe place to grab him.
Chase Claypool - Per Scott Barrett: “Chase Claypool scored 11 touchdowns as a rookie. Since 1980, there are only four other rookie wide receivers to best that mark: Randy Moss (17), Odell Beckham Jr. (12), Mike Evans (12), and Tyreek Hill (12).”
Antonio Brown - There’s a non-zero chance he leads the TB WR group in fantasy points.
Elijah Moore - I’m tempted to put him at the top of this tier, and that might be too low… Every indication from Jets beat writers is that Moore is a generational talent at the receiving position and may already be the best player on the team.
Tier 6: Not Sexy, but Smart Picks
These guys are all similar. Can’t exactly figure out why, but it’s tough differentiating them. Many scenarios where they beat their ADP.
Marquise Brown - Averaged 16 points his final eight games (postseason included), clearing 80 yards receiving or scoring a touchdown in all eight. 16 ppg would’ve ranked 15th-best over the full season, behind Allen Robinson and Julio Jones.
Michael Thomas - Fantasy football is about winning titles, and grabbing a potential WR1 this late in drafts is a no-brainer. Last season was the only year of Slant-Boys career that he finished outside the top-10 WRs. Grab him, put him on the IR, and thank me later.
Tier 7: Good WRs
These solid but unspectacular players are a valuable asset to fill-in when needed, but your ideally keeping them on the bench Week 1.
Jakobi Meyers - Per Jake Tribbey: New England’s slot role has been a PPR cheat code for a number of years. From 2007-2019, Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman averaged 16.4 FPG in their respective time as the starting slot. 16.4 would place Meyers at WR14. He is the starting slot WR in NE - Acquire him everywhere.
Kenny Golladay - Daniel Jones, injuries, Daniel Jones, terrible offense, and Daniel Jones, all make Kenny G an easy fade. Don’t touch him with a ten-foot pole.
Tier 8: Need a break or two
These guys will sit on your bench until they prove themselves. And there’s a good chance they do. Plus, Rondale Moore is a legend for this:
Bryan Edwards - Remember when HC Jon Gruden hyped Darren Waller before the 2019 season? Well, he had this to say of Bryan Edwards: "Edwards has great ability. He's got great ability. I'm excited about him. You see he looks like T.O., he looks like one of the number one wideouts in the league.”
Terrance Marshall - Per Jake Tribbey: Marshall’s been used in the slot on 35 of his 65 offensive snaps this preseason, and if he leads the Panther’s WRs in slot snaps this season, he could easily finish as their WR2 for fantasy purposes. Why? Because Sam Darnold absolutely loves targeting the slot, sending 37.3% of his throws that way over the past three seasons.
Cole Beasley - Anti-Vaxx sentiment aside, Beasley had a career season in 2020, finishing as WR 27 in PPR. No reason to expect regression, yet he’s going undrafted in some leagues. Don’t break the bank, but grab Beasley where you can.
Tier 9: Who Cares Tier.
A bit of a crapshoot at this point. Goodluck.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Two Days Left
Bestball is one of my new favorite formats for fantasy football. As I mentioned, I’ve drafted 37 teams on Underdog this season…
Underdog gives you a free $25 if you make a $10 deposit on their site (using code: MORNINGHUDDLE). Think about that - you deposit $10 and now have $35. It’s that easy. Take the free money…
FYI, on Thursday they move to only a $10 bonus…
Saints are releasing RB Latavius Murray, per Adam Schefter’s source. They asked for a pay reduction yesterday and he refused. Murray is coming off his best season, averaging 4.5 YPC and 7.7 yards per catch. Hold him - likely Murray ends up in RB-desperate Baltimore. Although…
The Ravens signed Le’Veon Bell to their practice squad.
GO GRAB TONY JONES JR. RIGHT NOW!!! He’ll take the Lat Murray role and become the most valuable handcuff in football.
Tweet of the Day
Featuring Adam Gase and Tony Soprano. Enjoy:
Thanks for joining me this morning - have a great day. Or roast my rankings.
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