Fanelli’s Way Too Early Redraft Rankings: Wide Receivers 1-12by Mike Fanelli January 27, 2021 0 comments
The 2020 fantasy football season is in the rearview mirror, but some are already preparing for the 2021 fantasy season. To help those get ready for the upcoming season, I have put together a six-part series breaking down my early rankings for the 2021 season. Next up in the series will be my top-12 wide receivers. So without further ado, here is the fourth part of my way too early 2021 redraft rankings.
All stats and the rankings are base on four-point per passing touchdown and PPR scoring.
Be sure to check out all six parts of this series, as well as all my fantasy rankings here.
1) Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
2020 Finish: WR1 | 25.6 Fantasy Points Per Game
Despite missing two games, Adams had a historic season. He led the league in catches per game (8.2), receiving yards per game (98.1), receiving touchdowns per game (1.3), and fantasy points per game (25.6). Adams averaged 15.4 or more fantasy points for the fifth season in a row in 2020, scored 10 or more touchdowns in four of those seasons. More importantly, Adams has averaged 136.4 targets per season since 2016. The Packers haven’t upgraded the wide receiver room in recent years, and that’s not likely to change this offseason, making Adams the undisputed WR1 for next season.
2) Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
2020 Finish: WR2 | 21.9 Fantasy Points Per Game
Quietly, Hill had a career season, catching 87 of 135 targets for 1,276 yards and 17 total touchdowns. Hill scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one game in 2020. Furthermore, he had more games with 21 or more fantasy points (seven) than games with under 17 fantasy points (five). On top of that, Hill scored a league-high 57.9 fantasy points in Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even without that game, Hill still averaged over 19 fantasy points per game this season. Hill and Travis Kelce form the best receiving duo in the league, and both should be first-round picks in 2021 fantasy drafts.
3) Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
2020 Finish: WR3 | 20.5 Fantasy Points Per Game
Many were turned off to drafting Diggs this season because of Josh Allen. However, Diggs had the best season of his career by far with Allen. He led the league in catches (127), targets (166), and receiving yards (1,535). The career year resulted in Diggs’ first season with an average of 18 or more fantasy points per game. Diggs scored double-digit fantasy points in every game this season and had more games with 25 or more fantasy points (five) than games with under 15 fantasy points (four). While Diggs will likely regress some next season, he will remain Allen’s go-to target and should average over 17 fantasy points for the third time in the last four years.
4) DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
2020 Finish: WR4 | 18 Fantasy Points Per Game
While some had concerns about him after his trade to Arizona, Hopkins finished the year with his fourth straight season scoring 17.9 or more fantasy points per game. More importantly, Hopkins matched his career-high 115 catches on 160 targets. By comparison, Hopkins averaged 105 catches on 162.3 targets over his previous three seasons. However, Hopkins had a season of ups and downs. He had nine games with 19 or more fantasy points but scored under 13 fantasy points in the other seven games this season. The good news is, Hopkins had seven or more targets in all but one game in 2020, seeing 10 or more in nine games. With Kyler Murray under center, Hopkins will remain his go-to target and should finish next season as a top-five wide receiver.
5) Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
2020 Finish: WR14 | 17.5 Fantasy Points Per Game
Enter the season; many were scared away from drafting Allen with Tyrod Taylor starting. However, after one game, Justin Herbert took over as the starting quarterback, everything changed for Allen. In the 12 games Allen finished with Herbert under center, he averaged 7.9 catches on 11.3 targets for 19.6 fantasy points per game. In those 12 games, Allen scored 20 or more fantasy points six times. More importantly, Allen had 10 or more targets in 11 of the 12 games, including 19 twice. Furthermore, the Chargers have their franchise quarterback in Herbert and his favorite target in Allen. Thanks to his target share and play style, Allen is a PPR machine and a weekly safe floor WR1.
6) Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
2020 Finish: WR95 | 12 Fantasy Points Per Game
Coming off an NFL record of 149 catches in 2019, Thomas had only 40 this season as he missed nine games because of injuries. Even when on the field, Thomas struggled, recording under 10.5 fantasy points in over half his games. To make matters worse, he was shutout against the Buccaneers in the Saints’ final game this season. While Thomas missed nine games this season, he missed only one game in his first four years in the league and shouldn’t be view as injury-prone. Thomas’ fantasy value entering next season will depend on what the Saints do at quarterback as Drew Brees will reportedly retire. However, Thomas is clearly the top receiving option for the Saints and remains a WR1 despite the potential change at quarterback.
7) Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
2020 Finish: WR6 | 17.1 Fantasy Points Per Game
Not only was Jefferson the only offensive rookie to make the Pro Bowl, but he was the only rookie wide receiver to finish as a top-20 wide receiver. More impressive, Jefferson finished the year as the WR6 despite not starting till Week 3 and splitting targets with Adam Thielen, who also finished the year as a top-10 wide receiver. The rookie had six games with 21.5 or more fantasy points and two with 30 or more. He recorded double-digit targets in seven of his 14 starts this season. While Thielen will be back next season, Jefferson has taken over as the WR1 in this offense and should be an early second-round pick in 2021 drafts.
8) Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
2020 Finish: WR5 | 18.8 Fantasy Points Per Game
The third-year breakout rule for wide receivers came true for Ridley this season. After averaged 15.2 fantasy points in 2019, Ridley averaged just under 19 fantasy points in 2020. The reason for the jump in fantasy points was Ridley’s uptick in targets. Over his first two seasons in the league, Ridley averaged 92.5 targets per season. In 2020, Ridley’s 143 targets finished ninth in the league. Ridley also had his first season with over 900 receiving yards in 2020, recording 1,374. Part of his success was the absence of Julio Jones, who missed seven games. However, Ridley could be in a similar situation next season if Jones gets traded. Even if he isn’t, Ridley remains a mid WR1.
9) A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans
2020 Finish: WR12 | 17.2 Fantasy Points Per Game
Many had concerns about Brown coming off his rookie season, where he had eight touchdowns on 52 catches (15.4 TD rate). However, despite missing two games with an injury early in the season, Brown improved in almost every statistic from his rookie season. He finished the 2020 season with 70 catches on 106 targets for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brown is the focal point of the Titans’ passing attack, accounting for 22 percent of their targets this season. Furthermore, he had more games with 20 or more fantasy points (six) than games under 15 fantasy points (five). With Corey Davis likely leaving in free agency, Brown could see 160 targets next season. With that kind of volume, he could finish the year as a top-five wide receiver.
10) D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
2020 Finish: WR7 | 17 Fantasy Points Per Game
Much like his former Ole Miss teammate, Metcalf had a terrific second season in the league. His targets increased from 100 his rookie year to 129 last year. More importantly, his catch rate increased by 6.3 percent. However, it was a season of two halves for Metcalf. Over the first eight games of the season, he averaged 21 fantasy points per game, recording 19 or more in all but two. Then, over the last eight games, he averaged only 12.9 fantasy points per game, scoring 14 or fewer in all but two games. The big difference was the touchdown production, as Metcalf scored eight of his 10 touchdowns in the first half of the season. Even with his inconsistent play, Metcalf should be a late second-round pick next season.
11) Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
2020 Finish: WR52 | 16.2 Fantasy Points Per Game
Rumors are swirling that the Falcons could trade Jones this offseason as he will turn 32 years old in a few weeks and are in a tough spot salary cap-wise. However, unless the Falcons get enough in return, they will hold onto Jones. Unfortunately for them, Jones is coming off another injury-filled season as he missed seven games. It was the most games he has missed in a season since 2013. When on the field, Jones remains a top fantasy wide receiver, averaging 16 or more fantasy points for the eighth time over the last nine seasons. If you draft Jones next season, be ready to deal with the weekly headache of the injury report.
12) Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
2020 Finish: WR9 | 16.4 Fantasy Points Per Game
Robinson will be a free agent in March and while it’s uncertain if he will re-sign with Chicago or sign somewhere else, he has proven to be quarterback proof. Whether in Jacksonville with Blake Bortles or Chicago with Mitchell Trubisky, Robinson has consistently been a WR2 or better. Aside from the year he tore his ACL in Week 1, Robinson has averaged 11.7 or more fantasy points per game in every season of his career. Furthermore, Robinson has been a target machine and proven he can handle it, recording 150 or more targets per season in four of his past five full seasons. Unless Robinson lands on a team with another WR1 on the roster, he is a lock to finish as a top 12 wide receiver next season.