Fanelli’s Way Too Early Redraft Rankings: Wide Receivers 13-24by Mike Fanelli January 29, 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 13-24 wide receivers. So without further ado, here is the fifth 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.
13) Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
2020 Finish: WR10 | 16.9 Fantasy Points Per Game
Between the trade of Stefon Diggs and his injury-plagued 2019 season, many expected Thielen to regressed this season. However, Thielen had arguably the year of his career as he had 14 touchdowns. By comparison, Thielen had 15 touchdowns over his previous two seasons combined and 25 in his career before this season. Furthermore, Thielen had over 100 targets for the third time in his last four seasons, with the one exception coming in 2019. More importantly, Thielen scored 20 or more fantasy points in almost half his games this season. The duo of Justin Jefferson and Thielen is one of the best in the league. Therefore, expect both to finish inside the top 15 once again next year.
14) Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 Finish: WR31 | 15.9 Fantasy Points Per Game
After a breakout 2019 season where he averaged 19.7 fantasy points per game, Godwin regressed in 2020, averaging 15.9 fantasy points per game. Part of his regression was the injuries, part was the signing of Antonio Brown, and part was the change at quarterback. However, Godwin has cemented himself as a top 15 wide receiver going forward, as he had over 800 receiving yards and seven or more touchdowns in three straight seasons. In the 12 games Godwin played, he scored 13.5 or more fantasy points in nine of them. Godwin is a free agent in March but should be back with the Buccaneers next season as he is the team’s top priority.
15) Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 Finish: WR11 | 15.5 Fantasy Points Per Game
Back-to-back Buccaneer wide receivers shouldn’t surprise anyone. Evans was the only Buccaneer wide receiver to finish as a WR1 in 2020, but that’s because he played in all 16 games. Actually, Evans had a down year compared to his previous two seasons. He had a career-low 109 targets but a career-high 13 touchdowns. Evans had never been a high catch type wide receiver, recording only two seasons with more than 75 catches in his career. Furthermore, Evans was inconsistent last season, finishing 38 percent of his games with less than 10.5 fantasy points. Unless both Godwin and Brown leave in free agency, Evans won’t see the volume needed to repeat his top 12 finish next season.
16) Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 Finish: WR21 | 14.8 Fantasy Points Per Game
Even if JuJu Smith-Schuster is back next season, Johnson should be the first Steeler wide receiver drafted. He led the team in targets (144) and receiving yards (923) despite missing a game and leaving two others after playing fewer than 20 snaps. While Johnson struggled with drops this season, he saw 10 or more targets in 10 of the 13 healthy games he played. Furthermore, Johnson scored 12.5 or more fantasy points in each of those 10 games. He is entering his third year in the league and could be this year’s version of Calvin Ridley.
17) Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
2020 Finish: WR15 | 14.8 Fantasy Points Per Game
Throughout his career, Cooper has been a polarizing fantasy player. However, Cooper was on pace for a career-year before Dak Prescott suffered his ankle injury. Even with Dak missing 11 games, Cooper still averaged 14.8 fantasy points this season, less than one fantasy point fewer than his career-high in 2019. More importantly, Cooper did that despite matching his career-low five touchdowns. Despite catching passes from four quarterbacks this season, Cooper managed to score 12.5 or more fantasy points in all but three games. Even with all the weapons around him, Cooper still matched his career-high 130 targets this season and once again should finish next season as a top-15 wide receiver.
18) Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
2020 Finish: WR13 | 15.3 Fantasy Points Per Game
Woods has been one of the most consistent wide receivers over the past three seasons, averaged 15 or more fantasy points per game every year. In 2020, he matched his career-high 90 catches from the 2019 season, but on 10 fewer targets. He also matched his career-high six touchdowns from the 2018 season. Woods became more involved in the running game this season with career-highs in rushing attempts (24) and rushing touchdowns (two). More importantly, he has taken over as the clear WR1 in Los Angeles. Woods record five or more targets in every game this season, including eight or more in half of his games. Woods’ role in the offense will make him a safe floor WR2 again next season.
19) Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team
2020 Finish: WR20 | 14.9 Fantasy Points Per Game
Despite catching passes from multiple quarterbacks for the second season in a row, McLaurin still finished as a top-20 wide receiver. Even with his touchdowns dropping by almost 50 percent this season, McLaurin averaged 1.2 more fantasy points per game from his rookie season. More importantly, McLaurin provided a safe floor every week for fantasy owners, as he had 11 or more fantasy points in 12 of 15 games in 2020. Furthermore, he had six or more targets in every game last year. While Washington will likely add to their wide core this offseason, McLaurin will remain the team’s top weapon and a WR2 for fantasy owners.
20) D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
2020 Finish: WR25 | 14.1 Fantasy Points Per Game
A year ago, many had Moore in their top-10 wide receivers. However, inconsistent quarterback play and the addition of Robby Anderson led to Moore’s regression this season. His targets dropped by 17 and his catches by 21; however, he had a career-high 1,193 receiving yards and 18.1 yards per catch. While he regressed this season, Moore should bounce back next year. Curtis Samuel is a free agent and likely will sign elsewhere while the return of Christian McCaffrey will take defensive attention away from Moore. Furthermore, he finished 2020 on a good note, recording 15 or more fantasy points in four of his final six games. Moore should be viewed as a WR2 with upside heading into next season and the first Panther wide receiver drafted.
21) Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
2020 Finish: WR28 | 12.2 Fantasy Points Per Game
Many didn’t think much of Higgins entering last season as the Bengals had Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green listed as the starting wide receivers. However, from Week 2 to Week 16, Higgins played at least 43 percent of the snaps in every game and became a critical part of the offense. During that span, Higgins averaged 13.9 fantasy points per game, recording 13 or more in eight of those games. Furthermore, with Joe Burrow under center, Higgins averaged 15.6 fantasy points per game, scoring 13 or more in all but two games. Green will likely be playing somewhere else next season, opening up Higgins to take over as the Bengals WR1.
22) Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
2020 Finish: WR26 | 13.9 Fantasy Points Per Game
With the Rams turning towards a more conservative run-first offense, Kupp suffered the most. His fantasy points per game dropped by 18 percent from 2019 to 2020, as he had almost 200 fewer yards and seven fewer touchdowns. His three touchdowns this season were a career-low. However, Kupp is still a PPR machine as he had 92 catches in 15 games this season after 94 in 16 games last season. Furthermore, Kupp was a consistent, safe floor once again this season, scoring 11.5 or fantasy points in 67 percent of his games. Even with the change to a run-first offense, Kupp remains a safe floor WR2 for next season.
23) Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
2020 Finish: WR103 | 13.2 Fantasy Points Per Game
After a breakout 2019 season, Golladay was expected to join the elite wide receiver group this season. However, injuries limited him to 20 catches and two touchdowns in five games. Even over a 16 game pace, Golladay would have totaled only 64 on 102 targets for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns, all of which would have been lower than his numbers in 2019. Golladay is scheduled to be a free agent in March but could have the franchise tag placed on him depending on the Lions’ offseason plans after trading Matthew Stafford to the Rams.
24) Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans
2020 Finish: WR17 | 15.5 Fantasy Points Per Game
After a disappointing 2019 season with the Rams, the Texans traded for Cooks. However, he got off to a slow start, scoring fewer than 5.5 fantasy points in three of his first four games. After that, Cooks scored 11.5 or more fantasy points in 10 of the 11 remaining games in 2020. Furthermore, even with Will Fuller in the lineup, Cooks averaged the same 4.8 catches per game as Fuller and 12.9 fantasy points per game. With Fuller suspended, Cooks averaged 7.3 catches and 22.5 fantasy points per game. More importantly, even without Cooks’ monster Week 17 performance, he still averaged 16.8 fantasy points per game without Fuller. More than likely, Fuller won’t be back next season, opening the door for Cooks to have a top-15 finish.