2021 Sophomore Wide Receiver Fantasy Rankingsby Jeff Pratt February 9, 2021 0 comments
The 2020 NFL season has concluded, which means it’s time to look into the future. This rookie receiver class is stacked with talent and has the chance to be one of the best of all time. Obviously, there will be a lot of moving parts that affect these rankings as the offseason progresses. For now, let’s break down the top 10 fantasy sophomore receivers for next season.
10. Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles
Reagor struggled out of the gates in his rookie season, missing five games early on due to a thumb injury. When he returned, Carson Wentz’s own struggles led to inconsistent production from the TCU product. Luckily for Reagor, it appears that Wentz will find a new home this offseason, leaving standout rookie Jalen Hurts to take his place. Reagor deserves a spot in the top-10 due to his upside alone for the 2021 season.
9. Henry Ruggs, Las Vegas Raiders
Like Reagor, Ruggs was disappointing in his rookie season. Every now and then he would break off a huge play that reminded fans of his potential. However, for the most part, Ruggs was underwhelming. However, his game-breaking speed and agility earn him a spot in the top-10. Jon Gruden will certainly find a way to get the young speedster more involved next year.
8. Michael Pittman Jr, Indianapolis Colts
Pittman was a consistent producer in the Colts’ offense from start to finish, catching two or more balls in every game except one. The USC product did miss a decent chunk of the season early on, but he didn’t miss a beat in his return. Back-to-back matchups in Weeks 10 and 11 really showcased Pittman’s potential, as he racked up 19.2 and 15.6 PPR points respectively. Philip Rivers won’t be under center for Indianapolis next season, but Pittman will find a way to produce anyway.
7. Laviska Shenault Jr, Jacksonville Jaguars
Shenault is an extremely enticing fantasy prospect due to his versatility. The rookie flashed serious potential in his rookie season with the Jaguars, scoring double-digit PPR points eight times. Now, with Trevor Lawrence likely coming to Jacksonville, Shenault could be in for a huge sophomore campaign. In fact, his No. 7 ranking is a testament to just how deep this draft class was. Don’t be shocked if Shenault breaks out and finishes as a top-three sophomore receiver.
6. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
Jeudy was immediately thrown into the first in his rookie season, and it didn’t exactly pan out as most Broncos fans were hoping. With Courtland Sutton out for the season, No. 1 cornerbacks were locked onto Jeudy on a weekly basis. To make matters worse, the Alabama product was never able to establish a solid rapport with Drew Lock, who was also extremely underwhelming. Sutton’s return will force most teams to stick their No. 2 cornerbacks on Jeudy next season, which will likely open up more opportunities. Despite the frustrating rookie season, it’s not time to hit the panic button yet. Jeudy is set up nicely for a bounce-back sophomore campaign.
5. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
We have now entered the territory where the separation between these top receivers is incredibly slim. Aiyuk came alive in the second half of the season for San Francisco, racking up 18.5 or more PPR points in six straight games at one point. The Arizona State product leapfrogged Deebo Samuel to the top of the 49ers’ depth chart. With reports that San Francisco is looking to upgrade at quarterback, Aiyuk could be in store for a massive sophomore season.
4. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
Higgins was sensational in his rookie season, scoring 18 or more PPR points five times and playing a consistent role in Cincinnati’s offense. When Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending injury, Higgins’ production dropped off as expected. However, with Burrow expected to make a full recovery and A.J. Green will sign elsewhere this offseason, the stage is set for Higgins to have a great sophomore season.
3. Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
Claypool put together an extremely impressive rookie campaign, catching 62 balls for 873 yards and nine touchdowns, which was good enough for a PPR WR24 finish. Claypool made a consistent impact as a big-play threat, scoring 18 or more PPR points five times, including a ridiculous four-touchdown performance in Week 5. With JuJu Smith-Schuster possibly moving on from Pittsburgh this offseason, Claypool is primed to handle undisputed WR2 duties in an extremely high-octane offense next season.
2. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
Lamb developed an immediate rapport with Dak Prescott to open the season, catching at least five balls in every game before Dak’s season-ending injury. After Prescott went down. Lamb’s production became inconsistent, which is understandable given the drop in talent from Prescott to Andy Dalton. Assuming Dak signs an extension with the Cowboys and is ready to go for the 2021 campaign, Lamb could easily push for a top-10 finish in his sophomore season.
1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
You all knew this was coming. Jefferson put together an incredible rookie season, averaging 17.2 PPR points and finishing as WR6. He caught 88 balls for 1,400 yards, which broke Randy Moss’ Vikings rookie receiving yards record, and seven touchdowns. What’s even more impressive is that Jefferson accomplished all of this in a run-first offense while also competing with Adam Thielen for targets. The sky is truly the limit for Jefferson, and he should once again contend for a top-five finish next season.