2021 Fantasy WR Draft Guide: What You Need To Know About Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, More Top 12 WRs In ADP
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images. Pictured: Davante Adams
Sean Koerner — the No. 1 fantasy football draft ranker of 2019 — runs through his analysis of the top 12 wide receivers based on Average Draft Position (ADP) at BestBall10s. Find his comprehensive guide to drafting WRs in his 2021 Draft Tiers and his real-time rankings in our 2021 Fantasy Draft Kit.
The Top 12 Fantasy WRs In ADP
1. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
Hill is the NFL's most dynamic receiver and is still in his prime at age 27.
This could be the best season yet for Patrick Mahomes and Hill — especially after we saw the Chiefs really lean on Hill in the second half of last season (he had 10+ targets in five of seven games). Hill can chip in rushing stats as well, racking up three games of 20+ receiving yards and two rushing touchdowns last year.
He provides a weekly floor/ceiling combo that is hard to beat.
2. Davante Adams, Packers
You can't go wrong with either Adams or Hill as the first WR off the board.
In what is likely to be their final season together, Aaron Rodgers may make it a point to target Adams even more, if that's even possible.
3. Stefon Diggs, Bills
Diggs was a key factor in Josh Allen's Year 3 breakout. This offense should see similar success with its continuity, especially with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll remaining in Buffalo.
Diggs had the second-highest early down pass rate in neutral situations last season, while Allen had the most play-action drop backs. This is a great offense to invest in, and Diggs and Allen will continue to build their chemistry in Year 2.
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals
Hopkins had a lower average depth of target (9.0) in his first year with Arizona that allowed him to take advantage of high-percentage throws (72% catch rate).
It's worth noting that he expressed some discontent over the NFL's vaccine guidelines memo, meaning there is some built-risk of him missing time due to COVID-19 protocols this season — I would lean toward drafting Calvin Ridley or D.K. Metcalf instead for that reason.
5. Calvin Ridley, Falcons
After a huge 2020 and with Julio Jones no longer in Atlanta, Ridley’s ADP is very expensive this season — and rightly so. He went in the WR16-18 ADP range last season and has risen to WR5 for 2021.
New head coach Arthur Smith should elevate Matt Ryan's and Ridley’s game further this season. Ridley led the league in air yards with around 300 more than runner-up Stefon Diggs in 2020, and was second in end-zone targets. Add in the fact that Ridley gets high-value targets, and he has clear WR1 overall upside if everything goes right this season.
6. D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks
We have yet to see Metcalf hit his peak, which is incredibly exciting as the Year 3 wideout enters his prime at age 24.
I have aggressively gone after WRs entering Year 3 with loads of success — in 2019 it was Kenny Golladay and Chris Godwin, in 2020 it was Calvin Ridley. It’s much tougher to land Metcalf given his ADP, but he is going to be worth every penny — especially if new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron can unlock this offense and Metcalf’s full potential.
7. Justin Jefferson, Vikings
Jefferson is coming off a historic season in which he racked up 1,400 receiving yards — the most ever by a rookie. He certainly benefited from the Vikings' defense being below average, forcing them out of their typical run-heavy approach. The defense should be better this season, which could hurt the upside of Minnesota’s passing offense.
8. A.J. Brown, Titans
Brown is entering his prime as he embarks on Year 3. And as I mentioned above, I've aggressively gone after WRs entering Year 3 with success.
The addition of Julio Jones in Tennessee will eat into Brown's target share, but Jones’ presence should help Brown maintain elite efficiency rates. The Titans have a ton of vacated targets and yards in the passing game with Corey Davis, Adam Humphries and Jonnu Smith gone, so Brown and Jones should absorb most of those.
Despite being in a run-heavy offense, Brown has provided a solid weekly floor and has massive upside considering we have yet to see him hit his ceiling in terms of targets.
9. Keenan Allen, Chargers
We pretty much know what we are going to get from Allen: 100+ catches and seven or eight touchdown.
He is turning 29 this year and his efficiency metrics have slowly declined (– his 1.82 yards per route run are his lowest since 2015. That said, Allen is still an excellent route runner who always seems to be open. After Hunter Henry’s departure and the Chargers’ lack of a true WR3, Allen’s target share will absolutely stay high in 2021.
10. Allen Robinson, Bears
Robinson has been held back by poor QB play his entire career. While I’m bullish on Justin Fields’ long-term outlook, I’m not sure he elevates Robinson’s value much this season, especially since we don't know when Fields will take over for Andy Dalton.
Allen should continue to be a target monster and would be helped by a Darnell Mooney breakout. The Bears are pretty weak at WR3 now, making Robinson one of the safest bets on target shares in the NFL.
11. Terry McLaurin, Washington
The WR position takes a bit of drop off right around McLaurin. He’s put up WR1 and WR2 numbers with Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins and Alex Smith under center — I’m excited to see what he can do with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Last season, McLaurin was targeted a catchable ball at the 13th-highest rate, but only ranked 31st in catch rate (he carries some blame with three drops). Fitzpatrick should target McLaurin deep more frequently, which would offset any continued inefficiency.
12. Amari Cooper, Cowboys
Cooper was the WR1 in PPR Weeks 1-4 before Dak Prescott went down in 2020. The CeeDee Lamb hype (though 100% warranted) allows Cooper to be rostered at a discounted price as well. I would not be surprised if both Cooper and Lamb are ranking in the top five of our weekly WR ranks at times this season.
I want to invest in either player when I can.