YouRulz’s Aaron Bland and Jason Walker rank their top 35 Wide Receivers for the 2021 season. They certainly don’t agree on everything, but that’s half the fun. The only thing that’s certain is that whoever is more right will hold it over the other’s head all year – it’s tradition.
|Jason Walker||Aaron Bland|
|1.||Davante Adams||Tyreek Hill|
|2.||Tyreek Hill||Davante Adams|
|3.||Stefon Diggs||Stefon Diggs|
|4.||DeAndre Hopkins||DeAndre Hopkins|
|5.||Calvin Ridley||DK Metcalf|
|6.||DK Metcalf||A.J. Brown|
|7.||A.J. Brown||Calvin Ridley|
|8.||Justin Jefferson||Keenan Allen|
|9.||Keenan Allen||Mike Evans|
|10.||Mike Evans||Justin Jefferson|
|11.||Terry McLaurin||Robert Woods|
|12.||Robert Woods||Terry McLaurin|
|13.||CeeDee Lamb||Tyler Lockett|
|14.||Amari Cooper||Adam Thielen|
|15.||Diontae Johnson||Amari Cooper|
|16.||D.J. Moore||Diontae Johnson|
|17.||Tyler Lockett||D.J. Moore|
|18.||Julio Jones||Chris Godwin|
|19.||Chris Godwin||Allen Robinson|
|20.||Adam Thielen||CeeDee Lamb|
|21.||Allen Robinson||Julio Jones|
|22.||Cooper Kupp||Cooper Kupp|
|23.||Tee Higgins||Brandon Aiyuk|
|24.||Jerry Jeudy||Chase Claypool|
|25.||Brandon Aiyuk||Robby Anderson|
|26.||Odell Beckham||Odell Beckham|
|27.||Chase Claypool||Tee Higgins|
|28.||Robby Anderson||DeVonta Smith|
|29.||Antonio Brown||Jerry Jeudy|
|30.||Michael Thomas||Tyler Boyd|
|31.||JuJu Smith-Schuster||Kenny Golladay|
|32.||Laviska Shenault Jr.||Michael Thomas|
|33.||Kenny Golladay||Marvin Jones|
|34.||Deebo Samuel||Marquez Calloway|
|35.||Marquez Calloway||JuJu Smith-Schuster|
- If this were general WR rankings, with no scoring system generally in mind, I might have DK Metcalf as the #1 wide receiver. His spit share with Tyler Lockett generally keeps his ceiling lower, but it would not take much to see Metcalf roar past his existing baselines and Lockett lose ground. If this happens, Metcalf could take down the WR1 overall spot this season.
- Another player locked in a time share with talented wideouts, Mike Evans is another that has a higher ceiling than almost all wide receivers. Because he plays with Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and has ever distributing QB Tom Brady sharing the wealth, Evans is being drafted lower than his talent, currently as the WR14. Evans finished as the WR11 in PPR leagues last season even with all the competition and Brady. Add in that Evans finished with nine catches/171 yards in defensive pass interference penalties, he could have finished in the top six. Of course, with YouRulz premium leagues, you can play with the DPI turned on, allowing those plays to count for you, too!
- Say, do you know who had the sixth most targets among wide receivers last season? Mr. Dionte Johnson, that’s who. Despite Juju Smith-Schuster running the close routes, and Chase Claypool coming in on three-receiver sets, Johnson racked up 144 targets in 15 games, and came out early in two of those that he played. One of the most overplayed things in draft prep were Johnson’s drops last season. One sees history, I see opportunity. Johnson is currently being drafted around WR20 - I feel opportunity will lift him higher.
- It is tough to love, and trust, the Bengals receiving corps. Certainly talented, they will only have ceiling as so much as Joe Burrow stays healthy. And while the Bengals made moves to improve, they might only be simply below average after being atrocious last season. I like Higgins, but between the doubts in Cincinnati’s efforts to protect Burrow, the arrival of rookie Ja’Maar Chase, and steady and already chemistry-with-Burrow locked Tyler Boyd, it dampers the outlook of all the Bengals wideouts.
- Jason mentioned Tyler Lockett possibly losing ground to D.K. Metcalf. I think there’s enough balls to go around that Lockett can have yet another quiet and outstanding year even if that happens. Constantly overlooked, Lockett had 10 TD’s last season on an obscene 132 targets. While Lockett has never racked up a ton of yards, he has 28 TD’s the last 3 seasons, among the most in the NFL - he offers great value in the middle rounds. Metcalf attracting so much defensive attention may even help Lockett, especially where he seems to really shine – the end zone.
- Speaking of receivers who seem to live in the end zone, can you really afford to let Adam Thielen slide by you again? With 14 TD’s on 74 catches in 2020, it brings back memories of former Viking Cris Carter and his “all he does is catch touchdowns” tag. While Justin Jefferson is justifiably getting all the hype after his 1,400 yard season, Thielen DOUBLED Jefferson’s trips to the end zone. Is it better to grab Jefferson as a WR7 or grab Thielen as a WR18 two or three rounds later? Count me as a guy who believes in the latter; some players just have a nose for the end zone. Thielen has 30 TD’s in his last 41 games.
- Rookie DeVonta Smith doesn’t even appear on Jason’s list, but I’m intrigued by him. An undersized WR who was absolutely unstoppable in college, I think the Eagles are going to be feeding him as often as they can. The Eagles are playing an inexperienced QB and there are no other WR’s to really take balls away; I could see a lot of safter underneath routes that allow him to make something happen after the catch. Count me as a guy that thinks Smith is special – he’ll catch enough balls to make him a steal at his current WR33 position.