Thoughts on Top 12 WR's from 2021

This is based on PPR scoring formats:

  1. Cooper Kupp: Who else? Almost 100 points above #2. This guy was a league-winning lottery ticket. On a side note, he was also the number one overall offensive player, 63 points above Josh Allen. Maybe Aaron Rodgers got the NFL MVP, but Kupp was the fantasy football MVP.

  2. Davante Adams: He’s still got it.

  3. Deebo Samuel: When he’s healthy, Deebo is deadly. But if you have him as your WR1, you better have a backup plan.

  4. Justin Jefferson: If JJ was on a better offense, he could be Kupp-good. Even in Minnesota, he’s still elite.

  5. Ja’Marr Chase: He might be better than JJ, if only because of the offense around him. As the Super Bowl showed on that last play, if Burrow had just a second or two more, he could have hit a wide open Chase for a TD to secure the win. But Aaron Donald is a beast! Time for the Bengals to draft some offensive line!

  6. Tyreek Hill: He still has it, but everyone sees him coming. Short of an unforeseen injury, Hill will be an easy top 10 WR next year.

  7. Stefon Diggs: While this was still a good season for him, I am getting the “getting older” vibe here. I won’t say he’s dropping out of the top 10, just saying his upside is starting to get capped.

  8. Diontae Johnson: A strong candidate for top 5, IF the Steelers improve their QB position. If they bring in a rookie…who knows?

  9. Mike Evans: Another WR whose situation is up in the air. With Brady gone, who do they get? Stay tuned…

  10. Hunter Renfrow: My man! I won’t call for great things from HR, but he is the epitome of “The Little Engine that Could” (if you remember that story). He has strong Wes Welker/Julian Edelman vibes, which will serve him well with the new Patriot regime entering Vegas.

  11. Keenan Allen: Another WR who is slowly dropping due to age. Great offense, just don’t expect him in the top 5 any more.

  12. Mike Williams: See “Keenan Allen” above.

Honorable mentions (expect them in the top 12 next year): Jaylen Waddle, CeeDee Lamb, Amon-Ra St. Brown.

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Good stuff! If I may add my 2 cents:

  1. Kupp’s season was out of this world. I’m not even sure he’s playing the same sports as the rest. He is bound for regression, but even some pretty heavy regression would still leave him in the top 3.

  2. Adams still has it, indeed. Question is, where will he have it in 2022? His season is very difficult to project until we know where he will land, and who will throw him the ball. If the answers are “Green Bay” and “Rodgers”, he may well have another top 3 season ahead of him. If it’s “Las Vegas” and “Carr”, at least top 5.

  3. We often talk about rushing upside for QBs. But how about rushing upside for a WR? Deebo’s 77/121 for 1,405yd + 6 TD passing are pretty neat already and would have been enough for a WR1 season already. But an added 59 rushes for 365 yards (6.2 per attempt!) and 8 TDs is what made him elite. And what will probably shorten his shelf life by a lot. Ride the wave while it lasts, but expect it to break, indeed.

  4. Fun story (for others, at least): In the 2020 rookie draft, both JJ and Jalen Reagor were still on the board when my 2.04 pick came up. I had them both ranked identically, and after some consideration, I went for Reagor, because I thought he’d be playing for the better offense. The 2.05 then picked JJ and still sends me “thank you” cards for Xmas. JJ is elite, and with Thielen not getting younger, I see little risk for regression.

  5. Thankfully, I was able to correct the above oopsie when I drafted Chase in the 2021 rookie draft. Indeed, I would rank Chase just one tick higher in dynasty, because of the overall offensive package. He’s elite, and he’s there to stay.

  6. Thanks to Hardman being a major disappointment, Hill has very little competition for targets in KC. The only small risk I see for him is that Kelce will start regressing, which could make it easier for defenders to shut Hill down. I still wouldn’t blame anybody for drafting him as a top 5 WR in redraft, though.

  7. Diggs… I know what you mean, I saw it, too. I’m just not 100% sure I can trust my perception. I mean, part of Diggs’ “down” season was the fact that a 32 and a 34 year old guy stole a combined 184 targets. Sanders will be gone for sure, and even Beasley isn’t guaranteed to return, or to retain his role. Gabe Davis is on the rise, but he won’t soak up all those 184 vacant targets. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Diggs finishing around the #5 spot in the 2022 season.

  8. Diontae is a complete wildcard at the moment. Could be top 5, could drop out of the top 20. I have him in my main league, and would be willing to trade him away if anybody made a serious offer for him. Won’t happen, though, so I can but hope that the Steelers will make the right call on QB (not Mason Rudolph, not Mason Rudolph, not Mason Rudolph…)

  9. Ironically, I have more faith in the Bucs’ QB decision than in the Steelers one.

  10. Hunny Ren played an awesome 2021 season. The opportunity came (even though under tragic circumstances), and he made the best of it. I don’t see that repeating in 2022, though. He won’t disappear and remain a solid WR2, but no more. Especially not if #2 on this list should become a Raider.

  11. Keenan Allen could have one more strong season. Especially since I don’t expect…

  12. Mike Williams to return. But the Chargers need to address the WR position. They have one of the best QBs in the league, so they need to surround him with weapons. Josh Palmer shows promise, and Jalen Guyton may be able to make another step. But they need to add at least one more top tier guy, either in the draft or in free agency. The Chargers are #2 in available cap space, so they have a lot of options. Might as well be TE. Dalton Schultz is a free agent… just saying… :innocent:

As for the 2022 top 12 candidates:

Jaylen Waddle should be a safe bet.

CeeDee Lamb… well, he should have been in that list in 2021 already. He wasn’t. Not even close. Without being injured. What makes us think that he can make it in 2022? Yes, he’s oozing talent, but is his team good enough to support him? I remain sceptical.

DK Metcalf - if Lockett keeps regressing and he becomes the clear #1 target in Seattle, maybe.

Amon-Ra showed a lot of promise, but if his team is good enough to support a top 12 WR remains to be seen. I’ll probably rank him in WR2 territory.

Same goes for Michael Pittman.

And finally, from the “bold prediction / are you out of your mind?” drawer: DeAndre Hopkins is still the WR1 in Arizona. If he can manage to stay healthy, that could translate into one more close-to-top-12 season.

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I hope you’re right! Schultz is my dynasty TE, and I’d feel safer with him in LA with Herbert than with Dak in Dallas.

Arizona worries me. WTH is going on with Kyler Murray? Is he trying to pull an Aaron Rodgers? If Murray is somehow gone in Arizona, what becomes of Hopkins? Even if nothing happens with Murray, I’m getting the “getting older” vibes from Hopkins too.

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I’m fairly sure by now that the man just wants to get paid. And my guess is that the Cards will pay him.

D-Hop is getting old, and in dynasty, I would probably prefer to avoid him. But he may have just one more WR1 season in him - unless things go wrong in Arizona.

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