3 WRs to Avoid in Fantasy Football Redraft

Avoid Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

The entire month of August, as well as the beginning of September, is prime time for fantasy football drafts as the 2021 NFL season quickly approaches. Draft day is by far the most important day of the entire fantasy football season because it plays the biggest role in determining which teams will be competing for a championship. It’s very important to enter the draft with a clear strategy based on personal research and preparation of all the available options. It’s crucial to have some idea of both players to target as well as players to avoid. Based on their current ADP in redraft leagues, here are 3 WRs to avoid when it comes time to make a selection.

1. Kenny Golladay, New York Giants

For the first time in his career, Kenny Golladay hit the open free-agent market this offseason. Ultimately, he decided to leave the Detroit Lions and join the New York Giants for the 2021 NFL season. From his perspective as a professional and competitor, this is an excellent career move. He upgraded to a better team with more of a chance to win while also scoring himself a huge contract. On the other, from a fantasy football perspective, it hurts his projected production for a couple of reasons. He has downgraded from Matthew Stafford to Daniel Jones at quarterback, will now be in a run first style of offense, and will get less garbage time production than he did with the Lions who were often trailing big in games.

Besides the situational decline of changing teams, another red flag for Golladay was his injury-plagued 2020 season. He was only able to appear in five games and recorded 20 receptions on 32 targets for 338 yards and two touchdowns. The reason he was given such a big contract were his highly productive seasons in 2018 and 2019 where he eclipsed 100 targets and 1000 receiving yards in both years. All things considered with where he is now, it’s not likely that he will fully return to those totals this season. It’s also important to point out that last season the Giants ranked 29th in the NFL in passing offense at 189.1 yards per game while the Lions ranked 10th at 256.5 yards per game.

These are all signs that point to regression from Golladay in terms of fantasy production. He can still turn out to be a solid player for the Giants, and the true number one WR that they have been missing, but that does not mean it will translate to big fantasy points, especially with Saquon Barkley returning from injury and commanding a ton of touches. Golladay is a WR to avoid at his current ADP where there are other options in better situations with more upside. Some examples would be players like DJ Moore and Tyler Lockett.

2. Odell Beckham Jr, Cleveland Browns

The biggest concern for Odell Beckham Jr heading into the 2021NFL season is his recovery from ACL surgery. This is one of the most difficult injuries to bounce back from and WR is one of the most challenging positions to do it from. Health is always a major risk when it comes to fantasy football. In particular, it is a huge factor when looking at players with high ADP because that is the core of the team being constructed. Losing one of the first few drafted players on a particular team can derail an entire season. That’s not to say that Odell can’t fully bounce back, because he absolutely can, but it’s just always something to keep in mind on draft day.

The knee injury is not the only concern that comes with Odell and his high ADP. In the seven games that he did play in the 2020 season, he was not as productive as his usual self. He recorded 23 receptions on 43 targets for 319 yards and and 3 touchdowns. The target average is something to be aware of as it dipped from over 8 per game in 2019 to just about 6 per game in 2020. A big reason for this is the run heavy style of offense implemented by new head coach Kevin Stefanski. The Browns ranked third in the NFL last season in rushing offense at 148.4 yards per game which is a huge increase from their 118.8 rushing yards per game in 2019 before Stefanski arrived.

Considering the drastic change in offensive scheme, the deduction in targets per game, and the difficult injury situation all qualify Odell as a WR to avoid in fantasy drafts this season. He still may have a very productive season and could be a really nice pick up if he falls later in the draft, but given his current ADP there are safer options as well as ones with much more potential to possibly have huge years. Some of these types of WRs in this spot include Chase Claypool and Brandon Aiyuk.

3. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

Now entering his sixth season with the Bengals, Tyler Boyd has been a very productive WR in recent years. He really broke out in in the 2018 season with 76 receptions on 108 targets for 1028 yards and seven touchdowns. He then followed that up in 2019 with another impressive season of 90 receptions on 148 targets for 1046 yards and five touchdowns. He then saw a slight dip in production in the 2020 season but still totaled a solid 79 receptions on 110 targets for 841 yards and four touchdowns. This is an excellent three year run that would usually make him a safe target in fantasy drafts, but there are some red flags.

The biggest concern for Boyd and his projected production is the fact that the Bengals used their first round draft pick on WR Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU, where he and QB Joe Burrow developed a special chemistry. He is expected to be featured heavily in this offense as a weapon of choice for Burrow. In addition to Chase is the break out rookie star from last season in WR Tee Higgins. He had one of the best rookie WR seasons in the NFL last year and his usage will almost definitely start to increase as he continues to grow as a player. Finally, star running back Joe Mixon was only able to play in six games last year so now that he is returning for the 2021 NFL season he will go back to getting a large number of touches as he usually does.

The arrival of Chase, the break out of Higgins, and the return of Mixon are three things that create a recipe for a possible huge let down season for Boyd. The Bengals are not exactly a high-powered offense, at least not yet, and there just may be too many mouths to feed to justifiably carve out a huge role for Boyd. It is highly unlikely that he would be featured more than Chase or Higgins and this offense is probably not anywhere near the level that is good enough to fully support three WRs from a fantasy football perspective. Rather than Boyd, there are much better options with similar ADP who are in better offensive situations with more upside and likelihood for a higher usage rate. Some candidates here include Antonio Brown and Jerry Jeudy.

Five WRs with the Highest Risk in Dynasty

JuJu Smith-Schuster is a high risk in dynasty

By Calvin K (Twitter: @Calvin_SGF)

The wide receiver position is always interesting in dynasty fantasy football. Many players are quite easy to evaluate, but uncertainty around the offseason and free agency can often make it difficult to get a good judgement on others. Those players are the ones I’ll be discussing in this article. Below are five WRs that have the highest risk in dynasty.

1. D.J. Chark (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Chark is a player who comes with just about as much risk as it’s possible to have. He’s got a new coaching staff, a new QB, and a new teammate at WR for 2021. All three of these factors will make it incredibly difficult to figure out his potential target share and involvement in the Jaguars’ offense.

On top of all that, Chark is a free agent after this year. He has shown some flashes of brilliance, but he’s also only had one 1,000 yard season in his career, and his inconsistency could mean he gets buried on another team’s depth chart. If he stays with Jacksonville, it could quite possibly be on a cheap contract to make him their WR3.

Not all of these scenarios will come to fruition, and some may turn out to be a non-issue. However, Chark could potentially exhibit all of the problems that you don’t want in a dynasty receiver. That will end up being a huge issue for his dynasty managers, and if one of the scenarios becomes a major problem, his value could plummet.

2. JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers)

JuJu’s situation is very similar to Chark’s, in that he’s a free agent this offseason and a guy who could be the WR3 on his team. JuJu is slightly more established in NFL circles than Chark, but he could still get stuck in a role that doesn’t provide much fantasy production in 2022.

JuJu’s long-term value is a concern, but he could also have trouble doing much of anything in 2021. Like mentioned, he could be (and probably is) the WR3 on his team, and Pittsburgh just added RB Najee Harris from the draft, who will likely inherit a workhorse role (with lots of receptions) almost immediately. This could leave dynasty owners in a pickle, and a flop this year would cause JuJu’s trade value to drop significantly. If it does, it’ll be hard to get any sort of return at all in a trade, which gives him a lot of risk heading into this year.

3. Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals)

Unlike the other two receivers on this list, Boyd’s situation should be pretty well established for the next few years of his career. However, that may not be a good thing for his fantasy value. For the forseeable future, Boyd will be playing alongside two young, talented WRs in Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, and while he might still be able to produce as his team’s #3 WR, it could be a problem if he doesn’t.

Chase has a connection with Bengals QB Joe Burrow that dates back to their college days at LSU, and in his rookie year, Higgins showed a great ability to consistently win matchups on the outside. On top of that, Bengals RB Joe Mixon should continue to handle a workhorse role, which could include many receptions out of the backfield, especially on third downs. These three guys could make it difficult for a slot guy like Boyd to establish a consistent role in the offense.

Boyd’s claim to fame has always been as a reliable slot guy with some upside, but with the addition of Chase with the draft’s 5th overall pick, both of those labels could be threatened. If Boyd has neither reliability nor upside, dynasty owners could end up being very frustrated with his production. If this happens, it’d be a long wait for free agency (three years for Boyd, all with Chase and Higgins), and even then, situation improvement would be far from a guarantee.

4. Will Fuller V (Miami Dolphins)

Fuller’s situation might actually end up being a good one this year, but there are just too many extenuating factors to get a handle on how his production will truly look. One of the main factors is his QB, Tua Tagovailoa, who struggled in his 2020 appearances. The addition of Fuller should help Tua’s play improve, but even if it does, there are still many other potential problems.

The addition of WR Jaylen Waddle with the #6 overall pick in the NFL draft could cut into Fuller’s potential production this year. Fuller’s contract also lasts for just one year, so the team could easily decide he’s not in their future and proceed to get rid of him. Tua’s tendency in his rookie year was also often to throw underneath to TE Mike Gesicki or RB Myles Gaskin, so we have no idea if the duo would even thrive alone in an offense. Fuller also has never played a full season in his five NFL years, and the first healthy season of his career was marred by a PED suspension that caused him to miss five games last year (and will force him out of 2021’s opener).

Overall, there’s just an absolute boatload of uncertainty surrounding Fuller and his fantasy outlook. This gives him lots of risk, and it will make him incredibly difficult to evaluate in 2021 alone. However, free agency could bring a whole new set of issues, which could have Fuller’s fantasy managers (and potential trade partners) completely flummoxed on what to do.

5. Michael Gallup (Dallas Cowboys)

Gallup will already face lots of uncertainty over fantasy points this year, as he could be as low as the fifth target on the Cowboys. Gallup will also become a free agent after this year, and he could face the potential of being at the bottom of a depth chart, either on the Cowboys or elsewhere.

It’s important to remember that Gallup has had over 800 yards in each of the last two seasons, so he has certainly had a valuable impact on the Cowboys as a team. However, the competition of WRs CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, RB Ezekiel Elliott, and TE Blake Jarwin could cause him to be maddeningly inconsistent and unstartable in 2021. This isn’t the situation you’d want Gallup in for fantasy, and he’ll have an opportunity to leave Dallas after this year, but free agency hardly guarantees a positive change. If the potential change of scenery is negative for Gallup’s value (or if it keeps his value the same), it could be difficult to get a valuable return in dynasty, which could make him difficult to trust for next year and beyond.

Cincinnati Bengals Dynasty WR Outlook

Bengals Tee Higgins will impress in 2021

By: Joe Mason @josephmason94

The Bengals hit on their top two picks in the 2020 NFL draft with Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins who produced from the start and gave a promising future for this team. With Joe Burrow leading the offense and the Bengals defense finishing in the bottom half of 2020, look for this team to put up some fantasy points in 2021.

Before Joe Burrow went down with an injury in week eleven, he was averaging over 40 pass attempts per game. That ended up being good enough for second most in the league on a per game basis only behind Ben Roethlisberger. If this trend continues, this Bengals passing offense is going to be fantasy gold in 2021.

Joe Burrow has reportedly been voicing to the Bengals that he wants to be re-united with Ja’Marr Chase. It’s a real possibility they take him at pick five, but I believe they get a stud lineman at that pick to help protect Joe Burrow. For now, my analysis below assumes they look at other positions in this upcoming draft. Let’s dive into the three wideouts to see what each has to offer for this season.

Auden Tate

With the departure of AJ Green, Auden Tate moves into the Z wide receiver position. Many people forget that Auden Tate is 6’5” 228 lbs. and stepped in adequately to fill in for the injured AJ Green in 2019.  Although he isn’t flashy, the targets will be there and someone will need to catch them. The Bengals had three 100+ target WRs last season with AJ Green getting 104. Now I don’t expect Auden Tate to eclipse 100, but I think 65-75 is a real possibility. That can be fantasy relevant to a certain extent as well as having some very relevant weeks.

Tate is 24 years of age and entering his fourth NFL season. He is practically free in dynasty formats and has WR3 upside with potential for boom games. A third or a fourth-round pick should get the job done.

Tyler Boyd

Boyd broke out in 2018 and has been startable in fantasy ever since. He produced WR2 numbers in 2018 and 2019 but disappointed fantasy managers in 2020 after Joe Burrow went down. But why is Tyler Boyd a screaming buy this offseason?

In 2019 in college at LSU, Joe Burrow targeted Justin Jefferson, the slot receiver, a team leading 111 times. Burrow loves the slot, and last season with Burrow at QB, Boyd was on pace for 110/1,136/5 before the knee injury which would have been good to finish as the WR11 in PPR. I believe it’s possible this offense with Burrow can produce two top-24 WRs for fantasy.

So, what is the cost to acquire Tyler Boyd’s services? In a 1QB PPR league, you are looking at a late first round rookie pick (1.09-1.12). In a superflex league, Boyd prices out to an early rookie second (2.01-2.04).

Tee Higgins

A lot of people slept on Tee Higgins last season. With the amount of talent in the 2020 rookie WR class, it was hard to give Higgins the respect he deserved. But all he did in 2020 was produce for fantasy. One of the more impressive things he did besides some amazing sideline catches was produce even after Joe Burrow was out. He solidified himself as the true number one WR for this offense.

Higgins has the potential to be a top 5 fantasy WR in the NFL. The community has started to realize it, which is why his price in dynasty has risen very quickly. Currently, Higgins is worth at least two first round rookie picks in a 1QB PPR league, and a first and a second in a superflex league. I actually would prefer the Higgins side in both those deals, so you would have to find an owner who is ok to part with him. I believe when it is all said and done, Tee Higgins will be the best WR from the 2020 rookie class.

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