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Second-Year Wide Receivers to Acquire in Dynasty (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Skyler Carlin | Featured Writer
Jan 21, 2021

The 2020 NFL Draft was jam-packed with talented WRs, and there were quite a few who made themselves must-have options in dynasty fantasy football leagues. For starters, Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings concocted a historic rookie campaign by hauling in 88 passes for a rookie record 1,400 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns.

Besides Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Brandon Aiyuk were other first-round selections in the 2020 NFL Draft that compiled plenty of highlights for their respective teams. But it was the mid-to-late round picks that rounded out last year’s class, making it one to remember.

While the 2020 season is winding down, it’s never too early to begin pursuing trades that you could conduct for next season in your dynasty leagues. It doesn’t require much critical thinking to say that you should do anything you can to trade for one of the notable WRs like Jefferson, Lamb, Aiyuk, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, etc.

With that in mind, I’ll be discussing other names that you should consider acquiring throughout the course of the offseason. Get your notebook ready – or your notes app open – to jot down a few under-the-radar WRs from the 2020 NFL Draft to buy low in dynasty ahead of the 2021 season.

Try to nail the perfect draft for the 2020 season with our Perfect Draft Game >>

Gabriel Davis (WR – BUF)

There likely wasn’t an offense in the NFL that made a bigger leap than the Buffalo Bills this season. With the addition of Stefon Diggs, Josh Allen evolved into an NFL MVP candidate, and the Bills boasted one of the most explosive aerial attacks in the league.

Even though Diggs was the main culprit, Cole Beasley, John Brown, and rookie Gabriel Davis all made valuable contributions to the offense. In particular, Davis flashed potential in his rookie season as a future No. 2 WR alongside Diggs in Buffalo’s offense.

Despite sharing targets with Diggs, Beasley, and Brown, Davis saw the second-most snaps (797) among the WRs on the Bills. Davis finished his first year in the league with 35 receptions for 599 yards, and seven touchdowns. His 17.1 yards per reception was the seventh-most among WRs in 2020, and his 2.21 fantasy points per target were the 11th most among WRs.

Throughout this season, there were only five WRs that saw 50+ targets, an aDOT of 14+ yards, and who had a drop percentage fewer than five percent. Below you can find the five WRs that achieved those numbers in 2020.

Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI)

Unlike the Bills, the Chicago Bears can’t claim they had one of the most explosive passing offenses in the NFL in 2020. Whether it was Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles airing out the football, the Bears didn’t have much success through the air.

Chicago managed to find a possible late-round gem in Darnell Mooney, who the team took with the No. 173 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Tulane. Amid another stellar season from Allen Robinson, Mooney still recorded 61 catches for 631 yards and four touchdowns for the Bears.

Despite being in an anemic passing offense, Mooney conjured up the fifth-most targets (98) among rookie wide receivers. The Tulane product also accounted for 1,157 intended air yards (29th among WRs) and 23 deep targets (20+ yard attempts), which shows that Matt Nagy wants to utilize his deep-threat ability.

What bodes well for Mooney is that Robinson is likely on his way out of the Windy City. Meanwhile, Anthony Miller’s days in Chicago could be numbered, opening up the door for Mooney to possibly be the No. 1 WR for the Bears in 2021. Plus, to put the icing on the cake, Chicago is poised to have a new QB under center next season. All signs point toward Mooney being a premium buy-low candidate in dynasty before his value skyrockets.

Van Jefferson (WR – LAR)

Finally, we have a bit of an unknown to some in Van Jefferson of the Los Angeles Rams. Jefferson was actually the highest draft pick of the players on this list, selected with the 57th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Florida.

Unfortunately for Jefferson, though, he was immediately buried on the depth chart for the Rams behind Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Josh Reynolds. With that being said, things could be looking up for Jefferson in 2021, when he’ll likely slot in place of Reynolds on the depth chart due to Reynolds entering free agency.

Yes, there’s no doubt that Jefferson is still going to have to compete for targets along with the likes of Woods and Kupp. But seeing that Jefferson saw his highest snap share in the Rams’ playoff matchup with the Green Bay Packers, Sean McVay appears to be an avid fan of the former Gator moving forward.

The 24-year-old WR would cap off his rookie season with a six-catch, 46-yard performance with a touchdown against the Packers in the Divisional Round. Jefferson’s route-running ability and strong hands should make him an instant threat for the Rams in 2021, which in turn should make him a hot commodity this offseason.

Try to nail the perfect draft for the 2020 season with our Perfect Draft Game >>


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Skyler Carlin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Skyler, check out his archive and follow him @skyler_carlin.

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