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Dynasty Wide Receiver Busts (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Jeffrey Bell | Featured Writer
May 8, 2021

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Bust. So many thoughts. None good. A bust can vary anywhere between a top-five ADP player who finishes just outside the top 20 or a WR2 who ends up waiver wire fodder. 2020’s biggest bust was Michael Thomas, a consensus first-round pick who frustrated players all season with an eventual WR95 finish. Not great, Bob. But instead of dwelling on the past, time to avoid 2021’s WR face plant.

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Davante Adams (WR – GB)
Adams smashed in 2020, his 25.6 PPR points per game was 3.7 more than WR2 Tyreek Hill. His performance has earned him a ranking as dynasty WR1. That was before Aaron Rodgers shifted the ground under his feet. Green Bay’s future is murky, and Adams’s long-term value has flipped on its head.  

Look no further than Tom Brady leaving the Patriots for the impact of a franchise QB changing teams. The Patriots finished eighth in scoring in 2019 before plummeting to 28th in 2020. Stating a transition from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love would tank Adams’s value is not a high-level analysis.

Even with Rodgers, there is an underlying cause for concern. Rodgers and the Packers were phenomenal in the red zone in 2020. Rodgers led the league in red-zone completion percentage (71.95%), and his 35 red zone TDs were six more than second-place finisher Russell Wilson

Adams was the primary beneficiary. His 18 TD receptions were good for the third-highest single-season total in NFL history. Adams turned 16% of his receptions into touchdowns, which dramatically increased his six percent rate in 2019. Adams posted a historic season, and the odds of duplication are incredibly long. At 28, the age cliff is looming.

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)
Beckham Jr. is sitting at dynasty WR33 on name value. Beckham has played 17 games since his last 100-yard performance. Outside of individual performance, the Browns placed 24th in passing yards per game. The team has used QB Baker Mayfield as a game manager, relying on their dual backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt

The team has a clear blueprint. Game scripts will not favor the pass after they bolstered the defense with a cascade of talent. In free agency, the team added safety John Johnson III, nickel Troy Hill, edge Jadeveon Clowney and followed it up by using their first two draft picks on corner Greg Newsome and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. As a result, the 21st ranked scoring defense will surely improve.  

Beckham Jr.’s value is depressed due to his season-ending ACL injury. The injury opens up a potential opportunity to buy low and flip later in his recovery. Early indications show Beckham Jr. ahead of schedule, and his 2020 ADP landed at WR12. It is a gamble, but plenty of media attention will focus on his return to the field.

Corey Davis (WR – NYJ)
The Jets’ target situation is wide open. Davis arrives as the team’s biggest free-agent acquisition and the most seniority in the room. That seniority has garnered the highest acquisition price of the group at WR45. Uncertainty creates value, but in dynasty leagues, using the wealthiest capital on the oldest player in an uncertain situation is a red flag.

Davis is coming off the best season of his career, good for WR32 on a per-game basis. While talented, he possesses a limited ceiling and, at 26, is in his prime WR production window. The Jets have accumulated pieces to project an exciting future with number two pick Zach Wilson and young WRs Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims

Davis is a study in fantasy roster construction. Uncertain situations can reap tremendous returns. 2020 Stefon Diggs presents the test case, turning a preseason ADP of WR23 into a top-five season and swinging leagues as a result. However, the Jets’ lack of an established number one target demands caution. When constructing fantasy rosters, take the cheapest of the three WR options and hope the situation breaks in your favor.

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