Finding Values at WR2 and WR3 (2021 Fantasy Football)
One of the best ways to add value to your team is to target players that others are ignoring. That strategy is especially effective for wide receivers, and you can find value in those players who aren’t considered slam-dunk options at the moment.
Each year, there are diamonds in the rough that become stalwarts of your starting lineup down the stretch. With that in mind, here are some great WR2 and WR3 options that you should target in the middle rounds of your own drafts to help propel your team to the playoffs.
Amari Cooper (WR – DAL)
ADP WR15 / ECR WR13
First on this list of WR2/3 values is the guy going earliest according to ADP: Amari Cooper. Cooper has an ECR of WR13 but an ADP of WR15, making him someone that our consensus rankers feel slightly more confident in than the masses. Cooper performed well last year, both with and without Dak Prescott, but he is suffering from an ankle injury early in the off-season. Defenses will not only have to respect both Cooper and his fellow receiver CeeDee Lamb, but they’ll also need to worry about Ezekiel Elliott, too. All of this makes Cooper a tremendous value for your team this season — if he falls into the fourth round of your PPR draft.
Robert Woods (WR – LAR)
ADP WR18 / ECR WR15
Next up is the perennial stalwart, Robert Woods. Woods gets a significant upgrade at quarterback with the addition of Matt Stafford, who should help increase Woods’ upside. The Rams have a stud running back in the making with Cam Akers, which should help open up the offense, too. Those moves make Woods a terrific value in the fourth round of drafts. The experts have him at WR15, so the WR18 ADP implies that people are sleeping on him, although it’s hard to figure out why at this point. I’d be ecstatic to grab Woods as my WR2, and I am actively targeting him in dynasty leagues on teams that are set to win this year.
D.J. Moore (WR – CAR)
ADP WR21 / ECR WR19
Another screaming value heading into the 2021 season is none other than Carolina wideout D.J. Moore. His ADP is WR21 and 60th overall, making him the last player taken in the fifth round of PPR drafts. His ECR is higher than that at WR19, and it’s not too surprising why. The team added Sam Darnold and will get a healthy Christian McCaffrey back, both of whom should help improve the offense significantly. Moore and fellow receiver Robby Anderson are great receiving options with slightly depressed ADPs heading into draft season. Moore has WR1 upside and should definitely be a top target if he falls to you in the fifth round.
Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR)
ADP WR22 / ECR WR21
Woods’ teammate, Cooper Kupp, is also being slept on according to early ADP data. As I mentioned earlier with Woods, the Rams’ offense should look very different from last year. Jared Goff was good, but he had issues getting the ball where it needed to go, which hindered Kupp’s upside. Kupp has an ECR of WR21 and an ADP of WR22, so he’s not a screaming value, but it still shows me that he is being ignored more than he deserves. Kupp is a perfect WR2 option if you’re looking for a high floor option, especially in PPR formats. He should be in for a much better year than he had last year, no doubt.
Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA)
ADP WR24 / ECR WR23
Everyone is talking about how rough Tyler Lockett’s 2020 season was from a weekly consistency standpoint, and they’re not wrong. But all of that talk is depressing his value in early drafts, putting him as the last WR2 in ADP at WR24 in 12-team leagues. The ECR only has him one spot higher at WR23, but as we saw last year, Lockett still has WR1 upside even at his age. He is playing alongside DK Metcalf, who should see the opponent’s top defender. As long as the team lets Russ cook, Lockett has some potential for a huge return on this investment. He is a great high-risk, high-reward option if your team needs a little upside in these middle rounds, so plan accordingly.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT)
ADP WR28 / ECR WR26
With all the talk about Juju’s teammates, I think he often gets ignored in terms of his own true value for 2021. Sure, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are great receivers in their own right, but Ben Roethlisberger and his newly repaired elbow have a longer history with Smith-Schuster. On top of that, with Ben getting older and starting to show issues with his deep ball, checking down to him underneath seems like a viable option. For me, I’d be ecstatic with Smith-Schuster as my WR3, but if I went heavy on other positions and got a few steals here and there, he could be a fine WR2 for my team as well. That his ECR sits two spots higher than his ADP tells me that most of the experts agree.
D.J. Chark (WR – JAC)
ADP WR32 / ECR WR28
One of the bigger differences between the current ECR and current ADP belongs to Jacksonville’s DJ Chark. The team drafted stud quarterback Trevor Lawrence and new running back Travis Etienne, so it will look very different this year. That could help Chark more than most. Chark had a down year after being a true sleeper heading into 2019, so he did burn some managers. That could be the reason for his ADP sitting at WR32, 73 overall, just at the start of the seventh round. For me, Chark is a perfect candidate for my WR2: he has plenty of upside, he has flashed fantasy value before, and his team is poised to score this season. Chark is ranked at WR28 in ECR, so he is a great value at this range.
Robby Anderson (WR – CAR)
ADP WR35 / ECR WR30
Last but not least is the best value on the list: Robby Anderson. I discussed this when I talked about D.J. Moore earlier, but the Panthers’ offense should have plenty of power this year, and that helps everyone be better than before. On top of all of that, Anderson has experience playing with Darnold, which could make him the top target for him as he adjusts to his new team. Generally speaking, players do much better once they get out from under Adam Gase, so let’s see if Darnold can do the same. If so, Robby Anderson is a screaming value as a low WR3 option in ADP. He isn’t technically a sleeper since people know who he is, but he might as well be at this ADP. Sign me up!
Let me know what you think about these players on Twitter, @AndrewHallFF, and stick with FantasyPros through the rest of the offseason leading up to Week 1. There is plenty of analysis, rankings, and ADP data to check out, and it’s always updated with the latest to help you win your title and dominate your own league!
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