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Dan Harris’s Top-50 Wide Receiver Rankings (2021 Fantasy Football)

Jul 22, 2021

Dan Harris is back with his updated top-50 wide receiver rankings for the 2021 fantasy football season, including tiers.

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Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)
Here were my points against Beckham last year as a top 15-WR: he had finished as the WR83, WR16, and WR26 in the previous three seasons, the Vikings ran the ball 48% of the time under Kevin Stefanski (fourth most in the NFL) and so he’d never approach his customary 10 targets per game, and he’s an injury risk. Well, the Browns ran the ball 48% of the time last year (fourth most in the NFL), Beckham received seven targets per game, and he lost much of the season due to injury. All the concerns over Beckham hold true this year except for his price, which is now as the 25th WR in half-PPR ADP. Beckham will certainly have some boom games and the Browns’ offense should improve this year in Stefanski’s second year, but the lack of target volume is going to put a ceiling on Beckham’s value. Fantasy managers are drafting him as a borderline WR2 – that’s exactly what he is.

Brandon Aiyuk (SF)
Aiyuk had a very solid rookie season, with 60 catches for 748 yards. But his production came mostly when both Deebo Samuel and George Kittle were out of the lineup. That’s not to take anything away from Aiyuk’s talent – he can play outside or in the slot with ease (79% outside, 21% slot last year), and he’s an excellent route-runner and fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. He can and should be drafted as a borderline WR2. But the fact is that both Samuel and Kittle will command a significant target share, and the 49ers’ quarterback situation is in flux. Aiyuk should be very solid this season, but unless there’s an injury again to Samuel and/or Kittle, his upside is a bit capped.

Robby Anderson (CAR)
Anderson set career highs in receptions with 95 and yards with 1,096 last year. But he wasn’t really a reliable option. He got off to a hot start with 36 catches for 489 yards and a score over his first five games, when he was the WR8 in half-PPR formats. But he closed his final 11 games with just 59 catches for 607 yards and two touchdowns, during which he was the WR37. The addition of Sam Darnold is probably a good thing for Anderson, since the two had chemistry on the Jets, especially when it came to the end zone (6.75% touchdown rate). With Curtis Samuel gone, Anderson should see some additional target share (even with the addition of Terrace Marshall), and can be targeted as a borderline WR3.

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