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The Ultimate Fantasy Football Guide to Wide Receivers (2021)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Aug 23, 2021

As draft season draws to a close and the fantasy season gets going in earnest, it’s a great exercise to break down players in-depth on a position-by-position basis. Today, I’m tackling the deepest position imaginable – wide receivers. I’ll provide my favorite sleepers, players to avoid, must-have targets, draft strategy, and rankings with notes to round out this guide. Let’s get right to it!

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Rankings and Notes

If you’re looking for my complete WR rankings, you can find them here. In this article, I’ve included the best of the best – my top-24 WRs with notes:


Must-have targets: Calvin Ridley, CeeDee Lamb, Robert Woods, Chris Godwin, Ja’Marr Chase, Robby Anderson, Corey Davis

Players to avoid at ADP: Justin Jefferson, Terry McLaurin, Diontae Johnson, Will Fuller, Laviska Shenault

Sleepers: Mike Williams, Russell Gage, Marquez Callaway, Christian Kirk, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Nico Collins, Jakobi Meyers, Jaylen Waddle


If I sit down and really think hard about my perfect draft, I come up with two scenarios for my first three rounds – RB/RB/WR or RB/TE/RB. Ideally, I like to load up on elite RBs early on because the position is so scarce. Then, I’ll land a WR in the third round depending on who’s left. In the second scenario, I’ll grab a top RB then nab either Travis Kelce or Darren Waller to get a leg up on the competition, then circle back for one more RB.

In both instances, I prefer not to take a receiver early on in the draft. That’s not to say selecting a WR in the second round isn’t viable, but because the position is so deep, it makes more sense to wait. There are multiple guys with an ADP beyond WR50 who could be the top option on their teams: Jaylen Waddle, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jakobi Meyers, and Marquez Callaway to name a few. Good luck landing a RB that late in your draft who can provide consistent production.

If I get into the second round with an elite back and someone like Davante Adams is still on the board, I’ll obviously look at the draft board and evaluate if he’s the best option for me at that spot. If there will be a strong back available in the third round when it’s my turn to pick again, Adams isn’t a bad selection at all.

In general, my words of advice on WRs – wait. You don’t need a receiver  in the first round, and heck, you may not need one in the second or even third rounds. Load up at positions with a dearth of reliable options, and get mid-to-late round values for your receivers.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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