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Undervalued Wide Receivers Based on ADP (2021 Fantasy Football)

Aug 31, 2021

A popular strategy this season has been to get your running backs early. Many fantasy drafters have planned to take running backs back-to-back in the first and second rounds. But to effectively execute this strategy and win your leagues, you need to find some values at the wide receiver position later in your drafts. This article will look at some wideouts who are undervalued at their current ADPs and could make a difference in your leagues this year. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

(ADPs are based on Half PPR Scoring)

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Corey Davis (WR – NYJ)
ADP: 111th overall (WR43)

Corey Davis had a breakout season last year where he caught 65 passes on 92 targets for 984 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns (14 games), but he seems to be flying under the radar this year after leaving the Titans for the Jets on a three-year $37.5 million contract. He looks like Zach Wilson’s number one receiver over Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims, and Keelan Cole. That’s because he earned ten targets in just two quarters of preseason play.

The former fifth-overall pick has shown lots of potential — after all, he averaged a strong 10.7 yards per target and 2.67 yards per route run last year (6th best among receivers). With more targets, he could take a big step forward in 2021 and be a very valuable fantasy wide receiver.

Mike Williams (WR – LAC)
ADP: 115th overall (WR45)

I talked about it earlier in the offseason, but Mike Williams is in the perfect position to outperform his ADP for three primary reasons: his talent, the new coaching staff, and his quarterback. We’ll start by looking at him as a talent. In 2020, Mike Williams averaged 1.57 air yards per snap, 83.5 air yards per game, and had 27.5% of his team’s air yards — all of these numbers were above average for a wide receiver. He’s been an excellent deep threat, averaging 15.4 yards per reception (2018), 20.4 yards per reception (2019), and 15.8 yards per reception (2020) in each of the last three years. All of those figures were above average for wide receivers in those seasons. These stats all show that Mike Williams is capable of putting up big numbers, it’s just a matter of him and his quarterback developing enough chemistry to convert on them.

The next reason why Mike Williams is a solid investment this year is because of the Chargers’ new offensive play-caller. Instead of Anthony Lynn and Shane Steichen, he’ll have pass-happy offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi calling the shots. Lombardi has made some very positive comments about Mike Williams this offseason, stating that “if I were a betting man, I’d bet on nice numbers coming from him on the stat sheet, that’s for sure.” Lombardi then continued by stating, “there’s no reason why he cannot be majorly productive. I’ve been impressed with him mentally so far, getting lined up and knowing what to do. As much as this offense will resemble New Orleans, he plays the ‘X,’ and the ball has always kind of found the ‘X’ receiver in this offense. I think that there will be some natural production that comes his way because of the nature of the offense.”

Hearing this from Joe Lombardi is a great sign for Mike Williams’s fantasy value in 2021, and it suggests that he may have more upside than one would perceive at first look.

Lastly, Williams has a great quarterback throwing him the ball in Justin Herbert. Herbert had the most passing touchdowns (31) and completions (396) by a rookie quarterback ever. His talent should support multiple fantasy-relevant wide receivers and make both Williams and Keenan Allen players to watch.

Terrace Marshall Jr. (WR – CAR)
ADP: 199th overall (WR74)

Terrace Marshall Jr. doesn’t cost much but has a lot of upside. First, consider his talent. Marshall has a very intriguing combination of speed and size. He stands at 6-foot-2, weighs 205 pounds, yet ran a 4.38 forty-yard dash at his LSU Pro Day. His athleticism translated well to the field, as Marshall scored a touchdown every four catches in the last two years of his college career. His big-play ability will give him more intriguing upside in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.

Second, Carolina’s system should benefit Marshall because the Panthers’ coaches are very wide receiver friendly. Head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady both coached wideout-heavy college offenses. Their first year together in the NFL was no different, as Carolina’s wide receiver room averaged 15.69 receptions on 23.19 targets for 205.75 receiving yards and 0.63 receiving touchdowns per game.

Add in all the positive reports we’ve heard out of training camp about Marshall — and his strong performance in the preseason thus far — and you have the recipe for a great late-round target in drafts.

Tyrell Williams (WR – DET)
ADP: 268th overall (WR93)

Tyrell Williams isn’t a household name, but he has a great opportunity to become one in 2021. The Detroit Lions currently don’t have a clear number one wide receiver, so Williams, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Breshad Perriman, and Quintez Cephus will each have the chance to emerge as the lead option. Of these players, I expect the most out of Tyrell Williams.

For starters, Williams is a monster athlete that stands at 6-foot-3, weighs 204 pounds, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds. He has proven himself to be a big-play threat, averaging 16.1 yards per reception over the course of his 69-game career. He has averaged at least 15 yards per reception in every single season of his career, too.

Williams has produced in the past. He most notably did so in the 2016 season as one of the Chargers’ top receiving weapons, catching 69 passes on 119 targets for 1,059 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He previously played for Detroit offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn back in 2017 and 2018 with the Chargers. Fantasy managers are sleeping on Tyrell Williams right now because he missed the entire 2020 NFL season with a labral tear, but now he is healthy and ready to beat expectations. He makes for a great late-round wide receiver target in fantasy drafts.

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Eli Grabanski is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Eli, check out his archive and follow him @3li_handles.

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