High-Floor Wide Receivers (2021 Fantasy Football)
Constructing a fantasy football roster is an art. It takes practice, skill, and luck — but most of all, it takes balance. High-upside players can help you win your league, but a roster full of them is destined for mediocrity. A few strategic high-floor picks are key to mix into your draft plan. They provide stability despite the volatility of weekly head-to-head fantasy football.
Below are four wide receivers with high floors available at various Average Draft Positions (ADPs) to help you stabilize your roster, no matter when you decide to make riskier selections. They’ve all got something in common, too: a large number of targets from the slot. Short routes, yards after the catch, and high volume are the significant characteristics of high-floor wideouts. Mix in one or more of these players to build your weekly scoring floor in 2021.
Top 50 ADP
Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR) ADP 46 | WR 18
Every year, Kupp ranks quite low among receivers in average depth of target (aDOT), meaning that he gets targeted closer to the line of scrimmage than most. Despite not running deep routes, Kupp still found a way to rack up nearly 600 receiving yards from the slot in 2020, with 64% of his total targets coming from that spot on the line. Kupp was placed in the slot on 61.7% of snaps last season, and he hauled in 58 catches while adding 5.4 yards after the catch. That rate ranks fourth-best amongst receivers out of the slot. He is the model of a possession receiver, as he boasts a career catch rate of 73%. If you took some chances early on high-upside players, getting Kupp in Round 4 would help raise your floor.
Outside Top 24 WRs
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT) ADP 76 | WR 30
Smith-Schuster led the league in slot targets last year with 103. This was by design. The Steelers used their 24-year-old, former second-rounder out of the slot a career-high 85.3% of the time. His previous high-water mark had been 66.7%. As Ben Roethlisberger gets older, his arm gets weaker, and he will rely more and more on those short-yardage timing routes. Smith-Schuster had an aDOT of 6.2 last season, a perfect range for the aging quarterback. Smith-Schuster also led the NFL in slot receptions (81) and touchdowns (9). While others hope for the upside of Steelers wideouts Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, you can bank on Smith-Schuster’s reliability in Round 7.
Top 100 ADP
Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN) ADP 91 | WR 36
Joe Burrow finished third in passing attempts per game (40.4) last year, and there is no reason to believe that trend won’t continue in 2021. Burrow has plenty of mouths to feed in Cincinnati, but he has plenty of targets to distribute. Tyler Boyd is one of those hungry Cincinnati wideouts, and he checks all of our high-floor fantasy boxes. He ranked top-10 in slot yards after the catch/per reception (4.8), second in total slot YAC (332 yards), third in slot targets (93), and all with a healthy aDOT (8.5 yards) for a receiver who worked out of the slot 84.2% of the time in 2020. Boyd may be the only Bengal wideout with a defined role in 2021, so keep him in your queue if you need some guaranteed points from your eighth-rounder.
After Pick 125
Cole Beasley (WR – BUF) ADP 139 | WR 54
There are no sure things outside of the first 125 selections, but Cole Beasley might be as close to a guarantee as you can find. In 2020, Beasley dominated from the slot with a league-leading 948 receiving yards. He was also incredibly efficient. The Buffalo wideout secured the third-most yards per route run from the slot (2.31) and hauled in 83.9% of his slot targets from Josh Allen. Barring unprecedented discipline from the NFL for a COVID rules-related incident, Beasley will be the steadiest acquisition to your fantasy floor from the players hanging around at the end of your drafts.
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