The surplus of talent at the wide receiver position in the NFL currently has created an opportunity for fantasy managers to accumulate stellar depth at the position on their fantasy rosters. In dynasty startup drafts, you have a legitimate opportunity to add stud young wide receivers early on, while still being able to land proven NFL talent later on. The sheer number of talented options available at wide receiver provides you the flexibility to still address the running back position without forgoing all of the talented options available at wide receiver.
Year in and year out, we refer to players with familiar monikers: WR1, WR2, WR3, and so on. The fact of the matter is with the massive number of talented pass catchers in the NFL, not everyone can be a WR1 or WR2. It’s simply a numbers game, but you can play that game to your advantage. There are plenty of players who are currently valued in the WR3 range that have a legitimate chance to not only outperform their current value but also have the potential to flirt with WR1 value.
Allen Robinson is not some great unknown, and the cost to acquire him has risen from where it was earlier this offseason, but he still presents a tremendous value in drafts or in trades for contending teams. While he’s older than many dynasty managers would like, the fact of the matter is he’s walking into an offense that is led by the best quarterback he’ll have played with in his professional career in Matthew Stafford. The Rams were 10th in the league in pass attempts in 2021, and we should not expect that to change drastically in 2022. Cooper Kupp is still the premier option in this passing attack, but it’s not as if Kupp is significantly younger than Robinson — he’s about two months older than Allen Robinson. Kupp is a tremendous player who has the trust of Stafford, but we’ve seen Robinson perform on multiple teams in less-than-desirable situations. For fantasy teams ready to contend within a two-year window, he has an excellent shot at returning significantly better value than what the cost is to acquire him currently.
It’s difficult to not get excited over the potential Gabriel Davis has in a high-powered offense with what should be a substantial opportunity ahead of him. Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley are no longer with the team, and they leave behind 184 targets from 2021. Stefon Diggs will continue to pace the Bills’ offense in target share, but Davis should be squarely in the mix with Dawson Knox to be second on the team in targets. The Bills did add Jamison Crowder via free agency and Khalil Shakir via the NFL Draft, but Davis has earned an opportunity for more playing time. He’s a big-play threat with one of the best young signal-callers in football in Josh Allen, and he could see his production skyrocket in 2022. He posted nearly identical stat lines in both 2020 and 2021, and the stars look to finally be lining up in a big way for the 2022 season. Look for Davis to post career bests in both receptions and receiving yards this season.
People were left feeling burnt by Brandon Aiyuk early on in the 2021 season. He was heralded as a big-time breakout candidate after finishing his rookie season with 60 receptions, 748 yards, and five touchdowns. Despite the slow start for Aiyuk, he found his stride by Week 7 of the 2021 season. From that point on, he averaged just over 66 receiving yards and 4.27 receptions per game. If we extrapolate that out over a full 17-game season, we’d be looking at a stat line of 73 receptions and 1,128 receiving yards. In terms of receiving yardage, that would have put him just inside the top 15 in the NFL’s receiving yardage leaders from a season ago. Normally it can be risky business to project out a full season’s statistics from just a handful of games, but 11 games is a healthy sample size. In startup drafts during the summer of 2021, Aiyuk was coming off the board as a top-24 option at wide receiver, but that price tag is no longer associated with him. He can consistently be drafted as a WR3, and sometimes even later. We’ve seen what his upside can produce, and if this is the year he can marry consistency with some of that upside, the payoff could be tremendous.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.