As we look ahead to the NFL Draft, there is no better time to trade for players. Using the Combine and Draft to your advantage, go capitalize on the rookie hype and cash some draft capital in for proven talent. This article will dive into some of my must-have wide receivers going into the 2023 season.
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Dynasty Wide Receivers to Draft
Here are a few dynasty wide receivers I’m targeting everywhere.
Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ)
New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson became a star right in front of our eyes during his rookie campaign. Hauling in 83 catches for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns, the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft has lived up to the hype.
Commanding 147 targets, the eighth most in the league, ahead of guys like A.J. Brown, DK Metcalf, and Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wilson has established himself as the primary pass catcher on this up-and-coming Jets team. Did I mention he did all this with the trio of Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White under center? Pretty amazing stuff.
Wilson ranked 13th in the league in air yards, which resulted in a 31.59% air-yard share. Pair this with a 58.86% WOPR, good for 15th in the league, and we are looking at a potential Year 2 explosion. With the hope of bringing in a big-name free agent at quarterback, it is scary to think just how good Wilson can be. Just 22 years old with an impressive rookie year under his belt, Wilson is going to be a problem for years to come. He can be a true foundational piece on any dynasty team.
Assets I would trade away:
- Early 2023 first
- Najee Harris + early 2023 second
- Jameson Williams + early 2023 second
Jerry Jeudy (WR – DEN)
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Been there, done that. I get it and I don’t blame you if you are completely out on Jerry Jeudy. This one is more of a gut feeling, still believing in the talent and betting on a better situation. Let’s not forget, Jeudy is still a former first-round pick and a route-running technician who had an impressive rookie year, followed by a second-year injury bug.
Finishing the 2022 fantasy football season as a back-end WR2, and just missing the cut on a per-game basis putting up 13.3 points per game, ranked 26th, compared to the 24th-ranked points per game being 13.4 points, we see that Jeudy was actually pretty useful. Garnering 100 targets and turning that into 67 catches for 972 yards and six scores, he led all Denver pass catchers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
This was also done in an abysmal season for the Denver Broncos. An absolute dumpster fire, from star quarterback Russell Wilson not looking like his normal self, to the head coach getting fired, to players looking visibly frustrated and irritated on the sidelines, it was quite frankly remarkable Jeudy was able to have the success that he did.
With that said, 2023 is a new year. Insert head coach Sean Payton. I am confident in Payton’s ability to turn this team around and get Russell Wilson back to his former self. With a year of chemistry to build on, Jeudy and Wilson should have an even stronger connection. At just 24 years old and in an improving situation, it would not surprise me if he solidifies himself as a reliable WR2 in fantasy football. Given his underwhelming career so far, he can most likely be acquired for less than what he can potentially produce.
Assets I would trade away:
- Late 2023 first
- Early 2023 second + late 2023 second
- Terry McLaurin
Drake London (WR – ATL)
Drake London is a guy I am trying to get on all of my rosters. In what felt like a disappointing first year, London’s underlying numbers were very encouraging. Earning 117 targets and converting them into 72 receptions for 866 yards and four touchdowns, London finished the year as the WR31 in PPR leagues. While it’s nothing to write home about, if we dive a little deeper, there are plenty of things that have this 21-year-old first-round pick trending up.
London’s 117 targets ranked him tied for 25th in the league. That is a solid number considering he was not only a rookie but on an Atlanta Falcons team that ranked 31st in passing attempts and first in rushing attempts. To put this into perspective, London’s 29.47% target market share was fifth best in the entire NFL. Just absurd.
Furthermore, London sported a 31.28% air-yard share, which ranked him 17th, ahead of players named DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, and Jaylen Waddle. With a WOPR of 66.1%, good for eighth best in the league, London is just scratching the surface. He was able to put up these numbers with Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder throwing to him. Oh, and did I mention this was done with Kyle Pitts on the field, too? London is the unquestioned alpha on that team.
I am hoping Ridder can build on his limited action and take another step in his game, but either way, I expect the quarterback situation to be vastly improved come 2024. Go get London while you can.
Assets I would trade away:
- Early/mid 2023 first
- Tyreek Hill
- Tony Pollard + mid/late 2023 second
With the dynasty landscape changing so quickly, it is imperative to lock down some young wide receivers to build your team around. All three of these players are young, have had productive rookie seasons, and are in a situation that is trending in the right direction. Get the edge on the rest of your league and acquire these wideouts who are set to boom in the coming seasons.
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