What We Learned in 2020: Wide Receiver

A look at the every fantasy wide receiver's ADP and finish, what happened, and what we learned

Before we move forward now that the 2020 NFL season is over, we should look back one more time to capture whatever wisdom we can glean from the ride through this "season like no other" before the distance in the rearview mirror gets farther and the particulars get blurred. Let's look at where every fantasy-relevant wide receiver was drafted (based on an aggregate of sources), where they finished (approximate because of variation in scoring systems), what happened, and what we learned.

Most Important Wide Receiver takeaways

  • Be patient with rookies. Justin Jefferson was basically a league winner but he wasn't a starter to open the season. This looks like a historic rookie class and each of the last two rookie wide receiver classes have outperformed expectations.
  • The age/usage cliff is feared for running backs, but we should pay attention at wide receiver too. AJ Green and Julian Edelman disappeared over it, T.Y. Hilton was hanging off of it, and Julio Jones got closer to the edge.
  • Changing teams isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stefon Diggs, Robby Anderson, Brandin Cooks, and DeAndre Hopkins were all hits in part because their ADPs were depressed by lower expectations due to changing teams.
  • Offenses can change. Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, and the Seattle receivers (for half of the season at least) got huge boosts above ADP expectations because their offenses became quarterback-centric pass-first attacks.
  • Rookie phenoms can and will get better. Keep this in mind when valuing the 2020 rookies for 2021 drafts. DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Diontae Johnson, and Terry McLaurin all helped fantasy teams greatly on the back of sophomore improvements from already terrific rookie seasons.
  • The span from PPR WR1-WR12 about 10 points per game (26.4-16.3). The span from WR2-WR12 was about 5.5 (21.9-16.3). The span from WR13-WR24 was only about 1.7 points per game (16.2-14.5). The span from WR25-WR36 was about 1.5 points per game (14.2-12.65). Twenty-one more wide receivers averaged at least 10 PPR points per game. Another 21 averaged at least between 8-10 PPR points per game. Wide receiver is deep and there are only a few difference makers. This can support spending multiple early picks on the position, but a fantasy team can by without taking one in the first five rounds if this trend continues.

Wide Receivers Drafted as WR1s

Michael Thomas, NO

  • ADP: Mid First (WR1)
  • Approximate Finish: WR39
  • What Happened: Thomas was shut down by Carlton Davis in Week 1 and got hurt as the Saints were closing out the win. He never got back to 100% and looked mortal when he did get back on the field in the second half of the season and playoffs. He was reasonably productive with Taysom Hill but didn’t click with Jameis Winston in limited action.
  • What We Learned: The answer is somewhere in between "he was hurt and we shouldn’t hold this season against him" and "we should let someone else take him in 2021 fantasy drafts because there’s too much uncertainty." The fourth round is about where he becomes interesting in early drafts.

Davante Adams, GB

  • ADP: Late First (WR2)
  • Approximate Finish: WR1 by a large margin
  • What Happened: Aaron Rodgers had the best season of his career and Adams overcame an early-season hamstring injury that cost him two games to post career highs in touchdowns and receptions.
  • What We Learned: Adams will be the consensus WR1 in 2021 drafts, but exactly where in the first round to take him will be a matter of opinion.

Tyreek Hill, KC

  • ADP: Late First/Early Second (WR3)
  • Approximate Finish: WR2
  • What Happened: Hill set a career-high in touchdowns and returned to 2018 production levels, making anyone who took him over a running back very happy.
  • What We Learned: Hill is a blue-chip investment at ADP, a top player in his prime attached to a great quarterback and offense.

Julio Jones, ATL

  • ADP: Late First/Early Second (WR4)
  • Approximate Finish: WR13 on a points per game basis with six missed games.
  • What Happened: Jones was plagued with a hamstring injury basically all year. He had a few peak games, but mostly frustrated fantasy players.
  • What We Learned: Jones may be at the beginning of his physical decline years. We’ll see if ADP falls enough to make gambling that he’s not an enticing bet in 2021 fantasy drafts.

DeAndre Hopkins, ARI

  • ADP: Second Round (WR5)
  • Approximate Finish: WR5
  • What Happened: Hopkins got a ton of targets to fuel a fast start in the first five games but fell off of that pace as the season went on. His target volume didn’t drop off from Houston levels, but his usage was unimaginative and his touchdown rate was pedestrian.
  • What We Learned: Hopkins is good enough to overcome the wide receiver changing teams effect in fantasy, but Kyler Murray and the Arizona offensive staff isn’t good enough to maximize his value… yet.

Chris Godwin, TB

  • ADP: Late Second/Early Third (WR6)
  • Approximate Finish: WR23 on a points per game basis with four missed games due to various injuries.
  • What Happened: Godwin struggled with head, hip, quad, and finger injuries and never really got in a sustained groove with Tom Brady. He wasn’t used downfield as often in a less freewheeling pass offense, lowering his ceiling from 2019 levels.
  • What We Learned: Godwin won’t approach 2019 fantasy value in 2021 whether he changes teams or he stays in a crowded Buccaneers pass offense. Look for Tampa Bay to franchise him. His ADP should drop at least a round.

Kenny Golladay, DET

  • ADP: Third Round (WR7)
  • Approximate Finish: WR21 from Weeks 3-7 (WR40 if you count Week 8 when he left with a catch because of a season-ending hip injury)
  • What Happened: Golladay missed Weeks 1-2 with a hamstring injury and left Week 8 with a hip injury that ended his season despite some hope that he would return at some point. Even without the injuries, he didn’t live up to the hope and hype.
  • What We Learned: Even with an ideal quarterback for his strengths like Matthew Stafford, Golladay didn’t come close to his 2019 production levels. His 2021 value will hinge on the willingness of his quarterback to throw 50/50 balls. Golladay has likely played his last down with the Lions.

Mike Evans, TB

  • ADP: Third Round (WR8)
  • Approximate Finish: WR14
  • What Happened: Evans was banged up early in the season and had some floor games in the deep Bucs passing game as he got on the same page with Tom Brady, who finally came out of his downfield passing slump and created a huge Week 16 with Evans to help fantasy teams win championships.
  • What We Learned: Brady can still maximize the value of a receiver like Evans, and if they are together again in 2021, Evans should go even higher than he did in 2020 drafts.

Amari Cooper, DAL

  • ADP: Third Round (WR9)
  • Approximate Finish: WR18, but WR2 on a point-per-game basis in the four games Dak Prescott started and finished (Weeks 1-4) and WR37 from Weeks 5-16.
  • What Happened: Cooper was producing at a nice clip with Dak Prescott in play from behind games, and then Prescott went down, lowering his weekly season and floor.
  • What We Learned: The bottom can drop out of a WR1’s value when they lose their quarterback, even when their team has one of the better backups in the league.

Adam Thielen, MIN

  • ADP: Third Round (WR10)
  • Approximate Finish: WR8 with one missed game due to COVID-19
  • What Happened: Thielen alternated between floor and ceiling games for most of the year as Justin Jefferson emerged. He obliterated his career-high in touchdowns with 14 (previous: 9) to have a successful season even though his target share dropped significantly from 2017-18 peaks.
  • What We Learned: Thielen isn’t in his decline phase yet and Kirk Cousins still relies on him to finish drives.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT

  • ADP: Late Third/Early Fourth Round (WR11)
  • Approximate Finish: WR24
  • What Happened: Smith-Schuster was used as a safety valve for most of the season with Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to push the ball downfield diminishing as the season went on. His value came from volume and red-zone prowess as Smith-Schuster posted an RB-esque 8.6 yards per catch.
  • What We Learned: It’s difficult to say as Smith-Schuster’s usage was mostly a function of the limitations of his quarterback. He’ll enter free agency and almost certainly play elsewhere in 2021. He could be a value pick if he lands somewhere like Jacksonville.

Odell Beckham Jr, CLE

  • ADP: Late Third/Early Fourth Round (WR12)
  • Approximate Finish: WR37 through seven games, with the rest of the season missed due to an ACL tear.
  • What Happened: Beckham didn’t click with Baker Mayfield in the Kevin Stefanski offense and then left Week 7 with an ACL tear. Outside of a heroic performance against the Cowboys in a big early-season win and a long score against the Bengals, he was a fantasy non-factor.
  • What We Learned: Maybe not as much as we think. The Browns pass offense came together once Beckham went out. If he was healthy when the pass offense was clicking, the long plays might have come in bunches. He’ll be a 2021 draft value unless his name brand allure still keeps him in the same range he occupied in 2020 drafts.

Wide Receivers Drafted as Fantasy WR2s

Cooper Kupp, LAR

  • ADP: Fourth Round (WR13)
  • Approximate Finish: WR27
  • What Happened: The Rams passing game got a lot more conservative, so Kupp’s yards per catch and touchdowns plummeted even though his catches per game ticked up slightly.
  • What We Learned: Even though he’ll get an upgrade to Matthew Stafford, Kupp won’t get back to his peak 2019 production. We’ll see how optimistic fantasy drafters are about the quarterback change.

Allen Robinson, CHI

  • ADP: Fourth Round (WR14)
  • Approximate Finish: WR10
  • What Happened: Robinson toiled away on the other end of passes from subpar quarterbacks and produced with regularity yet again.
  • What We Learned: Robinson is a baller and could take a leap in value despite changing teams if he lands in the right place in free agency.

Calvin Ridley, ATL

  • ADP: Fourth Round (WR15)
  • Approximate Finish: WR4 with one missed game due to a foot injury
  • What Happened: Ridley became the #1 receiver with Julio Jones ailing for most of the season. He did produce more on average in games that Jones missed, so a healthy 2021 for Jones could bring Ridley back to the pack a bit.
  • What We Learned: Ridley has the goods to take the next step for fantasy and will be drafted as a WR1 in 2021.

D.J. Moore, CAR

  • ADP: Fourth Round (WR16)
  • Approximate Finish: WR26 with one game missed due to covid and an ankle injury.
  • What Happened: Moore was still explosive and the best big-play threat in the Panthers offense, but Robby Anderson led the team in targets and Curtis Samuel blossomed as a receiver in the second half of the year, capping Moore’s upside.
  • What We Learned: Moore isn’t the clear #1 in his offense even though his ADP compared to his Panther peers indicated that. Samuel is likely to leave in free agency, but Christian McCaffrey will be back and we don’t know who the Panthers quarterback will be so there’s uncertainty in Moore’s outlook. He has true believers and might not drop much from his 2020 ADP despite the sometimes disappointing season for fantasy players.

A.J. Brown, TEN

  • ADP: Fourth Round (WR17)
  • Approximate Finish: WR12 on a point-per-game basis with two games missed due to a knee injury.
  • What Happened: Brown’s yards receptions and touchdowns all took a step forward despite playing through injuries and a low target volume compared to his fantasy peers.
  • What We Learned: Brown’s arrow is still pointing up heading into year three. If Corey Davis leaves in free agency, Brown’s fantasy value could take a big leap forward in 2021.

Robert Woods, LAR

  • ADP: Late Fourth/Early Fifth Round (WR18)
  • Approximate Finish: WR15
  • What Happened: Woods was consistent despite the Rams offense putting the training wheels back on for Jared Goff. His yards per catch took a step back, but he scored five more touchdowns than he did in 2019 to balance things out.
  • What We Learned: Positive touchdown regression was Woods' friend and he could be set up for a career year with Matthew Stafford coming to Los Angeles.

Tyler Lockett, SEA

  • ADP: Late Fourth/Early Fifth Round (WR19)
  • Approximate Finish: WR16
  • What Happened: On paper, Lockett’s season looks like a success, but he had two week-winning performances in the first half of the year and was barely heard from in the second half of the year as the Seahawks passing game crashed and burned.
  • What We Learned: Russ isn’t going to cook for a whole season, and Tyler Lockett doesn’t seem like he’s going to produce at his top levels for a whole season. The Seahawks appear to be retreating back into a run-first mentality and Lockett’s ADP should drop from 2020 levels for it.

DK Metcalf, SEA

  • ADP: Fifth Round (WR20)
  • Approximate Finish: WR6
  • What Happened: Metcalf’s game grew a lot between year one and year two and he gave us some of the most dominant moments of 2020. Like the rest of the Seahawks passing attack, consistency and ceiling both dropped off in the second half, but he was still one of the biggest success stories at his position.
  • What We Learned: Being the very best in the game is in Metcalf’s range of possibilities even if Russell Wilson only throws 400 times a season.

Courtland Sutton, DEN

  • ADP: Fifth Round (WR21)
  • Approximate Finish: N/A - Sutton played one incomplete game in 2020.
  • What Happened: Sutton missed Week 1 with a shoulder injury and tore an ACL in Week 2.
  • What We Learned: You have to think Sutton would have disappointed with Drew Lock and a crowded passing game. We’ll see if his 2021 ADP reflects that projection. Stay tuned for a potential move at quarterback since the Broncos were in on Matthew Stafford.

Keenan Allen, LAC

  • ADP: Fifth Round (WR22)
  • Approximate Finish: WR7 with one missed game (hamstring) and another that fantasy players wish he had missed.
  • What Happened: A wayward injection put Justin Herbert in at quarterback before the Chargers meant for him to get in and the rest is history. Allen tied a career-high in touchdowns and would have set a career-high in catches if he hadn’t hurt his hamstring late in the season.
  • What We Learned: Herbert and Allen are going to be a productive connection for a long time. Allen deserves to be drafted in the top 10 wideouts in PPR leagues.

Terry McLaurin, WAS

  • ADP: Fifth Round (WR23)
  • Approximate Finish: WR21 with one missed game (ankle)
  • What Happened: McLaurin established himself as a true WR1 despite playing with a ragtag group at quarterback. His WR21 finish hides that he wore down at the end of the year and was producing at a WR1 clip for most of the season.
  • What We Learned: McLaurin’s arrow continues to point up and his true ceiling is unknown until Washington gets their quarterback situation figured out.

Stefon Diggs, BUF

  • ADP: Late Fifth/Early Sixth Round (WR24)
  • Approximate Finish: WR3
  • What Happened: Diggs had no trouble riffing with his new quarterback on his new team, which just happened to change to a pass-first philosophy on offense. He saved his best for last on Monday night in Week 16, winning fantasy championships for many players, including this writer.
  • What We Learned: Diggs can be a true #1 receiver and Josh Allen can be good enough to create a #1 receiver for fantasy.

Wide Receivers Drafted as WR3s/Flexes

T.Y. Hilton, IND

  • ADP: Late Fifth/Early Sixth Round (WR25)
  • Approximate Finish: WR52 with one missed game (groin)
  • What Happened: Hilton didn’t benefit from the upgrade at quarterback, looking less explosive than years past. He did had a burst in the second half of the season to help fantasy teams, but otherwise was a non-factor and many fantasy players may have given up on him and missed out on that late kick.
  • What We Learned: Hilton’s best years are behind him now and the reception in the free-agent market should reflect that.

D.J. Chark Jr, JAX

  • ADP: Sixth Round (WR26)
  • Approximate Finish: WR41 with two missed games due rib and upper body injuries
  • What Happened: Chark had a couple of ceiling games, but was unimpressive for fantasy and failed to provide the big play spark he showed so often in 2019.
  • What We Learned: The Jaguars quarterback play was less than stellar, so we shouldn’t take much away from 2020 when projecting 2021 for Chark since they’ll be adding Trevor Lawrence in the draft.

DeVante Parker, MIA

  • ADP: Sixth Round (WR27)
  • Approximate Finish: WR45 with two missed games (hamstring)
  • What Happened: Parker regressed back to being on the injury report too often after a healthy 2019, and his production also suffered when the team went to Tua Tagovailoa.
  • What We Learned: Parker is still unreliable for fantasy unless Ryan Fitzpatrick is out there. He might be joined by Tagovailoa’s former teammate DeVonta Smith, which would further cap his fantasy value.

Marquise Brown, BAL

  • ADP: Sixth Round (WR28)
  • Approximate Finish: WR50
  • What Happened: Lamar Jackson’s touchdown rate went way down and he and Brown never clicked in the downfield passing game. He was WR23 from Weeks 12-16 and had some touchdown potency, so his arrow may be pointing up yet. Don’t sleep on him if his ADP is significantly lower than 2020.
  • What We Learned: Brown is still on the ascent and not going to be injury-prone, but Lamar Jackson isn't going to get the most out of him as a deep receiver.

A.J. Green, CIN

  • ADP: Late Sixth/Early Seventh Round (WR29)
  • Approximate Finish: WR89
  • What Happened: Green got a ton of targets to begin the year, but it was clear he can’t do much with them as the years and injuries caught up with him. He was dropped by any team that didn’t hold simply out of respect.
  • What We Learned: Father Time remains undefeated. Green will be a free agent and likely adjust to being a role player.

Michael Gallup, DAL

  • ADP: Seventh Round (WR30)
  • Approximate Finish: WR49
  • What Happened: Gallup wasn’t exactly lighting it up with Dak Prescott, so his fantasy value wasn’t hurt as much by Prescott’s injury, or to put it another way, he was a bench fill-in for fantasy all year.
  • What We Learned: Gallup showed at multiple junctures that he still has game, so he should be a value pick in 2021 even though he wasn’t one of Prescott’s preferred targets in 2020.

Jarvis Landry, CLE

  • ADP: Seventh Round (WR31)
  • Approximate Finish: WR38 with one missed game due to covid
  • What Happened: Landry started a little slow coming off offseason hip surgery but heated up in the second half of the year while Odell Beckham Jr was out.
  • What We Learned: Landry is going to find a way to produce even in a low volume pass offense, but his upside is clearly capped, relegating him to top bench receiver status in fantasy leagues.

Will Fuller V, HOU

  • ADP: Seventh Round (WR32)
  • Approximate Finish: WR9 with four missed games due to a suspension
  • What Happened: Fuller stayed healthy and was consistent with occasional ceiling games until a PED suspension ended his season after Week 12.
  • What We Learned: Fuller can stay healthy, but does it require PEDs? We don’t know his team for 2021 as he enters free agency and even if he returns to the Texans, will Deshaun Watson be his quarterback? Fuller will be an enticing gamble in any event, although he’ll miss Week 1 to finish his six-game suspension.

Tyler Boyd, CIN

  • ADP: Seventh Round (WR33)
  • Approximate Finish: WR32 on a points per game basis with one missed game due to a concussion.
  • What Happened: Boyd was set to be a success story with Joe Burrow as his most reliable and heavily targeted receiver. He was WR14 when Burrow went down, and WR77 in the four weeks he played without Burrow (he did leave one early with a concussion).
  • What We Learned: Boyd will be a hit as long as Burrow is on the field and should be drafted higher than he was in 2020.

Julian Edelman, NE

  • ADP: Seventh Round (WR34)
  • Approximate Finish: WR65 through six games
  • What Happened: Edelman certainly had some volatility heading into the season with a new quarterback. But he set a career-high in yardage for a game with Newton in Week 2 and everything was on track for a good season. His deteriorating knee condition got worse in the following weeks and ended his season after six weeks.
  • What We Learned: Losing Tom Brady didn’t help, but Edelman was in his steep decline phase with or without Brady.

Brandin Cooks, HOU

  • ADP: Seventh Round (WR35)
  • Approximate Finish: WR31 with one missed game (neck)
  • What Happened: Cooks got out of the gate slow as he adjusted to his new offense and quarterback, but he was WR14 from Weeks 5-16 and showed he can put up a fantasy-relevant season and 1000 yards with a new quarterback like it’s no big deal.
  • What We Learned: Cooks will be good with Deshaun Watson. Will he play with Watson in 2021? There are a lot of variables to work out before we know that.

Marvin Jones Jr, DET

  • ADP: Eighth Round (WR36)
  • Approximate Finish: WR36
  • What Happened: Jones was released from a lot of fantasy rosters after five games, but Kenny Golladay’s injury opened the door for him to have a strong middle and last third of the year. He actually posted a career-high in catches and posted the second-highest yardage and touchdowns totals of his career.
  • What We Learned: Jones is probably done with the Lions as he enters free agency, but he can still be fantasy relevant at this stage of his career.

Notable Bench Picks

Deebo Samuel, SF

  • ADP: Ninth Round (WR37)
  • What Happened: Samuel was productive in four out of his seven games played, but missed more than half of the season with foot and hamstring injuries. Brandon Aiyuk’s emergence will push Samuel down 2021 draft boards even further.

Diontae Johnson, PIT

  • ADP: Ninth Round (WR38)
  • What Happened: Johnson struggled with drops and injuries, but leveled off to be a top 10 PPR receiver from Weeks 7-16 and fit perfectly in the horizontal pass offense the Steelers ran with Ben Roethlisberger. He’s on the rise with Juju Smith-Schuster likely moving on in 2021.

CeeDee Lamb, DAL

  • ADP: Ninth Round (WR39)
  • What Happened: Lamb was a hit early, posting WR16 PPR numbers with Dak Prescott through five weeks. He came on again during the fantasy playoffs and will likely be undervalued in 2021 drafts no matter how much higher he goes than he did in 2020.

Emmanuel Sanders, NO

  • ADP: Ninth Round (WR40)
  • What Happened: Sanders was coming on with Michael Thomas sidelined and all of the adjustments to his new quarterback complete by Week 5, but two missed weeks due to covid and quarterback instability in New Orleans limited his ceiling for the remainder of the season. He’ll almost certainly be back with the Saints this year and could be intriguing at a cheap price if Jameis Winston is the quarterback.

Jerry Jeudy, DEN

  • ADP: Tenth Round (WR41)
  • What Happened: Courtland Sutton’s injury was supposed to open the door to more opportunity for Jeudy, but the on-field chemistry never clicked with Drew Lock and Jeudy was on the all-ten foot pole team at lineup setting time by the end of the season.

Christian Kirk, ARI

  • ADP: Tenth Round (WR42)
  • What Happened: From Week 6-9, Kirk was WR5 with his three biggest games of the year bookending his bye. He was a nonfactor before and after that. Kirk will be a late-round enigma who could hit if Kyler Murray improves as a passer.

Darius Slayton, NYG

  • ADP: Tenth Round (WR43)
  • What Happened: The Jason Garrett offense and Daniel Jones created some ups and downs through five weeks, but Slayton was still around WR30 and relevant. He was a milk carton in the second half of the season. He’ll be worth a late-round dart throw this year.

John Brown, BUF

  • ADP: Tenth Round (WR44)
  • What Happened: Brown had a very strong open to the season and appeared to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the shift in the Bills offensive philosophy and improvement in Josh Allen’s play. Injuries robbed him of about half of the season and he wasn’t able to stay in a sustained groove. He’s a potential cap cut with fourth-round pick Gabriel Davis looking good behind him on the depth chart last year.

Sterling Shepard, NYG

  • ADP: Tenth Round (WR45)
  • What Happened: Shepard missed four weeks with turf toe, but actually returned his draft value after that as a reliable short-range target in an unimaginative pass offense. He still has relevance, especially in deeper PPR leagues.

Jamison Crowder, NYJ

  • ADP: 10th/11th Round (WR46)
  • What Happened: Crowder had trouble staying on the field but was actually WR20 on a point-per-game basis. He had more ceiling games than floor games and defied the Jets offensive woes to help fantasy teams. We’ll see if a quarterback improvement is in line for him in 2021.

Mecole Hardman, KC

  • ADP: 11th Round (WR47)
  • What Happened: Hardman never made the anticipated step forward in year two, often running behind Demarcus Robinson and doing something to frustrate his teammates and coaches nearly every week. He’ll likely be drafted even higher in 2021 anyway because Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson are likely gone in free agency.

Preston Williams, MIA

  • ADP: 11th/12th Round (WR49)
  • What Happened: Williams started slowly as he was coming back from a 2019 ACL tear, but played his best football in Tua Tagovailoa’s second start, quickly becoming his favorite receiver… and then for the second year in a row, Williams went down during his breakout game. He’ll have a long road back from an Achilles injury and the Dolphins are likely to draft another wide receiver early.

Justin Jefferson, MIN

  • ADP: 12th Round (WR50)
  • What Happened: Jefferson wasn’t even a starter out of training camp, but he broke out in Week 3 against Tennessee anyway and never looked back, posting one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history. He’ll be drafted rightfully as a WR1 this year.

Mike Williams, LAC

  • ADP: 12th/13th Round (WR54)
  • What Happened: Williams had his usual array of nicks and bumps and finished as WR66, but he had a strong six-game stretch that was kicked off by a game that Keenan Allen left early and his situation going into 2021 is much better than it was going into 2020. He should be a favorite bench pick in drafts.

Robby Anderson, CAR

  • ADP: 13th/14th Round (WR57)
  • What Happened: Anderson reinvented himself under his old college coach as a possession receiver, which meshed well with Teddy Bridgewater’s strengths. He finished as WR23 in PPR leagues and shouldn’t last nearly as long in 2021 as he did in 2020 drafts.

Curtis Samuel, CAR

  • ADP: 14th Round (WR58)
  • What Happened: Samuel was WR30 on the season and WR14 from Weeks 7-16. He showed polish as a receiver and playmaking ability to excite the free-agent market. Hopefully, he lands with a team willing to be creative with his usage.

Brandon Aiyuk, SF

  • ADP: 15th Round (WR60)
  • What Happened: Aiyuk was WR17 on a point-per-game basis, although he did miss three games. He stepped right into the #1 target role vacated by Deebo Samuel and for a bit was producing at a top-five clip. The big questions now are how high is too high to take him and who will be the 49ers quarterback in 2021.

Allen Lazard, GB

  • ADP: 15th Round (WR61)
  • What Happened: Lazard had a great Week 1 and a breakout Week 3 to fill the void left by Davante Adams, but a core muscle injury sidelined him for six weeks and he wasn’t as impactful again until the playoffs. His 2021 value will hinge on whether the Packers sign or draft a big name receiver in the offseason.

Cole Beasley, BUF

  • ADP: Late Rounds (WR71)
  • What Happened: Beasley was a consistent target for Josh Allen in the new look pass-friendly offense and leveled off as an every-week WR3. He should be situated to maintain those numbers in 2021, but will still likely be a value pick because of the lowkey slot receiver role he occupies.

Tee Higgins, CIN

  • ADP: Late Rounds (WR81)
  • What Happened: Higgins was playing behind John Ross and had the same number of snaps as Mike Thomas and Auden Tate in Week 1. He didn’t catch a pass. The Bengals got him more involved in Week 2 and he was WR24 with Joe Burrow on the field after that. Higgins arrow is pointing way up heading into 2021 and he’ll likely be a value pick even at a much higher ADP than 2020.

Undrafted Contributors

Chase Claypool, PIT

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: Claypool was eased into the lineup before his Week 4 four-touchdown explosion against the Eagles. Ben Roethlisberger’s limitations throwing downfield held Claypool back a bit over the rest of the season, but his game and opportunity should grow enough to create a race to get him at an aspirational ADP in 2021.

Nelson Agholor, LV

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: Agholor was added as a reclamation project at the veteran minimum but immediately stood out as a potential contributor in camp. After Henry Ruggs III went down, Agholor took on a central role and never gave it up. His WR39 ranking from Weeks 3-16 was in the neighborhood of Marvin Jones Jr, Jarvis Landry, and Chase Claypool.

Tim Patrick, DEN

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: After Courtland Sutton went down, Patrick became the leading big outside receiver for the Broncos and he managed to finish as WR40 on a point-per-game basis with multiple two-game clusters of solid production. He’ll be a restricted free agent this offseason.

Russell Gage, ATL

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: Gage sometimes served as Matt Ryan’s struggle target with Austin Hooper gone to Cleveland, catching 63 balls on the year and compiling three different multigame stretches of useful production in PPR leagues.

Keke Coutee, Chad Hansen, HOU

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: After Will Fuller V and Randall Cobb went down, Coutee and Hansen got the call and both performed well enough to merit starts during the fantasy playoffs in deeper leagues. Keep this in mind if Deshaun Watson changes teams this offseason.

Jakobi Meyers, NE

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: Meyers didn’t get significant snaps until Week 7, which just happens to correspond with the last game that Julian Edelman played in 2020. Meyers was PPR WR39 from Weeks 7-16 and WR16 from Weeks 7-10. He also threw two touchdowns on the year.

Travis Fulgham, PHI

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: Fulgham got his first snaps of the season in a Week 4 upset of the 49ers, in which he scored a key 42-yard touchdown. He was then WR9 from Weeks 5-8. Then after the Week 9 bye, his play fell off, then his snaps fell off, and now he might not even be a top-three receiver for the Eagles.

Antonio Brown, TB

  • ADP: Undrafted
  • What Happened: Brown’s midseason signing sent waves through the fantasy world, but he was only WR46 on a point-per-game basis from Weeks 9-16, just ahead of Russell Gage. He still has skill, but he’s not the player he was the last time we saw him in a Steelers uniform.

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