What incumbent wide receiver has the greatest risk of losing the most dynasty value with the NFL Draft closing in? Explain your reasoning.
D.J. Chark Jr comes to mind. I feel like the analyst community has tried to make more of Chark than he's been, but this may be the last chance to get off the bus with a solid return on investment. The Jaguars are among the hardest to forecast in 2021 because of wholesale changes. Between Urban Meyer's hiring, Darrell Bevel being brought in to run the offense, a rookie starting quarterback (likely Trevor Lawrence), and three free-agent receiver signings, it doesn't look like a situation suited for an incumbent receiver with unrealized upside.
Jason, I disagree with your thoughts about D.J. Chark Jr. Allow me to explain. First, In my opinion, the three free-agent signings do not change Chark as the presumptive WR1. The development of Laviska Shenault Jr might. Jon’Vea Johnson and Phillip Dorsett are a threat to Chark? I disagree. Even Marvin Jones Jr who will be 31 is a great third receiver for this offense. Sure he goes crazy for two or three games every year, but the rest is WR3 territory. If Jacksonville drafts a receiver in the first two rounds I will re-evaluate.
I have concerns for three receivers, all for similar but different reasons. They should be fine for 2021, but we can look further down the road at wide receiver in dynasty leagues.
Tyler Lockett - With Russell Wilson openly grumbling about wanting out, expect Lockett to struggle with another quarterback if that situation should arise. He has overachieved in his career to date and getting good value while you can is the smart move.
Davante Adams - Green Bay has all their notable receivers contracted for 2021 only. With the team not renegotiating the contract of Aaron Rodgers, as insane as it sounds, expect Rodgers to be traded for 2022. If Jordan Love doesn’t come on or Rodgers is irreplaceable then that still leaves the contract of Adams and who and where his quarterback is in 2022. Sometimes you need to sell at the top and Adams looks like a prime candidate to do that with.
Speaking of selling at the top, we need to look carefully at Michael Thomas. He combined perfectly with Drew Brees. With Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, I worry he may be more borderline WR1 than elite WR1. Add in some temperamental issues starting to occur, I would be selling for maximum reward. If no one bites, all good.
I would like to go with the entire Detroit Lions receiving corps of Tyrell Williams (Q), Breshad Perriman, Geronimo Allison, Quintez Cephus, Kalif Raymond, Tom Kennedy, Victor Bolden Jr, Damion Ratley (list taken from the always-current Footballguys depth charts).
Yes, Detroit may be in rebuilding mode, but it is impossible to imagine that Williams coming off an injury, Perriman, Allison, and Cephus will be the top receivers for the team this year. There is an opportunity for a rookie to step in and contribute right away. As far as these guys, Perriman and Cephus stand out as targets for me this offseason.
Jeff, I don't disagree with you. The Lions wide receiver depth chart could have some new big names on it after the draft. If not, then there may be some headaches developing in the Lions fan base.
Connecting the dots from Ja'Marr Chase to Joe Burrow is too easy. The Bengals are sitting at #5 and while the top tackle in the draft Penei Sewell (Oregon) should be there, the team can also choose to take a tackle from the deep class in the second and develop him this year since they signed Riley Reiff to play right tackle. The dropoff at tackle is less steep than the dropoff at wide receiver too. It might harder for Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd to stand out in the passing game if Burrow is reunited with Chase.
I agree with you about Cincinnati, Sig. Tee Higgins is near the top of the list. Plenty of mock drafts have Cincinnati taking Kyle Pitts or Ja'Marr Chase at 1.05. Higgins would be a trendy top-12 projection for 2021 as the passing game currently has a void at tight end and only Tyler Boyd otherwise of note at wide receiver. A splash addition with either of the two top playmakers in the class would soften Higgins' market post-draft. Another concern is Marquise Brown. His best argument is/was his market share of a low-level passing game. Sammy Watkins was added in free agency but a wide receiver selected in the first or second round would be another viable option, in addition to Mark Andrews being the de facto WR1 of the offense, to have Brown's market share take a hit, which has been his greatest appeal to-date.
Let me mention someone who might be an unpopular opinion. DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins was second in the NFL in targets last season and is a consensus Top 10 dynasty wide receiver. He also turns 29-years old in a couple of months and is on that age precipice where we have seen other elite receivers start to decline quickly in recent years (like new teammate A.J. Green). If he starts to lose even a little of his massive target share projection, he is a guy who could bleed dynasty value quickly.
This feels like a spot where it would make sense for the Cardinals to invest in an elite wide receiver prospect to upgrade the WR2 spot and eventually take over as WR1. Arizona is perfectly situated in the middle of the 1st-round to snag DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle if they slide even a little bit.
Going back to what Andy said...Michael Thomas has dominated as a short-area target hog and the only show in town in New Orleans. He is already experiencing a quarterback change to some combination of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, but could also be in line to see some more competition as the Saints retool their offense. New Orleans doesn't have their own third-round pick (91), but picked up two third-round compensatory picks to make up for it. They pick four times inside of the top 105 in another great WR class. Adding another wide receiver, particularly one who can make plays down the field, (Winston's preference) would continue to take the shine off of Thomas's outlook.
Christian Kirk is on three of my dynasty rosters, and I’m pleased that he’s expected to move into a full-time slot role now that the venerable Larry Fitzgerald, a free agent, isn’t expected back. Although Kirk was touted for his inside-outside versatility coming out of Texas A&M, I feel like he’s been miscast as a predominantly outside receiver during his three years with the Cardinals and could thrive in the slot. But man, this draft is just so loaded with intriguing slot receivers, I’m nervous that the Cards won’t be able to keep their hands out of the cookie jar. This is a team that has eagerly plowed resources into the wide receiver position the last couple of years. I worry that Kirk might have to compete for inside snaps with, not only third-year man Andy Isabella but also with a day-two rookie pick.
Devante Parker’s dynasty relevance has been hanging on by a thread since his 2019 career resurgence. Preston Williams came on strong in 2020; nearly matching Parker’s production before tearing his ACL. With Williams back, and Will Fuller V signing a 1-year deal, things aren’t looking great for Parker. Fuller likely moves on after this season, leaving room for Parker to again flourish, but the Dolphins hold two 1st round picks in prime wide receiver range. At pick 6 the Dolphins should be looking to draft Ja’Marr Chase. At pick 18 they have an array of options which include Devonta Smith, Rashod Bateman, and Rondale Moore. All of these options would be a significant hit to Parker’s value and potentially signal the Dolphins intend to get out of Parker’s contract sooner rather than later.
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