We are under a month away from the start of the new league year, free agency and, before you know it, the NFL Draft. As we prepare to turn the page officially to 2021, I made a first pass at my Dynasty Rankings. These rankings only include current NFL Players (2021 rookies will be added later) and are based on where we sit now. The wild next few months will play a role, so look for these to be updated throughout the off-season. For now, this first wave will be presented by position, today I continue with wide receivers.
Wide receiver is a loaded position, and that’s even before I consider a good 2021 Class. We had a great class last season, and several have moved up. This is also where it seems we have an embarrassment of riches, with good options throughout the Top 50. As with other positions, I expect this to change a lot the next few months.
1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers. Adams might not hit 18 TDs again, but he’s Aaron Rodgers’ clear No. 1 target. He’s an incredible talent and showed this year how great he is on the field.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals. Hopkins headed to the dessert and didn’t miss a beat. I expect him to continue to put up huge numbers with Kyler Murray and a good Cardinals’ squad.
3. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs. We keep expecting to see new players mix in with the Chiefs, but it remains Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Hill, who had another monster season. The Chiefs aren’t slowing down any time soon.
4. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills. Diggs has always had talent, but the question was the volume he would see in Buffalo. Turns out the volume he saw as a career high. He might come back to the pack a bit, but I don’t see the Bills and Josh Allen going away from a robust passing game.
5. D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks. Metcalf had a big season, at one-point drawing comparisons to Jerry Rice. The Seahawks tailed off some at the end, but Metcalf is a beast and I expect him to continue to be the top dog in Seattle.
6. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons. There are questions about Matt Ryan’s long-term future, but we saw Ridley explode in 2020. Some of that was due to Julio Jones missing time, but I tend to see it as the changing of the guard in Atlanta. Ridley is a huge riser for me in 2021.
7. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings. Jefferson made a strong case to be Rookie of the Year in 2020, exploding for 1,400 yards. The Vikings are still a power running team, but Jefferson is the future and the future is now in Minnesota.
8. A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans. Brown expanded on his rookie season and looked like a clear No.1 option. The Titans are still a power running team, but Brown is good enough with Ryan Tannehill to be a Top 10 option.
9. Allen Robinson, Free Agent (Chicago Bears). Robinson has been a great receiver for several years despite playing with some questionable quarterbacks. The Bears are considering franchise tagging him, which wouldn’t change that trend but it doesn’t seem to matter who is throwing it, Robinson thrives.
10. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints. Currently last year Thomas was No. 1, but a lost year and questions at quarterback have him lower. I still like the talent, but he might be in for less volume.
11. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys. Lamb had a great rookie season and is in a great spot with the Cowboys, especially if Dak Prescott is back, as expected. The sky’s the limit for this talented young receiver.
12. Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team. McLaurin played with four different quarterbacks in 2020 and it didn’t matter, he still put up numbers. I expect that to continue, and he could really take off with a better passer and better offense around him.
13. Chris Godwin, Free Agent (Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Godwin’s 2020 numbers were down a bit due to missed time and playing on a loaded offense, but he still had a great season. Whether he’s back in Tampa Bay or goes elsewhere I expect him to thrive.
14. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers. Allen is the clear No. 1 in a good offense with emerging quarterback Justin Herbert, he’s a solid bet to be around low-end WR1 numbers for the foreseeable future.
15. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Evans, Godwin’s running mate with the Buccaneers, had the better season in 2020. He’s another receiver that seems locked in at 1,000 yards and near WR1 range each year.
16. Kenny Golladay, Free Agent (Detroit Lions). Will the Lions franchise tag Golladay? That’s a big question. If not, he’s in line to find a good payday and possibly a better offense. Even if he’s back in Detroit, he’s a talent that will put up numbers when he’s on the field.
17. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals. Higgins had a strong rookie campaign, seeing more than 100 targets and going for more than 900 yards. And that was with Joe Burrow missing six games and had A.J. Green blocking the way early in the season. It’s wheels up for Higgins in 2021.
18. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys. Cooper has been a great fit in Dallas, and that should continue in 2021. He was a perfect pairing opposite Lamb and I think he’ll continue to put up big numbers.
19. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos. Sutton missed the season with injury, but he remains the best receiver on the Broncos. It’s a suddenly crowded receiver room, but Sutton thrived pre-injury and I think he goes back to being the Alpha. I lowered expectations some, but I still believe.
20. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers. Aiyuk had a strong rookie season, but the 49ers were racked with injuries and inconsistent quarterback play. Having George Kittle back should help, and if the 49ers improve the quarterback slot Aiyuk could really take off.
21. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers. Johnson’s second professional season saw him take a big step forward but, at times, struggle with consistency. Still, he looked like the best receiver for the Steelers and his future seems bright.
22. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers. Moore seemed poised to take off with Matt Rhule in 2020, but instead he finished as the third best receiver on his own team. I still like the talent and he could be a nice buy low for those who worried too much after a slow 2020.
23. D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars. A bad offense, inconsistent quarterback play, injuries, you name it and Chark suffered through it in 2020. With a new coach and quarterback on the way, Chark is poised to bounce back in 2021. Don’t give up hope.
24. Juju Smith-Schuster, Free Agent (Pittsburgh Steelers). Juju had a better 2020 than you realize. He’s a free agent, but still young and poised to be a force in the league for years. The right landing spot could see him jump up higher on this list.
25. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams. Woods has been a bankable and reliable receiver for several years and that’s not likely to change with Matthew Stafford in town. He might not be the sexiest name, but he’s reliable.
26. Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers. Claypool had some huge games in his rookie season and seems poised for more. Especially if Juju moves on, Claypool will keep rising.
27. Odell Beckham, Jr., Cleveland Browns. The Browns’ star hasn’t had a great time in Cleveland. 2019 was something of a let down and Beckham got hurt and missed much of 2020. He’s still a talented receiver and part of a good offense, and I think Beckham will look better in 2021.
28. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons. Jones still had Top 5 potential, but he’s not getting any younger. Injuries limited him greatly in 2020, and in the meantime it seems like Ridley has ascended. I’m selling Julio if I can.
29. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks. Yes, Lockett had a great 2020 season and finished Top 10. I still like the talent but Metcalf is the better player in Seattle. Last season might have been the ceiling for Lockett.
30. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams. Kupp fell off a bit in 2020 but remains a strong target in what figures to be a solid offense. I’ve cooled some, but he’s still a good asset in dynasty.
31. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos. The rookie struggled at times in 2020 but was a top option coming out of the draft. The biggest challenges are a crowded pass-catching group and low-volume pass offense.
32. Will Fuller V, Free Agent (Houston Texans). Fuller had a career year in 2020 and stayed healthy, then drew a suspension for PEDs. Fuller will have to miss one more game to start 2021, but his landing spot will say a lot about his value.
33. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals. Boyd is a solid option that had a strong year in 2020. With Burrow at the helm, this has the potential to be a good offense. Higgins is likely the top option, but Boyd has sneaky value.
34. Michael Pittman, Jr., Indianapolis Colts. Pittman had an uneven rookie year, but with T.Y. Hilton a free agent he’s the best receiver on a good Colts’ offense. Even if Hilton returns, Pittman is guy I want, especially with Carson Wentz in town.
35. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings. Thielen was a Top 10 receiver in 2020, but a lot of that value came from 14 TD receptions. He’s in a run-first offense, with emerging receiver Justin Jefferson and emerging tight end Irv Smith, Jr. He’s a good receiver but he’s not getting any younger. For Dynasty, I’ve fading him.
36. Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens. Brown saw 100 targets in 2020, which is a promising sign. It was also enough to convince me the Ravens need a true No. 1 receiver. Brown has talent and ability, but he’s not the guy in Baltimore.
37. Corey Davis, Free Agent (Tennessee Titans). The wait for Davis to deliver on his promise finally came to fruition in 2020. Now Davis is a free agent, and his landing spot will go a long way toward determining his ceiling moving forward. But he’s an attractive free agent, something I wouldn’t have said last off-season.
38. Curtis Samuel, Free Agent (Carolina Panthers). Samuel had a big 2020, finishing as WR24. That came thanks to his creative usage, including as part of the rushing attack. If he finds the right situation, he could be poised to blossom again.
39. Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys. I like Gallup’s talent, and if he gets moved he could find a place to thrive. However, as it stands he appears to be the fourth or fifth option for the Cowboys, where he is locked in to play for at least one more season.
40. Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders. Call this one a hunch, but I liked Edwards potential and landing spot. Henry Ruggs III was the top pick, but I think Edwards will be the top receiver. With Tyrell Williams released and Nelson Agholor a free agent, the way is clear for Edwards to make his move to the top of the depth chart.
41. Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans. Cooks had a great 2020, finishing as WR17. So why so low? There are too many unanswered questions in Houston, including who the quarterback will be. Could Cooks be a WR2 again? Sure, the talent is there, I’m just not convinced.
42. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers. Samuel has had trouble staying on the field his first two seasons. He has talent and a future in the offense, but he’s the third option in a passing game that features Kittle and Aiyuk.
43. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins. Parker had a solid 2020 after his coming out party in 2019. That being said, the Dolphins have made it clear they need an upgrade in the passing game. Parker will have a role, but he’s the second or third option at best.
44. Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles. I liked Reagor a lot coming out of college but the Eagles were a mess in 2020 and Reagor missed his share of time. With a lot of uncertainty in 2021 and beyond, it’s hard to know what Reagor’s ceiling can be there.
45. Laviska Shenault, Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars. Shenault had a solid rookie season as the Jaguars moved him all around the offense. With Urban Meyer in town and likely soon Trevor Lawrence, expected a step up from Shenault in 2021.
46. Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers. Anderson was a big free agent addition to the Panthers last off-season and he finished as the team’s best receivers. He was a big surprise in 2020, but a player I might try to sell high as last year feels like his ceiling.
47. Denzel Mims, New York Jets. Like most Jets, Mims didn’t have much of an impact in 2020. But 2021 is a new era and Mims has a big opportunity with the depth on the Jets.
48. Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns. Landry thrives best as a volume receiver which doesn’t appear to be a strong bet in Cleveland. Even with OBJ missing nine games, Landry finished as just WR33.
49. Darius Slayton, New York Giants. Slayton had a very disappointing 2020, as did the rest of the Giants. But with Saquon Barkley hopefully back maybe Daniel Jones and Slayton can return to form in 2021.
50. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears. Mooney stepped up as the second option opposite Allen Robinson in 2020. Robinson is a free agent, and there are questions at quarterback for the Bears, but Mooney feels like an ascending talent.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.