If you run a redraft league, your draft position will likely determine whether or not you get a top-tier wideout. If you’re drafting towards the end of the first round, you could have a great opportunity to grab a truly elite fantasy receiver. If you have an early selection and prioritize running back, you may settle for a second-tier player. In auction drafts, you’ll have to make a similar choice. Do you invest in a top fantasy back, or hope guys like Christian McCaffery and Dalvin Cook command huge bids so you can get a deal on Tyreek Hill? Of course, there’s the question of going for a boom-or-bust type player, or a consistent target monster with a higher floor, too. Either way you approach the position, sticking to your tier sheet will prevent you from making a panic pick when you’re on the clock. But before you write out your big board of WRs, you gotta do your homework.
Here’s our list of the Top 10 **fantasy** wide receiver options this season. This is not a list of the Top 10 **real life** wide receivers in the league, this is a list of guys you want on your fantasy roster to score points and help your team punch a ticket to the playoffs. All numbers are from the 2020 season, courtesy NBC Sports Edge. All numbers have been averaged on a per game basis as well, except for touchdowns.
Tier 3: Likely to finish in Top-12
No. 10: Calvin Ridley
Fantasy PPG: 12.8 TGT: 9.5 REC: 6 YDS: 91.6 TD: 9
When Julio Jones was out of the lineup, Ridley got tons of targets from Matt Ryan, but delivered a less-than-inspiring catch rate. Despite that, he’ll still put up great fantasy numbers. It’s fair to wonder if he can keep that up without Jones beside him for a full season. Will Ridley fade like JuJu Smith-Schuster did when Antonio Brown left the Steelers? Or will he thrive like Antonio Brown did after Mike Wallace departed?
No. 9: Adam Thielen
Fantasy PPG: 12.0 TGT: 7.2 REC: 4.9 YDS: 61.7 TD: 14
Even with the emergence of Justin Jefferson, Thielen commanded a 24% target share from Kirk Cousins in Minnesota. Further, Thielen remained a huge threat to score in the red zone. His 14 touchdowns last season were a career high by a wide margin, so he’ll likely regress in that department, but he remains a reliable option based on red zone volume alone.
No. 8: Allen Robinson
Fantasy PPG: 10 TGT: 9.4 REC: 6.4 YDS: 78.1 TD: 6
The Bears have had a sub-par offense for the past two seasons, yet Robinson has remained a constant force and finished as a Top-12 wideout in each of those years. Now, with Andy Dalton or Justin Fields throwing him the ball instead of Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniels and Nick Foles, Robinson could have his best year in Chicago yet. Robinson is a high-floor receiver who seems like a lock to finish as a fantasy WR1. The definition of a reliable, safe pick.
No. 7: Justin Jefferson
Fantasy PPG: 11.6 TGT: 7.8 REC: 5.5 YDS: 87.5 TD: 7
For years, the fantasy question for the Vikings was, do you draft Thielen or Stefon Diggs? Now that question is, do you draft Thielen or Jefferson? Backing up a phenomenal rookie season isn’t easy, and Jefferson will have to prove he’s legit like D.K. Metcalf, and not a flash in the pan like Kelvin Benjamin.
Tier 2: Solid WR1s
No. 6: Mike Evans
Fantasy PPG: 11.2 TGT: 6.8 REC: 4.4 YDS: 62.9 TD: 13
Evans has a reputation as a boom/bust wide receiver, but he scored 10+ points in 10 of 16 games last season. That reliability is hard to find in a top-tier fantasy wideout, but the bevy of weapons available to Tom Brady limits Evans’ ceiling a bit more than other fantasy options higher on this list.
No. 5: D.K. Metcalf
Fantasy PPG: 11.7 TGT: 8.1 REC: 5.2 YDS: 81.4 TD: 10
Metcalf proved his rookie season wasn’t a fluke with an even better second year. However, as Russell Wilson began struggling in the second half of the season, Metcalf’s numbers dipped too. The only thing keeping Metcalf out of the top tier of fantasy wide receivers are questions about Seattle’s ability to remain consistent on offense.
Tier 1: The True Elites
No. 4: DeAndre Hopkins
Fantasy PPG: 10.8 TGT: 10 REC: 7.2 YDS: 87.9 TD: 6
Under normal circumstances, Hopkins would be higher on this list. He’s one of the most dominant players in the game at any position, was second in the league in targets last season, and is now entering Year Two with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense. But with the delta variant of COVID-19 ravaging the country, and Hopkins coming out as an anti-vaxxer, fantasy managers assume more risk than usual by drafting Hopkins. A positive COVID-19 test carries a minimum 10-day quarantine for unvaccinated players, which could mean two games sitting out. That’s not what you want out of your high draft picks.
No. 3: Stefon Diggs
Fantasy PPG: 12.6 TGT: 10.4 REC: 7.9 YDS: 95.9 TD: 8
Diggs expected big things out of himself when he requested out of Minnesota and teamed up with Josh Allen in Buffalo, but it feels safe to say no one else expected the monster year he put up in his first season with the Bills. Diggs led the league in targets, catches and yards, and while it’s tough to repeat that, there’s no reason to believe the volume won’t be there again this year.
No. 2: Tyreek Hill
Fantasy PPG: 16.1 TGT: 9 REC: 5.8 YDS: 85.1 TD: 15
Hill is a rare mix of high floor and high ceiling at the WR position. He only had one real clunker game in 2020, scored 15+ points eight times, and 20+ points four times. That reliability, paired with the chance to pop off at any moment is unparalleled. Hill should be drafted in the first round of standard 12-team leagues.
No. 1: Davante Adams
Fantasy PPG: 17.4 TGT: 10.6 REC: 8.2 YDS: 98.1 TD: 18
Adams is as dominant of a wide receiver as you could hope for in fantasy, and even with the return of Randall Cobb to Green Bay, the majority of the Packers’ offense should funnel through him. Add in the drama between Rodgers and the front office, leading to a possible finale for Rodgers in Green Bay, and the stage is set for a special season between the dynamic duo.