With the 2021-22 NFL season just over a month away, fans across the world wait patiently for the best time of the year: fantasy football. Friends, family, business associates, and more come together in competing for bragging rights until the next season is underway. Drafting the winning team never seemed so challenging with unexpected stars creating a name for themselves on a consistent basis.
It should come as no surprise that the historic top 5 fantasy receivers invite a fresh set of newcomers. Michael Thomas no longer has Drew Brees at the quarterback position. Julio Jones has moved his talents to Tennessee cutting off his ties with veteran Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Odell Beckham Jr. carries certain injury potential that fantasy owners don’t feel too comfortable taking a risk on.
Value at the wide receiver position is something any fantasy team owner must respect. Running backs sure to go early in round one leaves the latter half of the draft order seeking strength at the wide receiver slot. Let’s take a look at the league’s top wide receivers and who you can expect to be off the board when round 1 comes to a close.
Top 5 Fantasy Wide Receivers
5. D.K. Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks)
Entering his third season in the NFL with the Seahawks, the large target has proved to be the #1 option for Russell Wilson going forward. You think Seattle fans are happy about keeping Wilson in Seattle? Imagine how Metcalf feels having been able to build such spectacular chemistry the past couple of years.
Metcalf’s one of those players that we’re just going to see improve year after year. With 58 receptions in his rookie campaign, Metcalf built on that and improved dramatically hauling in 83 receptions this past season. Bringing in 10 touchdowns along with his 1,303 receiving yards played a key role in establishing himself as one of the most elite threats in the game.
Look for Metcalf’s numbers to only keep improving as he continues to develop into the ideal wide receiver Seattle hopes for him to be. You won’t want to pass on D.K. if you’re drafting late in round 1.
4. Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers)
A much more familiar face, Davante Adams, makes his way into the top 5 category for yet another season. PPR players may want to add this name to the top of their list. Last season, Adams finished with one of the best campaigns for a receiver on a per game basis finishing with 25.6 PPR points per game. This is the most by any player since the miraculous season of Jerry Rice in 1995.
Adams sat out a few games with an injury, but that didn’t stop him from leading the league with 18 touchdowns. Let that sink in. 18 touchdowns in just 14 games played. Why wouldn’t you want Adams on your team?
His name appeared in the top 5 for pretty much every receiving category in the 2020-21 season. Leading the league in touchdowns, tied for 2nd in receptions, tied for 5th in receiving yards, Adams is someone you would hate to go up against. Avoid all possibilities by drafting him to your team.
3. DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona Cardinals)
Someone more recognizable than Packers legend Davante Adams? Cardinals standout DeAndre Hopkins.
In his first year with the Cardinals and teaming up with Kyler Murray, the Clemson alumni reeled in a whopping 115 receptions, tied for 2nd in the league. Where fantasy owners weren’t too pleased was Hopkins inability to find the endzone finishing the season with only six touchdowns. Still, Hopkins finished his impressive season finishing third in receiving yards (1,407)
With the Cardinals acquiring a large asset in A.J. Green this offseason, opposing teams defenses have someone else they need to worry about. This should certainly take a little bit of the weight off Hopkins’ shoulders and open up the playbook for him.
In their first season together, Hopkins and Murray showed flashes of brilliance and the things they’re capable of doing in their time together. Let’s see how much their bond grew this offseason when they hit the field against the Titans in week 1.
2. Stefon Diggs (Buffalo Bills)
Who would have ever thought that Stefon Diggs would climb his way to a position of being arguably the most valuable wide receiver in the NFL? Diggs’ combination of route running, natural speed, and smooth hands have made him not just the #1 guy in Buffalo, but someone that has become unguardable throughout the league.
It’s amazing to see what switching teams can do for a player’s career. In Diggs’ five years with the Vikings, never did he seem like someone to eventually lead the league in receptions (127) and yards (1,535). I guess surprises are meant to happen as he did so with ease this past season.
Heading into the 2021-22 NFL season, Stefon Diggs is the #2 fantasy wide receiver, and he may lead the pack in a couple years from now. I say this because Diggs was able to do all of this in just his first season with the Bills and Josh Allen.
Imagine what they may have in store for us a few years from now. Diggs’ potential is through the roof and someone you’re going to want on your team throughout the season. As the only wide receiver to score double-digit PPR points in every game this past season, put Diggs at the very top of your list when preparing for this year’s draft.
1. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs)
It should come as no surprise that Tyreek Hill is the #1 fantasy option at the wide receiver position for this upcoming season. Arguably, the best quarterback wide receiver duo in the NFL belongs to Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill. It’s no secret that these two are the best at what they do, and when you put them together you get magical and miraculous sequences on the offensive side of the ball.
Coming off a career-high season of 17 touchdowns, Hill presents a ton of upside in the fantasy world. His ability to consistently catch the deep ball and find the endzone is unmatched as he leaves defenses speechless with his cheetah-like speed.
Becoming more dangerous each season is one of the main reasons Hill stays at the #1 receiving option. Andy Reid not only knows how to use him, but also knows when to use him. Expect Hill to have another career-high season. Who knows, maybe he’ll lead the league in rushing touchdowns this time around.
Good luck with your drafts; may the best team win.