Wide receivers have risen in prominence in fantasy football in the past few seasons. The NFL’s increased emphasis on throwing the ball means more wideouts are posting bigger fantasy numbers each year.
Finding good wide receivers late in the draft who can help your fantasy team is almost as rewarding as having your NFL team strike gold with a sixth-round WR who winds up becoming a quality starter.
We scoured the average draft position from fantasypros.com for standard scoring leagues and sought out players who should outperform their fantasy draft slots.
Courtland Sutton, Broncos
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ADP: 80th overall Sutton is a little under the fantasy radar after missing nearly all of 2020 with injury. But back in 2019, Sutton thrived in Denver. He caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six TDs despite having Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen and Drew Lock rotating at quarterback. The QB situation is better now and Sutton is healthy. That spells fantasy upside.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers
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ADP: 87th Samuel enters his third NFL season primed for a bigger role in Kyle Shanahan’s electric offense. The 49ers don’t have a true No. 1 receiver but Samuel is the closest they have. His ability to make tacklers miss after the catch and his high career catch rate (75 percent) should allow Samuel to be a top-30 fantasy receiver. Right now he’s the No. 35 WR in ADP.
Marvin Jones, Jaguars
(AP Photo/John Raoux)
ADP: 136th It’s still weird to see Jones playing in Jacksonville and not Detroit. It’s also weird to see Jones as the No. 54 WR and 136th overall player in fantasy drafts. As long as he’s healthy, and that is a legit question for the 31-year-old, Jones is reliably going to produce around 70 catches, 850 yards and a handful of TDs. Remember–he stuck with OC Darrell Bevell, who also moved to the Jaguars this offseason.
Elijah Moore, Jets
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
ADP: 168th Moore is a rookie and plays for the Jets, two statuses that conspire to keep him off the general fan radar. Don’t let that relative anonymity dissuade you from taking a shot at Moore. He could very well wind up leading all Jets WR’s in targets and touchdowns.
Amon-Ra St. Brown
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
ADP: 194th The Lions’ rookie is currently trending as the 67th wideout in drafts. Much like Moore, he suffers from the widely held perception that the team’s passing offense is going to stink. Someone has to catch all those passes, however, and St. Brown looks like a safe bet to lead all Lions WRs in targets in his rookie year. He might not rack up yardage, but he’ll fare well in points per reception leagues.
Tre’Quan Smith, Saints
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ADP: 222nd Smith is getting lowballed for a variety of factors. The QB drama all summer in replacing Drew Brees cast some doubt on the Saints passing game. Smith has only had modest production in his three seasons in New Orleans, but his opportunity meter is through the roof with the injury to top WR Michael Thomas. He comes across as someone whose fantasy team is likely to appreciate him more than his actual NFL team fans will.
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