Wide receivers have had a busy offseason, whether it was due to trades, free agency, or the draft. The trades ofFrom Kansas City to Miami From Green Bay to Las Vegas. These two deals clearly had an impact on Hill and Adams' fantasy value, as well theirs of their new teammates.
However, their teams also left large voids at this position for their predecessors. These are difficult races to handicap. Understanding the situation will help you make smart decisions in your draft.
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What's available: Adams has been Green Bay's target for 28% over the last four seasons. This is more than twice his closest teammate.(11%), who also left in the offseason. Adams handled 30% (2021) of the targets, while MVS managed 10% (5.0). Other departures are also included (3%) and 42% of team's overall targets, and 66% are available for wide receiver targets.
: After setting career highs for targets, receptions yards, touchdowns, fantasy points and yards last season, Lazard is now the top incumbent. The 2018 undrafted-free agent has been around for some time and has yet not produced a top-40 fantasy campaign. Lazard is an excellent bet to start the season as Aaron Rodgers’ top target. The 6-foot-5 receiver has been busy nearing the goal line (12 endzone targets in 2021).
: The Packers traded up in order to draft Watson, the 34th pick in April's draft. While he will need to continue his development after playing college basketball at FCS North Dakota State's FCS North Dakota State, Watson is 6-4 and has 4.36 wheels. This makes him a good choice. Watson's inexperience is a red flag, but if Watson proves to be the real deal, there are huge upsides.
: Green Bay was without a doubt the only veteran to be added during the offseason, and Watkins was a mystery. The 29-year-old is coming of one of the worst seasons his career. He continues to struggle for durability, having missed multiple games in six out of seven of his previous seasons. Despite playing in high-scoring Rams', Chiefs' and Ravens offenses, Watkins has not been a top-40 fantasy player since 2015. It is hard to imagine this changing in his ninth season.
: Cobb was selected by Rodgers to be on the roster for last season. However, it did not lead to much production. Cobb was only targeted 39 times, and was limited to a 28-355-5 receiving line. Cobb, along with Watkins (and Lazard in a lesser degree), has experienced durability problems since last playing a full season. Cobb could very well settle in as the Packers primary slot man. However, the 32-year old's ceiling is extremely low.
: The other “A. Rodgers”, a surprising Day 2 draft pick, was only 99 snaps into 12 games last season. While his role in the short-range (4.8 aDOT for a rookie) might limit his ceiling, Clemson's product can also play an important role as a rusher. Although Rodgers talk has been sparse this offseason there has been a lot of Rodgers chatter. However, we need to always be looking for players who are positioned for a second year leap.
: Green Bay selected Watson second among three wide receivers in April's draft. The fourth rounder from Nevada is a perimeter, vertical receiver who had 75+ targets over his four college seasons. Although he may initially be a punt returner at first, his progress on the WR depth charts will be worthwhile.
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Lazard, Watson, and others should be considered in the early-double digit rounds. They are favorites to emerge as team's top perimeter targets, in what will be a high scoring offense, as long as Rodgers remains under center. While there's not much to like about Watkins's play, it's still a great late-round player in deep league. Cobb should only be considered in deep PPR leagues. Rodgers and Doubs should only be rostered as dynasty players and should be monitored all year.
What's available: Hill managed a record-breaking 25% target share (9.5 targets per game) in the last season. We can also include other departures(6%), (9%) (1%), 41% of the overall team targets are available. In reality, there are only two returning wide receivers And 73% of team targets at this position are available for grabs.
: After an unsuccessful five-year tenure with Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster was hired by the Chiefs on a low-risk one-year deal. Although Smith-Schuster was a slot player who rushed for 1,426 yards in 2018 and finished eighth in fantasy, he has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons. Smith-Schuster, who is 25 years old, is still the QB upgrade. Allowing vertical targets to be included in the figures Smith-Schuster will be the No. 1 player. The No. 1 receiver in Kansas City’s high-scoring, pass heavy offense. He has a solid floor, and an elite ceiling.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: MVS was never ranked higher than 50th in yards, fantasy points, or catches. Kansas City still cared enough about the ex-Packers receiver to guarantee him $15 million during the offseason. It seems Valdes-Scantling will be a major part of their plans. While the league's top perimeter, vertical receiver has the highest aDOT since he drafted in the fifth round in 2018, he is dead last in catch rate. His past performance and role suggest that we can expect more boom/bust production.
: Kansas City took a second-round pick in April on Moore. The Western Michigan product was responsible for a staggering 32% target share in 30 collegiate games. He is a big and strong player who can play all over the field, which was a key to Andy Reid's offense. Moore will immediately be a fantasy starting option if he proves to himself and gets a job as a starter.
Mecole Hardman: Hardman is our first Chiefs incumbent receiver. The Chiefs' 2019 second-round pick was effective when he was needed (his 8.6 RAC trails only).Since 2019, he hasn't been trusted with a lot of volume (career 3.8 goals per game). He has yet to produce a top-45 fantasy campaign. However, a fourth-year breakout is possible because of Hill's speedy playmaker.
: Ross is a rare player that was not drafted but has significant upside. Clemson's Ross was a Clemson graduate who rushed for 1,865 yards with 17 touchdowns his first two college seasons. He then had to have neck/spine surgery that ended his career. While teams remain concerned about Ross's health and size, Ross was cleared to play in 2021. This offseason, he's worth keeping an eye on as a potential wildcard.
Josh Gordon Yes, Gordon is still part of the league. Gordon is 31 years old and has appeared in 45 games. This includes the 2021 season, in which he was only able to hit 13 targets in 12 games for the Chiefs. It's clear that he is unlikely to play in the NFL again, given his limited ability to reach the field last season. He's not worth your time, despite his past achievements and big name.
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Smith-Schuster is the most expensive Packers or Chiefs receiver because of his early ADP. It's not a bad price to pay, though, considering his résumé and outstanding situation. Moore should be on the radar after the first round. Hardman and MVS are well worth late-round fliers. Ross should only be on rosters in dynasty.