Fantasy Football: 2021 Wide Receiver Pre-Season Projected Rankings

by Jake Ellenbogen
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The new NFL season is fast approaching and so I’ve compiled my running back rankings in fantasy football for this season. Before we get into it the scoring format I used was a full 6 points per touchdown and half-point PPR. Of course if you don’t know where to go to start your fantasy football journey I highly recommend our sponsor underdogfantasy.com if you head on over and use promo code DTR you will receive $25 bonus cash on your first deposit. Now, let’s get into it.

Top-10 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers

1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (333 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 132 Receptions, 1,650 Receiving yards, 17 TDs

2. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (294 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 136 Receptions, 1,600 Receiving yards, 11 TDs

3. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals (272.6 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 119 Receptions, 1,571 Receiving yards, 10 TDs

4. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (272 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 105 Receptions, 1,407 Receiving yards, 11 TDs (16 CARs, 128 yards)

5. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (269 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 101 Receptions, 1,465 Receiving yards, 12 TDs

6. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (266.6 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 102 Receptions, 1,336 Receiving yards, 14 TDs

7. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (255.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 110 Receptions, 1,205 Receiving yards, 9 TDs (28 CARs, 196 yards & TD)

8. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (249.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 92 Receptions, 1,371 Receiving yards, 11 TDs

9. A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (248.9 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 94 Receptions, 1,419 Receiving yards, 10 TDs

10. Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (248.2 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 110 Receptions, 1,232 Receiving yards, 10 TDs

Analysis

There aren’t too many surprises but I know many would be surprised with the inclusion of Ja’Marr Chase who had a terrible preseason. Frankly, I’m far from worried about it. Chase has a special connection with Joe Burrow going back to LSU which is  going to be very beneficial, especially in fantasy football, in what I believe will be a Justin Jefferson-like rookie year.

The inclusion of Robert Woods shouldn’t be considered crazy since he’s consistently been around the top 10-top 15 range with Jared Goff at the helm. With Stafford joining the fray everyone in Los Angeles got a stock boost.

Fantasy Football Wide Receivers 11-20

11. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (246.6 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 101 Receptions, 1,273 Receiving yards, 9 TDs

12. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (233.9 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 110 Receptions, 1,309 Receiving yards, 8 TDs

13. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (232 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 105 Receptions, 1,111 Receiving yards, 11 TDs

14. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (218.6 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 103 Receptions, 1,071 Receiving yards, 10 TDs

15. Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (217.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 92 Receptions, 1,058 Receiving yards, 7 TDs (24 CARs, 173 yards & TD)

16. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (215.7 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 90 Receptions, 1,107 Receiving yards, 10 TDs

17. Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears (212.5 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 102 Receptions, 1,255 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

18. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (204.5 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 88 Receptions, 1,047 Receiving yards, 9 TDs

19. Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans (203.5 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 81 Receptions, 1,150 Receiving yards, 8 TDs

20. Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (203.4 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 63 Receptions, 1,014 Receiving yards, 11 TDs

Analysis

I expect CeeDee Lamb to take a massive leap in year two and lead the Dallas receiver group. Another second-year wideout I expect to blow up is Jacksonville’s Laviska Shenault who can also cause plenty of damage in the run game. That’s an added bonus in fantasy football. He and Trevor Lawrence clearly have developed a nice rapport if preseason is anything to judge.

Two young Steelers deep threats in Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool make the top 20 here in what should be the surprise of no one. They have commanded the respect and reliability of Ben Roethlisberger and they’ve received it. I expect the Steelers to be much better this season with a new offensive coordinator and it’s why the Steelers almost didn’t bother to bring back J.J. Smith-Schuster to begin with.

Wrapping Up the Top-30

21. Kenny Golladay, New York Giants (202.8 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 72 Receptions, 1,008 Receiving yards, 11 TDs

22. Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (202.2 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 90 Receptions, 1,152 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

23. Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team (201.5 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 89 Receptions, 1,150 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

24. Curtis Samuel, Washington Football Team (200.5 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 74 Receptions, 1,015 Receiving yards, 6 TDs (25 CARs, 200 yards & TD)

25. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (199.4 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 96 Receptions, 1,094 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

26. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (198.6 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 92 Receptions, 1,159 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

27. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (198.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 79 Receptions, 1,106 Receiving yards, 8 TDs

28. Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints (188.2 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 84 Receptions, 1,042 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

29. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (186 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 93 Receptions, 1,070 Receiving yards, 5 TDs

30. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (186 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 75 Receptions, 1,005 Receiving yards, 8 TDs

Analysis

Once again the running ability comes into play and plops Curtis Samuel in the top 25. One name that might seem way too high for some is Marquez Callaway. Simply put, he and Jameis Winston have chemistry already, Michael Thomas is on the shelf. Everyone else is fairly unreliable and underwhelming aside from running back Alvin Kamara. Callaway should see a lot of fantasy football targets.

Due to this, I think Callaway’s big play ability will be on full display and will lead him to a breakout season similar to former under-the-radar breakout star Marques Colston.

Wide Receivers With Upside

31. Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (185.5 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 82 Receptions, 1,025 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

32. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (182 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 82 Receptions, 1,050 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

33. DJ Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (181.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 74 Receptions, 1,021 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

34. Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (180 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 75 Receptions, 1,005 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

35. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (178 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 77 Receptions, 963 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

36. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles (175.2 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 80 Receptions, 992 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

37. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (174.7 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 74 Receptions, 1,051 Receiving yards, 5 TDs

38. Corey Davis, New York Jets (170.6 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 74 Receptions, 1,036 Receiving yards, 5 TDs

39. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos (170.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 68 Receptions, 1,001 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

40. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (169.4 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 72 Receptions, 958 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

Analysis

It feels like many are overrating the impact of Kyle Pitts on now wideout number two Russell Gage. Gage has been available at the end of almost every one of my fantasy football drafts as of late. I would definitely buy low on him and at the very least stash him to sell him high later on in the year or decide to start him. Gage was impressive last year and now his role has improved immensely.

Waddle has a high ceiling and was my favorite receiver prospect but he’s also going to be share the targets with Will Fuller, Devante Parker, Preston Williams, Albert Wilson and Mike Gesicki while Smith will barely have to share in all honesty. O

Closing Out the Top-50 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers

41. Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (169 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 70 Receptions, 980 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

42. Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (167 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 86 Receptions, 940 Receiving yards, 5 TDs

43. Elijah Moore, New York Jets (166.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 72 Receptions, 1,001 Receiving yards, 5 TDs

44. Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (165.5 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 66 Receptions, 845 Receiving yards, 8 TDs

45. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (162.8 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 61 Receptions, 903 Receiving yards, 7 TDs

46. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts (162.7 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 64 Receptions, 787 Receiving yards, 8 TDs

47. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns (162 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 63 Receptions, 900 Receiving yards, 6 TDs

48. Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills (161.2 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 56 Receptions, 792 Receiving yards, 9 TDs

49. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (159.1 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 82 Receptions, 886 Receiving yards, 3 TDs

50. Will Fuller V, Miami Dolphins (156.4 PTS)

2021 Projected Stats: 64 Receptions, 934 Receiving yards, 5 TDs

Analysis

Another rookie joins the list here and it’s Elijah Moore of the New York Jets who is going to be growing and developing with fellow rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. Moore should have a very good season regardless if the Jets do as a whole or not.

Gabriel Davis leads the group with nine touchdowns and I expect him to continue to blow up in Buffalo. With Josh Allen‘s arm strength and Davis’ speed and size combination, they’ll able to take advantage of it. Davis is a fantasy football sleeper.

Lastly, Will Fuller is suspended the first game but we saw what he is capable of last season. Fuller will bounce back from a horrible ending to his 2020 season and Texans career.

Fantasy football season is here and don’t forget you can get $25 on your first deposit in the Underdog Fantasy app using promo code DTR.

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