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Fantasy Football: Can Davante Adams repeat as the overall WR1?

Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) celebrates after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2021 season. Click here to read the series of questions answered so far.

If there was any retort against Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams ahead of 2020, it was the reality that he had eclipsed 1,000 yards in just one season since entering the league in 2014. While true, critics usually failed to also mention he finished with 997 yards on two separate occasions, with the second occurring in just 12 games.

Adams has largely been nothing other than a stud receiver since overcoming a pair of meh seasons to start his career. At the end of the day, football is about scoring points, and nobody has more receiving touchdowns than Adams (58) over the past five years. The next-closest player: Tyreek Hill… is all the way down at 47.

Of course, the Aaron Rodgers saga has placed some doubt around whether or not we should expect Adams to be quite as dominant if the NFL’s reigning MVP decides to not wear green and gold in 2020. What follows is a breakdown on just how good Adams was last season and what to make of him and the rest of the Packers receivers as fantasy assets entering the 2021 NFL season.

Adams was the NFL’s best wide receiver in 2020

My most valuable fantasy player from 2020, Adams averaged an additional 4.36 fantasy points per game than the next-highest-scoring player at his position during Weeks 1-16 — the largest positional discrepancy between the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked fantasy footballers.

Most realize Adams’ counting numbers were absurd last year: The man caught 115 of 149 targets for 1,374 yards and 18 scores! Madness.

The bigger surprise was just how dominant he was on a per-route basis. Overall, Adams’ single-season average of 2.96 yards per route run in 2020 has only been topped by Julio Jones among all wide receivers with at least 50 targets in a year since 2015.

Make no mistake about it: Adams has consistently shredded defenders of all shapes and sizes in style. 

Adams led the NFL in PFF receiving grade (92.2) and dropped just two of his 143 catchable passes on the season (including playoffs). He accomplished this with literally the largest usage rate in the league — nobody averaged more targets per route run than Adams (31%).

It was impossible to crown anybody other than Adams as the NFL’s wide receiver king in 2020. The question is whether or not he’ll continue to largely function in a different stratosphere as his peers again in 2021.

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