Premium Content Sign Up

Fantasy Football Rookie WR Report: Best wide receivers against man coverage, zone coverage and more

Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Nathaniel Dell (1) celebrates his touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Temple Owls at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

  • He beats man coverage: Jordan Addison is the only receiver in this class to top 1,000 yards versus man coverage schemes.
  • Ranked No. 1 for a reason: Quentin Johnston impresses in numerous areas with efficiency and big plays.
  • JSN ready for the NFL: Jaxon Smith-Njigba is one of the more experienced players running the most common NFL routes while also owning one of the highest YPRR (yards per route run) totals on such routes.
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Finding yardage or touchdown totals over the past three seasons for this year’s crop of rookie wide receivers isn’t a difficult task, so instead, get a more specific look at how exactly those numbers were compiled. In order to better evaluate these future fantasy football assets, three-year production profiles for this incoming receiver class are broken down across various situations, including zone and man coverages, red zone production, specific route production and more. 

Top-25 PFF big board rookie wide receivers in overall receiving production | 2020-2022

Before diving into the specifics of how and where this year’s wide receivers have made the most of their production over the past three college seasons, starting with the context of their overall production is important. 

Houston’s Nathaniel Dell dominated the Group of Five as a two-year starter, posting 86% of his 3,155 total receiving yards over the last two seasons. While he was targeted more than almost every other receiver in this year’s class and worked against slightly lesser competition, he deserves a lot of credit for his ability to command targets at such a high rate and convert his opportunities into a class-leading 32 touchdowns as well.

Among the most efficient receivers overall in this year’s class, Quentin Johnston, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Mims all earned top-five marks in yards per route run, yards after the catch per reception and explosive play rate since 2020. All three rank among the bottom half of the top-25 players in total receiving snaps played over the course of three seasons due to missing significant time with injury or not being as involved in the offense until recently.

Top-25 PFF big board rookie wide receivers in receiving production versus zone coverages | 2020-2022


Unlimited Fantasy League Sync
Fantasy Start/Sit Line-Up Optimizer & Waiver Wire
WR-CB & OL-DL Matchups, PFF Player Grades, & Premium Stats 2.0 Tools
Nathan Jahnkes Rankings - #1 Most Accurate Last 70 Weeks
PFF Best Bets, Player Props, & Power Ranking Tools
NFL Mock Draft Sim with Trades & Draft Grades

Already have a subscription? Log In


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit