Fantasy News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Wide receivers to target in the middle rounds of 2021 fantasy football drafts

October 4, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of one's draft strategy for the 2021 NFL season, the most important concept is picking the correct players rather than positions. Easier said than done, right? That's why targeting players throughout 2021 fantasy football drafts who are values versus ADP is important.

Let's take a look at some of the high-flying wideouts who are dropping just a little too far in fantasy drafts. (Find a recent look at running backs to target in the middle rounds of 2021 fantasy drafts here.)

More of PFF's 2021 Fantasy Football tools here: 
Fantasy Football Draft Kit | Rankings & Tiers | Draft Guide | Cheat Sheets
Projections | Strength of Schedule | Expected Points Weekly Finishes

As a reminder, these players aren’t extremely draft-strategy specific. For those who get their hands on solid running backs in the first few rounds, these are the players to target who have top-12 to -24 upside in the middle rounds of 2021 fantasy drafts. (ADP is taken from FantasyPros aggregate .5-PPR scoring.)

Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns | ADP: 68.0

Many have been burned by Odell Beckham Jr. since his 2019 trade to the Cleveland Browns. He cost an early-second-round pick in 2019 and a mid-to late-third last year. Using PFF's Weekly Finishes tool, we can see he tallied only three top-12 finishes over those two seasons. Yikes.

But the good thing about fantasy football is that prior years — while chalk-full of useful information — aren't predictive of future performance.

Beckham’s success likely hinges on the play of quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has had highs and lows over the past two seasons. His best stretch of football to date was from Weeks 12-17 last season. In these six games, Baker averaged 286 passing yards and 1.8 passing touchdowns per game — an increase from 185 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns prior to Week 12.

Still, Mayfield isn’t solely responsible for Beckham's struggles. Over the last two seasons, Beckham has posted a 14.0 aDOT and 1.81 YPRR, good for 79th and 75th percentile, respectively. But the former WR1 lost the ability to separate the way he did with the Giants due to injuries — he dealt with a hernia for most of the 2019 season and never really got back to form before ultimately tearing his ACL last season.

On the ACL front, news is positive for Beckham, who is eyeing a Week 1 debut. He was not on the PUP list at the start of camp and has been running routes with Mayfield since early July and running full-speed since mid-June.

Beckham is currently being drafted just outside the WR24 range. If he can stay healthy, he'll easily beat his sixth-round draft cost.

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

    Available with

  • Available with

  • PFF's Fantasy Football Expected Points tool is primarily used for identifying potential over and undervalued players.

    Available with

  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

    Available with

  • PFF’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr