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.
Every single professional football player is in fact a terrific athlete. It’s possible to make just about anybody look good by selecting picking highlights.
Don’t believe me? Look.
Sam Darnold is the best rushing QB the Panthers have had in a yearpic.twitter.com/Va1kuUcqpu
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) August 11, 2021
Having spent the better part of the last decade churning out one piece of fantasy football content after another: I feel confident in my ability to talk up virtually every skill-position player in the league.
- Backup Pittsburgh Steelers RB Kalen Ballage? Thrived away from Adam Gase and has the sort of theoretical three-down ability to take over this backfield if Najee Harris fails to make it through the season healthy.
- Pint-sized Las Vegas Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow? Ranks 25th in yards per route run among 76 qualified receivers, ahead of guys like D.K. Metcalf, Adam Thielen and CeeDee Lamb.
- Likely backup New York Jets TE Chris Herndon? One of just four rookie tight ends to average at least 8.0 yards per target since 2000 (min. 50 targets).
Today’s goal isn’t to confirm our priors and talk up the game’s best players. Rather, what follows is a breakdown on how the top-12 fantasy football wide receivers could go wrong in 2020. I’ll use our PFF consensus fantasy ranks to list the top-12 receivers before explaining how things could go south with an emphasis on brevity.
Great day to be great. Or in this case, to determine why some of the league’s best talents could feasibly be less great than usual in the year 2021.
WR1: Tyreek Hill
How it could go wrong: The knee issue that held Hill out of a few practices early in August becomes enough of a problem to impact the NFL’s fastest player. A lesser version of Hill could struggle to post top-five production without the same sort of elite volume afforded to the rest of fantasy’s top-five receivers in terms of ADP. Patrick Mahomes has always treated Hill and Travis Kelce as co-No. 1 receivers; even a small shift in that could leave Hill with a target total closer to 100 than 150.
WR2: Davante Adams