In recent years, wide receivers have been abundant in fantasy football drafts. While the position has been devalued, drafting the wrong wide receivers, especially your starters, can be detrimental to your team’s success. Here are some fantasy football wide receivers to avoid in your drafts this summer.
Fantasy Football Wide Receivers to Avoid in 2021
Diontae Johnson had a breakout sophomore season for the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. He posted an 88-923-7 line (receptions-yards-touchdowns) despite many thinking Juju Smith-Schuster would be the first option on the team. While there is an opportunity for another leap in year three, there are also some red flags to consider. First, the team drafted Najee Harris in the first round. Remember, most teams don’t draft running backs in the first round and not use them. The Steelers should also have a more balanced offense this year than last year when they led the league in passing attempts. Another concern is the regression that we saw from Ben Roethlisberger towards the end of last year. He was unable to move the ball down the field and is now 39 years old. Finally, competition for targets from Chase Claypool and Juju Smith-Schuster should limit his ceiling. While he is being drafted as a mid to back-end WR2, the potential for a WR1 season isn’t there.
Brandin Cooks just posted his fifth 1,000-yard season in the last six years. So, what is the concern? The Houston Texans have arguably the bleakest outlook of any team in the NFL. Franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson seems unlikely to play for the Texans this season, meaning it could be Tyrod Taylor time in Houston. A wide receiver’s production is heavily dependent on the quarterback and offensive line, neither of which are good. The Texans offense should have a difficult time staying on the field, and it’s fair to wonder how many red zone opportunities Cooks will get. While the good news is that the Texans will be trailing a lot in games and forced to throw the ball often, the bad news is Cooks could end up getting double-teamed with no other viable receivers on the roster. Cooks, and any other skill position players on the Texans, are worth avoiding at all costs.
Like Cooks, Courtland Sutton is a number one receiver on what’s likely to be a bad team this year. The first big issue is that he’s coming off an ACL tear that he suffered in Week 2 of last season. The second issue is who on the Denver Broncos will be throwing him the ball. As of right now, there is a quarterback competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. Neither is an ideal choice. There will also be increased competition for targets this year with Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant still there. While Sutton does have some bounce-back potential after his disastrous 2020 season, there are too many wide receivers with more upside going near Sutton’s average draft position.
Once a fantasy superstar, Odell Beckham’s stock has fallen in recent seasons, and for good reason. The LSU product has played all 16 games only once since the 2017 season, including an ACL tear last season in Week 7. The Cleveland Browns are going to rely on their run game again like they did last year, which means you won’t be able to rely on any of the Browns pass catchers week to week. Beckham will have some games where he will blow up, but that is not what your WR2 should look like. Consistency is the more important thing in fantasy football. Between his health concerns and the Browns offense not being reliable week to week in the passing game, Beckham is somebody to avoid drafting.
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