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2021 Fantasy Football Outlook: Robert Woods

Finally paired with a good quarterback, Robert Woods is an underrated fantasy football wide receiver ahead of the 2021 season.
Robert Woods Fantasy

Year after year, Robert Woods continues to be undervalued in the fantasy football world. Over the past three seasons, the Los Angeles Rams wide receiver’s worst finish was WR17 in half-PPR formats, yet he is still being treated like a back-end WR2/WR3 player in 2021. With a welcomed quarterback change, along with an offensive attack that just saw their up-and-coming lead tailback suffer an unfortunate season-ending injury, the Rams’ consistently underrated wideout could be just the asset fantasy managers are looking to snag for their rosters this season. 

Robert Woods 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

What Will Be Different in 2021?

The obvious answer here is the quarterback position. While now-Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff was a formidable signal caller during his time with the Rams (he did flourish as the QB7 during the Rams Super Bowl run in 2018), he just never quite met his first-overall draft pick expectations under Sean McVay’s eccentric offense. Insert Matthew Stafford, who arguably has the exact opposite career trajectory. Stafford, who has encountered only one season with over 10 wins in his 12-year career, has dealt with some tough injuries, a plethora of lackluster coaching, and not much complimentary play (on either side of the ball) outside of newly enshrined Hall-of-Famer Calvin Johnson early on in his career. Now, at the ripe age of 33, being brought into an incredibly quarterback-friendly system, the former 2009 number one overall pick finally has a chance to make a Super Bowl run. 

But what does this all mean for ol’ Bobby Trees (Robert Woods’ amazing nickname for those who aren’t familiar)? It means positive things for a receiver getting to play with a uniquely-gifted veteran in Stafford. It means getting an upgrade at quarterback, which has been the Rams biggest weakness the past two seasons, and has prevented them from making a deep playoff run, as they are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL. 

Consistency With Upside

The simple answer to the previous question of ‘What will be different in 2021?’ is: it doesn’t matter. Woods has been a truly stellar wide receiver since joining the Rams in 2017. In the last three seasons in particular, he averaged slightly over 88 catches and 132 targets per year, eclipsing 1000 yards in two of them.

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What has truly helped Woods stand out is his consistent rushing upside. In each of the past three seasons, Woods has ranked second in rushing attempts and third or higher in rushing yards at the receiver position, and has brought in four total scores on the ground as well. As diverse as the McVay playbook is, Woods is a guy they like to get in space with a plethora of these schemes. His yards after catch values the past two seasons have ranked 2nd and 4th in the league, respectively.

While Cooper Kupp is always a valuable player that will continue to snag his own share of targets, the Rams versatile offense has shown that it can support multiple successful fantasy pass catchers, and in particular, likes to look Woods’ way in a variety of different formations. Even with a sometimes erratic Goff throwing him the ball last season, Woods managed to haul in enough balls to establish a true catch rate of 12th best in the league (the rate at which a player brings in a catchable target), according to Not only that, but with Stafford’s accuracy and big arm potential downfield, look to see the Rams number one wideout stretch the field more than in previous seasons. This will not only create an even greater gain in value in his previously below-average touchdown rate, but will create tremendously increasing fantasy potential as well.   

ADP vs Value

Finishing as the WR10, 17, and 13 in successive years from 2018-2020 has put Woods consistently as a back-end WR1/WR2 for fantasy managers, averaging 12.5 half-PPR points per game in 2020 alone. With his current ADP as WR16 (according to Fantasy Football Calculator), expect him to finish ahead of the likes of other veteran receivers going in similar areas of fantasy drafts. Names such as Julio Jones, Adam Thielen, and even Michael Thomas (although he is almost guaranteed to miss a decent chunk of time to start the season) are a few that come to mind.

Between his efficiency as a pass-catcher, and regular upside in the running game (in particular, with a team that is looking for answers on the ground with a coach who likes to mix it up), Robert Woods still may not jump to the top of your list as a solid wide receiver option; but he definitely should. Not only has he proven this time and time again, but now he gets to try it with arguably the best quarterback he’s played with in his career. Don’t sleep on the receiver with the greatest nickname in the NFL this season. Feel confident in snagging him up in the fourth or fifth rounds of fantasy drafts as an every-week lock for great receiver play.  

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