Nate Hamilton ranks his top WR fantasy football rankings heading into the 2021 season. Which wide receivers have the most value this season? Considering skills and system, Nate ranks 105 wideouts for 2021 fantasy football leagues.
WR Fantasy Football Rankings 2021: League Settings
- Lineup: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE Flex, 1 PK, 1 DT
- 0.5 PPR scoring
- 1 point per 10 Rush/Receiving yards
- 4 pts Pass TD
- -1 pt Interception
- 6 points all other TDs
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Check out the rest of Nate Hamilton’s fantasy previews for detailed tier breakdowns and positional rankings:
- 2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 300 Players
- 2021 QB Fantasy Football Rankings
- 2021 RB Fantasy Football Rankings
- 2021 TE Fantasy Football Rankings
- 2021 PK Fantasy Football Rankings
- 2021 DT Fantasy Football Rankings
WR Fantasy Football Rankings 2021
|11||2||Allen Robinson II||WR||CHI||10||WR11||24|
|22||4||Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||CLE||13||WR22||16|
|33||5||Will Fuller V||WR||MIA||14||WR33||9|
|37||6||DJ Chark Jr.||WR||JAC||7||WR37||9|
|50||7||Laviska Shenault Jr.||WR||JAC||7||WR50||5|
|57||8||Marvin Jones Jr.||WR||JAC||7||WR57||4|
|59||8||Michael Pittman Jr.||WR||IND||14||WR59||3|
|64||9||Henry Ruggs III||WR||LV||8||WR64||2|
|85||11||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR||DET||9||WR85||0|
|87||11||Terrace Marshall Jr.||WR||CAR||13||WR87||0|
|105||12||Keelan Cole Sr.||WR||NYJ||6||WR105||0|
WR Fantasy Football Rankings: Tier Breakdown
These are the wide receivers who will give you guaranteed weekly production. They will be worth any draft pick you spend on them.
Aaron Rodgers is playing at least one more year with the Packers to maintain Davante Adams’ fantasy value. Justin Jefferson dominated in his rookie season, and I’m looking for him to have an even better year in a Vikings offense that has pretty much stayed the same. As for Calvin Ridley, he no longer has Julio Jones to hinder his numbers and should see a wealthy target share in 2021.
You’re still in the safe production zone with this group of wideouts. I’d be happy with any one of these wide receivers as my fantasy WR1.
A.J. Brown will have Julio Jones on the other side of the field in Tennessee which does hinder Brown’s ceiling, but not enough to drop him too far in rankings. CeeDee Lamb will be my favorite wide receiver in this tier to target in drafts, as I see him taking over as the WR1 in Dallas. Terry McLaurin has a lot going in his favor this season: A quarterback that has proven capable of providing top fantasy football numbers to his wide receivers, additional offensive weapons to take away some defensive pressure and a defense that will make quick work of opposing offenses.
Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Robert Woods and Tyler Lockett all have standalone value but are competing with WR teammates that are likely to post better numbers in 2021. The players in this tier would be amazing WR2 on your fantasy squads, so try your best to draft your WR1 before this is what you’re left with.
Evans tied for the fourth-most red zone targets in 2020 and will likely be a touchdown machine again as Tom Brady’s top target inside the 20. Jones will have to adjust to a different quarterback in 2021, but should have little trouble producing as the WR2 in an offense with one of the league’s best running backs. Lockett is consistently undervalued considering how consistent he is for fantasy. He may be toward the end of this tier, but he’s my favorite WR here.
There are plenty of names here that, not too long ago, were considered to be in the top-tier. The NFL changes quickly, but these wideouts still provide plenty of value.
Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster will see plenty of targets in what could be Ben Roethlisberger’s final season. If Kenny Golladay can stay healthy, he will be the top target for Daniel Jones in a pass-heavy Giants offense. Odell Beckham Jr. is looking healthy and expected to bounce back after his ACL tear in Week 7 of the 2020 season. Russell Gage benefits from the departure of Julio Jones and has WR2 upside in a favorable scheme. Michael Thomas is expected to miss time at the beginning of the season. There was already concern regarding the quality of his targets, but that’s become a secondary issue. Consider this a placeholder for Thomas until we find out more about his recovery time.
There are few wide receivers I like in this tier. In fact, I only see myself targeting two players in Tier 5.
Cole Beasley (if he plays in 2021) is vastly underrated given his target share in the Bills offense and what should be a positive regression in touchdowns for 2021. Curtis Samuel is by far my favorite late-round wide receiver to target in fantasy drafts. He fell into a dream landing spot with the Washington Football Team. Ryan Fitzpatrick will have plenty to offer to WFT’s receiving options. Samuel will benefit from Terry McLaurin stretching the field while he racks up targets from the slot. As mentioned earlier regarding McLaurin, Samuel will also benefit from the Washington Football Team defense. The rest of the names in this tier don’t do enough for me to advise drafting them.
There are more wide receivers I like in this tier. You are getting some amazing value considering the upside of this group of guys.
Robby Anderson, Tyler Boyd, Jerry Jeudy and Jarvis Landry all had more than 100 targets and fewer than 5 touchdowns in 2020. If they see similar target shares in 2021, they should also see an increase in touchdowns. Opportunity is king for fantasy football. The more you touch the ball, the better the chances of scoring. It’s a simple reason to like these options in 2021 fantasy drafts.
Will Fuller V was the WR4 in his last 9 games played. He had 45 receptions for 767 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in that span. I’m expecting him to see plenty of targets in the Dolphins offense in 2021. Corey Davis has the opportunity to be the WR1 in the Jets offense this season. I’m expecting the Jets WRs to see volume with an underwhelming backfield and Zach Wilson at QB.
There are many who are expecting a big year from Laviska Shenault Jr., and I can see why. He’s the best slot option for rookie QB Trevor Lawrence to target. The Jaguars vertical wideouts are sneaky good, which should open things up for Shenault and increase his opportunities in 2021.
Elsewhere, although I am a big believer in Devonta Smith’s talent, I’m just not sold on the Eagles passing attack in 2021. I have reservations regarding Jalen Hurts and his ability in making his wide receivers fantasy relevant. Regardless, Smith is a value in drafts considering his talent and potential upside. Sammy Watkins and Marquise Brown belong in the same tier because they will be sharing targets from Lamar Jackson, and it’s unclear who will be the fantasy WR to roster. Both are risky options as Watkins’ health is notoriously unstable and Brown hasn’t been consistent enough to solidify his WR1 status in the Ravens offense. Finally, I can see Michael Gallup benefiting from some open field as defenses will have their hands full with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott.
Definitely some interesting options in this tier. Antonio Brown will still be catching passes from Tom Brady in 2021, but he is the third (at best) go-to option. Mike Williams is your typical boom-or-bust wide receiver. T.Y. Hilton appears to be beyond his prime, but he could find new life with Carson Wentz at quarterback.
Darnell Mooney could be the best value in this tier. His route running is a thing of beauty. If Justin Fields takes over earlier in the season, I’d expect Mooney’s fantasy production to spike. As much as I like Nelson Agholor, his fantasy value takes a hit as a deep option in an offense with Cam Newton at quarterback. John Brown essentially replaces Agholor’s role in Las Vegas. Mecole Hardman has an opportunity to step up his production as the WR2 in a Patrick Mahomes-led offense.
We have officially entered the “late-round dart throw” tiers. There are still some potential weekly starters here.
Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton will compete for WR2-type targets with Kenny Golladay, the clear WR1 in that offense. Elijah Moore has the potential to catch fire as a rookie with Zach Wilson targeting him. A.J. Green still has some tread on his tires at age 33. Green was another wide receiver who had more than 100 targets and fewer than 5 touchdowns last season, which certainly makes him an interesting option in Arizona. Breshad Perriman is expected to be the WR1 for Jared Goff in Detroit. Say what you want, but getting any WR1 in an offense has its benefits, especially in double-digit rounds of fantasy drafts.
Kicking off tier 10 is Buffalo Bills wideout Gabriel Davis, who showed some consistency down the stretch of the 2020 season. He was targeted four or more times in 7 of his final 8 games. Davis also caught a touchdown in 5 of those 8 games. Allen Lazard, if healthy, is the likely WR2 in the Packers offense. He averaged more targets per game than Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4.6 for Lazard, 3.9 for Valdes-Scantling) in 2020. Tim Patrick was the most consistent option for the Denver Broncos last season. He scored the most fantasy points among Broncos wideouts and had just one fewer catch than Jerry Jeudy despite having 34 fewer targets. Tyrell Williams will have an opportunity as one of Jared Goff’s top targets in 2021. He missed the 2020 season due to a shoulder injury, but if he can remain healthy, he should see decent target numbers.
Tier 11 & 12
The final two tiers are true dart throws. Randall Cobb could find value in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. Kendrick Bourne could be a surprise asset in New England. N’Keal Harry could step up in his third year, especially if he gets his wish and is traded to a team that will give him volume. Outside of that, there really isn’t much to like about the bottom of the barrel choices here in 2021. Hopefully your draft is completed before you’re left with these names at wide receiver.