Wide Receivers
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receivers Everyone Should Be Avoiding in Fantasy Football 2021

As important as running backs are in fantasy football, nailing your wide receiver core is equally critical to fantasy success, which is why I will be outlining some of the wide receivers you should be avoiding in fantasy drafts. Now before anyone gets mad that I’m disrespecting their favorite player, this article isn’t a knock on their talent. It strictly has to do with fantasy football, and at the end of the day, these guys most likely won’t be players you want in your lineups every Sunday.

Mike Evans

This really shouldn’t be as bold of a take as it is, but I don’t see Evans finishing as a top 12 WR in fantasy football this year. Yet, he’s still being drafted at that range ahead of other fantasy studs like Amari Cooper. My problem with Evans is simple: His value is inflated because he had a top 12 fantasy season last year, yet the chances of him repeating that this year seem bleak. To start, he’s incredibly touchdown-dependent, as in the seven games he didn’t score touchdowns in last year, he scored less than 12 points in five of those games. And that’s in PPR scoring. The man is bound for touchdown regression as well as inconsistency throughout this season when taking into account he’ll be playing an entire season alongside healthy Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Throw in Rob Gronkowski, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, and a strong running game coupled with the fact that Tom Brady absolutely loves to spread the ball around, and it’s clear the volume will simply not be there for Mike Evans. He will be an inconsistent WR2 for fantasy owners but is still being valued far greater than that.

Tyler Lockett

If you only look at the numbers, you would think Lockett had a fantastic season as he finished as a top 10 fantasy wide receiver. However, you must look a little closer and realize that 48.7 percent of his entire year’s production came from just three games. That kind of volatility where one week he has 40 fantasy points and the next week he has five is exactly the type of player you don’t want on your team, and his performances last year make him a legitimate contender for the most annoying player to own in fantasy football. With D.K. Metcalf’s emergence into superstardom, Lockett’s role seems locked in and is one of the easiest fantasy football players to decipher. I wouldn’t draft him in the first place, but if you do, I sure wouldn’t be comfortable with him as anything more than my third wide receiver.

Adam Thielen

One of my hottest takes for this fantasy football season is that Adam Thielen is the 2021 version of what Tyler Lockett was last year. He’ll have a handful of memorable games with multiple touchdowns, but I think he will have far more disappointing weeks. Looking at his situation, it has Lockett written all over him. Justin Jefferson is ready to take the role as the top receiver on the Minnesota Vikings this year, just as Metcalf did last year. Thielen’s role and volume will be decreased considerably, especially when taking into account the Vikings’ run-heavy approach. In fact, we already saw glimpses of it last year, where Thielen wasn’t superbly consistent and extremely dependent on finding the endzone in order to score fantasy points. Similar to Mike Evans, his double digit touchdown numbers last season helped propel his fantasy value this year, but they are both bound for touchdown regression which is why I am not looking to draft Theilen as my second wide receiver this year.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you were able to see a trend across these three players I talked about. It’s quite simple, if their points were streaky such as from touchdowns, and it doesn’t look like they will be getting guaranteed volume consistently every week, then I’m not a huge fan of drafting them. Although each of the three are extremely talented NFL wide receivers, I don’t really think it matters to a certain extent. Robert Woods isn’t a better wide receiver than Mike Evans, yet he will get a far more consistent workload which is exactly why I would rather have Woods in a PPR fantasy football league. Obviously, if any of these players fall heavily in your drafts, then go ahead and draft them, but at their current draft positions, I just don’t think you’re getting good value in return.

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