The NFL Draft starts up next week, and with it, the landscape of the league flips on its head. This is a good crop of wide receivers who can do a ton to But what about for fantasy football? These guys have to be replacing other players. As we sit on the eve of the NFL Draft, we look at guys in a make-or-break (or just break) situation for some wide receivers in 2021 fantasy football leagues.
DeVante Parker, Miami
Parker broke out in 2019, posting the first and only season of his career over 800 receiving yards. Then, last year, he and Tua Tagovailoa & Ryan Fitzpatrick couldn’t get on the same page; he took a step back from his breakout yards per target back down to near his career norm. As such, he stumbled down fantasy football ranks. Now, the Miami Dolphins relegated him to the squad’s WR2 role by adding Will Fuller to the equation. Here’s the problem: most mock drafts have the Dolphins adding one of the big four pass-catchers (Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and DeVonta Smith), meaning Parker likely gets knocked down another rung on the depth chart. He’s entering his sixth year, might be the WR3, and has exactly one year of over 800 receiving yards under his belt. Time might be running out for DeVante Parker’s fantasy relevance.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets
Like Parker, Jamison Crowder might face a squeeze out due to the roster around him. He’s not getting squeezed out because of a robust set of options for the Jets, but rather, the opposite. The Jets just don’t have enough passes to go around, if Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur run their offense like their old head coach, Kyle Shanahan, runs his offense. As of right now, Crowder has to contend with Corey Davis and Denzel Mims for targets, as well as newcomer Keelan Cole. If they add a new big name wide receiver to the mix, that leaves too many targets without enough pass attempts to go around. Jamison Crowder was always a PPR volume bet, and the volume might just slip out from underneath him if the Jets snag a wide receiver in the first couple rounds of the draft.
Antonio Brown, Free Agent
It seems weird because there’s no specific player or pick to point to about Antonio Brown. It’s just a situation where… the league might just be done with Brown. He’s facing heinous allegations (though the civil suit settled this week), has a history of mental troubles, and turns 33 in a couple of months. If enough teams prioritize wide receivers in the draft with headache-free players they like, the end of the line might have come a lot sooner for Antonio Brown than a lot of us anticipated. Antonio Brown might just end up hemmed in and without options thanks to Deshaun Watson and Aldon Smith making teams gun shy on paying up for troubled players.
Christian Kirk, Arizona
Christian Kirk seemed primed to break out and build on his 2019 campaign… and then the Cardinals brought in DeAndre Hopkins, putting Christian Kirk on the backburner. But, Larry Fitzgerald might hang them up, so that means Christian Kirk will have his time to shine, right? Well, maybe not. I’m not saying that the Cardinals adding A.J. Green breaks Kirk’s value, I’m saying it doesn’t help it. And then what happens if the Cardinals add Jaylen Waddle, or Elijah Moore, or another pass catcher in the mid-teens. That drops Kirk down even more, and the WR3 peak might be all we get from Kirk in his career. If the Cardinals don’t add another wide receiver, Kirk could be in for a nice little season. For that reason, Christian Kirk has a lot to lose in the 2021 NFL Draft.
These guys might have the most to lose, but you don’t! Not if you click these links!
[Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Jimmy_Garoppolo_2019_%28cropped%29.jpg, cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]