Learned

Trust Your Gut – Wide Recievers

TRUST YOUR GUT – WIDE RECEIVERS

So next on our list for our TRUST FACTOR articles is the wide receivers. Having one of the top wide receivers in your league is a must have if you plan on challenging your league to be at the top of your championships. 

TRUST YOUR EYE

With so many wide receivers changing teams this off season,  you must make sure you have done your diligence and looked at the changes teams have made with coaches and personnel to see where the volume is going to be this year. When it comes down to you trusting someone to get you points, you have to ask yourself if you are going to trust the move and the data. Or are you going out on a limb and trusting your eye on what you know that player can do?

This is where managers get the edge on the rest of their league, and put their skill to work. This is the place where you hunt for the all elusive ‘unicorn’.

Let’s take a look at my TRUST FACTOR list for wide receivers and see if any of them can bring their top game back for the new season.

 

COOPER KUPP / TRUST FACTOR RATING 9.8

 

  • This past year saw Cooper Kupp pull off his best season of his career. He averaged 21.6 FPPG while having 1947 yards on 145 receptions. Kupp was targeted 191 times , averaging 11.2 targets per game. This unicorn also took his team to the Super Bowl where he had eight receptions on 10 targets with 92 yards and two touchdowns, while becoming the MVP for Super Bowl LVI.
  • Cupp is the clear favorite this year at WR#1 on all draft boards.  He had a 31.7% share of total team targets for 2021, that is up from his 22.1% from 2020. He also averaged 5.94 YAC, which was good enough to rank him in the top 10(PFF) in yards after the catch. With his connection to Matthew Stafford and how well the two did this year, I can see why everyone is trusting that he will have another great season.
  • The Rams acquired Allen Robinson during the off season leaving Robert Woods to find a new home with the Titans. With Robinson coming in, he looks to help fill the shoes that Woods has left opened. Returning is third year wideout Van Jefferson and don’t be surprised if OBJ is not back with the team when camp starts looking to help the Rams repeat as Super Bowl champs.

 

DEEBO SAMUEL / TRUST FACTOR RATING 9.2

 

  • Just like Cooper Kupp, Deebo had the best season in his three year NFL career. He had 1405 receiving yards on 77 receptions while acquiring 365 yards rushing on 59 attempts. These great numbers also brought plenty of scoring. Deebo had 14 total touchdowns, 6 receiving and 8 rushing. He averaged 18.8 FPPG in sixteen games which put him only behind Kupp for 2nd place with his average.
  • Deebo had a 24.4% share of total team targets while averaging 7.6 per game. That would put him 13th among all wide receivers in the NFL for 2021. When he gets the ball is just the beginning of what he can do. He averaged 10.18 YAC(PFF). His ability to break tackles and gain yards puts him at the top of the list when looking at wide receivers that can gain yards after the catch.
  • But it doesn’t stop there. His rushing brings him to the top of another list. He averages 6.2 yards per rush. While there were more that had a better average, there was no wide receiver even close to him with his 59 attempts on the ground.
  • Right now , there is all kinds of speculation around Deebo and where he will be during the new season. Who will be the 49ers quarterback? How will the offense look with a new OC? Will he get the same target share and rush attempts? Too many questions to answer, but one thing is for sure. Deebo is a top athlete and when given the chance , he can move the ball. I’m going to trust that if he is still there, Shanahan will make sure he gets the ball.

JA’MARR CHASE / TRUST FACTOR RATING 8.4

 

  • In just his rookie year, Ja’Marr stepped into the spotlight and never looked back. He finished fourth in total receiving yards with 1,455 on 81 receptions and 13 touchdowns. His FPPG average was 15.5 which was good enough to give him a top five finish in FPPG. He had 81 receptions on 128 targets which averaged out to 7.5 targets per game. 
  • In the Bengals offense this past year, Ja’Marr had a 23.7 percent share of total team targets, which was good enough to put him 17 among wide receivers for 2021. His relationship with Joe Burrow is key to his success. They played college together and won a National Championship with LSU and now have helped take the Bengals to the Super Bowl in their rookie and sophomore years. These two are not just teammates but best friends and it looks like they both have their eyes fixed upon the prize. 
  • The Bengals have one of the best wide receiver corps in football. With Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd also on the team, weapons are ready to cut loose on any given play. When it comes time for me to draft and Chase is there, I would not hesitate to take him. I trust him to be the WR1 on my fantasy team this season. We know that the Bengals have worked on beefing up the offensive line to give Burrow better protection this year. Better protection means that he will have more time to find Chase, and you can trust that he will find his man. This is one wide receiver that is trusting his Quarterback to get him the ball.

JUSTIN JEFFERSON / TRUST FACTOR RATING 8.2

 

  • When it came time for Jefferson to step out on the field for his sophomore season , he was ready to take the lead. He finished the year with 1616 receiving yards on 108 receptions. Add to that 10 touchdowns in 17 games with a FPPG of 16.3 and you have a top five wide receiver in only his second season.
  • He was targeted a total of 167 times with an average of 9.8 per game. That gives him a 28.9 percent total share of team targets. When the season opens up this year , look for Kirk Cousins to start where he left off, getting the ball to Jefferson.
  • Jefferson is the trusted lead on the Vikings at wide receiver make no mistake about that. Adam Thielen(Mr. Red Zone) had an average of 7.3 targets per game in 13 games played. His season was cut short with season ending ankle surgery, but he looks to be back for 2022. With K.J. Osborn coming back for his third season and the addition of Jalen Nailor from Michigan State via the draft,Jefferson looks to cut his way through and stay on top for the 2022 season.

 

DAVANTE ADAMS / TRUST FACTOR RATING 8.0

 

  • You can’t talk about Alpha receivers without mentioning Davante Adams. Adams packed his bags to leave the frozen Lambeau Field tundra to head to the sparkle and lights of Las Vegas. He finished third in receiving yards with 1553 on 123 receptions. In 16 games he produced 11 touchdowns and had a FPPG average of 17.7.
  • In his final year of being Aaron Rodgers’ go-to guy, he had a 29.7 percent share of total team targets. He also had a total of 169 targets for the year – ranking him 2nd, tied with Diontae Johnson. His 10.6 targets per game is what he has averaged for the last three years. In College, Adams played two years at Fresno State. While there, he set two records, career records for receptions (233) and touchdown receptions (38). Why bring this up? Because the one helping him set records at Fresno State was Derek Carr. Now the two of them are together again.  
  • Raiders are ready to throw the ball. It will be interesting how new head coach Josh McDainels plans to spread the ball around with Adams , Renfrow and Waller. All three are lethal weapons and can break free on any play. With the addition of Adams the Raiders now have one of the top wide receiving corps in the NFL. Look for Adams to not step back, but to step up. He can earn Carr’s trust once again as they try to lead the AFC West to the Super Bowl.

 

TRUSTING THE UNICORN

Top 5 receivers don’t just fall off trees. They put in the work everyday. But they also find themselves with teams that are trusting them to help move the ball. When looking at wide receivers, I like to try and find one that will at least be getting nine targets a game. The more volume to a player always helps set yourself up for more points for your fantasy team. 

Go find your unicorn!!!

Stacey @sdcochran99

To read Stacey’s article about Running Backs you can trust, click here

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