Early Rookie Fantasy Rankings: Wide Receivers

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Welcome back to the rookie fantasy rankings. Make sure to check out both the Rookie Quarterback Rankings and the Rookie Running Back Rankings as well. This week, we will be looking at the Wide Receiver position.

 

1) Ja’Marr Chase – LSU 

Draft rumors pegging Ja'Marr Chase to Bengals and how it impacts Lions

Projection: Starting slot receiver for the Lions 

 

Outlook: Chase has been the top Wide Receiver prospect for the past two seasons. He’s a dominant game-controller who has great speed and route running skills. Before opting out this past college season, Chase caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns in just 14 games the year before. Detroit needs a receiver after letting Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. walk in free agency. Breshad Perriman, Tyrell Williams, Quintez Cephus, and Geronimo Allison make up the Wide Receiver room right now and, if Chase does go to Detroit, he would easily become the team’s top Wide Receiver right away. Expect a ton of production no matter who drafts him.

 

Projection: 17 Games Played 

Receiving: 83 receptions, 1,184 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns

 

2) Jaylen Waddle – Alabama

Jaylen Waddle clocked at over 21 MPH using player-tracking technology

Projection: Starting slot receiver for the Eagles

 

Outlook: Waddle has all the tools to become a great receiver at the pro level. He has reliable hands, blazing speed, and amazing route discipline. Philadelphia desperately needs a reliable receiver on the outside, and he is mocked to go at pick 12 by one of our Draft Analysts here at East West (Kosta Boskovic). Philadelphia can’t feel comfortable entering the 2021 season with Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, and Travis Fulgham as their top three Wide Receivers on the depth chart. Bringing in a guy like Waddle is one of the team’s top priorities in this year’s draft. When healthy, the Alabama product has shown glimpses of dominance at the college level, and he has all the tools to dominate at the pro level as well.

 

Projection: 14 Games Played 

Receiving: 69 receptions, 835 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns

 

3) Rashod Bateman – Minnesota

Rashod Bateman blossomed late in high school career before becoming star with Gophers | Star Tribune

Projection: Starter for the Packers 

 

Outlook: Enough is enough. Aaron Rodgers deserves a 1st Round Wide Receiver to be selected by his Green Bay Packers. Bateman could be available at pick 29, and he has the ideal frame (6’2”, 209 lbs) one would want to line up opposite Davante Adams. If Bateman does go to Green Bay, he would have a pretty good chance at becoming a star in this league. He sits behind Waddle and Chase because those two receivers would instantly become their team’s top receiving options. Nonetheless, Bateman should put together a solid rookie campaign.

 

Projection: 16 Games Played

Receiving: 57 receptions, 704 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns

 

4) DeVonta Smith – Alabama 

Breaking down DeVonta Smith's title game dominance for Alabama - Sportsnet.ca

Projection: Starting slot receiver for the Dolphins 

 

Outlook: Smith is a special talent, but there are a lot of concerns about his weight (174 lbs) and lack of strength at the pro level. He will simply need to add a decent amount of muscle, but there is no denying that this kid should be drafted in the top 10 in this year’s draft. Miami has the sixth pick, and once again Boskovic has mocked him at that pick in his mock draft. This is the right move for Miami, and Smith would excel in Brian Flores’ offense. The only issue is that it might take a season or two before he really blossoms. Tua Tagovailoa is still learning and working on his Quarterback skills and, quite frankly, I think that the Dolphins’ Wide Receivers are some to stay away from when the fantasy season arrives. It doesn’t matter which receiver gets drafted by the Dolphins. Whoever does will more than likely be a “disappointment” in fantasy terms. Take a look at DeVante Parker from last year. He was a major “fantasy football disappointment.”

 

Projection: 17 Games Played 

Receiving: 54 receptions, 712 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns 

 

5) Rondale Moore – Purdue 

Q&A With Rondale Moore: NFL Draft, Where He Ranks In WR Class

Projection: Backup slot receiver for the Jaguars 

 

Outlook: Moore’s stock has been skyrocketing as of late. He’s a freak athlete who impressed mightily at his Pro Day. He ran an unofficial 4.29 40-yard dash time, as well as registering a 42.5” vertical jump. To put things in perspective, Julio Jones (38.5”), Michael Thomas (35”), and Davante Adams (39.5”) all fall very short of Moore’s impressive vertical jump. Chris Conley is the only current Wide Receiver in the league with a higher recorded vertical jump than Moore (45”). Jacksonville could use a freakishly athletic receiver to add to their offense. Let’s be real, they are going to draft Trevor Lawrence. The Jags currently have DJ Chark Jr., Marvin Jones Jr., and Laviska Shenault Jr. as their top Wide Receivers. Why not surround Lawrence with another playmaker in Moore?

 

Projection: 17 Games Played

Receiving: 44 receptions, 589 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns

 

Notable Mentions:

Elijah Moore – Washington 

Projection: Backup slot receiver for the Washington Football Team

 

Kadarius Toney – Florida

Projection: Backup for the Patriots

 

Terrace Marshall Jr. – LSU

Projection: Backup for the Bengals

 

Did you enjoy this article and want more fantasy content? Make sure to check out my recent posts, and stay tuned for other positional rankings in the future. You can also follow me on Twitter @dirrim23, where I love talking about all things fantasy football!

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