Over the year’s the wide receiver position has been pushed to the background, an afterthought heading into fantasy football leagues. In many DFS leagues, this is no longer the case. Many DFS leagues now require you to start AT LEAST three wide receivers, so the construct requires you to lean more into the position.
The PPR (points per reception) aspect changes the game dramatically as your alpha receiving options that will require the targets and receptions level up in importance. Let’s crack open our 12-pack of difference-making wide receivers for 2021.
The Top Shelf
David Bell: Purdue Boilermakers
David Bell worked his way into our collective consciousness the day he stepped on the football field at Purdue. Mind you, in the previous season Rondale Moore lit up the scoreboards for the Boilermakers. David Bell is an alpha receiver who is going to demand the attention of his quarterback. 86 receptions as a freshman, followed up by 53 in just six games a season ago.
One hundred receptions will not be out of the question when we preview David Bell and his upcoming 2021 season. David Bell should be the most expensive option at the wide receiver position in all contests that offer a point per reception.
John Metchie III: Alabama Crimson Tide
It staggers the mind that just two seasons ago, the Alabama receiver room was an embarrassment of riches that included four future 1st round picks: CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle. That is an awful lot of production to replace in one of the best offenses in college football. DeVonta Smith alone leaves behind a 117 reception, a 1,850-yard void that needs to fill. John Metchie III is prepared to be the #1 receiver in the Alabama offense, making him a reliable option in your DFS lineups.
Treylon Burks: Arkansas Razorbacks
Standing at 6’3 230 pounds, Treylon Burks is a man amongst boys. Burks is also significantly faster than you would think for a man his size, even contributing on special teams. Treylon Burks is a big play option down the field, so his value might take a slight hit in PPR formats. Don’t overthink it. Treylon Burks has the makings of a receiver who can eclipse 1,000 yards receiving and score double-digit touchdowns in 2021.
Kayshon Boutte: LSU Tigers
Kayshon Boutte is next in line as the next great LSU Tiger wide receiver. For a team that has recently produced the likes of Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and Terrace Marshall Jr., it’s fair to get excited about Kayshon Boutte in 2021. The big-play ability and explosiveness were on display during Boutte’s freshman season. This season, if he can elevate his level of consistency, we will have yet another alpha receiver on our hands.
Romeo Doubs: Nevada Wolfpack
Romeo Doubs took advantage of a shortened 2020 season and emerged as the primary option in the Wolfpack passing attack. The benefit of Carson Strong as your quarterback will continue to merit results for Doubs. Over 1,000 yards receiving on just 58 catches in only nine games, Romeo Doubs feels like he is about to explode in 2021. Catch a rising star and place Romeo Doubs in your early-season DFS lineups before his salary catches up with his talent.
Justyn Ross: Clemson Tigers
Justyn Ross may be the most talented wide receiver in all of college football. Turning just 46 receptions into 1,000 yards is quite a feat, but what many college football fans will remember are the breathtaking plays that Justyn Ross made to cap off his freshman season in the 2019 National Championship game where Clemson throttled Alabama. Ross followed up his freshman season with another stellar performance his sophomore season.
As Tee Higgins moved on to the NFL, the expectation was that Justyn Ross would take on the #1 receiver role for the Clemson Tigers. Unfortunately, a neck injury caused Justyn Ross to miss the entire 2020 season and placed his football future in jeopardy. All reports point to Ross being ready to begin the 2021 season, but from a DFS perspective, you may want to take on a wait-and-see approach to see if Justyn Ross is eased back into the Clemson Tigers offense.
Reggie Roberson Jr: SMU Mustangs
Reggie Roberson Jr. has been one of the more explosive players on a college football field for several seasons now. The issue hasn’t been Roberson’s play on the field. The culprit is the injuries that caused him to spend time off of it. The good news is we are looking at this exercise through the prism of DFS, so we will know if Reggie Roberson Jr. is active or not. If he’s playing, fire him up for your DFS lineups.
NEXT IN LINE
Khalil Shakir: Boise State Broncos
Khalik Shakir has been the primary option for the Boise State Broncos for several seasons now. He took his game to the next level in 2020. Shakir averaged over 100 yards receiving and just about a TD per game.
Boasting a 37% target share in an offense will provide you with a very safe ‘floor’ and an exciting ‘ceiling’ to boot. Trust Khalil Shakir in your DFS lineups from day one.
Marvin Mims: Oklahoma Sooners
There will be no shortage of offensive firepower in Norman this year as Spencer Rattler will throw the ball all over the yard. Marvin Mims will benefit in his second season in the Lincoln Riley offense. We saw glimpses in 2020, and there is reason to believe we will see a leap forward in 2021.
Drake London: USC Trojans
Many will look at back-to-back seasons of 500 yards receiving and scoff at Drake London’s inclusion on this list. Keep in mind that the Trojans only played six games last season, which would have put London on a 1,000-yard pace. The USC Trojans feel like a team on a mission in 2021, one that I believe will win the Pac-12. With Kedon Slovis providing reliability at the quarterback position, Drake London is a very study option for your DFS lineup.
Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson: Ohio State Buckeyes
Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are the top tandem of wide receivers in college football. The issue when you have a great duo is that they tend to take volume away from each other, which limits their upside. Chris Olave averaged 100 yards and a touchdown per game in 2020. Garrett Wilson came into his own in 2020 and was equally productive. The remaining elephant in the room is that Justin Fields will not be under center for the Buckeyes in 2021. Word out of Columbus is that C.J. Stroud is distancing himself in the Ohio State quarterback competition. You have to wonder what his chemistry is like with his top two pass-catching options. Buy in on both Buckeye receivers at a reasonable price.