NFL Draft Dynasty Preview: WRs & TEs

Apr 18, 2021
NFL Draft Dynasty Preview: WRs & TEs

I previewed the top quarterback and running back prospects for dynasty purposes last week. In this second of two articles, I’m going to highlight the wide receivers and tight ends. This is a top-heavy draft for tight ends, and a super deep draft for wide receivers, following a stellar crop last year as well. Anthony Staggs has eight wide receivers included in his most recent two-round mock draft.

As with the quarterbacks and running backs, I’m going to give each prospect a category:

  • Elite – This player will be counted on to make an early impact and is worth considering at the very top of rookie drafts. While situation always affects the value of a fantasy player, these prospects should be virtually landing-spot proof.
  • Situational – This player has the potential to be an early-impact player, but will definitely depend on landing spot. These players could drop to “Upside” or rise to “Elite” depending on which team drafts them. For example, if the Dolphins skip wide receiver in the first round and take Rondale Moore in the second, he could wind up in the Elite category. If Moore ends up with the Cardinals, we’ll be looking at him for his long-term upside, since he’ll start lower on the depth chart.
  • Upside – This player may not make an immediate impact, but has certain talent factors making him worth drafting in rookie drafts, just in case. This is likely the tier-two prospects. A great example is Pat Freiermuth, who has significant talent as a playmaker, but isn’t a sure thing and is unlikely to be drafted with the kind of draft capital that necessitates an early role.

Wide Receivers

Ja'Marr Chase, LSU

Ja'Marr Chase is an elite prospect at the wide receiver position and an overall top-three prospect in this draft. He would’ve ranked first among receivers if he’d have been draft-eligible last year, and for him to be at the top of the board in two loaded classes at the position says something. Chase only had one good year and opted out last season, but that year—2019—was unbelievable. He caught 84 balls for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. He has adequate size at 6-foot-0, 201 pounds, but plays bigger than his size. He flashes every single trait you look for in an elite outside receiver: hands, speed (4.38-second 40-yard dash), body control, field IQ, athleticism, route-running and after-the-catch ability. He has really clean and sudden cuts, and he goes up to get the ball at its highest point. He had a nice Pro Day with high marks pretty much across the board, and he had dominant performances in big games, against really good competition. He destroyed last year’s first-round pick C.J. Henderson against Florida, and had a huge performance against Clemson in the Championship Game. Chase should be a fantastic fantasy asset regardless of landing spot and he should be the first wide receiver taken in all rookie drafts. He's my favorite wide receiver prospect since A.J. Green in 2012.

Category: Elite

Check out this complete rookie profile by Matthew Gajewski for a deeper dive on Chase.

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