The rising tide lifts all boats, and the arrival of Matthew Stafford benefits Robert Woods. Woods has finished as WR13 and WR17 the past two seasons and is set to finish as a fantasy WR2 in 2021. Woods’ role does not lend to massive games (two 100-plus receiving yard games in 2020) but his role as a runner sets him apart from the rest of the Rams receiver corps. He has double-digit touches and at least one rushing touchdown in each of the past three seasons. The potential of increased passing and rushing volume with the loss of Cam Akers and the opportunity for a deeper Average Depth of Target (aDOT) makes Woods an excellent addition to fantasy rosters.
Woods is 29-years old and is officially out of his prime window. There is no guarantee he starts to decline in 2021, but it is very much in the realm of possibilities. He also did not separate himself from the rest of the receiving corps in terms of targets and air yards. Cooper Kupp had the same aDOT and market share of targets and air yards as Woods, and potential breakout candidate Van Jefferson led the team with an 11.3 aDOT in 2020. If Jefferson were to step into the recently departed Josh Reynolds’s deep-threat role, he could also match or come close to the same air yard share as Woods and Kupp. The arrival of Stafford could help Woods’ role as more than a catch-and-run receiver, but there is no guarantee.
Two of the Rams’ most difficult games are Weeks 12 and 17 with road games at Green Bay and Baltimore, respectively. Both defenses enter 2021 as top 10 defenses against wide receivers using 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Positional Defensive Rankings.
2021 Bottom Line
Woods is a WR2 with an opportunity to enter the WR1 conversation with an increased aDOT role now that Stafford is the Rams QB. His rushing floor also helps mitigate the lack of spike weeks and keeps him on the field.