Wide Receivers to Take with Your Last Pick in Fantasy Football Drafts for 2021
Over the next few weeks, millions of football fans will be drafting their fantasy football teams. Since you’re here reading this, you’re probably one of them. You also probably listen to The Fantasy Footballers, which means you likely have a strong grasp on the players to target in the early rounds, along with sleepers and breakouts to look for in the middle rounds. So let’s talk about the late rounds. The really late rounds.
Over the next week, I’ll offer up players you can target at the very end of your drafts. Fliers, dart throws, long shots, whatever you want to call them, these players all have an average draft position (ADP) no sooner than the 18th round. That means you can take them with your last pick in the draft and see if they have a larger than expected role to start the regular season. Even if you don’t draft them, these are players to keep on your radar over the first few weeks as possible waiver wire targets.
This article series started with running backs; next up is wide receivers. Unlike the running back position, there is tremendous depth at wide receiver. According to the average draft position (ADP) in the Ultimate Draft Kit, there are currently 77 wideouts being drafted in the first 18 rounds of fantasy drafts, more than any other position. Still, just like every position, relevant fantasy wideouts can be found with your last pick. Here are my favorites to consider at the end of drafts.
Current ADP 18.05
Shepard is the perfect wideout to add to the end of your fantasy roster if you’re looking for a safe option at the position. When on the field last season, he was a productive target hog. Unfortunately, he missed four weeks with a concussion. He still managed to lead the Giants with 7.5 targets/game, which paces out to a healthy 127 targets over 17 games.
The Giants’ offense may look different in 2021, but Shepard’s role in the passing game should be secure. Golden Tate, who lined up in the slot 82% of the time last season, wasn’t brought back. This allows Shepard to step back into the primary slot role. The last time he lined up in the slot at least 50% of the time, back in 2018, he finished as the WR30 on the season.
The Giants aren’t lacking big names in their offense. While Kenny Golladay, Saquon Barkley, and Evan Engram are all being drafted ahead of him, Shepard could easily be the best fantasy value of the bunch.
Current ADP 23.03
As a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Donovan Peoples-Jones didn’t get on the field consistently. He only saw a snap rate above 55% four times on the season, but he turned three of those weeks into top-36 fantasy receiver performances. His big weeks were littered with big plays, as he put 304 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 targets. He ended up leading the entire NFL with a ridiculous 21.7 yards/reception (minimum 20 targets).
The Browns project to be one of the top offenses in the NFL heading into the 2021 season. Baker Mayfield came into his own running Kevin Stefanski’s offense down the backstretch and was the fantasy QB8 over the last six weeks of the NFL season. Cleveland also boasts the top-rated offensive line in the league according to nearly any published rankings you can find. The point being, the Browns should put up plenty of points. Taking Peoples-Jones with your last pick gets you a cheap piece of the Cleveland offense.
To be fantasy relevant, DPJ needs a few things to fall in place. First and foremost, he needs to beat out teammate Rashard Higgins on the depth chart. Next, he needs the Browns to run three-receiver sets so he can get on the field with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. The good thing is, those are two things that can be identified early in the season. If he consistently gets on the field, Peoples-Jones will have massive fantasy upside on a week-to-week basis.
Current ADP 31.12
I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve completely forgotten about Albert Wilson. He was a perennial sleeper candidate in past seasons with the Chiefs and flashed big-play upside with Miami before opting out of the 2020 season. With the Dolphins bringing in Will Fuller and drafting Jaylen Waddle, Wilson was left for dead in the fantasy football world.
This summer, however, Wilson has reportedly been lighting it up with Tua Tagovailoa. If you want visual evidence, just scroll through the Dolphins team Twitter page for a while. Here’ just one example of the hype.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 4, 2021
For what it’s worth, Wilson is currently listed as a starter on Miami’s depth chart. With Will Fuller already sitting out Week 1 due to suspension, Wilson will at least get a chance to keep his preseason momentum rolling into the regular season. Much like Peoples-Jones, we should be able to diagnose Wilson’s role early in the season. If he’s playing the part of starting receiver in Miami, he’ll be worth a spot on fantasy rosters.
Current ADP 39.05
I’m going to keep this one short. Devin Funchess, like Albert Wilson, opted out of the 2020 season. He was also an afterthought until he recently made some impressive plays in Green Bay’s first preseason game. As of this writing, he’s dealing with a lower-body injury and isn’t guaranteed to make the roster. However, if he does make the team, the 27-year wideout who finished as the fantasy WR22 in 2017 could be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. That means he could be fantasy relevant. And that could mean the return of the “Devin S. Scrumptious” drop. And that’s really what I’m hoping for, and why I added him to the end of this article.
Devin S. Scrumptious certainly lived up to his nickname last night pic.twitter.com/EmYjqgxmU9
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) November 14, 2017