In Dynasty Fantasy Football, it's not uncommon to have completely unproven players ranked as starters. Youth is such a valuable commodity, that it has become the expectation that multiple players in a draft class will jump into the top-25 at their position before they ever play a game in the NFL. That shows in the wide receiver rankings below, with Drake London, Garrett Wilson, and Treylon Burks all inside my top 20. But there are two other players inside the top-25 who aren't rookies but have every bit as much to prove as the rookies, maybe more.
Jerry Jeudy was the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but still hasn't topped 900 receiving yards in a season. In his rookie year that was because of drops and poor quarterback play. We forgave the drops, excused them really, and expected more in 2021. While the quarterback play was slightly better and Jeudy's drop rate plummeted as expected, injuries got in the way, costing him seven games.
Even in the 10 games he played, Jeudy was mediocre at best. He didn't top 80 yards once all season and never reached the end zone. Again, we stand ready with excuses that he was never really healthy and his quarterback play still wasn't very good.
In 2022 the excuses are gone for Jeudy, at least the ones about his quarterback. The team traded for Russell Wilson and Jeudy has vaulted into the top-24 for some in redraft. I'm less optimistic than that, but his pedigree and situation have kept him at No. 21 in the Dynasty rankings below. Just know that, unlike most young wide receivers, Jeudy's Dynasty value could implode relatively early in the season. If he gets hurt or is clearly behind Courtland Sutton, I'm not sure Jeudy will be the in top 30. If he has another season below 900 yards, he may not crack the top 40.
Rashod Bateman actually moved just ahead of Jeudy in the most recent rankings, and he's proven even less in the NFL. Like Jeudy, Bateman battled injuries last year and was only able to participate in 12 games. And he only topped a 60% snap rate in nine of those. He also struggled to get into the end zone, scoring just once.
This offseason the Ravens traded his main competition for wide receiver targets in Marquise Brown and haven't done anything to replace him. That signals they believe Bateman is ready to be the No. 1 wide receiver in this offense, which gives him immense upside. Because this is only Year 2 for Bateman, he's not quite as risky as Jeudy, but we also won't be as patient with him as we are with the rookies.
Here are my updated Dynasty wide receiver rankings: