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We kicked our WR preview week off on CBSSports.com Monday with a look at the state of the position heading into the 2021 season as well as our thoughts on some of the biggest questions facing the position as we prepare for the season. 

But that wasn't all the Fantasy Football Today team covered Monday. We also had Heath Cummings' WR position preview, where you can find his strategy for the position, some key numbers to know, projections, and so much more. It really is a must-read column. And Dave Richard updated his WR tiers and draft strategies, focusing on how he is approaching the position and where the strong and weak points lie throughout your draft. 

But that wasn't all. On the Fantasy Football Today podcast, Adam Aizer, Jamey Eisenberg, and Heath talked about ADP risers, some of the biggest news from around the NFL over the weekend, and answered your questions -- FantasyFootball@CBSi.com if you want to get your's read. And Jamey went deep on the latest ADP trends in his weekly ADP report column -- such as Jonathan Taylor's and Saquon Barkley's falls in the rankings over the last week.  

Oh, and I also took you on a round by round walkthrough of my FLEX League team -- an expert's league that Jamey took part in along with analysts from around the industry. This draft went a little sideways for me early -- I took a tight end, two running backs, and a quarterback before my first wide receiver, putting me in an unfamiliar position -- but I think I was able to right my team. You can see my thought process for each pick, where I think I might have gone wrong and where things actually did go according to plan, and I think it's an interesting look into at least one so-called "expert's" thought process in the course of a draft. Hey, we make mistakes and panic just like you!

Before we get to today's newsletter, which focuses on our wide receiver sleeper picks and the best/worst offenses for WR -- plus my updated WR top 75 --  I'll also let you in on this: Your very own chance to draft with the experts! As part of our Fantasy Football Today Draft-A-Thon on CBS Sports HQ on Sept. 1, we're raising money for St. Jude Children's Hospital through a number of experiences you can bid on, and today we've got a pretty excellent opportunity: A spot in the 2022 Scott Fish Bowl where you can compete against me! For those of you who don't know, the Scott Fish Bowl is the largest industry league of its kind, with nearly 2,000 players competing across 160 leagues to determine who is truly the best Fantasy player in the land. It's an awesome league -- and our good friend Scott Fish was able to raise over $50,000 for Toys For Tots last year. It's your chance to help out two great causes by playing some Fantasy football. What more can you ask for? So, bid now!

And now, here are my WR sleepers, a breakdown of the best/worst offenses for WR, and my latest WR rankings for 2021:

WR Sleepers


I don't think the term "sleeper" has to mean what it used to in Fantasy -- a player who nobody knows about. Because, well, there's nobody like that anymore. There are eight million people writing about Fantasy football from standard re-draft leagues to 50-round best-ball drafts, and so every single player in the NFL at this point has someone touting them.

So, how do I view the term? I've tweaked the meaning a bit -- it's a player I think everyone else is sleeping on -- see what I did there? Ultimately, it just means I'm higher on these guys than most. Generally speaking, the wisdom of the crowds tends to win out in the long run, but when the crowd misses, it tends to miss big -- the crowd isn't typically going to be very good at identifying outliers or unlikely events.

But it's those outliers and unlikely events you need to win. If you draft by ADP, you're probably gonna finish in sixth place. You've gotta plan some flags and hit on them. You need to identify inefficiencies in the marketplace and exploit that. It's harder to do that than ever these days -- on account of the eight million people writing about Fantasy football, I reckon -- but it's still possible. The FFT team put together our WR sleepers on the site Tuesday, and you can check out Jamey, Dave, and Heath's picks here. As for mine, well, just scroll down. 

Here's who I'm higher on than the consensus: 

  • Will Fuller -- We can quibble about whether a guy who is as high-profile as Fuller can be a sleeper, but I'll just say this: He was WR8 in points per game last season, just behind A.J. Brown -- while having a game where he had zero targets while playing through a hamstring injury -- and now he's WR45 since the start of August in NFC drafts.  That might be the most screamingly obvious value in drafts right now. Sure, he switched teams, and you can't necessarily expect a repeat going from Deshaun Watson to Tua Tagovailoa. But Fuller has always had gigantic weekly upside and proved he can be a reliable WR1 last season, so if you can get him as your WR4 or even 5, you're way ahead of the rest of the league. 
  • Emmanuel Sanders -- If you're looking for gigantic upside from a sleeper, Sanders ain't it. However, he absolutely has a path to top-24 production at WR -- heck, Cole Beasley was 27th last season. Sanders has remained remarkably efficient despite being squarely in his mid-30s now, and in the seven games he played without Michael Thomas last season, he was on pace for 91 catches, 1,168 yards, and five touchdowns. He's still got a lot left in the tank, amazingly. And that was in a less productive passing game than Buffalo's. It sure sounds like Sanders is going to be the No. 2 option for the Bills, and if he can get to 110 targets, there's a pretty good chance he's a starting-caliber option all season. You can get him for next to nothing in drafts right now. 
  • Rondale Moore -- Moore struggled to stay healthy in college, playing just 20 games over three seasons, but he was wildly productive when he was on the field, averaging 8.9 catches, 95.8 yards, and 0.95 touchdowns per game. Moore is small, at 5-foot-7, but very stoutly built, and was an after-the-catch monster in college picking up 71% of his yards after the catch in 2018, his lone full season, an incredible number. It's a skill set that fits in very well in Kliff Kingsbury's offense, which relies heavily on quick-hitting passes designed to put the ball in receivers' hands with room and blockers to make plays. If he's starting for the Cardinals, he could be the skeleton key that unlocks the upside of Kyler Murray and this passing game, allowing DeAndre Hopkins to operate more down the field while still giving them an explosive playmaker with the ball in his hands. Moore is one of the top rookie wide receivers I'm targeting in the late rounds. 

Best/Worst Offenses for WR


While context matters a ton for running back Fantasy production, it's not quite as important at wide receiver. Talent tends to win out at wide receiver, and anyone who faded A.J. Brown or Justin Jefferson because they landed in a bad situation sure learned that one the hard way. If you're great, the ball tends to find its way into your hands.

That being said, context certainly matters at wide receiver just like everywhere else. All other things being equal, you'd rather have a wide receiver in a high-volume passing offense with an elite quarterback than one in a low-volume offense with a mediocre quarterback and a lot of competition -- which is to say, you'd rather have had Chase Claypool entering 2020 than other second-round wide receivers like Laviska Shenault, KJ Hamler, or Van Jefferson

Talent tends to win out at wide receiver more than any other non-QB position, but team context can help talent get on the right path a lot quicker. I looked at the best and worst offenses in the NFL for RB production last week, and now here are the five best and five worst offenses for WR production over the past three seasons:

Best offenses for WR

  • Buccaneers -- 765.7 Fantasy points per season -- Little surprise here, as the Buccaneers have leaned heavily on the Mike Evans/Chris Godwin combination over that span while having some of the most productive passing games in the NFL. The problem for 2021 is what we saw last season -- this is an incredibly crowded passing game. That's good news for Tom Brady, who has 300-plus yards in six of 11 games and at least two touchdowns in 10 of 11 with Evans, Godwin, and Antonio Brown active. However, during those 11 games, Evans averaged 15.2 PPR points per game (would have ranked 20th for the season), Godwin was at 14.1 (26th), and Brown was at 12.9 (WR38). That's all Fantasy relevant, but I think it might be a bit of a disappointment, especially for those drafting Evans as WR13 and Godwin as WR17. 
  • Falcons -- 755.0 Fantasy points per season -- I'm going to go ahead and wager that the Falcons won't rank this high in 2021 with the loss of Julio Jones, especially with a new offense in place from Arthur Smith. Personnel tends to dictate this as much as anything else, of course, and swapping out Jones for Kyle Pitts will naturally lead to a lot of that WR production moving to the TE column. And, that WR production that doesn't go to Pitts? Well, I think it's more likely to simply disappear than to just get redistributed to Russell Gage. Jones was producing a lot of surplus value Gage won't be able to match. 
  • Rams -- 687.5 Fantasy points per season -- This is an offense that has heavily relied on their wide receivers by design, but it'll be interesting to see if that addition of Matthew Stafford changes anything in that regard. The top three of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Josh Reynolds combined for 60.4% of the team's total receiving yards, and it will be interesting to see whether 2020 second-rounder Van Jefferson or 2021 second-rounder Tutu Atwell is ready to step into that No. 3 void. If this offense can take a step forward with Stafford replacing Jared Goff, maybe they can get back to supporting three viable Fantasy WR if one of those guys proves worthy. 
  • Steelers -- 672.8 Fantasy points per season -- Expect more of the same from the Steelers in 2021 based on their personnel, though I remain interested to see how Matt Canada's offense changes the status quo. I still think Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster will dominate production in this offense, but with Ben Roethlisberger playing under center more and the team installing more play action plays, the quick-hitting passes Roethlisberger relied on to Johnson and Smith-Schuster may not be as plentiful. What does that look like now?
  • Cowboys -- 653.1 Fantasy points per season -- This, especially since Kellen Moore took over as offensive coordinator in 2019, has been one of the fastest and most aggressive passing games in the league, and with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, it's going to rely heavily on wide receivers. However, it's worth noting that, while Cooper had a very healthy 23.4% target share playing with Dak Prescott in 2020, Lamb's was just at 16.7% and Gallup was at 11.2%. That 51.3% combined share was actually slightly down from what Cooper, Gallup, and Randall Cobb combined for in 2019 as the top three. Will the Cowboys dramatically re-shape how they distribute targets to account for Lamb's growth? If not, there could be a lot of disappointed Fantasy managers out there. Especially those drafting Lamb like a No. 1 WR. 

Worst offenses for WR

  • Ravens -- 414.6 Fantasy points per season -- It should come as no surprise that Baltimore has been the worst offense in the NFL for WR production over the past three seasons. Part of that is just because they don't throw the ball often with Lamar Jackson. Part of it is surely that Mark Andrews has been Jackson's favorite target. But it's also partially about how bad the WR group in Baltimore has been over the years. With a year-three Marquise Brown joined by 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman and free agent signee Sammy Watkins, this is the most talented group they've had with Jackson. So, we're going to learn how much of the WR issues here are truly WR issues. Either way, I don't think you can assume anyone here will be much more than a boom-or-bust WR3. 
  • Washington Football Team -- 443.1 Fantasy points per season -- Washington was 25th in the league in passing yardage in 2020, and that was their best season in the last three. This one can be pinned on QB play as much as anything, especially in 2020, when they threw just 16 touchdowns and averaged 6.3 yards per attempt while non-WR J.D. McKissic and Logan Thomas tied for second on the team with 110 targets. That was largely Alex Smith's doing. Expectations are much higher for the Ryan Fitzpatrick era, and he should get them closer to 4,000 yards passing if he doesn't exceed it, and the addition of Curtis Samuel gives them a truly reliable No. 2 WR for the first time since the days of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson back in 2016. This should be a much better offense for WR than it has in recent years. 
  • Raiders -- 448.0 Fantasy points per season -- When you've got a guy like Darren Waller, you're naturally going to have less production coming from your wide receivers. However, the Raiders need more playmaking from their wide receiver group. Nelson Agholor was a very useful option in 2020, but they need Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards to step up in 2021. Or, at least one of them. We've seen Derek Carr support multiple 1,000-yard WR before. Waller will be one of them. Can Ruggs or Edwards make a leap? 
  • Eagles -- 455.1 Fantasy points per season -- This is another situation where the Eagles just haven't had a WR worth throwing to since Alshon Jeffery was on a 1,000-yard pace in 2018. The hope is Devonta Smith and Jalen Reagor can give them two of them in 2021, but even then, there might only be so much they can do in an offense that is always going to heavily involve their tight ends (especially if Zach Ertz doesn't get traded) and isn't going to throw the ball much as long as Jalen Hurts is playing QB. He'll cost his WR production through scrambling, and the Eagles will almost certainly lean on the running game more to take advantage of Hurts' dangerous skills in the read-option game. 
  • 49ers -- 479.0 Fantasy points per season -- This is an important one, given the apparent stakes involved. Fantasy Twitter is seemingly tearing itself apart every other day arguing about Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Personally, I think it's weird that there's been so much contentious talk around those two, because I think it's relatively low stakes. Aiyuk and Samuel are both great receivers with unique skill sets that Kyle Shanahan will surely maximize. But Shanahan will also surely maximize the running game. And we know George Kittle is going to be the No. 1 target in the passing game anyway. Aiyuk and Samuel are potentially fighting for the No. 2 spot in a low-volume (albeit high-efficiency) offense, and there just isn't much evidence to suggest that there's room for an elite Fantasy option in the passing game as long as Kittle is active -- Aiyuk was on pace for 59 catches, 787 yards, and five touchdowns on 91 targets in the games he played with Kittle. I've got both Aiyuk and Samuel ranked as mid-range WR3 targets, but I'm not drafting either very much. I'll let everyone else fight over them. 

WR Rankings - My top 75

You can always see how Jamey, Dave, and Heath have 'em ranked right here, by the way. These are my PPR rankings as of Tuesday, Aug. 10. See something you disagree with? Have a question? Email me at Chris.Towers@CBSi.com and let me know about it. 

  1. Davante Adams
  2. Stefon Diggs
  3. DeAndre Hopkins
  4. Tyreek Hill
  5. Calvin Ridley
  6. A.J. Brown
  7. Allen Robinson
  8. Justin Jefferson
  9. Robert Woods
  10. Keenan Allen
  11. D.K. Metcalf
  12. Terry McLaurin
  13. Cooper Kupp
  14. Julio Jones
  15. Tyler Lockett
  16. Amari Cooper
  17. D.J. Moore
  18. CeeDee Lamb
  19. Mike Evans
  20. Chris Godwin
  21. Diontae Johnson
  22. Ja'Marr Chase
  23. Kenny Golladay
  24. Courtland Sutton
  25. Curtis Samuel
  26. Adam Thielen
  27. Michael Thomas
  28. Brandon Aiyuk
  29. Deebo Samuel
  30. Will Fuller
  31. Chase Claypool
  32. Odell Beckham
  33. T.Y. Hilton
  34. Jerry Jeudy
  35. Robby Anderson
  36. Tee Higgins
  37. Brandin Cooks
  38. Tyler Boyd
  39. Jarvis Landry
  40. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  41. D.J. Chark
  42. Laviska Shenault
  43. Corey Davis
  44. Emmanuel Sanders
  45. Rondale Moore
  46. Mike Williams
  47. Michael Pittman
  48. Marvin Jones
  49. DeVonta Smith
  50. Marquise Brown
  51. Elijah Moore
  52. Mecole Hardman
  53. Jaylen Waddle
  54. Antonio Brown
  55. DeVante Parker
  56. John Brown
  57. Michael Gallup
  58. John Brown
  59. Darnell Mooney
  60. Jalen Reagor
  61. Rashod Bateman
  62. Marques Callaway
  63. Tyrell Williams
  64. Russell Gage
  65. Henry Ruggs
  66. Sterling Shepard
  67. Denzel Mims
  68. Tre'Quan Smith
  69. Terrace Marshall
  70. AJ Green
  71. Allen Lazard
  72. KJ Hamler
  73. Jakobi Meyers
  74. Cole Beasley
  75. Kadarius Toney