In dynasty fantasy football, there are two young wide receivers who are in the top tier of the position. Who is the Dynasty WR #3?
If you look at virtually any set of dynasty rankings, you will likely see Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson as the top two wide receivers. But after that, there is no clear answer as the next wide receiver tier is rather large. But that begs the question, who is the WR #3 in dynasty?
The 2021 WR #1
Since fantasy football scoring is based on NFL player production, it makes sense to start at last season’s top scorer. Regardless of the settings, Cooper Kupp was the WR # 1 in fantasy football during 2021. Last year, in full-point PPR formats, Kupp produced 439.5 fantasy points, which made a massive 95.2 point difference between him and the next best WR. Even if he doesn’t replicate his 2021 numbers, Kupp could still finish as the top scorer at the position once again in 2022. Having a player with Kupp’s potential production would be a gift for any manager looking to win their dynasty league this year.
Now, production aside, there are other numbers that dynasty managers will cling to. Truth is, a significant age difference exists between Kupp and the top two dynasty wide receivers. He is 6 years older than Jefferson, and 7 years older than Chase. So in terms of startup drafts, and trade value, Kupp’s current ceiling is dynasty WR #3. But given his production, he might arguably be the best candidate to fill that value role.
There are a couple of super productive veteran wide receivers changing teams. Davante Adams was traded to the Raiders, while Tyreek Hill was moved to the Dolphins. Both pass-catchers receive a QB downgrade, but with the opportunity to maintain their volume from previous seasons. After all, in 2020, Adams and Hill were the WR #1 and #2 respectively in PPR scoring. Can they recapture their old production with new teams?
Considering what Copper Kupp did last year, I would say there is little chance either Adams or Hill are drafted before the Rams WR in any format. That includes in dynasty where Kupp feels like the likelier candidate to be the WR #3.
The Young Group
Given that age is so impactful in dynasty value, it is only fair to take a look at a group of young wide receivers looking to take the title of WR #3 in dynasty (and perhaps even challenge Chase and Jefferson). Starting with what may be the most common answer for in WR #3 question in dynasty: CeeDee Lamb.
Lamb is only 23 years old and entering his third NFL season. So far, he has combined for over 2,000 yards in his first two campaigns but has not eclipsed 80 catches or 6 touchdowns in either year. During the 2021 season, he was the WR #19 overall in PPR scoring. Good, perhaps great, but not difference-making production.
However, because of a recent WR trade involving the Cowboys, Lamb is now the unquestioned alpha in the team’s passing attack. Can he take his production to the next level? If he does see more than the 120 targets he received last season, then Lamb should ascend to the next tier.
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However, there are other young wide receivers who could all stake a claim at the WR #3 status in dynasty. Former college teammates A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf have both had very productive careers so far in the NFL. But both have gone through situation changes in 2022. The Seahawks traded away Metcalf’s QB, while Brown himself was moved from the Titans to the Eagles. How will they fare with new quarterbacks throwing to them? Perhaps not enough production to validate WR # 3 value.
What about a WR who likely isn’t the top option on his own team? Should Tee Higgins receive any consideration? A young pass-catcher still on his rookie contract and tied to an immensely talented QB. Last season, Higgins was the WR #20 in PPR scoring and WR #13 in fantasy points-per-game. That was a slight improvement from his rookie year. But so far in his short career, Higgins has shown a certain level of consistency. He could easily repeat 2021’s numbers, or perhaps even better them, and reach the next level of production and value.
Sticking with the NFC North, could Diontae Johnson have a chance to increase his dynasty value? He finished as the WR #8 in PPR scoring, and his QB outlook in 2022 might actually be an improvement. Yes Big Ben had the veteran mind, but his arm was not the same. Having physically able quarterbacks that can get him the ball downfield should allow Johnson to unlock a further ceiling. At the very least, he could increase his efficiency. If he can do that and maintain 160+ targets, then Johnson should produce another top 10 WR season.
All of the players mentioned so far in the article have solid arguments to make for the dynasty WR #3. However, my answer would be Stefon Diggs. I simply think, he has done it before. In 2020, Diggs was the WR #3 in fantasy football with 328.6 fantasy points in PPR scoring. While not quite as impressive as Kupp’s production last season, Diggs is also slightly younger.
Certainly, the volume has been there for Diggs since his arrival in Buffalo. In back-to-back seasons with the Bills, he has received over 160 targets. Reprising that same role for the next couple of seasons should allow him to remain as a prized dynasty possession. Entering a startup draft, he would be my pick at WR after Chase and Jefferson are off the board.
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But as mentioned throughout the article, there are many WR options available for managers. Thank you for reading my opinion about the Dynasty WR #3. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL content available on Full Press Coverage.
– Kyle Senra is the managing editor for the Full Press Fantasy Sports. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @SenraSays Follow @FPC_FantasyPod and Facebook.
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