Editor’s note: This article is by Member Corner writer Cody Wallinger. Please welcome Cody and provide constructive feedback in the comments section.
I have decided to break down the three big positions (quarterback, running back, and wide receiver) from each division across the NFL. In doing so, I’ve determined that my top four, regardless of team, will be discussed. In some positional breakdowns, that means every team will be represented. However, that’s not a universal certainty. The reality of the situation is that some teams are heavily stacked in particular areas and may find themselves represented multiple times.
Please keep in mind that these rankings are my own. I have no intention of being controversial. However, please also keep in mind that this is from a dynasty lens, tinted with a proven production finished coating.
I hope you enjoy!
1. Stefon Diggs, BUF
Diggs comes in hot as your number one AFC East receiver, and by a pretty extensive margin. As 2020’s fantasy WR3, all Diggs managed to do in his first season as a Bill is lead the league in targets (166), receptions (127), and yards (1,535). I mean, from a fantasy football perspective and particularly a dynasty lens, what else could you want and/or ask for? Sure, touchdowns are always welcome, but they are extremely unpredictable. Thus, I’ve usually held to the belief that they aren’t the best indicator for future success. Nonetheless, Diggs finding paydirt eight times (tied-15th) was just icing on the cake.
In the dynasty universe, when attempting to predict future success and value, we tend to favor age over production. Thus, players like Ja’Marr Chase (21), CeeDee Lamb (22), and even Calvin Ridley (26) will often get the nod above 27-year-old Stefon Diggs in ADP and rankings. Listen, I’m not mad about it. There’s no denying the talent and opportunity surrounding said young studs. However, when the rubber meets the road, and it comes time to invest in your draft I tend to think dynasty managers let production weigh a bit heavier on their minds. Ultimately, I’m taking Diggs along with all the production he’s delivered.
With Josh Allen getting a new six-year extension including $150 million guaranteed, the foundation for Diggs to replicate his career year in 2021 and beyond is firmly in place. If you are asking for my advice, I’m all for buying him in every format you can. Push his age on current owners, while keeping in mind it’s not really a factor.
2. Elijah Moore, NYJ
Although he was drafted 34th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and was the sixth wide receiver off the board last April, Moore is currently my WR2 from this rookie class. Yes, I’ve said it… and honestly, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rashod Bateman and DeVonta Smith… and I really like Jaylen Waddle, Rondale Moore, and Terrace Marshall. I am just obsessed with New York’s newest WR weapon.
As the WR37 and 105th overall dynasty asset in superflex startups, the nice thing right now is the potential to buy Moore at a decent price. With that said, I will add that you’re always better off reaching to get your guy, as opposed to crossing your fingers and hoping they fall. Now, continuing down this acquisitional pathway – if your draft has already taken place, I think you’re going to have a harder time adding him to your roster. Like it or not, dynasty owners have a tendency to prop up their guys (especially their new guys) on a pedestal. Couple that with the way camp reports have been buzzing about Moore lately and well… you’re going to have to pay.
However, I’m here to tell you the 5’9, 185 lb former Ole Miss product is worth every penny. I have almost zero reservation that what it will cost to acquire him will pale in comparison to what you’ll have to pay in 365 days. This whole offense is on the rise. With first-year head coach Robert Saleh fully invested in his opening draft class, as well as newly acquired free agent WR Corey Davis coming over to mentor and take attention away from Moore, my goodness people… just do it.
3. Jaylen Waddle, MIA
As the second wide receiver and sixth overall player selected in 2021’s NFL Draft, I’m sure you’re a little perplexed to see me slide Waddle to the number three divisional ranking. Well, I’m sorry. The truth of the matter is I’m just not there yet with Miami’s new speedster. Now, in the same breath, I’m not discounting his potential professional climb.
Yes, before his gruesome 2020 ankle injury, it’s true that Waddle was averaging 6.3 catches a game while accounting for a team-high 557 receiving yards (74 more yards than the eventual Heisman Trophy winner himself, DeVonta Smith). However, when I look at Waddle’s transition to the league, I have a hard time finding a player he replicates and is deserving of such high draft capital. Of course, everyone’s go-to for small speedsters seems to be Tyreek Hill, and for me, it’s a hard pass.
All of them were drafted higher than Hill, who didn’t find his Kansas City home until the 165th selection. Yes, I know there was behavioral issues that caused the fall. Fine, but honestly, I don’t care. I think the truth is that while Hill was a baller at West Alabama, he slipped through the cracks. Nowadays, we spend so much time trying to find his duplicate we sometimes sacrifice other important variables at the altar of speed.
Like anyone else, I love me some speed. My real point is just that at Waddle’s current WR35 price (DLF’s Superflex Dynasty Ranking) and the 99th overall player off draft boards, I’m looking to grab a variety of other assets. With Michael Carter (100 ADP), Elijah Moore (105 ADP), Rashod Bateman (109), and Rondale Moore (117 ADP) going later on, I’m looking to invest in a different place.
4. Corey Davis, NYJ
Listen, if the Jets offense is about to become as much fun as I’ve made them out to be, we may need to bump Davis up all our draft boards. With an upgraded offensive line, a new (and exciting) incoming rookie class, headlined by number two overall pick Zach Wilson, and a rather porous defense (important for fantasy purposes), a handful of stars seem to be aligning.
Of course, age is a fact in all things dynasty, and where Elijah Moore (21 years old) and Jaylen Waddle (22) have the edge on Corey Davis (26), there, he might hold it in most other categories. The former fifth overall draft pick is easily one of the most dynamic and impressive physical specimens we’ve seen emerge into the league.
While the first four years of his young career have been marred by some injuries, I can’t help but feel his landing spot created more of a negative narrative than anything. Yes, AJ Brown blew up, but just so we’re on the same page, Davis is not Brown. Brown is in a league of his own. However, what Davis and his 6’2, 212 lb frame coupled with his 4.45 speed (78th percentile) can offer is something every NFL quarterback dreams of – mismatches.
If you can move past your potential ageist subconscious and find a way to bring New York’s new #84 into your fold, at or below his current WR50 and overall 117 superflex ADP, I can’t help but think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. After all, he’s got the one thing we preach so heavily, in the fantasy football world: opportunity.
You can follow me on Twitter at @CodyWallinger.