1.  
WR  LAR
Rec
111
Rec Yds
1469
Rec TD
10
Rec Avg
13.2
Rush Att
5
Rush Yds
32
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
6.4
Kupp became the second receiver in NFL history to catch 145 passes in a season, the second to reach 1,900 yards, the fourth in the last 55 years to win the triple crown and the eighth to win Super Bowl MVP. He did all that in one season, breaking out at 28 after being a fourth- or fifth- round pick in fantasy leagues. The question now is whether he can live up to the new price in Round 1. The argument against him, apart from regression to the mean, centers around Kupp's pre-2021 profile (that of a good player, not a dominant one). While concerns about his 4.62 40 or small-school college career are distant memories, Kupp's mediocre 2020 stat line isn't. A QB upgrade from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford was a big part of the story, but Kupp himself took a huge step forward. His catch rate (75.9 percent) was a career high, and 10.2 YPT was his most for a full season by a full yard. To post those efficiency numbers while being targeted on 31.3 percent of routes (third highest among WRs) is impressive, to say the least. Also impressive? Leading the league in YAC (894) whilst ranking second in completed air yards (1,051). Or, leading the league in yards from out routes (296) and also placing second on crossing routes (346) and third on posts (258). Kupp has coach/QB stability, playing in a Sean McVay offense that annually ranks top 10 (and usually top 5) in neutral-situation pace and pass rate. If nothing else, Kupp is set up nicely for the second-best season of his career.
2.  
WR  MIN
Rec
106
Rec Yds
1517
Rec TD
9
Rec Avg
14.3
Rush Att
6
Rush Yds
33
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
5.5
On a per-target basis, Jefferson's second NFL season (9.7 YPT) wasn't quite as dominant as his first (11.2). But that's nitpicking; the bigger picture shows he added 42 targets from the previous year and was still one of the most efficient wideouts in the league. Only 11 produced more yards per target, and that includes four who saw 70 or fewer passes. Jefferson finished fourth among WRs in targets and catches, second in receiving yards and tied for sixth in touchdowns. The 23-year-old often makes it look easy, seemingly playing both bigger and faster than his on-paper metrics suggest (6-1, 195, 4.43 40, 37.5-inch vertical). From a fantasy standpoint, there's just as much to like, with Jefferson playing in an above-average offense that has enough weapons to keep defenses honest but nobody to challenge him as the go-to guy. Jefferson surpassed Adam Thielen for that honor mid-2020, and while the 31-year-old Thielen scored 10 touchdowns last year, he saw 2.5 fewer targets per game than his young running mate (9.8 to 7.3). If anything, the split could go even more in Jefferson's direction this year, though there is another variable with new head coach Kevin O'Connell arriving from the Rams. Other than that, stability is the story, with QB Kirk Cousins and RB Dalvin Cook joining Jefferson, Thielen and TE Irv Smith to form one of the league's more well-rounded groups of skill-position players.
3.  
WR  CIN
Rec
92
Rec Yds
1430
Rec TD
10
Rec Avg
15.5
Rush Att
7
Rush Yds
41
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
5.9
Chase enjoyed one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history last year, instantly proving worthy of the No. 5 pick. Reports from training camp about repeated drops became a distant memory before long ... even though he ultimately committed a league-high 11. The Bengals aren't complaining, in light of the damage Chase did on his 81 catches, finishing second in YPT and YPR and third in YAC (651). He used 4.34 speed to beat defenders over the top — catching 15 of 34 deep targets for 576 yards and eight TDs — but he wasn't overly reliant on go routes, also posting efficient stats on shorter throws (he caught 48 of 62 targets within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and 18 of 27 in the 10-to-19-yard range). If you're looking for negatives, Chase has serious competition for targets, namely from fellow wideout Tee Higgins, who technically got more looks per game than the rookie last year (7.8 to 7.5). But that also means defenses have two perimeter threats to worry about, making it all the harder to defend a monster like Chase. If anything, the offense might even take another step forward after Joe Burrow's 2021 breakout, with the team adding three O-line starters in free agency (C/G Ted Karras, G Alex Cappa, RT La'el Collins). That doesn't mean Chase will avoid regression on some of his loftier averages (e.g. 11.4 YPT, 8.0 YAC), but it does put him in great position to remain among the league's most efficient wideouts per target, with potential to add volume as well.
4.  
WR  SF
Rec
69
Rec Yds
968
Rec TD
6
Rec Avg
14.0
Rush Att
73
Rush Yds
395
Rush TD
3
Rush Avg
5.4
The Niners fully unleashed Samuel last year, after injuries and a fluctuating role limited his impact his first two seasons. The 2019 second-round pick isn't a burner, but he's plenty fast (4.48 40) to get the job done while combining the size (6-0, 215) and ferocity of a running back with the route-running acumen of a veteran wideout. While it's the rushing work that makes him different, Samuel's biggest impact last year was actually chunk plays in the passing game, including five of 50-plus yards in the first two months. Coach Kyle Shanahan was rewarded for changing Samuel's role, again, with the wideout's aDOT rising from a freakishly low 2.2 in 2020 to a normal-ish 8.4 in 2021. He still got screens and shovel passes, but with more opportunities in the intermediate and deep areas as well. Then, in the second half of the year, Samuel played running back to help the team deal with injuries - a role he handled so well that it continued when Elijah Mitchell returned.
5.  
WR  DAL
Rec
86
Rec Yds
1207
Rec TD
9
Rec Avg
14.0
Rush Att
16
Rush Yds
86
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
5.4
Lamb made progress between Years 1 and 2, but it wasn't the leap forward some expected as he instead settled for incremental gains in a balanced Dallas offense. This year it's less crowded, after Amari Cooper was traded to Cleveland and Cedrick Wilson left for Miami. The Cowboys added wideouts James Washington and Jalen Tolbert, and they kept both TE Dalton Schultz and WR Michael Gallup, but there's no longer any question about who's the No. 1 receiver. Lamb previously filled that role with aplomb at Oklahoma, progressing from 807 yards as a true freshman to 2,485 (and 25 TDs) combined in his sophomore and junior seasons. He then put up mediocre numbers at the 2020 Combine, including a 4.50 40, and fell to Dallas in the middle of Round 1. He's no speed demon, to be sure, but makes up for it with agility, balance and precision. He's also a proverbial "plays bigger than he is" guy, having ranked second among WRs with 12 broken tackles last year. Versatility is another plus for Lamb, who has 19 career carries for 158 yards and a TD, in addition to playing both the slot and perimeter. After taking more than 90 percent of his snaps in the slot as a rookie, Lamb dropped to 36 percent in 2021, with his aDOT rising modestly from 9.3 to 10.3. He should see even more work downfield this season, entering Year 3 as the clear No. 1 receiver in an offense that has quality QB and O-line play.
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