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Wide Receiver Sleepers: The Case For The 1,000 Yard Season

Sixteen. There were 16 receivers who crossed the 1,000 receiving yard threshold on the season last year. The WR rankings ended up being all over the board for those 16 receivers. Davante Adams finished WR1, while Robby Anderson finished WR27. Point being, let’s find this year’s Robby Anderson (I don’t think it’ll be Robby Anderson)… that’s how you win a league.

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1,000 Yard Candidates

A.J. Green

Well, well, well. The prodigal son returns. This time, he’s wearing an Arizona jersey. I tend to take a macro approach when making projections. Easiest way to go about it is to start with the high-flying offenses. Kyler Murray threw for just under 4,000 yards last year. He would’ve thrown for more, had he not needed to run for almost 900. DeAndre Hopkins is the unquestioned WR1, and number 1 corners will shadow him all day. That leaves Christian Kirk and A.J. Green to get the second and third corners on a team. It’s a great scenario for both of them, but I think it benefits Green more. Green isn’t a stranger to All-Pro success. This is the first year he’s been healthy in quite some time, and reporters are saying that he looks like the 2015 version of himself. Frankly speaking, even if he’s lost a step, he’s going to get plenty of targets in this offense, which will be in line for their fair share of shootouts. Opportunity is the name of the game, and A.J. Green will have that.

Russell Gage

I feel like I’m cheating a bit here because not only is Gage not a sleeper at this point anymore, but he also had just under 800 yards last year. He’s been knocking at the 1,000-yard mark for a bit now. The thesis on Gage is simple. No Julio Jones, means Gage easily jumps into the WR2 on the team. The Falcons were bad with Julio; they will be worse without him. That means plenty of positive game scripts for the passing attack, as they will need to come from behind often. Lastly, his QB is solid. Matt Ryan is a given to throw for big yards every year. The only knock on him is that they can’t win the big games with him at the helm. I’m not entirely sure that’s completely on Ryan either. Gage should eclipse 1,000 yards this season… easily.

Jakobi Meyers

I know Cam was a mess throwing the football last season, but sometimes you have to make a bet. There were several excuses we could make for Cam’s performance last year. This year, there are none. He’s healthy. He’s got a full offseason of work. He knows the offense. He hasn’t had any COVID-related absences. We’re going to see what Cam has left as he tries to fend off Mac Jones this year. The tight ends and Jakobi Meyers are going to get all they can handle. Meyers has become the unquestioned WR1 of this group. Coming off a season where he had 729 yards on 81 targets, you can expect more with Cam at his best. Meyers has a very high floor for his ADP, in my opinion. I’m comfortable with that bet.

Mecole Hardman

41 catches, 62 targets. 560 yards. 4TDs. Those are not the numbers of the WR2 on the Kansas City Chiefs. Shoot, Patty Mahomes might have four side-armed touchdowns to Hardman this year. I just know his total touchdowns will be much higher. With Sammy Watkins gone, Hardman is no longer relegated to the snaps that had three and four receivers lined up. He’s going to be an every-down receiver this year. That means he’s going to get last year’s numbers in his sleep. It’s easy to be down on Hardman since he’s been hyped over the past few years, he’s also struggled with drops. But with the increase in targets, I’m expecting this year, I don’t believe his drops will even matter for him to get 1,000 yards. Don’t be afraid to go get Hardman.

For more Rankings and Analysis please check out our full 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.

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