Jaylen Waddle has been one of the most exciting wide receivers in the NFL just two years into his career. Waddle has done this despite playing behind one of the best wide receivers in the league, Tyreek Hill. Stepping into his third season, what does the future hold for Waddle?
Waddle came into the NFL with extremely high expectations after being drafted 6th overall. Stepping into a depleted Dolphins wide receiver room Waddle did not disappoint. Waddle became the only wide receiver since Anquan Boldin to catch 100 passes and 1,000 yards in their rookie season.
Jaylen Waddle set a rookie record with 104 catches in 2021 🔥— NFL (@NFL) June 2, 2023
Can that record be broken in 2023? If so, by who? pic.twitter.com/Y4lzsAPBti
After dominating with the Dolphins in 2021, it was expected that Waddle would be the alpha wide receiver again and dominate. Things didn’t go quite to plan as the team brought in one of the best wide receivers in the league, Tyreek Hill.
Hill had a phenomenal year averaging 20.1 PPG and finishing as the wide receiver two. Despite this, Waddle averaged 15.2 PPG, which was good for wide receiver nine on the year. Even though Waddle didn’t draw as many targets, his efficiency improved– a lot.
Tyreek Hill (961) and Jaylen Waddle (727) own the most combined receiving yards (1,688) by a duo through the first 8 games of a season in NFL history 🐬pic.twitter.com/L6jBTuSgHX— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 30, 2022
Waddle went from 63.4 receiving yards per game in his rookie season to 79.8 in his second year. On top of this, Waddle improved his yards per target from 7.2 to 11.6 and his yards per reception from 9.8 to 18.1.
2023 Season Outlook
Going into his third year, I expect Waddle to dominate once again. I believe Tua Tagovailoa will take a big step forward this year and continue to support Hill and Waddle. Hill should still be great next year, but it’s important to remember that he’s turning 30.
While Hill is a great player, I don’t expect him to be a top-three wide receiver again. Instead, it’s much more likely that Waddle takes a more prominent role in this offense as Hill gradually takes a step back.
For 2023 Waddle has an ADP of WR11 on Underdog Fantasy, and that’s where I have him ranked as well. He’s still behind guys like Davante Adams, Garrett Wilson, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. However, he’s slightly ahead of Chris Olave and significantly ahead of DeVonta Smith for me.
Waddle’s Dynasty Value
Right now, according to NerdsADP, Waddle has an ADP of WR6. This is extremely expensive, but it’s for a good reason. A few players slightly ahead of him are A. J. Brown, CeeDee Lamb, and Garrett Wilson.
The primary reason these players are ahead of Waddle is that they’re all currently the alpha wide receivers in their offense. Even though Waddle was highly productive, there’s no doubt his ceiling is capped playing next to Hill.
The players being drafted just behind him are Breece Hall, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Bryce Young. This is deserved, as all three players are solid picks, but Waddle is a tier ahead of them for me.
Waddle is by far one of the most interesting cases in dynasty. Many people are quick to overlook him due to his target competition with Hill but don’t understand a key few statistics. I’m not aggressively buying Waddle due to his cost; he’s a player I’m incredibly high on in dynasty.