It’s a difficult question for sure. With as many talented wide receivers in today’s game, narrowing down who is the best can be tough. Many different factors go into deciding who is the best of the best. For example, age, supporting cast/teammates, QB play, and target share/volume are all huge deciding factors. After taking into consideration all of these factors, I have narrowed down my list.
I believe these are the players that could be argued as the WR1 in Dynasty: Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, D.K. Metcalf, and A.J. Brown. I’m going to examine the criteria above for each of the players I listed to pinpoint the Dynasty WR1. Let’s begin.
Davante Adams, Green Bay
Adams has been one of the most consistent WRs in the NFL and just had his best season ever in 2020. He caught 115 passes for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns which led the NFL. He did all of that while missing two games as well, which shows his dominance. Aaron Rodgers, as of right now, is still his QB, which helps him a lot. They have a great connection and are arguably the top QB-WR duo in the NFL. The age factor is working against Adams since he is the oldest player on my list. He is 28-years old, a bit older for dynasty purposes than you’d typically want as the WR1.
He’s an elite player, though, and what does work in his favor is his supporting cast, or lack thereof, and target share. Packers are hellbent on not bringing in first-round talent on the offensive side of the ball, and Adams is the main beneficiary. In the past three seasons, his target totals are 149, 127, 169. That’s the elite volume that you want your WR1 to receive. His target totals will always be elite, but who will be throwing those passes to him is still in question.
His situation and ranking are very tough to gauge. The talent and targets are not in question, but his age and future QB makes his outlook somewhat murky. Adams is such a great player, and I believe he can succeed with whoever his QB is. It’s hard to put him as the WR1 with multiple questions surrounding him.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City
Hill is one of the best WRs in the NFL and is one of the most difficult players to keep in front of you. His blazing speed and elite footwork make him virtually unguardable. His 2020 season was one of his best seasons as a pro. He caught 87 passes for 1,276 yards and 15 touchdowns. You may also remember his explosion game vs. the Buccaneers when he torched the defense for 269 yards and three touchdowns. He is nothing short of spectacular on the football field.
There is a solid argument that Hill is the WR1 in Dynasty. Patrick Mahomes is going to be throwing him the football for a very long time. Secondly, he demands a good amount of targets every season. He’s drawn 130+ targets in two of the past three seasons. He does have pretty stiff competition for targets; the weapons around him are pretty good. Hill isn’t too old, he’s only 27, but younger players are gold in dynasty. I’m inclined to put him as the WR1 in Dynasty, but his age and competition for targets may put him slightly behind one or two others.
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle
Metcalf enjoyed a breakout season in 2021 and looked unguardable throughout the entire year. His size and speed are hard to contain for a cornerback, and he can beat you multiple ways. His “lack of” route tree was overstated, and he proved he could win at every level of the field. Metcalf has racked up 2,203 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns, caught 141 passes through his first two seasons and averaged an elite 15.6 yards per reception. He’s a matchup nightmare, and his future is very bright. Now, let’s talk about some positives. Metcalf is tied to future Hall-of Famer Russell Wilson for the foreseeable future. He’s only 23-years old, so he fits the criteria of a young-ascending WR. Metcalf is an alpha WR that demands a healthy amount of targets. These are great arguments for him being the WR1 in Dynasty.
On the other hand, there are some negatives that we must look out for when talking about Metcalf. First, the Seahawks want to be a run-first team, even though they have an elite QB. They let Russ “cook” in the first half of the season, to which Metcalf obliterated his opponents. Seahawks quickly shifted back to a run-heavy team for whatever reason. This coaching could limit Metcalf’s potential upside if this keeps happening. On another note, his target share may not be in the upper echelon due to his teammate, Tyler Lockett. In the past two seasons, Lockett has out-targeted Metcalf 242 to 229. Lockett also has him beat on touchdowns as well. Although I expect Metcalf to out-target Lockett this coming season, his lower target share hurts his dynasty outlook for as long as Lockett is on the team.
Metcalf is young, talented, and is tied to an elite QB, which seems like it fits the bill to be the WR1 in Dynasty. As stated above, the Seahawks are holding him back by being run-heavy, and Lockett is great in his own right, so it’ll be tough for him to get an elite target share. Metcalf is awesome, and he needs to prove he can get an elite target share before being labeled as the WR1 in Dynasty.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know my thoughts on A.J. Brown. I’m going to look through an unbiased lens here, though, as I want to be fair when critiquing players. Let’s begin with some of the negatives regarding A.J. Brown. The Titans have superhuman Derrick Henry and love to feed him every season. In Brown’s first two seasons, the Titans have been one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL. Ryan Tannehill has never topped 500 pass attempts in 2019 or 2020, which could hurt Brown’s overall ceiling if they don’t allow him to air it out. Another negative that could be a factor is his insane efficiency to start his career. He could take a slight hit in that category since they have a new OC in Todd Downing. Those are the main two arguments against Brown, albeit not very strong ones.
|Wide Receivers with 2,000+ receiving yards & 18+ TDs in first two seasons|
|Jerry Rice (49ers 1985-86) – 135 receptions, 2,497 yards, 18 touchdowns|
|Randy Moss (Vikings 1998-99) – 149 receptions, 2,726 yards, 28 touchdowns|
|Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals 2004-05) – 161 receptions, 2,189, 18 touchdowns|
|Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants 2014-15) – 187 receptions, 2,755 yards, 25 touchdowns|
|AJ Green (Bengals 2011-12) – 162 receptions, 2,407 yards, 18 touchdowns|
|Julio Jones (Falcons 2011-12) – 133 receptions, 2,157 yards, 18 touchdowns|
|Marques Colston (Saints 2006-07) – 168 receptions, 2,240 yards, 19 touchdowns|
|John Jefferson (Chargers 1978-79) – 117 receptions, 2,091 yards, 23 touchdowns|
|A.J. Brown (Titans 2019-20) – 122 receptions, 2,126 yards, 19 touchdowns|
On the other hand, Brown has quite the argument for the Dynasty WR1. Brown is only 23 years old, 24 when the season starts. Age is a huge factor for many analysts when deciding on who should be ranked as the WR1. Secondly, the talent around him, excluding Henry, is very average at best. His main target competition is Josh Reynolds, rookie Dez Fitzpatrick, and Anthony Firkser at TE. That’s it. If the Titans want to protect Henry from breaking down, that will lead to more pass attempts. Therefore, resulting in a huge target share for Brown. As for the QB play, Tannehill is a very underrated QB and has produced great numbers with the Titans. His volume hasn’t been there, but that could change this season.
There aren’t many solid arguments against Brown not being the WR1 in Dynasty when you break things down. You’re banking on decreased efficiency and Titans continuing to run the ball at a very high rate. The latter could be true still, but I project them to scale Henry’s attempts back to preserve him. This would result in Brown getting fed targets and him having a true breakout season.
All of these WR’s have a great argument for being the WR1 in dynasty formats. Each has a few things working against them as well. Although, one of these wideouts seemingly is in a near-perfect situation, and everyone is starting to realize this realization.
When taking everything into account, Brown would have to be my choice for the dynasty WR1. Additionally, his target share will increase, and he’s going to see more targets than he ever has. He’s extremely efficient and a touchdown machine. Also, you could argue his supporting cast is a clear downgrade from last season as well. Tannehill is playing as well as he’s ever played, which is a huge factor. These reasons are why I strongly believe he is the overall dynasty WR1. You don’t have to agree, but you can’t argue his situation is outstanding, and he will have his true coming-out party in 2021.
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