After a historic rookie season, it will be hard for Jaylen Waddle to improve upon it. In 2021, Waddle set a new record for most catches made by a rookie. He broke Anquan Boldin’s record set back in 2003. That’s quite a debut.
In his second year with the Dolphins, he’s entering a new offensive system and a new partner at wide receiver. The Dolphins got Tyreek Hill to wreck defenses with and to partner with Waddle. It remains to be seen if either Hill or Waddle perform the “Deebo” role in new head coach Mike McDaniel’s 49ers-esque offense. If Waddle gets some more rushes, watch out.
2021 Season Recap
As mentioned above, Waddle set the record for most receptions in a rookie year with 104. He did that on 140 targets for 1,015 yards. Jaylen caught six touchdowns while rushing for one. He did have some concerns due to fumbling twice. However, I wouldn’t be worried about fumbling concerns. He only averaged 9.8 yards per reception, which I’d expect to rise in the future. There are no concerns about his future as he played on 83% of the offensive snaps. He showed great chemistry with QB Tua Tagovailoa.
2022 Season Projections
Waddle is set up to continue to build off a terrific rookie season, although perhaps not to the level of catches. With Hill in tow, expect Waddle to get open more often. This will lead to more yardage and deeper targets. However, Hill will take a lot of targets away, which will cause Waddle’s target share and catch numbers to decrease. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rush quite a bit more than in 2021 due to Coach McDaniel’s system.
Above are my projections for Waddle. He does get an increase in rushing attempts, but there’s no clear call on whether he or Hill gets more rushes. If Waddle does start to get an increased amount of rushes early in the season, I will be trying to acquire him. Once again, Waddle gets over 1,000 yards but does see a loss of 15 targets and 11 catches. Waddle still will average over 14 PPR ppg, which is good for a WR1/2.
Buy/Sell Jaylen Waddle
Waddle is only 23 and will turn 24 during the season. He’s a great asset in dynasty. I’m sure a lot of championship teams had him last year. His age makes him one of the best WRs to own in dynasty. He is young enough for rebuilding teams. His competition for targets from Hill and Mike Gesicki will prevent him from scoring too much. In a year or two, he’s still going to be a great player for your dynasty team.
Likewise, he’s excellent for contenders. Waddle will be a high-end WR2. To win a championship, you need many strong players who consistently score points. Waddle is that guy. He’ll give you a reliable number of high points with a bonus for even more. If McDaniels starts having him rush more, that makes Waddle even more valuable. As of right now, he’s worth two late firsts or maybe a mid-first and high second.
Waddle is on pace for another strong season only as the Dolphins WR2 this year. He will get fewer double coverages and more single coverages, thanks to Hill’s presence. This will allow Waddle to get deeper targets and more yardage. That comes with the sacrifice of targets and catches. Regardless, Waddle is a name to own in dynasty. He will be an elite WR for dynasty teams for many years. Expect another high-end WR2 finish for Waddle as the Dolphins seek to make the playoffs.
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