Fantasy Football

2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball WR Hit Rates


The biggest key to winning in 2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball drafts is to identify an edge. A majority of these edges come from roster construction and building the most optimal roster.

To identify these edges, I’ve been running through a miniseries on positional hit rates. This article on the wide receiver position will be a wrap for the series.

If you missed any of the previous articles, be sure to check them out: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Tight Ends.

All articles should apply to most Best Ball sites, whether they’re full PPR (DraftKings and RTSports) or half PPR (Underdog and Yahoo).

So without further ado, let’s get into the wide receiver numbers.

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2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball WR Hit Rates

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The Process

What we’re looking for here with positional hit rates are usable weeks. Hit rates can help us identify just how usable players are by how likely they are to make it into our lineups.

By analyzing how these hit rates correlate with ADP, we can identify sharper drafting strategies. For instance, if you wait to take your first receiver until round 4, can you make up for the production by taking nine or ten receivers total?

To determine these hit rates, we must first establish thresholds. These thresholds are the average scores needed to reach a particular hit rate tier.

For the wide receiver position, I will break it down into three hit rates tiers: WR1 (top-12), WR2 (top-24), and WR3 (top-36). These three tiers provide both a floor (WR3) and a ceiling (WR1) to analyze. The WR3 tier will also represent the “usable week” metric.

Wide Reciever Hit Rate Thresholds (PPR)


Wide Receiver Hit Rate Threshold (Half-PPR)


A simple way to look at these thresholds is that a wide receiver will have a usable week when they score approximately 10 points in half-PPR and 12 points in PPR. It won’t take much for a wide receiver to make it into your lineup on a week they manage to score a touchdown.

The Trends

Now that the hit rate thresholds are established, we can compare how ADP correlated with the hit rates for wide receivers in 2020.

2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball

2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball

The first noticeable trend is the difference in the floor compared to the ceiling. Even with the top few wide receivers drafted, the WR2 and WR3 hit rates are much closer than the WR1 hit rates.

This is probably due in part to how volatile the wide receiver position is. For instance, the WR1 threshold for PPR is 20.67 points. However, only two wide receivers averaged more than 20.67 points per game last season.

Another interesting aspect of the trends is that there is no “bounce back” near the end of the draft for wide receivers like there was for running backs—the hit rates for running backs increase in the last few rounds of drafts.

For wide receivers, the trend continues downwards for the most part. Although looking at an ADP above 200, there’s both a decent amount of zero hit rates, as well as 10-40% hit rates.

That’s because most drafters are taking a dart throw at wide receiver in the last couple of rounds in a Best Ball draft. And while a hit rate of 10-40% doesn’t seem like much, it corresponds to roughly 2-to-6 usable weeks.

We don’t need our late-round fliers on wide receivers to necessarily be massive breakouts like Chase Claypool. Sometimes just finding a Russell Gage or Josh Reynolds will do.

The main thing is trying not to land a dud on your roster who will never make it into your lineup (John Ross). Otherwise, having a player who can contribute to your score on a few bye weeks or down weeks is the goal.

The Results

Now we can move onto more of an individualized look at these hit rates. For this, I’ve broken down the average hit rate for wide receivers by draft round.

WR Hit Rates by Round (PPR)


WR Hit Rate by Round (Half-PPR)


The first key thing to note is that the round 1 hit rates are skewed. Based on the ADP utilized, Michael Thomas was the only receiver with an average ADP within the first round. So because of his injury-plagued year, Thomas is weighing down the round one-hit rates.

Aside from that, it’s evident the drop-off in the ceiling is massive after round 2. This is similar to the drop-off running backs experienced after the first round.

Alternatively, those first-round running backs were much more consistent, with hit rates much closer to 100%. The fact that no round of wide receivers even produced WR3 numbers more than 72% of their weeks further reiterates the volatility of the position.

Looking at the end of the draft, it’s clear wide receivers in the last couple of rounds can have some usable weeks. The issue is, their ceiling is almost always capped. This is why I always leaned towards Zero RB and modified Zero RB builds where I can load up on some early wide receivers for their high ceilings.

The Takeaways

With all of the hit rates established for the positions, I plan to use the data for some tangent studies in the future. I hope to combine all of the hit rates on a per-round basis and run some simulated drafts.

Essentially I will be analyzing various Best Ball builds to see which yield the most optimal hit rates. After all, roster construction is one of the biggest edges in Best Ball.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers!

About Preston White

Preston is a long time Fantasy Football player, and a big time Best Ball guy. He finds great joy in life's pleasures including data, analytics, IPAs, and #ZeroRB drafting. Feel free to give him a shout on Twitter (@FF_Engineer_) regarding anything Fantasy Football and Best Ball related.

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  1. Pingback: Fantasy Football Best Ball: Identifying Late Round WR - Fantasy Six Pack

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