Now that the draft is over and behind us, it is time to dissect it and see who the real 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie WR/TE Analysis winners of the weekend, specifically Round 1.
Wide receivers went off the board early and often, 36 in total. Tight ends were not nearly as deep with only 11 being selected.
In this article, I will break down some of the key wide receivers and tight ends based on talent and fit with the team that drafted them in the first round. I will also get into their fantasy value for 2021 and/or beyond, for those in dynasty leagues.
Click here for 2021 Fantasy Football WR/TE Analysis: Rounds 2-7!
2021 Fantasy Football Rookie WR/TE Analysis: Round 1
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Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons (Pick 4)
New Falcons TE Kyle Pitts was as reliable as it gets last season ?
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) April 30, 2021
The Atlanta Falcons made Kyle Pitts the highest tight end ever selected when they took him fourth overall. I still stand by my claim that Pitts is the most talents non-QB prospect in this draft.
Pitts is a weapon the second he steps on the field. I expect him to be in among the top-5 dynasty tight ends, an immediate contributor and a monster in the red zone. Double-digit touchdowns, while may sound crazy, could very well happen.
Do not let the “rookie TEs do not produce” lore scare you away from Pitts in re-draft leagues. He can be drafted as an every week starter. Pitts is not like rookie TEs of the past. He is a different breed.
Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (5th Pick)
Chase constantly wins the tough contested catches, knowing exactly how to use his physical frame. The Bengals were lacking that in 2020. With Higgins and Boyd already on the team, odds are the Chase should eat up single coverage all year long.
He should quickly become a favorite of Burrow, picking up where they left off at LSU. He should be the first rookie wide receiver drafted, regardless of the format you are in.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins (6th Pick)
Roll Fins! ?
— ESPN (@espn) April 30, 2021
Pairing wide receivers with their college quarterbacks seemed to be a theme early in the draft as the Dolphins followed suit and paired Jaylon Waddle with Tua one pick after the Bengals did the same.
Waddle adds an explosive playmaking dynamic to the offense that the Dolphins desperately lacked. He is a threat to score every time he has the ball in his hands.
With the uncertainty of how Tua will progress, I will remain bullish on taking Waddle high in re-draft leagues. I feel more comfortable with him as a bench guy to start the season, and see how he develops.
DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (10th Pick)
On the surface, this one was a bit of a head-scratcher. Smith is similar in some traits to Jalen Reagor and they will start opposite each other in 2021.
With that aside, there is no doubting the talent Smith brings to the Eagles. He is a smooth route runner with strong hands that knows how to get open. Smith should lead the Eagles in receptions.
As noted above about the progression of Tua, the same can be said about Jalen Hurts. I do believe that Smith will be the #1 in Philly, but his production right away may lack. The WR 2/3 off the board in dynasty makes sense. In re-draft, nothing more then a bench spot with high upside the first few weeks.
Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants (20th Pick)
Speaking of head-scratchers, with all the wide receivers still on the board, the Giants, after trading down option for Kadarius Toney.
The speed that Toney has, combined with the electrifying play-making ability, should give Daniel Jones the wide receiver he has been lacking since the Giants drafted him. Toney instantly becomes the Giants premier outside wide receiver.
I am not the biggest Toney fan. He ran a limited route tree at Florida and landed on a run first team. Combine that with the lack of creativity at times on the play call makes for year one bust. I would leave him on the wire to start a re-draft season.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens (27th Pick)
Rashod Bateman is ridiculous ?
Lamar Jackson has his WR1 ‼️ pic.twitter.com/xRTTeWlwFl
— PFF (@PFF) May 3, 2021
Everyone seems to hate this fit, and the narrative with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens passing game gives them the reason to hate it.
I however still love Bateman and he is the best weapon in the passing game that Jackson has played with. He is a physical receiver that can play out wide or in the slot. His game really translates to the NFL, and despite having Jackson at quarterback, he will be just fine.
My WR 3/4 in dynasty, I am not afraid to take the leap with Bateman. All the kid has ever done is produce. Yes, the question of Lamar lingers, but his dynasty upside is legit. For re-draft leagues, like Waddle and Smith, take him as a dart through. Someone who may not produce till later in the season.
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