Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Mileage Fallers

Diontae Johnson fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup choices

While touchdowns are the most coveted game result for wide receivers in fantasy football, total receiving yards must be seriously considered when deciding who to draft for the position. It’s true that receivers have to work harder to rack up yards, and at just one point for every 10 yards received, they’re not worth all that much, but the amount of yards per game WR gains is much higher than the count the yards touchdowns they score and are much more reliable.

That’s why we’re always looking for accurate receivers who are given the best chance of catching passes and putting on as many yards as possible.

Here I take a look at some of the top wide receivers of the 2021 season, who are going down in 2022 in terms of their receiving yards. Don’t be fooled by the high numbers they put up last year as some dips could be coming!

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Wide receivers to accumulate less mileage?

This feels a bit like a party pooper take, but it’s as real as it gets. Look, Diontae has been on the Steelers roster for three seasons, hasn’t even played at the age of 26 and hasn’t stopped improving since he came to the league as a rookie in 2019. Johnson went from WR39 to WR21 and most recently WR8 last season, it’s an extraordinary trajectory. Oh, by the way, there’s a little thing that hits a wall and/or reaches the ceiling. And there I am with Johnson’s positive development.

Johnson’s improvement has to do with both talent and opportunity. As a rookie, he had 680 yards on 92 shots, followed by 923 on 144, and last season he broke the 1,000-yard barrier with 1,161…on 169 (!!!) shots. I’m not saying I would do this thing at that volume, but I would say 50 other wideouts would make it so easy. Chase Claypool should recover a bit and Pittsburgh also brought Miles Boykin and rookie George Pickens to Pitt, not to mention there will be a new quarterback (whether that’s Mitchell Trubisky or Kenny Pickett doesn’t matter) to throw the rock and selects his favorite goals next season. I don’t like this view.

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Meyers entered his third season as a pro last summer without scoring a single touchdown for the Patriots, has never had more than 81 goals and 59 receptions, and has under 730 receiving yards. Of course it had to work out for Jakobi once and for all in the past season. Meyers played to Mac Jones’ strengths and achieved career highlights across the board. He had 126 goals (55% increase over his previous best), 83 receptions (40% increase) and 866 yards (19% increase) while scoring his first two career touchdowns. Not bad, all in all.

For better or worse, the Patriots offense is pretty packed with more than a few options Mac Jones is targeting. The higher the target percentage, the lower the opportunities for each member of the receiving corps, and the lower the opportunities, the fewer counting statistics are available. There’s a very real chance Meyers could lose goals – and therefore mileage – to the likes of TEs Jonnu Smith/Hunter Henry and recently acquired WR DeVante Parker. And it’s not as if Meyers’ 2021 campaign boded well for him going forward: He went from 72.8 catch% in 2020 to a meager 65.9% last season, and Meyers’ 10.4 YPR was with 83+ the fourth lowest mark among WRs receptions in 2021… Maybe Meyers just doesn’t have it and even last year’s breakout was an outlier for him.

There is a very simple argument against Deebo Samuel having another season like 2021 next year and even Samuel just accepts that would be the case. That is, Samuel with no rushing stats scored 253 PPR points and Samuel with rushing stats scored 339 PPR points. I mean, that’s all you need to know about the upcoming regression. Why? Well, as reported by NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, “Samuel prefers to retire his running back role so he can focus on just being a receiver.” Uh, oh, get the bump down!

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Samuel was a constant threat to the 49ers last season, largely due to his role as a jack of all trades. He even inspired the talk of this new trend/position/whatever in American football called rushing receivers or wide backs or something. The truth is that removing his 8 rushing TDs from his stat line along with his 365 rushing yards leaves you with a good not great receiver that would have rated WR12 instead of WR3. That’s the massive step backwards Deebo faces, and that assumes he stays on his current team and role with the Niners rather than chasing a seemingly inevitable trade out of San Fran before filling his pocket elsewhere.

Greetings Chris K! Kirk just smashed the wide receiver market last offseason by signing a ridiculous deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags gave Kirk a four-year, $72 million contract, with more than half of that money guaranteed at signing. That’s absolutely insane, and that’s probably one of the reasons why the likes of AJ Brown, DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel have already moved or are looking for a swap. And that’s also because Kirk is a mediocre, mediocre, average WR at best: never in his four-year career has he finished a season as a WR2 low-end ranking no better than WR26.

Kirk had a relatively good season in 2021, but even then he was kind of meh and chances are it will regress in the future. Seriously. Kirk had a 2019 campaign in which he had 108 goals for 68 receptions and 709 yards. Last season, Kirk finished with 103 goals for 77 receptions and 982 yards. If you ask me, there’s a chance Kirk will hit about 115 targets in 2022, catching 85 of them and going about 850 yards. That’s already 130 yards short of his 2021 mark, and that’s what I call optimism. Kirk may have lined his pocket, yes, but he didn’t show us anything to prove he was worthy of this massive assignment.

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