We were treated to a wacky and unhinged slate of games in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. I’m not one to complain, though, as I’m someone that isn’t hard to please when football is on my television screen. When it comes to the wide receiver position, there were notable performances on both ends of the spectrum. It was shocking to see Davante Adams and the Green Bay Packers fall flat on their face versus the New Orleans Saints. While some may be concerned with Adams, he’s in a smash spot against the Detroit Lions in Week 2 on Monday Night Football.
There were multiple rookie wide receivers that found the end zone in Week 1, including the likes of DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, and Jaylen Waddle. All three of Smith, Chase, and Waddle saw a bump in my rankings this week. What other wide receivers made a move upward in my rankings? And what wide receivers are moving in the wrong direction? Check out my updated rankings entering Week 2 below, and make sure to skim over the notes on why I made certain decisions!
WR Rankings Week 2
|NAME||PREVIOUS RANK||NEW RANK|
|NAME||PREVIOUS RANK||NEW RANK|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||35||45|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||41||37|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||42||43|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||71||70|
|Terrace Marshall Jr.||74||73|
Notable omissions (Previous Rank):
Jerry Jeudy (26), Michael Gallup (40), Curtis Samuel (47), Michael Thomas (52), Tre’Quan Smith (66), T.Y. Hilton (68), A.J. Green (75)
Tim Patrick, Hunter Renfrow, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Sammy Watkins, Van Jefferson, Darius Slayton, Deonte Harris
Biggest Movers (Increase or Decrease from Previous Rank):
1. Brandon Aiyuk (-22)
2. Christian Kirk (+18)
3. Sterling Shepard (+14)
4. Will Fuller (-11)
5. Bryan Edwards (+11)
- I went ahead and removed all of the players that are going to miss time with injuries and have replaced them with new wide receivers. The injured wideouts I removed won’t be added back into the list until they return for at least one game. Besides the ailing wideouts, A.J. Green — who I am still an avid fan of — was removed as I believe he’s going to be buried behind Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore soon. Shout out to all of the people who remember when Green was one of the premier wideouts in the NFL.
- One of the biggest mysteries right now is the uncertain situation surrounding Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk barely saw the field for the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, and Kyle Shanahan shared that the second-year wideout was limited due to his recent hamstring injury and the emergence of Trent Sherfield in training camp. It’s also not a great sign for Aiyuk that Deebo Samuel looked phenomenal in Week 1, putting his role in the offense in flux right now.
- Both Christian Kirk and Sterling Shepard were guys that I loved during the offseason and I should’ve moved them up my rankings sooner. But after both of them performed well in Week 1, I finally decided to make it official by giving them massive boosts in the rankings. Kirk should continue excelling in the slot for the Arizona Cardinals in their air-raid offense and Shepard is a reliable target for Daniel Jones (as long as he remains healthy).
- Will Fuller is able to return for the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 after finishing his suspension from last season in Week 1. While Fuller adds a vertical threat to Miami’s aerial attack, Jaylen Waddle looked fantastic to begin the season. With Waddle and DeVante Parker also in the mix, it’ll be interesting to see how Fuller fits in the offense.
- Some people were disappointed in what they saw from Bryan Edwards in Week 1 on Monday Night Football. However, I came away impressed with what the second-year wide receiver did with his limited opportunities. Once Derek Carr realizes that he has other people to catch the ball besides Darren Waller, Edwards could continue to bloom into a stud for the Las Vegas Raiders.