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Rookie Scouting: Wide Receivers

Wide Receiver is one of the deepest positions in fantasy football. There are only a handful of difference makers. We are always looking to find that true alpha who consistently ends the year as a Top 12 receiver. To increase your chances, there are a few things you need to look for.

  • Draft Capital: What round they were selected
  • Competition: Who's ahead of them on the team that drafted them
  • College Dominator: % of receiving yards and touchdowns
  • College Target Share: The % of the team receiving targets
  • College Yards Per Reception: How efficient were they downfield
  • Size: How tall and heavy are they
  • Athleticism: How fast, quick and explosive are they

The more boxes they check off, the better and the more you increase your odds at hitting. Below is a profile of your average WR1 over the past 10 years. Find a wide receiver that looks like this and you're more likely to hit. Note: this sample size reuses wide receivers who finished in the Top 12 each year that they did so.


As far as size is concerned, you just want your WR to hit a minimum threshold. If there is an elite college WR prospect that's 6'5" and tests well athletically, you don't need to be concerned. There are not that many prospects that fit this category, but that's just because it's rare. It doesn't mean you should worry. Once a WR starts to creep below the size threshold, that's when you want to start paying attention. A smaller WR will have a harder time finding success against the larger NFL cornerback.

As for the other metrics, the higher the better. WRS with high Dominator and Target Shares have shown they were used a lot in college and that translates better to the NFL.

For athleticism, there is a range that's acceptable, but I tend to stay away from WRS who run anything slower than a 4.60 40-time. They just don't show up enough in the top 12 rankings year in and year out.

TOP 12 WR
AVERAGES
73 209 70 4.50 15.6 40.1% 29.3%
OVERALL WR1
MEDIAN
74 212 48 4.51 15.0 39.6% 29.7%
YEAR OVERALL
FINISH
PLAYER HEIGHT
(INCHES)
WEIGHT DRAFT
PICK
40
TIME
COLLEGE
YPR
DOMINATOR TARGET %
2020 1 Davante Adams 73 212 53 4.56 13.1 40.7% 27.3%
2 Tyreek Hill 70 185 156 4.34 16.4 19.4% 10.0%
3 Stefon Diggs 72 195 138 4.46 12.8 36.1% 26.4%
4 DeAndre Hopkins 73 214 27 4.57 17.1 39.3% 27.0%
5 Calvin Ridley 73 189 26 4.43 13.5 30.1% 29.7%
6 Justin Jefferson 73 202 22 4.43 15.0 30.0% 21.9%
7 DK Metcalf 75 228 64 4.33 21.9 32.1% 17.0%
8 Tyler Lockett 70 182 69 4.4 14.3 44.2% 36.2%
9 Allen Robinson II 74 220 61 4.56 14.8 37.9% 36.7%
10 Adam Thielen 75 200 225 4.54 15.9 45.9% -
11 Mike Evans 77 231 7 4.53 20.2 30.2% 24.6%
12 Robert Woods 72 201 41 4.51 11.1 31.6% 37.1%
2019 1 Michael Thomas 75 212 48 4.57 13.9 39.6% 25.9%
2 Chris Godwin 73 209 84 4.42 16.6 34.9% 29.2%
3 Julio Jones 75 220 6 4.39 14.5 34.4% 30.8%
4 Cooper Kupp 74 204 69 4.62 14.5 40.4% -
5 DeAndre Hopkins 73 214 27 4.57 17.1 39.3% 27.0%
6 Keenan Allen 74 206 78 4.71 12.9 49.5% 33.5%
7 Julian Edelman 70 198 215 4.57 0.0 -% 0.3%
8 Allen Robinson II 74 220 61 4.56 14.8 37.9% 36.7%
9 Kenny Golladay 76 218 96 4.5 14.4 41.8% 36.3%
10 Amari Cooper 73 211 4 4.42 13.9 47.2% 38.4%
11 DeVante Parker 75 209 14 4.45 19.9 46.3% 18.2%
12 Jarvis Landry 71 205 63 4.65 15.5 40.0% 31.9%
2018 1 DeAndre Hopkins 73 214 27 4.57 17.1 39.3% 27.0%
2 Davante Adams 73 212 53 4.56 13.1 40.7% 27.3%
3 Tyreek Hill 70 185 156 4.34 16.4 19.4% 10.0%
4 Julio Jones 75 220 6 4.39 14.5 34.4% 30.8%
5 Antonio Brown 70 186 186 4.56 10.9 32.8% 29.7%
6 Michael Thomas 75 212 48 4.57 13.9 39.6% 25.9%
7 Adam Thielen 75 200 225 4.54 15.9 45.9% -
8 JuJu-Smith-Schuster 73 215 62 4.54 14.7 31.9% 29.1%
9 Mike Evans 77 231 7 4.53 20.2 30.2% 24.6%
10 Stefon Diggs 72 195 138 4.46 12.8 36.1% 26.4%
11 Robert Woods 72 201 41 4.51 11.1 31.6% 37.1%
12 Keenan Allen 74 206 78 4.71 12.9 49.5% 33.5%
2017 1 Antonio Brown 70 186 186 4.56 10.9 32.8% 29.7%
2 DeAndre Hopkins 73 214 27 4.57 17.1 39.3% 27.0%
3 Keenan Allen 74 206 78 4.71 12.9 49.5% 33.5%
4 Larry Fitzgerald 75 218 3 4.53 18.2 51.3% -
5 Jarvis Landry 71 205 63 4.65 15.5 40.0% 31.9%
6 Michael Thomas 75 212 48 4.57 13.9 39.6% 25.9%
7 Julio Jones 75 220 6 4.39 14.5 34.4% 30.8%
8 Adam Thielen 75 200 225 4.54 15.9 45.9% -
9 Tyreek Hill 70 185 156 4.34 16.4 19.4% 10.0%
10 A.J. Green 76 211 4 4.5 14.9 42.2% 25.7%
11 Marvin Jones Jr. 74 200 159 4.46 13.6 26.3% 27.8%
12 Golden Tate 70 202 60 4.42 16.1 44.3% 29.9%
2016 1 Antonio Brown 70 186 186 4.56 10.9 32.8% 29.7%
2 Jordy Nelson 75 217 37 4.51 13.2 49.6% 31.2%
3 Mike Evans 77 231 7 4.53 20.2 30.2% 24.6%
4 Odell Beckham Jr. 71 198 12 4.43 19.5 34.5% 27.6%
5 T.Y. Hilton 69 183 93 4.39 14.4 41.9% 30.3%
6 Julio Jones 75 220 6 4.39 14.5 34.4% 30.8%
7 Michael Thomas 75 212 48 4.57 13.9 39.6% 25.9%
8 Doug Baldwin 70 189 225 4.53 14.8 27.0% 22.1%
9 Davante Adams 73 212 53 4.56 13.1 40.7% 27.3%
10 Brandin Cooks 70 189 20 4.33 13.5 38.9% 26.9%
11 Larry Fitzgerald 75 218 3 4.53 18.2 51.3% -
12 Michael Crabtree 73 214 10 4.59 13.3 34.3% 24.0%
2015 1 Antonio Brown 70 186 186 4.56 10.9 32.8% 29.7%
2 Julio Jones 75 220 6 4.39 14.5 34.4% 30.8%
3 Brandon Marshall 76 230 118 4.52 16.1 42.5% 29.4%
4 DeAndre Hopkins 73 214 27 4.57 17.1 39.3% 27.0%
5 Odell Beckham Jr. 71 198 12 4.43 19.5 34.5% 27.6%
6 Allen Robinson II 74 220 61 4.56 14.8 37.9% 36.7%
7 Larry Fitzgerald 75 218 3 4.53 18.2 51.3% -
8 A.J. Green 76 211 4 4.5 14.9 42.2% 25.7%
9 Jarvis Landry 71 205 63 4.65 15.5 40.0% 31.9%
10 Doug Baldwin 70 189 225 4.53 14.8 27.0% 22.1%
11 Demaryius Thomas 75 229 22 4.41 25.1 70.9% 47.6%
12 Calvin Johnson 77 236 2 4.35 15.8 55.3% 37.3%
2014 1 Antonio Brown 70 186 186 4.56 10.9 32.8% 29.7%
2 Demaryius Thomas 75 229 22 4.41 25.1 70.9% 47.6%
3 Jordy Nelson 75 217 37 4.51 13.2 49.6% 31.2%
4 Dez Bryant 74 220 24 4.57 17.0 62.5% 38.6%
5 Emmanuel Sanders 71 180 82 4.41 13.7 34.2% 30.1%
6 Julio Jones 75 220 6 4.39 14.5 34.4% 30.8%
7 Odell Beckham Jr. 71 198 12 4.43 19.5 34.5% 27.6%
8 Randall Cobb 70 192 64 4.46 12.1 28.2% 26.7%
9 Jeremy Maclin 72 198 19 4.48 12.4 29.5% 23.7%
10 Alshon Jeffery 75 216 45 4.53 16.4 39.7% 33.9%
11 Golden Tate 70 202 60 4.42 16.1 44.3% 29.9%
12 T.Y. Hilton 69 183 93 4.39 14.4 41.9% 30.3%
2013 1 Demaryius Thomas 75 229 22 4.41 25.1 70.9% 47.6%
2 Josh Gordon 75 225 225 4.57 17.0 25.0% 14.9%
3 Antonio Brown 70 186 186 4.56 10.9 32.8% 29.7%
4 A.J. Green 76 211 4 4.5 14.9 42.2% 25.7%
5 Brandon Marshall 76 230 118 4.52 16.1 42.5% 29.4%
6 Calvin Johnson 77 236 2 4.35 15.8 55.3% 37.3%
7 Dez Bryant 74 220 24 4.57 17.0 62.5% 38.6%
8 Alshon Jeffery 75 216 45 4.53 16.4 39.7% 33.9%
9 Eric Decker 75 215 87 4.6 15.2 44.5% 30.4%
10 Andre Johnson 74 225 3 4.4 21.0 28.8% -
11 Pierre Garcon 72 210 199 4.48 14.3 37.7% -
12 DeSean Jackson 70 175 50 4.35 14.9 32.1% 22.5%
2012 1 Calvin Johnson 77 236 2 4.35 15.8 55.3% 37.3%
2 Brandon Marshall 76 230 118 4.52 16.1 42.5% 29.4%
3 A.J. Green 76 211 4 4.5 14.9 42.2% 25.7%
4 Dez Bryant 74 220 24 4.57 17.0 62.5% 38.6%
5 Andre Johnson 74 225 3 4.4 21.0 28.8% -
6 Demaryius Thomas 75 229 22 4.41 25.1 70.9% 47.6%
7 Wes Welker 69 185 225 4.7 11.3 17.4% -
8 Eric Decker 75 215 87 4.6 15.2 44.5% 30.4%
9 Roddy White 73 208 27 4.5 20.5 50.5% -
10 Reggie Wayne 72 198 30 4.45 17.6 32.1% -
11 Julio Jones 75 220 6 4.39 14.5 34.4% 30.8%
12 Vincent Jackson 77 230 61 4.46 17.3 70.3% -
2011 1 Calvin Johnson 77 236 2 4.35 15.8 55.3% 37.3%
2 Wes Welker 69 185 225 4.7 11.3 17.4% -
3 Victor Cruz 72 204 225 4.52 14.8 39.9% -
4 Jordy Nelson 75 217 37 4.51 13.2 49.6% 31.2%
5 Roddy White 73 208 27 4.5 20.5 50.5% -
6 Larry Fitzgerald 75 218 3 4.53 18.2 51.3% -
7 Steve Smith 69 185 76 4.41 21.2 31.0% -
8 Percy Harvin 71 184 22 4.41 16.1 21.4% 21.6%
9 Mike Wallace 72 199 84 4.33 20.1 29.6% 22.6%
10 Marques Colston 77 225 236 4.5 13.9 34.6% -
11 Brandon Marshall 76 230 118 4.52 16.1 42.5% 29.4%
12 Hakeem Nicks 73 208 29 4.63 18.0 52.2% 32.8%