The 2023 Season is in the books. While there’s still some playoff football to help us see how players do in the clutch, for dynasty players, it’s a time to sit back, take stock, and see how players fared. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be looking back at the 2023, 2022, and 2021 classes by position. I’ll be evaluating if their stock rose, remained the same, or dropped during the course of the season. Now could be the time to sell high, buy low, or hold on to a winning hand. Today, I continue with the 2021 Wide Receivers.
Stock Up: Nico Collins, Houston Texans
About: What a difference having a franchise quarterback and a good coach can make. The Texans went from a lottery pick all the way to the fourth seed in the AFC and an AFC South championship. C.J. Stroud made a big difference, but his primary weapon was third-year receiver Collins. He finished as WR12 despite missing two games. He posted a career-high in targets, receptions, yardage and touchdowns. He is a good young receiver growing into a good young offense. He’s a strong dynasty asset.
Stock Up: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
About: In his third year, St. Brown just continues to shine. The Lions’ offense has gotten stronger in the past few seasons, and St. Brown continues to grow with it. He was a Fourth-Round selection who has performed like a top draft pick. He finished as WR3 in 2023 and remains a Top 10 asset in dynasty; a huge return on investment where he was taken in rookie drafts.
Stock Up: Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns
About: A change of location proved to be good for Moore, who moved to the Browns and has become a solid WR2 in Cleveland. He saw a career-high in targets, receptions, and yardage. While Amari Cooper and David Njoku are the top two options in the passing game, Moore has been used in creative ways and contributed. He was WR54 in fantasy, too, giving him strong flex appeal.
Stock Up: Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers
About: It was another solid season for Palmer, who continues to contribute despite a rough production from the Chargers. He was limited to ten games due to injury but still caught 38 passes for 581 yards, seeing his yards per reception average increase. The Chargers are in the midst of a coaching change—with Jim Harbaugh now in town—but Palmer is a young player still under contract. With the future of Keenan Allen in question, Mike Williams recovering from a major injury, and Quentin Johnston still needing to develop, Palmer is quietly a strong option for the Chargers’ passing game. He’s a player I’d try to acquire at a discounted rate this off-season.
Stock Up: Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams
About: Sure, the Rams’ passing game is about Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. They are the stars. But when the Rams moved Van Jefferson during the season, Atwell took a step forward. He ended up with 39 receptions for 483 yards and three touchdowns on 67 targets. He looked like a decent contributor and third option in the passing game. For a young and re-shaped Rams team, Atwell looks like a player with deep league flex appeal. That’s a big step up from where he sat after his first two seasons.
Stock Neutral: Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
About: The 2023 season didn’t go well for the Bengals. Despite the team’s struggles and Joe Burrow missing many games, Chase saw a career-high 145 targets, catching a career-high 100 passes for 1,216 yards. He remains one of the best receivers in the game, a Top 3 dynasty asset.
Stock Down: Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
About: Tyreek Hill gets most of the publicity in Miami, but Waddle remains a very good receiver. Still, it’s a narrow funnel in Miami, and Waddle often slides further down the line. The Dolphins focus on Hill in the passing game and boast a strong running game. Whereas in his rookie year, Waddle looked to be around WR1 levels, this season, he finished as WR34. Granted, he missed three games, but that 14.2 points per game average suggests more likely WR2 production. That’s a bit of a step down from where he was the past two off-seasons.
Stock Down: DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
About: Smith finished as WR19, which is still good. But, like Waddle, he averages 14.2 points per game. And, like Waddle, he’s a second or third option on his team. He’s still a good receiver, but when he was taken, he had fringe WR1 upside. Now, he feels locked into a WR2 ceiling. Perhaps it’s splitting hairs a bit, but it’s time to be more realistic about his potential production when rostering him or making a move to acquire him this off-season.
Stock Down: Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
About: At this point, Moore is what he is. He finished as WR66, catching 40 passes for 352 yards. The Cardinals’ offense wasn’t great this season, and it’s clear they will be re-building some moving forward. The coach who drafted Moore is gone, and it’s unlikely he’s ever going to be more than a middling flex option. If I can still find a true believer, I’m moving Moore this off-season.
Stock Down: Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs
About: On his second team and in an offense in need of receivers, it seemed like 2023 would be a great chance for Toney to prove his worth. And yet, from the jump, he struggled. He had an anemic 27 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown. He struggled with injuries again and hasn’t been active for a single post-season game. It’s no lock he’s active for the Super Bowl, either. He earned more recognition for his horrendous drops than any plays he made for the Chiefs. He’s not worth a roster space at this point.
Stock Down: Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
About: There was no third-year leap for Bateman. Even the Ravens seem to have moved on, drafting Zay Flowers and signing veteran Odell Beckham, Jr. Bateman managed just 32 receptions for 367 yards and a touchdown. If you can find someone interested, I’d trade him. Otherwise, he’s not a player that is deserving of a roster priority if you have better options.
Stock Down: Terrace Marshall, Carolina Panthers
About: At this point, it’s clear Marshall will never achieve the ceiling some thought he might have when he got drafted. But the Panthers are a young, rebuilding team, and it seemed like, with a lack of weapons, he’d get a chance. Instead, he saw just 33 targets, catching 19 passes for 173 yards. It’s not clear he’s even worth a roster spot at this point.
Stock Down: Dyami Brown, Washington Commanders
About: The Commanders have Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel. It was always going to be a tall hill to climb for Brown. But it’s not a robust passing offense, and the team is in the midst of a coaching change and likely a change at quarterback. Brown has just 29 receptions in three years. At this point, he’s not worth a roster spot.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network