Grabbing a reliable starting wide receiver early on in fantasy football drafts ensures that at least one position is locked down heading into Week 1. A lot of fantasy managers tend to side with youth in this situation and may be forced to pick between Justin Jefferson and DK Metcalf in the second round.
Choosing between two dynamic pass-catchers isn't going to be simple, but let's break it down.
Justin Jefferson Fantasy Outlook
Justin Jefferson is coming off of a ridiculous rookie season in which he racked up 1,400 receiving yards to go along with 7 touchdowns. He was able to average 87.5 yards per game, which allowed him to finish as the No. 6 WR in PPR leagues. The scary thought of a sophomore slump is always in the back of every fantasy manager's mind, though.
The presence of veteran Adam Thielen also caps the upside of Jefferson in Minnesota. Thielen has proven he is the preferred red zone threat as his 21 targets in that area of the field finished much higher than Jefferson's mark of 12 in 2020.
Jefferson seems to be a lock to total over 1,000 yards once again, but his value in 2021 comes down to his touchdowns. It's going to be hard for the second-year pro to repeat his success from last season.
DK Metcalf Fantasy Outlook
DK Metcalf ranked one spot below Jefferson by the end of the 2020 season after averaging 17.0 fantasy points per game. He was able to post more touchdowns (10), but wasn't able to catch up to the Vikings WR in receiving yards (1,303). The biggest advantage Metcalf has over Jefferson may be the quarterback he has throwing to him.
Russell Wilson has come to love passing Metcalf's way and the former Ole Miss Rebel has seen at least 100 targets in each of his first two NFL seasons. Simply put, the Seahawks boast an offense that scored 28.2 points per game last season. Meanwhile, the Vikings scored an average of 26.9.
Metcalf's boom-or-bust potential may be the one thing separates him from Jefferson in a negative way. The Seahawks' wideout has two multiple-touchdown games last season, but also posted less than 50 receiving yards in a game five times.
Justin Jefferson or DK Metcalf
When it comes down to it, Metcalf edges Jefferson out here across all fantasy football league formats. The difference between the two is razor close. Metcalf's substantial role on a much more consistent offense is what ends up giving him the edge.
Metcalf checks in at WR5 in The Duel's 2021 fantasy football rankings, while Jefferson can be found two spots below at WR7.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.