With the 2021 NFL season kicking off just a few weeks away, sports betting across the country is starting to open up their vast betting markets. One of the most popular markets is predicting who will lead the league in rushing yards – a position that dominates the first round of the Fantasy Football Draft.
After punters cashed Stefon Diggs as a +4000 longshot in 2020, the question now is whether he can repeat the feat with considerably lower odds? Who is the favorite in the eyes of punters in 2021?
Positional rankings of bets on the props of court leaders
Quarterbacks | Half-runners | Wide receivers | Tight ends
As one of the highest ranked fantasy football players of a season in the world, I will admit that I include sports betting projections in my fantasy rankings. It has become a vital and integral strategy to build my successful investments year after year.
RECENT NFL RECEPTION FIELD LEADERS
Over the past three seasons, a new leader has emerged with the NFL receiving the yardage crown. In 2018, Julio Jones led the NFL with 1,677 receiving yards, followed by Michael Thomas in 2019 with 1,725 yards. Last season Stefon Diggs (1,535) edged Travis Kelce (1,416), DeAndre Hopkins (1,407) and Justin Jefferson (1,400).
Diggs cashed in bettors with a healthy odds of +4000, while the top four betting picks overall: Michael Thomas (+500), Julio Jones (+900), Davante Adams (+1400) and Tyreek Hill (+1400) burned their low-rated backers. Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, who appeared last summer at +2200, nearly pulled off the big upset by finishing second overall – just 119 yards behind Diggs.
FANTASY WR RANKS / LEVELS
UPPER WR LEVEL
- Davante Adams (+900)
- Stefon Diggs (+800)
- Calvin Ridley (+750)
- ByAndré Hopkins (+1000)
- Tyreek Hill (+900)
Green Bay Packers Davante Adams lands as my highest ranked wideout receiver in Fantasy Football in 2021. The star wideout is coming off a prolific 2020 season where he caught 115 receptions for 1,374 and 18 touchdowns, a league-high. The hold volume of over 125 targets easily makes Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target a game of sheer value to lead the league in receiving yards at +900. Adams, who missed last season’s game with New Orleans with a hamstring injury early in the season, is expected to have a treat in Week 1 when Green Bay (-3) travels to New Orleans with one of the highest totals (50.5) currently on SI Sportsbook.
As we mentioned before, Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs took a big step forward in 2020, and punters made a big adjustment in 2021. Last season, punters found Diggs in the +4000 range to lead. the league in receiving yards, but after winning the crown, Diggs was reduced to +800 odds in this year’s betting market. In 2020, the rising star improved his receiving production by 405 yards from his previous career record. Thanks to his close relationship with Josh Allen, Diggs is easily one of the most coveted spreaders in Fantasy Drafts this season. My projections call again for a high target volume in 2021 after a record 166 last season.
My best breakthrough last season was Atlanta Falcons Calvin Ridley, who went on to become WR1 against Julio Jones and one of the best wide receivers in fantasy football. Statistically, Ridley (1374) fell just below the best receiving mark of 161 yards. Oddsmakers, who last season listed their potential to lead the league in receiving yards with massive +2800 odds, now have Ridley listed as the betting favorite to fight the Diggs crown in 2021. My third ranked fantastic receiver Overall, Ridley, who has amassed 26 touchdowns in just three seasons, is a player with a huge cap with Julio Jones now in Tennessee. Ridley is poised for a strong statistical start as Atlanta is expected to be involved in a high-scoring affair with Philadelphia in a Week 1 home battle with a 48.5 total on SI Sportsbook.
DeAndre Hopkins, who can be found up to +1000, finds himself outside the top five in the more receptive yardage betting market. Arizona, who have a season-winning tally of 8.5, are hoping young caller Kyler Murray will be ready to take the next step in his third season. Hopkins, who has recorded three consecutive seasons of over 104 receptions, is perhaps the greatest model of consistency. After finishing third overall last season, Hopkins offers immense double-digit bet value (+1000), just 128 yards from Diggs.
Kansas City’s fast Tyreek Hill rounds out the top five for elite fantasy options at the wide position in 2021. Arguably the best offense in the NFL, Hill is one of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ favorite targets. Hill is the fourth overall betting pick at +900, but with Travis Kelce winning many goals, I would hesitate to invest in the sixth year veteran in this betting market. Hill and the Chiefs are set to get the season off to a good start as Kansas City (-6) face Cleveland at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 1 with the highest total (53) of any game currently posted on SI Sportsbook.
WR LEVEL 2
- DK Metcalf (+1200)
- Justin Jefferson (+850)
- AJ Brown (+1500)
Seattle Seahawks’ DK Metcalf (+1200) became an elite fantasy football option last season after leading the club with 1,303 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Russell Wilson has pitched more than 31 touchdowns in four straight seasons, and Metcalf plans to be the recipient of 36.4% of his production in 2021. Perhaps the biggest physical lag in the NFL since former Calvin Johnson Ole ‘Miss standout, is vying for a second consecutive top 10 in PPR formats and a sleeper at +1200 to cash out for the most receptive bettors in the betting market.
Justin Jefferson of Minnesota was easily the top rookie wide receiver in 2020. The former LSU star averaged 15.9 yards per reception after collecting 88 balls for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns in the Vikings’ offense. Jefferson will struggle to match or exceed last year’s production. However, fantasy managers shouldn’t shy away from the elite talent who nearly pulled off the monumental shake-up – finishing fourth in the overall receptions rankings with a +9500 rating. Bettors made a huge adjustment in 2021, registering Jefferson as the third overall bet pick at +850.
AJ Brown (+1,500) of Tennessee, who just wrapped up a second campaign of 2020 that produced 70 receptions for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns, is considered a moderate feature in the overall distance through betting tables. the country. Brown is drafted into the top ten in the fantastic draft at the wide position thanks to the arrival of veteran Julio Jones lining up on the other side of the Titans’ offensive sets. Expecting Brown to match or eclipse his receiving production from last season is well within the realm of expectation, and fantasy owners expect another leap forward in his third season as defenses will have struggling to get the cover over to his side with Jones on the opposite side. of the constitution.
FINISH THE FIELD
- Lamb CeeDee (+2500)
- Terry McLaurin (+1900)
- Tee Higgins (+3500)
CeeDee Lamb (+2500) is a very attractive betting and fantasy option in 2021 after showing strong production in his rookie season in Dallas. Lamb is a player that my projections indicate he will overtake veteran Amari Cooper. Lamb is targeted by fantasy owners at the end of the second round of drafts to fill the WR1 / WR2 position. In a passing heavy attack, expect Lamb to double his rookie season touchdown tally (5) and tackle double-digit running routes with a full season of Dak Prescott at the helm.
Terry McLaurin was reliable in his second season for the Washington football team, recording 87 catches for 1,118 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Despite playing in a Washington offense that lacked consistent quarterback play, former Ohio State Buckeye is poised to have a career year with shooter Ryan Fitzpatrick now under center. McLaurin is expected to fight Lamb for top NFC honors – but a betting player should avoid supporting this betting market despite his juicy +1900 odds.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is just an afterthought on the overall betting market on the receiving leader (+3500) as the club have added another elite talent to Ja’Marr Chase in the April NFL Draft. Higgins, who posted a 67/908/6 stat line in his 2020 rookie season, is a player my projections are extremely optimistic about in 2021. The former Clemson Tiger is a wideout who should easily top 1. 100 receiving yards for Joe Burrow and finishing as a potential elite wide in PPR formats.
Frankie Taddeo is a high stakes fantasy football player who created the very first DFS program ever offered at a Las Vegas bookie. Frankie is the Senior Analyst at SI Betting and brings significant experience and resources to the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest bets and fantastic ideas from Las Vegas.