The first day of the NFL draft was a fun one for fantasy purposes as we saw the snow globe of the wide receiver position continue to shake this offseason. We had six wide receivers selected in the first round on Thursday, with another two young stars changing teams as part of the evening.
With that, we are going to walk through the fantasy-centric selections and trades of the opening night.
Garrett Wilson is an early declare, early-career breakout who continuously improved throughout college, all while doing so next to other first-round talents at his position, both this year and next.
Wilson enters the NFL coming off a season in which he ranked seventh in this class in yards per route run (3.19) and eighth versus man coverage (3.17) while accounting for 20.7% of the Ohio State receptions and 23.1% of the receiving yardage in 2021, higher rates than his teammate Chris Olave.
For fantasy, this fit is a mixed bag. Wilson is a supreme talent, but he joins another potentially ascending receiver in Elijah Moore to fight for targets from a young quarterback that struggled significantly in Zach Wilson.
New York wideouts ended the season 30th in the league in yards per target (7.0) and dead last in success rate per target (43%), the latter of which was impacted heavily by quarterback play.
Zach Wilson ended 2021 last among all qualifying quarterbacks in the league in success rate per pass play (38.7%), completion percentage (55.6%), and completion rate below expectation (-10.3%) while throwing for 6.1 yards per pass attempt (30th).
This is the Jets giving their young passer all the ammunition they can to aid Wilson’s development, but there is a wide range of outcomes here for their new rookie wideout, as well as how this impacts Moore entering his second season.
Moore only ran 101 routes with Corey Davis and Wilson on the field as a rookie, with Davis out-targeting Moore 24-20 on that small sample. Moore and Wilson connected on just 19-of-42 targets (45.2%) while Moore secured 24-of-35 targets (68.6%) from other New York passers.
Garrett Wilson will slot in as a boom-or-bust WR4 as a rookie with volatility added to Moore as an upside WR3.