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Evaluating the wide receiver position without touchdowns is valuable in determining ranges of outcomes for the player the following season. With the touchdown rate volatile yearly, wide receivers that see a significant drop in scoring in non-touchdown scoring have dangerous profiles. Without a change in their target volume, they are prime regression candidates. Likewise, wide receivers who produce well in non-touchdown scoring have untapped potential.
Receivers Who Drop With Non-TD Scoring
Mike Evans – 18 spot drop
Mike Evans had the second-fewest receiving yards of his career, 1006, with a career-high in touchdowns, 13. This is the formula that gets you the highest on this list. While Evans had 2.3 points per target, well above the league average, his 0.44 points per route run align with his career average. Evans played through an ankle injury in 2020, which may have harmed his overall volume, but keep an eye on the passing game allocation of targets. Evans's 19% target share in 2020 was the lowest in his career. He may ultimately need an injury in the stacked set of Tampa Bay weapons to achieve top-10 seasonal finish upside in 2021.
Adam Theilen – 15 spot drop
Thielen had 14 touchdowns on only 74 receptions. With 106 targets, Thielen is on the precipice of a significant drop in fantasy scoring when he regresses in touchdown rate. On a positive note, his 22% target share was 14th in the league in 2020, but the Vikings ran designed passes on only 56.9% of snaps, 26th in the league. Thielen represents a volume trap, with a WR3 destiny if touchdowns regress in 2021.
A.J. Brown – 9 spot drop
Brown has been targeted on 21% and 25% of the Tennessee passing attempts in the past two seasons and scored touchdowns on 8 of his 52 receptions in 2019 and 11 of his 70 receptions in 2020. Tennessee only dropped back to pass 532 times last season, with 52.7% of their plays designed as passes, third-fewest in the league. If the volume does not go up, Brown will be dependent on a heightened touchdown rate for WR1 production.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 8 spot drop
JuJu Smith-Schuster had his second-highest target in his four-year career in 2020 (128) but his fewest yards per target (6.5). Despite the addition of Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, Smith-Schuster finished as the highest-scoring wide receiver for Pittsburgh, despite the lowest amount of yards per route run of his career (1.29). His WR16 finish dropped 6 spots to 22 when you exclude touchdowns from wide receiver scoring. Smith-Schuster’s inefficiencies are masked by the fact Pittsburgh led the league in passing attempts in 2020 (656), and the draft pick of Najee Harris should create some caution with Smith-Schuster’s passing game volume.
Chase Claypool – 10 spot drop
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