As fantasy football managers, we are conditioned to try to draft the top wide receivers on NFL teams, because we figure that these receivers will score the most fantasy points on their teams. However, many times we tend to overlook WR2s. The second receiver on an NFL team can be plenty valuable, especially if they’re part of a high-scoring offense. Even more compelling is the fact that these same wide receivers are rarely shadowed by the opposing teams’ top cornerback. This helps create matchups that we can use to our fantasy advantage.
The argument against selecting a team’s WR2 is that it is rare that both the WR1 and the WR2 go off in the same week for one team. While this may be true, if a team’s quarterback is good enough (and the play calling cooperates), there is often room for more than one receiver to thrive.
Here are some of my top WR2s for this season:
Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Tyreek Hill is the clear WR1 in Miami, but Waddle is more of the possession receiver who can make the occasional huge play.
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
Higgins makes his biggest impact in the red zone, which helps him differentiate from Ja’Marr Chase.
DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
A.J. Brown is the home run hitter, but Smith hits the singles and doubles to keep drives going.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Aiyuk doesn’t see a ton of targets, but he makes the most of his opportunities.
Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders
Dotson might be the surest-handed receiver that no one talks about. With a new QB starting, he might be targeted more often.
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickens has a terrific chance of being the WR1 in Pittsburgh as early as this season.
Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills
After a disappointing 2022, Davis is healthy and motivated to get a new long-term contract.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
From the best WR in the game to WR2 on his own team, Thomas is back with a competent QB in Derek Carr.