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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: Tyler Lockett No. 51

Tyler Lockett comes in at 51 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) reacts after a first down in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.  Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Lockett took a backseat to D.K. Metcalf as far as big plays go, but Lockett still saw more targets, receptions and tied with his counterpart in touchdowns. Russell Wilson and Lockett will continue their great connection and efficiency once again this season, but will we see any of the passing game we saw in the first half of 2020 in Seattle or will the offense revert to its old ways once again?

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official and often updated fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 51, Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks, WR

Lockett has come on strong over the last two seasons as his usage increased. In those two years he’s caught 182-of-242 targets for 2,111 yards and 18 touchdowns. Now going into his seventh season he’s established himself as one of the best in the business.

Competition for touches

Aside from Metcalf, Lockett has no competition for touches. And with just one other stud receiver on the team, they help each other tremendously while also getting a huge percentage of the targets. The team did add wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge in the draft and tight end Gerald Everett in free agency, but neither will cut into Metcalf or Lockett’s workload.

Team offensive expectations

With Wilson, Metcalf and Lockett, the Seahawks offense will be good, but we saw two kinds of offense from the Seahawks. To start the season they opened things up and put up huge numbers through the air with play-action. Unfortunately after a few down games, coach Pete Carroll went back to a more ball-control style and limited the passing game once again. The team brought in offensive coordinator Shane Waldron from the Rams. The move should help bring the offense into this decade if Carroll allows.

What’s his upside?

Lockett has shown his upside the last few years, culminating in a fantasy WR8 finish last season. But there is room for more if they can get their passing offense on track for the whole season. I expect they’ll at least try, because their defense is going to be even worse than last season and they will need to outscore their opponents.

What’s his downside?

Lockett’s downside is tied to how often they “let Russ cook.” Lockett saw his most targets ever last season, but he could have seen even more. Will Carroll try to slow down the offense to keep the defense “fresh” or will he try to beat teams by outscoring them with Wilson as the catalyst?

Projection

100 receptions, 135 targets, 1150 yards, 9 touchdowns