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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: D.K. Metcalf No. 18

D.K. Metcalf comes in at No. 18 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers
Wide receiver DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks during the second half against the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona.
Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

D.K. Metcalf followed up an impressive rookie season with a huge 2020 campaign, but still had some duds in an otherwise consistent season. He was especially poor during the final stretch of the season. The Seahawks had some tension with QB Russell Wilson in the offseason, but it appears their offense will be a powerhouse once again. Metcalf will be expected to produce like one of the top receivers in the league.

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 fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 18, D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks, WR

Metcalf was a physical specimen coming out of Ole Miss and he’s contributed immediately at the next level. He’s taking over as Seattle’s top receiver, but needs to be more consistent to be considered the best receiver in the game. Another season with Wilson under center should help his development.

Competition for touches

Tyler Lockett is a 1,000-yard receiver in his own right and will command significant attention. The Seahawks will still run the football a decent amount, but this is a passing offense now. Metcalf is going to a huge target offensively and will only really be competing with Locket for touches. Gerald Everett might get looks as a tight end but there’s no major obstacles for Metcalf in this category.

Team offensive expectations

The Seahawks are going to throw the ball a lot and do so successfully. Wilson has thrown more than 30 touchdowns in the last four seasons, despite having suspect offensive line play for most of that time. Don’t expect things to change much, although Seattle may run the ball a bit more and try to give Wilson some quicker throws to give the offensive line some time to gel.

What’s his upside?

Metcalf had 1,039 yards through 11 games last season. He finished the season with 1,303 yards. You can see where the problem is with this player. If Metcalf can be more consistent with his production, there’s no reason he can’t be one of the five best receivers in the league this coming season.

What’s his downside?

On the flip side, Metcalf’s inconsistencies could lead to Lockett and Everett getting more looks and cut into his production. Fantasy owners shouldn’t expect that to happen, but they should be prepared for some tough weeks. He may plateau after two seasons on the upswing.

Projection

87 receptions, 1,400 yards, 12 touchdowns