When Patriots fans think “wide receiver,” we think Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, or Randy Moss. These are all names that bring fond memories to the heart of Patriots fans everywhere. We don’t usually think Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, or N’Keal Harry.
New England is long used to having wide receivers who dominate on the field. In six seasons with the Patriots, Wes Welker became the franchise’s all-time leading receiver with 672 receptions for 7,459 yards and 37 TDs. Julian Edelman wasn’t far behind with 620 yards for 6,822 yards and 36 TDs. But, to be fair, they had the GOAT, Tom Brady, throwing the ball to them.
In 2021, three wide receivers were in the top five for the team’s receiving stats — Meyers (one), Bourne (two), and Nelson Agholor (four). Harry came in at number six. So let’s take a look at the Patriots’ leading receiver in 2021, Jakobi Meyers, and see what 2022 looks like for him.
Note: Our Wednesday, July 6th No Punt Intended episode covered New England and Jakobi Meyers in fantasy football! We welcomed special guest Michelle Magdziuk from BallBlast Fantasy and the NFL Network as we dug into the Eagles, Patriots, and Steelers.
Jakobi Meyers in Fantasy Football
The Patriots signed Meyers as an undrafted free agent in 2019. During his first year In New England, he had the privilege of catching passes from the great Tom Brady. That season, Meyers was WR3 on the team (behind the Flying Squirrel, Julian Edelman) with 26 receptions for 359 yards and 0 TDs. Zero touchdowns became a theme for his career. Meyers did not find the endzone in the NFL until his third year in the league.
In 2021, Meyers had TB 2.0 in training — McCorkle Jones — lobbing balls at him. With 83 receptions for 866 receiving yards and 2 TDs, Meyers was WR1 for the Patriots last year. In my 2021 “A Look Inside” article, I mentioned that none of New England’s WRs ranked in the Top 48. I also said that unless one of them put up miraculous numbers during the preseason, I didn’t expect that to change. Well, here’s where I say I was wrong. Meyers finished as WR29 in 2021. My bad.
In three seasons with New England, Meyers has totaled 168 receptions for 1,954 yards and 2 TDs. In 2022, Jones will once again be throwing passes to Meyers. While Meyers had 86 receptions in 2021, he was targeted 126 times. That’s a catch percentage of 65.9%. Like I said earlier, he was WR1 for New England last year but WR29 in the league.
This past off-season, New England added WR DeVante Parker from Miami. In 2021, Parker had 40 receptions for 515 yards and 2 TDs. Those numbers? Not great, Bob. Don’t count on him to take many targets from Meyers.
Meyers’ Draft Value
For fantasy football, I will usually grab my WR1 in the first two rounds, depending on where I’m drafting. When targeting wide receivers, my obvious first choices are Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, or Ja’Marr Chase. If I miss out on those three, I follow ADP — to a point. If there is someone I really do not like, I will avoid them. Or, if there’s someone I like, I’m all about getting your guy.
In 2021, Meyers ranked 29 with 186.3 fantasy points (PPR) for an average of 11.6 FPPG (FantasyPros). You might be familiar with the pair of names on either side of him. At WR28, with 199.8 fantasy points, we have Adam Thielen. Coming in at WR30, with 185.6 fantasy points, is DeVonta Smith. While this is not elite, it’s also not terrible company.
Fantasy managers are drafting Meyers almost 50 picks behind those two players this year. We at Club Fantasy obviously expect a step up from Smith, but Thielen is almost certainly on the downside of his career. I wouldn’t rely on Meyers to be a starting WR or even WR2 for your team. However, depending on your league size, he should be a reliable WR3. Meyers’ current ADP of WR54 makes him a value in fantasy football, and he should be locked in as your 11th-round pick.
A Look Inside the New England Patriots
Editor’s Note: We asked our writers to focus on one player, but we don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. While Faith focused on Jakobi Meyers in fantasy football, here is a quick look at the rest of the Patriots, prepared by either Josh Hudson or Ryan Weisse.
Mac Jones: Mac Jones is one of those “better real quarterbacks than fantasy QB” types. He helped turn the Patriots around quite quickly but only ranked 14th in pass attempts, 2nd-worst for any 17-game starter, and was the fantasy QB18. He is a boring option for your QB2 in a Superflex but should show improvement in Year 2. -Ryan Weisse
Damien Harris: The bad news is that there is almost no chance that Harris repeats his 15 TD, RB14 performance from a year ago. The good news is that his ADP is RB28, so he doesn’t have to in order to be a draft value. -Ryan Weisse
Rhamondre Stevenson: Stevenson is the clear RB2 in this offense. That title may not be for much longer. Stevenson is the better back after contact and is more suited for short yardage at 246 pounds. Does that mean he can cut into Harris’ 15 TDs from a year ago? I’m willing to find out, especially considering he’s going 39 picks after Harris. – Josh Hudson
DeVante Parker: At 29 years old, Parker is not washed. He was hit or miss in Miami, with much more miss than hit. Moving to New England’s more conservative offense should balance him out a bit. His floor will be better, he is the only big-body outside WR on the team, but his ceiling is capped. There is a good chance he finished second on the team in targets and still doesn’t see 100 balls thrown his way. -Ryan Weisse
Kendrick Bourne: Bourne came into this offense and did what Nelson Agholor was paid to do — stretch the field. He finished second on the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He also averaged over 10 yards per rush on 12 attempts. The team rewarded that faith by spending a 2nd round pick on one of the fastest players in the draft. Bourne has been proving people wrong since he came into the league. He’s a perfect late-round target in drafts of any format. – Josh Hudson
Hunter Henry: Like Damien Harris, we can expect regression. At the very least, expect stability, not growth. Henry came right in and did what he was supposed to do. He was a redzone threat and scored nine TDs in his first year as a Patriot. Unfortunately, just 50 catches and 600 yards still made that only a TE10 season in fantasy. There is no guarantee he sees less work, but more work certainly seems like a stretch -Ryan Weisse
Jonnu Smith: Man, it feels like a century ago that Smith scored eight touchdowns in a season. Oh, you didn’t know he did that once upon time? I almost forgot too. Reports last year were that Smith was slow to pick up the playbook. Eh, it happens. The way the Patriots used him last year, they want to take advantage of his elite athleticism. That translates into more manufactured touches, which tends to limit a player’s ceiling. Unless Hunter Henry suffers an injury, Smith won’t have much (read: any) fantasy value. – Josh Hudson
We hope you enjoyed our look at Jakobi Meyers for fantasy football this season. You can find all of our A Look Inside articles here!
If you’re prepping for your dynasty drafts, you can also find our rookie consensus rankings here.