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Top 5 Wide Receiver Tandems in the NFL in 2021

| June 30, 2021 4:14 am PDT

Every quarterback loves having that go to wide receiver that they can trust no matter what. What’s better than one top target? How about two!

Some NFL teams are lucky enough to have two great wide receivers on their team. It certainly makes the quarterback’s job a lot easier.

And if you like to bet on NFL games at the top NFL betting sites, it can pay to keep tabs on the team’s with the best wide receiver duos. It’s also just fun to rank them. With that, let’s look at the top five wide receiver duos in the NFL in 2021.

5. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods (Los Angeles Rams)

Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods aren’t among the elite wide receivers in the league. They both play a more complementary role. But together, they’re arguably the most underrated wide receiver duo in the NFL.

The Rams drafted Kupp in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Coincidentally, they signed Woods in the same offseason.

Kupp’s career got off to a pretty good start. He had 62 receptions, 869 receiving yards, and five touchdowns (TDs) in his rookie season. He led the team in both receiving yards and targets (95).

Kupp looked to improve upon his rookie season success. In his fourth game in 2018, Kupp recorded nine receptions, 162 receiving yards, and two TDs. That was Kupp’s only 100+ yard game of the season. He later tore his ACL, ending his season after just eight games.

That injury didn’t hold him back in 2019. He posted career highs in receptions (94), receiving yards (1,161), and receiving TDs (10). Kupp had a stretch of four straight games over 100 yards. He also recorded a career-high 220 receiving yards against the Cincinnati Bengals that season.

Kupp’s receiving yards (974) and receiving TDs (three) took a step back in 2020.

After four years of mediocre play in Buffalo, Woods came to the Rams and looked like a completely different player. Woods posted 781 receiving yards and five receiving TDs in his first season with the Rams.

Woods followed that up with back-to-back seasons over 85 receptions and 1,100 receiving yards. He recorded two games over 160 receiving yards in 2019. That includes his career-high 172 yards against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams offense took a step back in 2020. Woods tied his career-high with 90 receptions and six receiving TDs, but failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards.

With Matthew Stafford replacing Jared Goff, I expect the Rams offense to get back to their Super Bowl form. In turn, we could see Kupp and Woods going back over the 1,000-yard plateau.

4. Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings)

Adam Thielen made up one of the better WR tandems in the league in the late 2010s. However, that was with Stefon Diggs.

The Vikings traded Diggs last offseason and used the first-round pick they acquired to draft Justin Jefferson. The move turned out to be great for both teams, but we’ll focus on the Vikings here.

Thielen put up back-to-back 1,100+ receiving yard seasons in 2017 and 2018. He also had over 90 receptions in both seasons. He had a different quarterback in each season, so establishing chemistry clearly wasn’t an issue.

Thielen missed six games in 2019. However, he still managed to record six receiving TDs.

He had a solid bounce back season in 2020. Thielen had 72 receptions, 925 receiving yards, and a career-high 14 receiving TDs. The 14 TDs ranked third in the league. He posted three games over 100 receiving yards and four games with multiple TDs.

Jefferson was the fifth WR drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. He immediately showed the league that he should’ve been the first.

Check out his first-year stats.

Receptions Receiving Yards Yards Per Catch Touchdowns
88 1,400 15.9 7

This was all as a rookie. Even more impressive, Jefferson’s 1,400 receiving yards broke the record for most by a WR in their rookie season. Jefferson finished second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Thielen turns 31 in August and will be entering his eighth season. He can serve as an excellent mentor to Jefferson while putting up top numbers himself.

3. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks)

Tyler Lockett has been one of the more underrated WRs for the past few years. On the other hand, people view DK Metcalf as one of the top WRs in the league.

I couldn’t agree more, as I recently included him in my top NFL wide receivers for 2021.

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Lockett’s first few seasons in the NFL were consistently average. In his first three seasons, his receptions were 51, 41, 45. His receiving yards were 664, 597, and 555.

Lockett upped his receiving yards to 965 in 2018. He also recorded career highs in TDs (10) and yards per catch (16.9).

With Doug Baldwin retiring, Lockett entered the 2019 season as the top WR for Seattle. He proved his worth by posting 82 receptions, 1,057 receiving yards, and eight receiving TDs. He had four games over 100 receiving yards in that season, including two over 150 yards.

Lockett posted new career highs in 2020 with 100 receptions on 132 targets. He also tied his career-high with 10 receiving TDs. His 1,054 receiving yards were just three short of matching his career-high and 2019 total.

Lockett had the best game of his career in a week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals. He had 15 receptions, 200 receiving yards, and three TDs.

Metcalf came into the league as a second-round pick in 2019. His 6’ 4”, 229-pound frame combined with elite speed made him an elite specimen.

Metcalf recorded 900 receiving yards on just 58 receptions in his rookie season. He also had seven receiving TDs.

He became a more all-around threat in 2020. Metcalf had 83 receptions, 1,303 receiving yards, and 10 receiving TDs. His yards and TDs ranked top 10 in the league. He recorded a career-high 177 receiving yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 12.

This is a very similar WR duo to the Vikings. Metcalf and Jefferson are the young guys who are showing out early in their careers. Then you have Lockett and Thielen, who are putting up great numbers while mentoring their young teammates.

2. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Mike Evans is arguably the most underrated superstar WR in the NFL. Evans came into the league as a first-round pick in 2014. He immediately made his mark.

Evans had 68 receptions, 1,051 receiving yards, and 12 TDs his rookie season. His 12 TDs are tied for fourth most by a rookie WR. Evans had a three-game stretch of over 120 receiving yards in his rookie season. He capped it off with a career-high 209 yards against Washington.

Evans recorded back-to-back 1,200+ receiving yard seasons in 2015 and 2016. He set a career-high with 96 receptions in 2016.

His first season with Chris Godwin yielded his lowest receiving total. Still, he cleared the 1,000-yard mark by just a single yard.

The 2018 season was the best of Evans’ career. He finished third in the league with 1,524 receiving yards and 17.7 yards per catch. Both marks were career highs.

Evans recorded over 1,000 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020. In doing so, he became the first player in NFL history to begin his career with seven straight seasons over 1,000 receiving yards.

He also set a career-high with 13 TDs in 2020.

Godwin didn’t put up big numbers his rookie season, but he improved in 2018. He posted a very respectable 842 yards and seven receiving TDs.

Godwin put it all together in 2019. He finished with career highs in receptions (86), targets (121), receiving yards (1,333), and TDs (nine). It was the first time in Evans’ career that he did not lead the Buccaneers in receiving yards.

Godwin missed four games in 2020, which led to just 840 receiving yards. However, his 70.0 yards per game was actually higher than Evans’ 62.9.

At this point, I’m not sure which of these guys is the WR1 in Tampa Bay. Either way, they’ll play a big hand in the Buccaneers Super Bowl defense.

1. Julio Jones and A.J. Brown (Tennessee Titans)

The top WR tandem in the NFL is one that has never played together before? It’s definitely risky ranking these two number one because we have no idea how they’ll play together. Personally, I think they’ll be just fine.

In fact, there is an argument that Jones makes the Titans legit Super Bowl 56 contenders now.

We talked about how great Mike Evans has been since the start of his career. Well, Julio Jones has been better. Jones put up 959 receiving yards and eight receiving TDs in his rookie season. He likely would’ve hit 1,000 receiving yards had he not missed three games.

Jones posted a career-high 10 receiving TDs in 2012. He also had his first season over 1,000 receiving yards.

He was on his way to another big year in 2013 when a foot injury ended his season after just five games.

Since then, Jones has been a top-five WR in the league. Jones had six straight seasons over 1,300 receiving yards. He posted career highs in 2015 with 136 receptions and 1,871 receiving yards. The receiving yards were the second most in a single season in NFL history.

Jones only played in nine games in 2020. He failed to clear 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2013.

A.J. Brown put up 1,051 receiving yards on just 52 receptions in his rookie season. Brown finished second in the league with 20.2 yards per catch. He also had eight TDs.

Brown became more of a number one target in 2020. His targets increased from 84 to 106. In turn, he boosted his receptions to 70. He finished the season with 1,075 receiving yards and 11 TDs.

Both Jones and Brown have experience playing with top notch WRs. Jones played with four-time pro bowler Roddy White from 2011-2015. More recently, Jones has played with Calvin Ridley.

Brown played with Corey Davis, who had a career-high 945 receiving yards and five TDs in 2020.

I think Jones and Brown will be a great tandem this season. Brown grew up idolizing Jones, so I’m sure he’ll be giddy to play with him.

Who Missed the Cut?

  • Odell Beckham Jr. & Jarvis Landry
  • Amari Cooper & CeeDee Lamb

Two or three years ago, Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry probably would’ve been a top three WR tandem. However, OBJ’s stock has dropped since he joined the Cleveland Browns.

He hasn’t been an elite playmaker like he was with the New York Giants. Landry has been solid, but his receptions have taken a hit.

Still, from a sheer talent perspective, that is easily one of the best NFL wide receiver tandems. It just hasn’t been productive enough yet to make the top-five cut.

Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb have a chance to join this list next season. Cooper posted his second straight season over 1,100 receiving yards in 2020.

Lamb put up 935 receiving yards and five TDs his rookie season. Both players had good seasons despite only playing five games with quarterback Dak Prescott. They should be better with a full season with Prescott.

These are certainly two NFL wide receiver duos to track, and there will be others that pop up. For now, the list above details the top five wide receiver tandems in the NFL in 2021.

Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below. For more NFL content and sports betting advice, check out our sports betting blog.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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