A WR1 in fantasy football is a wide receiver that is ranked in the top twelve spots at the wide receiver position. There are generally twleve teams in a fantasy league meaning a WR1 is meant to occupy your first wide receiver position.
The term is also used to label players in different tiers of the rankings at their position. For example, a WR2 is a receiver that is going to be ranked between 13th and 24th.
While a WR3 is going to be ranked 25th to 36th. When talking about fantasy football these terms are usually used to rank players based on their upcoming matchup or their production over the season.
Alternative meanings of WR1 in football
The term WR1 in fantasy football refers to the ranking of a receiver in positions 1 to 12 but it has other meanings as well.
When talking about football and rosters the term WR1 can be used when referring to the top wide receiver on the depth chart.
Additionally, a term like WR2 would refer to the second-ranked wide receiver on the depth chart oftentimes the Z receiver.
Though to be clear this is not how this term is used in fantasy football.
The term WR1 when talking about the depth chart refers to a player’s ranking on the team. While WR1 in fantasy football refers to a top twelve player that can fill out your top wide receiver position.
Traits of a WR1
Force-fed by the quarterback
One of the key traits of a WR1 in fantasy football is that these players are going to see a lot of targets throughout a game.
It is not enough for a wide receiver to be thrown to when open, these players need to be targetted consistently throughout the game.
In order to put up top twelve receiver numbers, these players are going to need opportunities.
The chemistry between a quarterback and his number one receiver can also go a long way. If the quarterback can trust his wide receiver to come down with the ball then he will be more likely to throw it to him.
This trait also means the WR1 is going to produce regardless of the game script. If the team is winning or losing by a large margin the quarterback will still throw these players the ball.
Plays well against man and zone coverage
In order to be a WR1 in fantasy football, a player must excel against man and zone coverage. In the NFL teams will often change up their defensive tactics in order to stop their opponent’s top threats.
If a wide receiver has a weakness against one style of coverage the defense can take advantage. Receivers that are matchup-proof due to excelling against both types of coverage are much more likely to be WR1s.
If a player is to end up in the top twelve wide receivers on the season they need to be able to produce consistently.
Gets touchdowns and yards
To be considered a WR1 in fantasy football means you are going to have to produce in terms of yards and touchdowns.
Some players at this position may find themselves being red zone targets or accumulating a lot of receiving yards. Unfortunately, unless a player is doing both they are not likely going to be a WR1 in fantasy football.