As the NFL becomes more pass-heavy, the slot receiver role continues to evolve -- and grow in importance.
The slot position naturally gained significance with more teams using three wide-receiver sets. Then, offensive coordinators began lining up their most dangerous weapons in the slot, creating huge mismatches.
From 2005-09, an average of 13.8 players per season saw 50-plus slot targets. That number climbed all the way to 22.2 during the 2015-19 seasons. We've seen top-end receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, Tyreek Hill and Chris Godwin be used more heavily from the slot in recent years, after beginning their careers almost exclusively as perimeter threats.
Fantasy expert Jacob Gibbs broke down how much more valuable slot targets are than perimeter targets in detail in Part 1 of this series. You can find the 10 players whose Fantasy value could be impacted by their slot usage in 2021 below, including why A.J. Brown's slot rate is expected to rise. Also be sure to check out more of Gibbs' analytical breakdowns to get your ready for the Fantasy season in SportsLine's 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Bible.
Which receivers are expected to see a change in their slot usage -- and thus their Fantasy value -- in 2021? ... Join SportsLine right now to see Jacob Gibbs' 10 slot usage changes to know, plus get the entire 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Bible, all from an analytics-driven expert who crushed the 2020 season!