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What to Do with Aging Receivers?

Some of the best wide receivers in fantasy football are officially on the wrong side of 30. Top players like Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, and Tyler Lockett are all coming off very productive age-30 seasons. The question we are here to answer today is, “Should we be fading them due to their age?”

Wide Receiver Age 30 PPR PPG Highest PPG 31+ Difference
Antonio Brown 21.6 17.3 -4.3
Wes Welker 21 18.1 -2.9
Julio Jones 18.3 16.2 -2
Roddy White 17.4 16.8 -0.5
Adam Thielen 16.9 15.4 -1.6
A.J. Green 16.6 9.8 -6.8
Vincent Jackson 15.2 11.3 -3.9
Larry Fitzgerald 14.8 17.5 2.8
Reggie Wayne 14.5 17.9 3.4
Julian Edelman 14.4 17.3 2.9
Marvin Jones 14.2 10.6 -3.6
Average 16.8 15.3 -1.5

*Wide Receiver — This column shows every wide receiver since 2010 who had at least 14 points per reception (PPR) points per game (PPG) in their age-30 season. 

*Age 30 PPR PPG — This column represents the PPG that the wide receiver had in his age-30 campaign

*Highest PPG 31+ — This column represents the highest PPG that wide receivers had at age-31 or older. 

*Difference — This column shows the PPG difference between the wide receiver’s age-31 season and his highest PPG season after that year


What to Do With Aging Receivers?

Since 2010, 12 wide receivers scored at least 14 PPR PPG in their age-30 season. Those wide receivers averaged 16.8 PPR PPG that year. Of those 12 wide receivers, 11 returned to play after their age-30 campaign. Calvin Johnson is the only wide receiver in the sample who retired after his age-30 season after averaging 14 PPR PPG or more that year. On average, the highest PPG for these 11 wide receivers after their age-30 campaign was 15.3. That production only accounted for a 9% dip vs. their age-30 season.

Below we will break down the four notable wide receivers going into their age-31 season. Each section will include the following information:

  1. What the projected PPR PPG would be for 2023 if we apply a 9% dip to their 2022 production
  2. What the PPR PPG finished would have been in 2022 (MIN 4 GP) based on their projected 2023 PPR PPG with the 9% drop in production
  3. What each player’s current Razzball.com consensus wide receiver average draft position (ADP) is for 2023
  4. A breakdown of what changed for that player and if we are taking them at their ADP this season.

The Four Aging Wide Receivers

  • Wide Receiver: Davante Adams
  • Age 31 Projected PPR PPG: 18
  • 2022 PPG Finish: WR6
  • 2023 ADP: WR8

A bigger concern for Davante Adams is the change at quarterback, as Jimmy Garoppolo will be replacing Derek Carr in 2023. Also, Adams benefited from an elite target share in 2022 due to various injuries to Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. These are probably bigger reasons why Davante Adams will take a step back in 2023.

  • Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins
  • Age 31 Projected PPR PPG: 15.3
  • 2022 PPG Finish: WR13
  • 2023 ADP: WR21

DeAndre Hopkins is moving from one of Arizona’s pass-heavier offenses to one of Tennessee’s most conservative offenses. The good news for Hopkins is that he knows Titans OC Tim Kelly from their days in Houston which should ease the transition. However, if we apply Hopkins’ career efficiency stats to a reduced target share, he lands in the WR3 range on a per-game basis. This makes him a fade at his current WR21 ADP.

  • Wide Receiver: Keenan Allen
  • Age 31 Projected PPR PPG: 14.9
  • 2022 PPG Finish: WR18
  • 2023 ADP: WR18

Keenan Allen’s projected PPG comes from his average finish from 2022. If we remove the two games where Allen played less than 50% of the snaps, his PPG jumps from 16.6 to 19 PPR PPG. If we then apply the 9% dip in production to 19 PPR PPG, his projected PPG in 2023 goes from 14.9 to 17.3. That PPG would have made Allen the WR9, just ahead of DeAndre Hopkins on a per-game basis in 2022.

  • Wide Receiver: Tyler Lockett
  • Age 31 Projected PPR PPG: 13.5
  • 2022 PPG Finish: WR24
  • 2023 ADP: WR29

The addition of Jaxon Smith-Njigba has clouded the outlook for Tyler Lockett in 2023. Ironically, ADP only shows Lockett being impacted by the first-round rookie as D.K. Metcalf is going as the WR15 while Lockett is going WR29. This comes a year after Lockett was 15th in PPR PPG while Metcalf finished 22nd.


Fading a wide receiver in their early 30s doesn’t make sense for that reason alone. In our sample, three wide receivers had a better season in PPG after their age-30 campaign, including Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald, and Julian Edelman. What this means is we should look at the situation itself i.e., quarterback play, new offense, and/or new competition for targets before fading these players as age shouldn’t be the driving factor.

Leave a comment on if you’re drafting any of these wide receivers in 2023!

For more from Bobby and his Razzball content, find him on Twitter @bobbylamarco.

Sources: Razzball.comPFF.comFantasyProsFFTodayPro Football Reference and Football Outsiders