In Defense of Ageism: Why Drake London Is the Top Rookie Wide Receiver in 2022 (and Why It Could Also Be Jameson Williams)
Image Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Drake London.

Earlier this offseason I made an appearance on Ship Chasing to participate in a rookie mock draft. I had the second pick and took Drake London, explaining that I was breaking the tie between him and Treylon Burks in favor of London because he is more than a year younger than Burks. The responses in the comments included joking accusations of ageism. All I can say is that when it comes to rookie wide receivers in fantasy football, I plead guilty.

To understand why I’m an ageist about rookie wide receivers, it helps to understand some of the dynamics of draft age — why and how much it matters, and just how long it continues to matter in an NFL WR’s career. We’ve looked at this issue in some depth before, but I want to revisit it with another year of data, and to provide a few other ways to look at the numbers.

Measuring the Effects of Draft Age

First, how much does it matter? The table below indicates the average output over a player’s first two seasons for PPR, expected points, and fantasy points over expectation for each draft age cohort. Draft age is calculated as a player’s age on December 31 in the year of his final college season. It coincides with the Final College Age metric in the WR Prospect Lab.

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Blair Andrews

Managing Editor, Author of The Wrong Read, Occasional Fantasy Football League Winner. All opinions are someone else's.

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