Top 2023 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver League Winners: Adam Thielen

Top 2023 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver League Winners: Adam Thielen
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

There have been very few bright spots this season for the Carolina Panthers, but Adam Thielen does stand out on the team with the worst record in the NFL.

The 10-year pro is in his first season in Charlotte, and in some ways, the 33-year-old wide receiver is putting up numbers close to his prime years in Minnesota, where he earned Pro Bowl honors twice and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in both campaigns. Through the Panthers' first 12 games this season, Thielen has caught 80 passes for 753 yards and four touchdowns.

While Thielen won’t be helping the Panthers playoff chances this season, his contributions on the field have certainly helped fantasy owners who invested a mid-round or later pick on him. As those teams prepare for their playoff runs, they’ll likely be counting on Thielen to continue raking in passes from Bryce Young. That led us to wonder where the veteran ranks among the top surprises in fantasy leagues.

BetCarolina.com utilized FantasyData.com to compile the current fantasy rankings of WRs after Week 13 of play in a standard point-per-reception (PPR) league and then found the average draft position fantasy rankings for a standard PPR league before the season. Receivers were only included if they were in the initial Top 70 ADP rankings.

Top 2023 Fantasy Football League Winners: Wide Receiver

information, as you see below, is something that could hold weight in future prop bets once NC betting apps are available. Here are the top 5 fantasy wideouts in relation to their average draft position.

Rank Player Team *ADP Current Rank Rank Difference *PPG
1 Nico Collins Texans WR56 QWR12 44 spots 17.6
2 Adam Thielen Panthers WR51 WR14 37 spots 15.2
3 Rashee Rice Chiefs WR65 WR33 32 spots 11.7
4 Jakobi Meyers Raiders WR53 WR24 29 spots 14.1
5 Michael Pittman Jr. Colts WR32 WR10 22 spots 16.8
*ADP = Average Draft Position *PPG = Points Per Game (fantasy points)

Thielen Has Been The Top Option for Panthers

Thielen’s success is due to the number of passes he’s hauled this season. He’s tied with former Minnesota teammate T.J. Hockenson for ninth in the league with 80 receptions. While he’s only averaging 9.4 yards per reception, the points he’s getting for the catches are still valuable.

How much is Carolina dependent on Thielen? No other Panthers receiver, tight end, or running back has even half the number of receptions or receiving yards he does. When Young drops back, chances are he’s looking for his veteran wideout.

Carolina has five games left in the season, and all five are against teams vying for a playoff spot in either the NFC or AFC. DraftKings has set the Panthers' total wins at 2.5, with the over a slight favorite (-110) against the under (-115).

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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