You wouldn’t know it by looking at the early fantasy football draft results, but Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen was a productive fantasy option last season, averaging over six catches and 62 receiving yards per game in 11 of them and with a terrific 10 touchdowns. He played at the WR1 level, on his way to 100 receptions and 1,000 yards. Then he got hurt. Hey, football players get injured.

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Now we see that Thielen is not even close to the WR3 range in early drafts. It’s easy to understand some of the reasons behind this discouraging disrespect as Thielen is recovering from an ankle injury that ended his season and required surgery. He’s entering his 31st season and, oh, Justin Jefferson and Dalwyn Cook are obviously the top two choices in this productive offense. But still, Round 9 at the beginning of the ADP? Really? No, it doesn’t make much sense. Thielen is somehow forgotten in the drafts.

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Fantasy managers love young, rising wide receivers and often forget about older, tried and tested options that may have suffered a setback or two in recent seasons but could easily bounce back. This article can be, and probably is, written every summer with slight changes in names, and this author often raises his hand to write it. Thielen falling outside the top 40 wide receivers in the early drafts hardly matches his value. He was a top 10 PPR receiver in 2018 and 2020 and was on track to repeat in 2021 until injury intervened.