In 2019 we saw Michael Thomas take the WR1 spot by 100 fantasy points, as he had a truly elite fantasy season. He also broke Marvin Harrison’s record for receptions in a season. We also saw Chris Godwin really emerge, and Tampa Bay also showed they could have two top tier fantasy wideouts. It was the usual business for DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones who had top five seasons. Injuries did derail a few seasons, like Adam Thielen and Davante Adams. The 2019 rookie class brought some strong fantasy plays at the wide receiver position. A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, Deebo Samuel, and D.K. Metcalf all had strong rookie seasons finishing inside the top 35 in PPR scoring. Looking ahead at 2020, we have another strong wave of rookie wideouts coming in. They will be projected once the draft occurs. Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb should be the ones making a strong impact in year one. We are also going to have some changes at quarterback, as the Chargers are already moving on from Philip Rivers. While Drew Brees and Tom Brady will likely remain with their teams, there are going to be a handful of rookie quarterbacks taking snaps next season. As we saw this past season with a few names, struggling quarterback play led to depleted fantasy production.
|Ranking||Player||Team||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Receiving Touchdowns||Total Fantasy Points (PPR)||Fantasy Points Per Game (2020)|
|19||Odell Beckham Jr.||CLE||71.8||1055.7||6.6||217.0||13.6|
|94||Laviska Shenault Jr.||Rookie||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
Tier 1: 1-10th Fantasy WR’s
Michael Thomas projects to be the runaway wide receiver in 2020, and that was the case in 2019. He has seen 120+ targets in each of his four seasons, has over 1,000 in each of his four seasons. Thomas has consistently found the end zone, scoring nine touchdowns in three of his four seasons, and has 32 touchdowns overall. Thomas is your first wide receiver off the board. DeAndre Hopkins projects for a better year than last season, and has been one of the more reliable options as well. He had seven touchdowns last year, which is his lowest since 2016. Hopkins touchdown upside is there, and he projects to be closer to ten for 2020. Davante Adams played 12 games, and still had 127 targets for the Packers. He also finished as WR23, and posted an 83-997-5 line. A healthy year, Adams is posting his usual top ten numbers. I expect the Packers to bring in some help, but that won’t hurt Adams in any fashion. He is one of the premier route runners in the game, and gets fed constantly. He has seen 121, 117, 169, and 127 targets over the past four seasons. Adams has also averaged ten touchdowns per season in the last four.
Tyreek Hill was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season, and posted a 58-860-7 line. Hill is in a special offense, and 2018 type numbers are not out of the question. Hill should see 120+ targets in a 16-game season. Julio Jones likely remains a top five wide receiver, and we can complain all we want about his touchdown numbers. Yes, he has one year with double-digit touchdowns, and four seasons over seven touchdowns, but the production remains the same. He will be 31 heading into the 2020 season, and we have to wonder if we see some regression soon. Luckily he remains on a pass happy team with Matt Ryan, and I doubt we see any real drop in his production. Tampa Bay produced strong wide receivers last season, and things set up perfectly. They didn’t use their tight ends, the pass defense was bad, and Jameis Winston gave them all the targets they could possibly ask for. Chris Godwin took the leap many were expecting, and finished as WR2 in PPR leagues, and he missed the final two games of the season. Mike Evans finished as WR16, who missed three games. While we will need to see what they do with Winston, this will continue to be a very friendly fantasy offense.
Kenny Golladay was a monster, catching 65 balls for over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns. This is also with Matthew Stafford going down halfway through the year. He has now seen over 110 targets in two straight years, and has over 1,000 yards in back-to-back season. Golladay is the clear WR1 in Detroit, and his upside is a top five scoring wideout, and his floor is still inside the top 15. Amari Cooper has played 25 games in Dallas, putting up 76 yards per game, and 14 touchdowns. Cooper is a free agent, who should stay in Dallas. There were doubts about him last season, but he should have put those to bed. Keenan Allen has now played all 16 games in three straight seasons, going over 100 receptions in two, and scored six touchdowns in each. The Chargers will have a change under center, but Allen remains a consistent option.
Tier 2: 11-20th Fantasy WR’s
This was one of the tougher areas to truly rank players. Tyler Lockett finished as WR13 last season, and had 111 targets. He had a career high in receptions, targets, and yards. He also had eight touchdowns, following a ten touchdown season. Lockett benefits from playing with Wilson, and the arrival of Metcalf really helped the offense overall. This group of 11-15 can all have top ten potential, and they also are relatively safe options as well. The Panthers did not have great quarterback play in 2019, and that likely won’t change in 2020. D.J. Moore is coming off of a strong season, where he also only had four touchdown. I have some positive touchdown regression coming his way, and love the targets as a WR1. If Allen Robinson can put up numbers with the list of quarterbacks that have thrown to him, imagine if Chicago can get a competent arm in there? Robinson posted top ten numbers, and is seeing true WR1 type volume. This volume alone will have him set on a top 15 scoring list again.
Courtland Sutton is coming off of a 72-1112-6 line, which was good for WR19 in PPR leagues. I like Sutton’s upside this season, and he saw 126 targets on a team that wasn’t exactly fantasy friendly. Drew Lock has a chance to unlock some better numbers for Sutton, and I have him ticked up in receptions as well. We will likely see A.J. Green out of Cincinnati and somewhere new, but Joe Burrow is coming to town. I expect the Bengals offense to look better overall as their offensive line should also see a bump with Jonah Williams returning. They should also add in another offensive lineman as well. Tyler Boyd had 147 targets last season, and Boyd is coming off back-to-back top 20 seasons. He is still just 25 years old, and he projects for another 1,000+ yard season and should range between 5-9 touchdowns. I doubt we see Boyd outside of the top 20 again.
The second year wideout out of LSU dominated in his second year. D.J. Chark played 15 games, saw 118 targets from Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew, and turned that into a 73-1008-8 line. This was no fluke, as Chark possesses elite athleticism and size. Look for another big year from the Jacksonville WR1, as he has higher potential than being WR17 as well. A.J. Brown took just 84 targets, and turned it into a WR21 scoring season in PPR leagues. He had the lowest amount of targets out of anyone in the top 30 for scoring. Brown is a solid threat to even improve on those numbers, as long as Tennessee makes the right move at quarterback. Can we trust an Odell Beckham Jr. bounce back season? Eh, I’m not so sure. He had over 1,000 yards, but just four touchdowns. He has ten total touchdowns in the last two seasons, and that really what has been lacking. I still believe we see a top 20 season here, but cracking that next tier is in question.
Tier 3: 21-30th Fantasy WR’s
Julian Edelman continues to be a rock in PPR formats, racking up receptions and seeing plenty of targets. He has surpassed 150 in two of the last three seasons, and the one he didn’t was when he was suspended four games. Like Tom Brady, Edelman is also getting older. He will be 34 this year, but that isn’t a big knock given how he is used. Cooper Kupp had a fantastic year, even when the Rams offense was struggling at times. He had 134 targets, catching 94 of them. Kupp’s ten touchdowns were a nice bonus, and he was on pace for double-digit touchdowns in 2018 before tearing his ACL. Kupp rebounded tremendously, but we would be banking on big touchdown production again. JuJu Smith-Schuster struggled last season, with health, and with the absence of Ben Roethlisberger. This was a name we talked about being a top five wideout last season, but that ended quickly. Even in his healthy games, his play alone was pedestrian. He could end up being a steal if his ADP takes the dip it is projected to.
The Dolphins had a very fantasy friendly offense once Ryan Fitzpatrick took over full time, and we should see the quarterback play improve for years to come in Miami. DeVante Parker had a terrific 2019 where he dominated in targets, and pulled in nine touchdowns. Parker was the 14th overall pick back in 2015, and has battled injuries since. Parker finally looked healthy, and his play showed that. He is a name to keep an eye on this offseason, but I expect him to have big volume again, and be a top 25 scoring wideout. Calvin Ridley still plays second to Jones, but had 93 targets in 13 games, and would have surpassed 100 if he stayed healthy. He has over 1,600 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in 29 career games. Ridley has a nose for the end zone, and has plenty of value on a high octane pass attack. Ridley has big upside this year.
Jarvis Landry ended up having a strong season in a disappointing season for the Browns. His targets didn’t take as big of a dip as expected, but possibly not having a tight end the whole year was apart of that. He had over 1,100 yards, and six touchdowns. I think we see a pretty even number between him and OBJ again this year, which means the upside of both might not be what we think. Terry McLaurin had a terrific rookie season, and had to deal with the lackluster Redskins offense at times. Despite all the downsides it brings, he finished as WR29 in PPR scoring, on 14 games. Dwayne Haskins started to put it together towards the end of the year, and if they can improve the offensive line and add another weapon, he should continue to bring fantasy goodness. DK Metcalf is coming off of a 100 target season, and had 900 yards and seven touchdowns.
Tier 4: 31-40th Fantasy WR’s
Talk about going from one end of the regression scale to the other. Mike Williams went from having ten touchdowns on 43 receptions in 2018, to two touchdowns on 49 receptions in 2019. He saw a jump in targets at 90, and while we will need to see how the Los Angeles quarterback situation unfolds, Williams is a special talent. Either way, Williams should see a tick up in touchdowns. His week to week volatility will likely be pretty high, which is the downside for me if you are looking for consistency. Michael Gallup benefitted from the massive jump in Dallas production through the air. He had over 100 targets, and posted over 1,100 yards and six touchdowns. Gallup is a true WR2 in an offense that can support a healthy core of top tier fantasy players. Gallup’s numbers are certainly where he can be again, but he projects to be a bit lower than 2019 numbers. T.Y. Hilton‘s age is going up and the health risk has come with it. It also isn’t ideal that Jacoby Brissett lowers his overall ceiling. Hilton has dropped quite a bit from last season, and his ADP should follow.
Well, Larry Fitzgerald is returning for another season. He finished as WR35 in PPR, and had another season over 100 targets. Fitz’s overall production has been average at best over the last two seasons. I was looking forward to Fitz moving on, and allowing some younger wideouts to get a chance in Arizona. At the moment it looks like we won’t get that. In PPR formats he is a find mid-range pick, but this is the only format I would entertain him in. There is a big Christian Kirk year coming soon, and he saw 108 targets in 13 games last season. The volume and speed of the Arizona offense was encouraging once they get a good offensive line in place. Kirk is due for some positive touchdown regression, and averaged 5.3 receptions per game.
We hit a wall of names here where we have some injury concerns. Sterling Shepard has had a history of concussions, to the point where there is some bigger concern. He played just ten games last season, and had 83 targets in that span. It is a bit of a crowded Giants receiving core, so that is another downside for him. Shepard still has top 40 potential, even missing six games, he finished WR48. Marquise Brown had a pretty strong rookie year, and showed he can be a real deep threat in this league. Health was an issue with the hamstring injury, and even though he missed just two games, he wasn’t at full strength for a few of the games he actually played in. Brown has a good ceiling off 800 yards and 5+ touchdowns, but the weekly fluctuation in points will be there. It was a weird year for Brandin Cooks, who saw just 72 targets in 14 games. He finished with just two touchdowns, which was a career low, and had 583 receiving yards. I will have a tough time buying back into Cooks a bit, but expecting a Rams bounce back, Cooks should get back in the mix.
Tier 5: 41-50th Fantasy WR’s
This is a range where we will see a shift as the offseason goes on. Robby Anderson is a free agent, and upside could be unlocked depending on where he lands. Anderson came on late last season, and posted a similar line to 2019. There is no doubt he is talented, but New York wasn’t going to be a place for consistency. If he can land in a spot with a strong quarterback, we could be looking at a big year. A pair of San Francisco wide receivers were a big reason for why they made it to the Super Bowl. Emmanuel Sanders was traded out of Denver, had had a sizable role with the 49ers. Deebo Samuel was terrific last season, and saw plenty of touches. He had some rushing stats that inflated his fantasy numbers a bit, and those are tricky to project for this season. Sanders will also be a free agent, and a WR3 at best heading into draft season. Marvin Jones was a bit underrated heading into last season. He finished with nine touchdowns, and averaged 12.6 yards per catch. Jones has potential to crack the top 30 again with a healthy Stafford.
For someone who had 101 targets in 15 games, Dede Westbrook had an underwhelming fantasy season. He finished as WR45. This is not the second time he has not done much with 100+ targets. Jacksonville has been linked to taking a few wide receivers in the draft this year, and that could mean a downgrade to Westbrook. We will need to monitor the situation. Westbrook will remain a volume based value in drafts if Jacksonville decides to stay put with this receiving core. Cole Beasley is in a similar boat, as Buffalo should be looking to get some help for Josh Allen. I wouldn’t bank on six touchdowns again, and likely he won’t see 105 targets again either. Beasley can be a reliable PPR option, but will likely take a dip in the rankings as the summer moves along.
As usual, drafting Will Fuller you will need a contingency plan due to his health. He has played 18 games in the last two seasons, and has had a few major injuries throughout his career. When healthy, Fuller is a big time playmaker that makes the Houston offense better all around. It is just hard to project him for a full season. I still think he is worth the gamble at the right ADP, which remains to be determined. Undrafted free agent, Preston Williams, had a strong start to the season before tearing his ACL. Williams is expected to make a full recovery, and be back at full strength for next season. Being an undrafted free agent does make things tricky, as teams don’t have the financial ties to keep moving forward after a major injury. So this will be something to watch out for, especially if Miami adds a wideout through the draft. It was a weird year for Tyrell Williams, who saw 64 targets in 14 games, and produced a 42-651-6 line. With only a few other receiving options, the target share was disappointing.
Tier 6: 51-60th Fantasy WR’s
Randall Cobb‘s second half of the season helped him have a pretty decent fantasy year. He finished as WR42 in PPR formats, and saw 83 targets. I have him around similar numbers to last season, especially given how talented this Dallas offense is if they stick around together. Cobb was also healthy for the first time in a while, and averaged a career high 15.1 yards per catch. Darius Slayton took advantage of some injuries, and posted a 48-740-8 line on 83 targets. He finished inside the top 40 in scoring, and was a deep threat in the offense. With a fully healthy core, it is hard to see where he fits in, but he proved he belongs involved in the offense. A modest touchdown projection has him a bit lower in scoring compared to last season. Turning 30 this year, and coming off a major injury, Alshon Jeffery‘s value has taken a downward turn. Philadelphia should be looking to upgrade their receiving core as well. Jeffery is projected for a full season, but there is a chance he could miss a few games heading into the 2020 year.
Diontae Johnson and James Washington both had successful seasons when you factor in the poor quarterback play and offensive line. Johnson saw 92 targets this past season, and had 59 catches for 680 yards and five touchdowns. Washington had 79 targets, positing a 44-735-3 line. Both are going to be backend values in the draft, and hopefully see better quarterback play with Ben Roethlisberger returning. Golden Tate was suspended for four games, but saw 85 targets in 11 games that he played. Evan Engram and Shepard being out helped him get to 80+ targets in that span. While his career is starting to dwindle down, Tate still has some value left in PPR leagues. Six touchdowns in 11 games was a bit uncharacteristic for Tate, as he has only topped six once in a full season.
Anthony Miller had some big games down the stretch, which puts him on the map for 2020. He will be a volatile name to take at the end of drafts however. He saw 85 targets over the course of the season, which was second on the team behind Robinson. Miller had a solid rookie season, going over 400 yards and seven touchdowns on 54 targets. Miller is extremely quick, and has some upside heading into his third year. Keep an eye on him late for draft day, especially deeper leagues. Corey Davis did not have a third year breakout, in fact he took a deep dive in just about everything. He saw 69 targets, although it was a run heavy offense with A.J. Brown now in the mix. Davis is a former 5th overall pick, and time is ticking now heading into this fourth season. With a continued slip in ADP, he is now a true late round dart throw.
Tier 7: 61-70th Fantasy WR’s
The less than desirable options are starting to appear now, as we get into the bottom 40. A lot is going to change over the next few tiers, especially as things get cleared up as far as where targets are going to go. There are a lot of potential breakout options in these groups, and more young names to keep an eye on as they possibly can emerge into a larger role. Mecole Hardman saw just 41 targets, but caught 26 balls for 538 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 20.7 yards per catch, and Hardman is certainly going to be a force in this passing game, but the volume isn’t quite going to be there just yet. DeMarcus Robinson saw some time as well, but this offense is going to be able to sustain quite a few fantasy options. Out of this group, Hardman is up there in terms of breakout potential. Chris Conley’s production came really from an injury or two. He played well, but volume in this offense as the WR3 isn’t going to be reliable. 90 targets was a bit much for him, as it was a career high. I still have him on my radar, but like Westbrook, this receiving core might see a new name through the draft.
Zach Pascal benefitted from Hilton being out, and flashed some big games. Indy is due for a wide receiver revamp, which is likely going to hurt Pascal’s overall upside. Indy’s overall pass offense isn’t highly regarded heading into 2020. Pascal is another one where we need to see how things shake up. Kenny Stills is going to be a good safety net for those drafting Will Fuller. He had a 40-561-4 line on 55 targets last season. Stills has never been a big target guy, and he is in the mix of a few names still in Houston. Breshad Perriman put up most of his production over the final few games with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin out. But he did look good. He will be Tampa’s WR3 next year, which should still put him in the mix for around 50 targets or so. He would of course gain a ton of value if an injury occurred to the names above him.
Alex Erickson is an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin, and saw 78 targets last season. Auden Tate is going to be in the mix still, and the same goes for John Ross. We will need to see how things shake up in Cincinnati, as they have four wide receivers in play. Ross saw 56 targets in eight games, posting a 28-506-3 line. He is a speedster who is just 24, and still has a lot to prove. The big play potential is there, and it will be exciting to see if he can gel with Joe Burrow. I would expect Ross to have a strong role in the offense if he can remain healthy. However that has been an issue for him so far in his career. Green Bay desperately needs to add more playmakers around Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers. Allen Lazard isn’t a lock to be as involved as he was down the stretch, but is a name to at least keep an eye on. He is a big wideout who saw 52 targets, catching 32 of them for 477 yards and three scores. He is another undrafted wideout out of Iowa State.
Tier 8: 71-80th Fantasy WR’s
Atlanta having such a pass heavy offense, and Mohamed Sanu out of town, Russell Gage began to show his worth. He saw 74 targets last season, posting a 49-446-1 line. He still sits behind Ridley and Jones, but if Atlanta doesn’t strike a deal with Austin Hooper, Gage stands a chance to be the third weapon in the offense. That wouldn’t be a bad thing by any means. N’Keal Harry was injured for the first half of 2019, and then slowly adjusted as the season goes on. I still have hope that Harry can really make a year two jump, especially with New England not having a playmaker outside of Edelman in the offense. They will need to add fresh blood, but Harry was drafted 32nd overall and was a talented prospect out of Arizona State. We are going to see more from him.
Weirdly I am hoping a lot of these names don’t pan out, because they would be taking away targets from names that deserve them more. Ted Ginn is a 35-year-old wideout who needs to give way, and New Orleans needs to give Drew Brees a true WR2 in this offense. Steven Sims is an undrafted free agent who saw more time in his rookie year than expected. It was hard for any other receiver not named McLaurin to have fantasy value, but Sims put together a few games. Paul Richardson will be returning, but health has never been on his side. Washington is another team I would expect to add a wide receiver from the draft.
Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson picked up some slack down the stretch once Preston Williams went down with his season ending injury. Both will be in the mix for the WR3 role, which won’t have a ton of value in Miami, but they are names you need to know in case they slide up in the depth chart due to injury. This is still going to be a bad defense and Miami will be in plenty of pass friendly games. Hurns will never get back to the 2015 production he had, but can be a viable name if targets fall his way again. Wilson was a backup back in Kansas City, and his two seasons in Miami have been about just the same. It will be hard justifying Wilson targets over some of the other names.
Tier 9: 81-90th Fantasy WR’s
We have reached the end of the list here, as the next ten names are upcoming rookies. This is not a group I want to touch, and if these names see time on the field, then those front offices did a horrible job helping out their quarterback. DaeSean Hamilton had an opportunity to take advantage of some targets once Emmanuel Sanders left, but failed to do so. Denver should be looking to bring in a new wideout, and Hamilton’s hopes of making an impact will go down. Greg Ward actually had a decent end of the season where he was relied upon with all the Eagles wideouts on the shelf. Ward shouldn’t jump back into too much action, unless Philly for some reason ignores the glaring need here.
Andy Isabella was a name I wanted to emerge with the Fitzgerald retirement, but his ageless body is going to make me wait another day. Isabella is a speedster who ran a 4.3 40 and showed excellent breakout speed in the open field. He was drafted at the end of the second round, and while he is on the smaller side, there is no doubt he can be a playmaker. The upside this year is a bit capped with Arizona having names in front of him again, and that is certainly a shame. He is by far the most talented name in this group, and playing time is what is stopping him. Most of these other names have seen the time, but have failed to make anything of it.
J.J. Arcega-Whitside was drafted in the second round, and in a season with a lot of Eagles injuries, he missed a few games, but also failed to make anything of being a primary wideout. I have some concern for his future upside, and wouldn’t be willing to bank on much production from him this season. Philly will be looking to bring in a few new names, and the tight ends also continue to see a bulk of the targets. Keke Coutee is down on the pecking order in Houston, bringing in Stills took a hit to his fantasy stock last season. Injured hindered him again, and this is now the second year in a row where he has seen less than ten games. Also with Duke Johnson in the mix for a handful of targets, Coutee’s future outlook is not looking good. He shouldn’t be on anybody’s sleeper list anymore.
Tier 10: 91-100th Fantasy WR’s
With the 2020 NFL Draft still a few months away, it is tough to project any type of fantasy value just yet. However, we have another pretty good class. We also have a lot of strong teams in need of some new weapons. That means we could get rookies catching balls from Drew Brees, Carson Wentz, and Aaron Rodgers. Last season’s crop of rookie wideouts posted strong years, and these names will have a tough act to follow. One thing is for sure, and that is CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy are coming in at number one and number two. There are a lot of mock drafts with Lamb going to Arizona to connect with another Sooner in Kyler Murray. Lamb is a dynamic wideout, and would be a major upgrade in Arizona. This would also create a bit of a headache for Fitz and Kirk too. Jeudy is likely headed for a top 15 pick as well. Denver, Indianapolis, Oakland, and the New York Jets are all in dire need of a big time wideout they can build their passing offense around. Jeudy is exactly that.
Some teams in the back half of round one will have a chance to land some talented wideouts. I really want to see New Orleans take a rookie wideout in the first round, which would up their fantasy value playing with Brees in a fantasy friendly offense. Laviska Shenault Jr. should be a late first rounder that possibly could find his way into New Orleans, but also into Green Bay. The Packers are desperate for playmakers, and Shenault Jr. is exactly that. Philadelphia and Buffalo are also two spots that need to upgrade their receiving core. Tee Higgins and Henry Ruggs will be looked at by these teams, but it is hard to tell if these teams will bite in the first round.
Justin Jefferson is going to be a steal for whichever team grabs him. There is a chance someone falls in love late first round, but he could be a steal in the second round for a team like Indy who has the 34th overall pick. Jalen Reagor is a speedster, and I compared him to Mike Wallace. He is a vertical threat who would give a team home run potential on any play. The rest of the names will be going a bit later, and some other teams who need wideout help are Washington, Miami, New England, Baltimore, and San Francisco. Of course we can see some of these situations are better than others. Devonta Smith and Brandon Aiyuk are going to be very dependent on where they go.