The 2020 fantasy football season is fast-approaching and Lineups has you covered. Check out our latest rankings, our top-notch projections, and our historical fantasy football stats. This column is going to serve as a weekly look at the best wide receivers to pick up off the waiver wire. We’re only heading into Week 1, so the players you drafted are almost certainly going to be seeing your starting lineup. However, with depth more important now than ever before, it’s important to be ahead of the curve on the waiver wire. Let’s start off the season by looking at wide receivers who weren’t drafted in a majority of leagues but could be in for a big game Week 1.
|Player||Team||Week 1 Opponent||Week 1 Projection|
|Joe Reed/K.J. Hill||LAC||@CIN||7.4|
DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles
I’m expecting DJax to get drafted in most leagues, but if you find him on the waiver wire you might just have a top 15 guy for Week 1. Jackson is going up against the Washington Football Team defense that was ranked 20th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers last season. Washington’s front seven is expected to be much-improved, especially after drafting Chase Young #2 overall, but I still have glaring concerns about their lack of depth in the secondary. In Week 1 last season, Philadelphia took on Washington and DeSean Jackson exploded for the Eagles with 8 receptions for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. That wound up being his only meaningful game in 2019, but he’s reportedly healthy now. With Alshon Jeffery’s status to start the season very much in question, Jackson is the only proven pass-catcher on the roster. Of course, Jalen Reagor is the sexy name as the first-round rookie, but Jackson is going to be this team’s WR1 in Week 1 against a poor passing defense. Act accordingly.
Players I like Jackson more than this week: DeAndre Hopkins, Terry McLaurin, JuJu Smith-Schuster
Anthony Miller – Chicago Bears
The passing game for the Bears isn’t one that fantasy players typically want to invest in, but I believe Anthony Miller could have some hidden value in Week 1. Of course, Allen Robinson is the #1 option in the passing game for Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles, whichever one wins the starting job. However, the Bears take on Detroit in Week 1 and the Lions allowed the 3rd-most fantasy points to wide receivers last season. To their credit, the Lions do have a completely remade secondary featuring Desmond Trufant, Duron Harmon, and rookie first-round pick Jeff Okudah. However, with minimal training camp action and no preseason, it may take time for this group to develop chemistry in Matt Patricia’s defense. 4-5 catches could be in the cards for Miller in this game as the Lions offense looks potent on the other end of the field. I love Miller as a DFS target this week, as well, due to his expected lower ownership in tournaments.
Players I like Miller more than this week: DK Metcalf, Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders
Allen Lazard – Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ passing offense should have a tremendous opportunity to start the season off hot against the Vikings’ defense. Minnesota ranked 7th-worst in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers last season and then lost their top three cornerbacks over the offseason in Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander. Davante Adams is my WR1 for this week, but I believe this is going to be a high-scoring matchup with plenty of production to go around. Allen Lazard is the clear #2 guy in the passing game for Aaron Rodgers, and we’ve seen the Packers’ QB support two fantasy-relevant receivers in the past. If he’s unable to get it done in for fantasy in this matchup, I’ll lose some confidence in him long-term. However, I believe he’ll have a strong opening week.
Players I like Lazard more than this week: Mecole Hardman, Kendrick Bourne, Curtis Samuel
Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers
I’m expecting the Raiders-Panthers matchups to have one of the highest combined points totals in Week 1 as both defenses were putrid last year and might be worse, while their offenses are certainly better. I believe both offenses will be able to churn out yardage and points in this contest and I’m looking to take a shot on Curtis Samuel for DFS lineups and deep-league flex plays. I’m expecting big things from all three Panthers’ wideouts – D.J. Moore, Samuel, and Robby Anderson – in the offense helmed by Matt Rhule and Joe Brady and manned by Teddy Bridgewater this season. Samuel may not be the most consistent player as his targets will likely depend on outside variables, but I expect him to be used as both a wide receiver and running back as well as being the focal point of trick plays. With Samuel’s speed and explosiveness, he could pop up for a huge game at any time, and I believe he’ll start the season strong against the Raiders.
Players I like Samuel more than this week: Jerry Jeudy, Golden Tate, Will Fuller
Kendrick Bourne – San Francisco 49ers
The Niners were dealt a significant blow when Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones fracture in June. The second-year wideout was expected to be one of the most important players for this team’s offense after the departure of Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. Samuel could still make a surprisingly timely return for Week 1, but as of now I’m not projecting him to play. George Kittle can’t be the only player to catch passes in San Francisco, so I’m looking at another option at the receiver spot. Brandon Aiyuk was the team’s second first-round draft pick this year, and reportedly Kyle Shanahan’s favorite receiver in the draft, but it’s going to be hard for rookie pass-catchers to make an impact right away without having gone through a preseason. Kendrick Bourne has had much more experience with the team, the system, and Jimmy Garoppolo. If Samuel’s injury persists, I’ll consider picking up Aiyuk as a longer-term, high-upside play. However, in the short-term, Bourne should be the leading targets guy at receiver for as long as Samuel is out.
Players I like Bourne more than this week: John Brown, Diontae Johnson, Brandin Cooks
Preston Williams – Miami Dolphins
It would seem unwise to target a wide receiver that is playing against the defense that allowed the fewest points per game to wide receivers in the Patriots. However, I see Preston Williams as a potential long-term starter who should be rostered now. In his rookie season, Williams played in eight games and had a 16-game pace of 64 receptions for 856 yards and 3 touchdowns. I’m expecting him to be much more involved in his sophomore year after the talent he flashed in Year One, and as long as Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting at quarterback, this offense should be able to support multiple fantasy-relevant pass-catchers. Fantasy analysts are all over Mike Gesecki as a sleeper at tight end, but Williams is the guy I believe in more as the #2 option for the team. I wouldn’t be thrilled about starting him this week, but make sure you stash him while you can.
Players I like Williams more than this week: Julian Edelman, Tyler Boyd (if A.J. Green plays), Robby Anderson
Steven Sims – Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team is likely one of the last teams you’d want to draft a fantasy player from, but they can’t be entirely ignored as an offense. The addition of Scott Turner as offensive coordinator should help second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins immensely and I expect this team to make significant strides on both sides of the ball this year. Terry McLaurin is obviously the WR1 after a spectacular rookie season, but outside of him there aren’t many proven pass-catchers on the roster. Steven Sims went undrafted and didn’t have nearly the same rookie production as McLaurin, but during a four-week stretch to close out the season, he averaged 4 catches for 57.5 yards. That would be good for 9.75 PPR fantasy points per game. That’s not an outstanding number, but Sims has earned a greater snap share than last season and should be able to exploit a Philadelphia secondary that is working in multiple new pieces.
Players I like Sims more than this week: Emmanuel Sanders, Will Fuller, Jamison Crowder
Joe Reed/K.J. Hill – Los Angeles Chargers
This one is a twofer as I have no idea how to differentiate between these two guys. However, I do know there may be some fantasy opportunity alongside Keenan Allen with Mike Williams out for the foreseeable future. The Chargers drafted Joe Reed in the fifth round and K.J. Hill in the seventh round. Joe Reed is a Virginia product, K.J. Hill came out of Ohio State. Both players have been praised extensively during training camp and it’s easy to see how each could become significantly involved in the Chargers’ offense. I’m a little wary about the Chargers’ passing offense long-term as I don’t expect tons of volume with Tyrod Taylor and the efficiency would take a hit with Justin Herbert. However, for the first couple of weeks, it would not be shocking to see one of Reed or Hill become a serviceable deep-league option. Keep an eye on reports from the team and their Week 1 contest to see if one of these two emerges.
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