Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season may have just been the craziest WR week that I have ever seen. The top 24 WRs were filled with no-name unrostered players. While exciting for those in the market for a good replacement, we now have the job of sifting through the real value and the pretenders.
However, one of the best pieces of advice that I can give you is to go with your gut. Use this list as a guideline because each league is different. Some leagues need to pay much more in FAAB to get those WRs than others. Find the players who pique your interest from the list and try and figure out what the other fantasy owners’ needs are in your league.
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A lot of Chase Claypool’s success came about because of the fact that Diontae Johnson went down early in the game. However, the number of designed plays for Claypool, such as screens, end-arounds, and rub routes was insane. Not only was he always a big part of the game plan, but now we know that he can handle his own as a starting NFL WR.
Ben Roethlisberger made it clear in the pre-season that he loved Claypool’s talent. When he is in the game, similarly to Diontae Johnson, Ben will feed him the ball. While Rotherlisberger cannot dictate his snap count, after a performance like that there is little in the way of concern for opportunity. Claypool may bust in a few games due to the number of players there are for Ben to utilize. However, his playmaking ability mixed with any kind of injuries to James Washington, Diontae Johnson, or JuJu Smith-Schuster gives you a bonafide WR2.
If you did not listen to my advice a few weeks ago, or in the streamers of the week article, go get Shenault! Not only is Jacksonville in passing game scripts a ton, leading to plenty of opportunity for the rookie. but he also gets tons of scripted plays including rushes. Shenault is a super solid WR3 on his receiving game alone. However, his use as a swiss army knife in the offense sees him rise significantly in value. It is clear that he will perform better when Chark is taking the pressure off by demanding attention from the opposing team’s best CB. This allows Shenault more freedom.
I do not see Shenault being a week winner as often as Claypool. However, what I do see is consistent 10+ point games and a bench player that you can actually rely on to place in your flex spot and deliver consistent flex spot numbers. Of course with only 1 TD, if Shenault could find the endzone more often, then he could easily rise into WR2 territory, so he is not without any upside. I love this pickup.
Other WR Options
Henry Ruggs has quite a high chance of being rostered. However, he does have a BYE coming up that could leave some managers to drop him in order to find a play that week. Ruggs does not fit into the top WRs on this list because I doubt that we see this performance again of 20+ points, or at least see it on a regular basis. The Raiders have a ton of talent at WR and Carr attacked the Chiefs because they have a bad secondary.
I do love Ruggs as a bench stash. If you have space, keep him on the bench through the BYE and the Tampa Bay game. If Ruggs sees an increase in target share and gets around that 5-6 range, then you have a usable asset. Ruggs does not need a ton of targets to score big, as we saw. However, he needs something. Going through a BYE and getting completely healthy will allow us to see everything that Ruggs has to offer against the Bucs in Week 7. Then it is make or break time for me. It is worth the FAAB as the upside is intense.
Tim Patrick is a great option for this season. He has taken over the Courtland Sutton role, which means that he is the starting outside receiver for this team. The Broncos should be getting Drew Lock back which is a huge upgrade at QB. This means that Patrick has WR2 upside if he continues to get the targets and air yards that we have seen the past two weeks. The Broncos want to run Jeudy and Patrick together a lot. This probably will lead the opposing #1 CB to Jeudy, and Tim Patrick will have a much easier matchup.
When it comes to talent, Tim Patrick obviously possesses a ton. He is a big physical receiver that Lock will be able to heave 50/50 balls to. His routes were particularly impressive in the Jets game, allowing him to get open and not have to rely on just pure physical talent. I think that investing in Tim Patrick now is not a bad decision. He has some great matchups like Atlanta in Week 8 and Vegas in Week 9 when a lot of your starters will be on BYE. Those will be the weeks to unleash Patrick.
I hesitate to spend any kind of FAAB on a no-name player from a practice squad who excelled in one game. However, Fulgham may have earned himself a spot after two stud back-to-back performances. Whenever a QB targets a WR 13 times in a game, he obviously sees something. The question is: was it something that he saw just in this game or can it be a weekly thing? While Fulgham did grab a TD last week in San Francisco, he only had 3 targets on 61 percent of the snaps. Regardless Fulgham is a shot in the dark. His talent is not insane, but he has a very solid opportunity. I like him in deeper leagues, but he could be a bench stash for a week to see if the targets keep coming.
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