2020 WIDE RECEIVERS - Rookies and Redshirts

Fantasy4um is back! Get ready for this year's draft with 2020’s fantasy football rookie and second year wide receivers.  Value picks, keepers, and sleepers to be had!

Round 1, Pick 12, 12th overall (Oakland Raiders): 
Henry Ruggs III, WR, University of Alabama
40 games played
RECEIVING: 98 receptions, 1716 yards, 17.5 yards per reception, 24TD
RUSHING: 2 attempts, 75 yards, 37.5 yards per carry (ypc), 1TD

Jeudy is the route running technician who could get off press man, find an opening, and sit down in an opening in coverage.  Ruggs is the deep outside threat with the speed to take the top off of defenses and burn his opponents.  Speed kills and Ruggs has plenty of it.  He’s a weapon who was used in a variety of ways.  Most of the time they hit him on a quick slant or shallow cross but the Tide also got him the ball in pitches, end arounds, and screens.  Sure, there are better route runners who are bigger and stronger with better hands, but Ruggs is arguably the best wideout with his speed.  He ran a sub-4.3 40 at the combine and Chucky will find the best possible way to deploy his new downfield threat. Ruggs’ 5’11”, 188lbs is similar to Tyreek Hill’s 5’10”, 185lbs.  He’s essentially Tyreek Hill 2.0.  He'll be competing for targets with Tyrell Williams, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Jason Witten in Las Vegas.  

Round 1, Pick 15, 15th overall (Denver Broncos): 
Jerry Jeudy, WR, University of Alabama
36 games played
RECEIVING: 159 receptions, 2742 yards, 17.2 yards per reception, 26TD
RUSHING: 1 attempt, 1 yard, 1.0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Jerry Jeudy is arguably the most complete receiver in this year’s draft. He was a critical part of Tua’s success and it’s difficult to imagine Jeudy without Tua and vice versa.  Jeudy’s cerebral approach and attention to detail have helped him develop every part of his game.  Obviously he runs every route in the route tree, but he understands and dissects coverages and exploits small windows in those coverages to get open.  His single and double releases, smooth, intricate route running, body control, and extension to the football, help him reel in his targets.  Even so, he does come with a couple of small concerns.  He can take his eye off the ball for one reason or another which means he occasionally drops passes.  At 6’1”, 193lbs, he’s also one of the more slender wideouts in this draft so he might have a little trouble as an outside receiver.  These are things that can be worked on and fixed.  He just needs to watch the pass all the way into his hands and he can pack on weight as his career progresses.  The Broncos are in desperate need of wideouts though, so Jeudy should have plenty of chances to make an impression if he and Drew Lock can get on the same page.  He’ll have plenty of chances to test his route running against some good coverage units from the Steelers, Titans, the AFC East, and his own AFC West division opponents.

Round 1, Pick 17, 17th overall (Dallas Cowboys): Ceedee Lamb, WR, University of Oklahoma
40 games played
RECEIVING: 173 receptions, 3292 yards, 19.0 yards per reception, 32TD
RUSHING: 9 attempts, 22 yards, 2.2 yards per carry (ypc), 1TD

Sure, Jerry Jeudy might be a better technical route runner than Lamb, but Lamb is arguably the better athlete.  Lamb has strong hands, ridiculous body control, a massive catch radius, and ball skill that can instantly make any quarterback better.  He’s a smooth route runner who caught passes from Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts so it won’t take him long to get acquainted with his new quarterback.  He shines in 50/50 ball situations and when the pass isn’t necessarily on target.  He also uses his incredible vision after the catch to turn good tackling angles into bad ones, elude defenders, and fight for extra yards or house it.  The 6’2”, 198lb wideout should continue to get bigger, faster, and stronger with coaching and pro level strength training.  The Cowboys lost Randall Cobb in the off season, but they got a massive upgrade when they drafted Lamb. He’ll elevate the Cowboys receiving game, help open things up for Ezekiel Elliot underneath, and probably help Dak post elite numbers against some subpar coverage units this year. 

Round 1, Pick 21, 21st overall (Philadelphia Eagles): 
Jalen Reagor, WR, University of Oklahoma
39 games played
RECEIVING: 148 receptions, 2248 yards, 15.2 yards per reception, 22TD
RUSHING: 35 attempts, 324 yards, 9.3 yards per carry (ypc), 2TD

Philadelphia is the home of the deep threat.  The Eagles are very familiar with speedy wideouts from the Andy Reid and Doug Peterson eras. Jalen Reagor is the latest burner to join the team.  He can stretch the field and will pair well with a QB with a cannon arm.  He can get downfield in a hurry and leave his defenders for dead.  He's probably not the most polished route runner and he's a bit of a one trick pony, but he can track the ball well or go up and get it in jump ball situations.  He can get jammed up at the line so he'll need to work on his hands and releases in press coverage.  Nevertheless, the Eagles' offensive system should benefit Reagor and he'll be able to learn the position from veteran Eagle Desean Jackson, who had some of his best years playing in Philly.  He'll compete with DJax, and Marquise Goodwin for a similar role.  Reagor could have a sneaky good year if he can get on the field.  

Round 1, Pick 22, 22nd overall (Minnesota Vikings): Justin Jefferson, WR, Louisiana State University
30 games played
RECEIVING: 165 receptions, 2415 yards, 14.6 yards per reception, 24TD
RUSHING: 6 attempts, 30 yards, 5.0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

A player who runs a sub 4.5 40 at 6’1”, 202lbs is an exceptional athlete, and that’s exactly what Justin Jefferson is.  He’s just a tough receiver.  His ball skill jumps out on tape and he catches contested passes in traffic.  He can high point the ball or use his strong hands to reel it in.  Instead of just taking the top of a defense, grabbing 50/50 passes, or being an exceptional route runner, Jefferson just does everything well.  He can be a real difference maker, and he’s drawn comparisons to Keenan Allen.  The Vikings needed help at the position with Stefan Diggs’ departure and Laquon Treadwell officially labeled a bust.  Although Bisi Johnson stepped up while Diggs was hurt last year, Jefferson figures to compete with Johnson for the starting job opposite Adam Thielen.  All 3 should be on the field in 3 wide receiver sets. Jefferson could be taken as high as the 6th round in deep leagues.

Round 1, Pick 25, 25th overall (San Francisco 49ers): 
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State University
25 games played
RECEIVING: 98 receptions, 1666 yards, 17.0 yards per reception, 11TD
RUSHING: 1 attempts, 6 yards, 6.0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Aiyuk is arguably the lightning to N’Keal Harry’s thunder.  He has plenty of speed and he knows how to use it.  He typically works the short to intermediate routes and he uses his 80” wingspan and massive catch radius to reel in passes in traffic. He also tracks the deep ball and makes great adjustments to inaccurate or underthrown balls and uses his speed to house it.  He’s electric with the ball in his hands after the catch where he averaged 10.9 yards.  He has enough burst to find and exploit small openings in coverage or bad tackling angles.  At 6’0”, 200lbs, he’s a size speed guy who isn’t necessarily a great route runner, but he’s an ideal fit for Kyle Shanahan’s system.  The departure of Emmanuel Sanders and Marquise Goodwin and injuries you Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel have left the door for the 49ers WR1 spot wide open.  Even though the 49ers signed Tavon Austin and JJ Nelson, Aiyuk plays a lot like Deebo and he could find success quickly if he and Jimmy G get on the same page early.  He’s an excellent late round flier, but he could go as high as the middle rounds in some leagues.  

Round 2, Pick 1, 33rd overall (Cincinnati Bengals): 
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson University
37 games played
RECEIVING: 135 receptions, 2448 yards, 18.1 yards per reception, 27TD
RUSHING: 1 attempts, 36 yards, 36yards per carry (ypc), 1TD

The two phrases that most accurately describe Tee Higgins are "Jump Ball," and "Back shoulder fade."  Higgins is a big, physical receiver who excels at contested catches.  He's used to getting the ball in coverage and he can turn just about all of those contested catches into completions.  At 6'4" 215lbs, there aren't many defensive backs who can cover him.  He was a big part of Trevor Lawrence's success during his time at Clemson.  His smooth route running ability and willingness to fight for yards after the catch add to his appeal. Sadly, he doesn’t have the most speed so it’ll be difficult for him to stretch the field.  Nevertheless, his strong hands and ball skill will help him excel at the pro level.  He’ll be a weapon for fellow rookie Joe Burrow and he can learn the position from AJ Green.  He could be a sneaky good mid to late round pick given the injury history and lack of weapons in the Bengals receiving corps.  

Round 2, Pick 2, 34th overall (Indianapolis Colts): 
Michael Pittman Jr, WR, University of Southern California
37 games played
RECEIVING: 173 receptions, 3292 yards, 19.0 yards per reception, 32TD
RUSHING: 9 attempts, 22 yards, 2.2 yards per carry (ypc), 1TD

At 6’4”, 220lbs, Pittman is one of the larger receivers in this draft.  His big body makes him a viable red zone threat immediately.  He can work inside and outside the numbers.  He’s typically used on deep go’s where he can use his decent speed and ball tracking to reel in catches over his shoulders, but he’s also a natural hands catcher who can snag the ball in traffic on a shallow route. His footwork and route running need work and he doesn’t get in or out of breaks very often on his routes.  Frank Reich will probably use him opposite T.Y. Hilton or in the slot to stretch the field a bit.  Pittman’s hands and quick catch ability offer Rivers some help.  Pittman could see immediate success in the red zone, but he’ll need to develop his route running a bit to be more of a threat.  Nevertheless, he should be a decent mid to late round pick. 

Round 2, Pick 10, 42nd overall (Jacksonville Jaguars): 
Laviska Shenault Jr, WR, University of Colorado
27 games played
RECEIVING: 149 receptions, 1943 yards, 13.0 yards per reception, 10TD
RUSHING: 42 attempts, 280 yards, 6.7 yards per carry (ypc), 7TD

Simply put, Shenault is a weapon. At 6’1”, 227lbs, he’s a wide receiver with a running back’s body, and he plays like a running back too.  He scored nearly as many touchdowns on the ground as he did through the air, and he can truly do it all and do it well.  In addition to running routes and catching the ball, he’s been used in wildcat formations, direct snaps, reverses, and other gadget plays that get the ball in the endzone.  Shenault can step in immediately as an offensive playmaker for the Jaguars, but the second receiver spot is open behind DJ Chark.  Dede Westbrook failed you materialize as the WR2 and Conley and Cole haven’t been targeted much at all.  Since much of the offense runs through Fournette, opportunities for anyone in the Jags receiving corps could be few and far in between. Shenault is a great weapon, but his limited opportunities cap his fantasy upside. He’s a late round flier in all leagues and formats at best.

Round 2, Pick 14, 46th overall (Denver Broncos): 
KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State University
26 games played
RECEIVING: 98 receptions, 1658 yards, 16.9 yards per reception, 13TD
RUSHING: 17 attempts, 87 yards, 5.1 yards per carry (ypc), 1TD

This kid can fly and he’s a playmaker.  He was absolutely electric any time he had the ball in his hands as a receiver or returner.  He’s a vertical burner who can take the top off of any defense and his footwork and route running are good enough to get any defender to bite on a route.  His ball skill and ability to track the deep pass make him an exceptional threat.  He’s agile, twitchy, and makes guys miss.  Unfortunately there are a couple of concerns with Hamler.  First, he’s on a roster with plenty of young receiving options that include Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, fellow rookie Jerry Jeudy, and Melvin Gordon who is actually a decent receiver.  Hamler will also play in a tough defensive division.  That caps his fantasy upside.  Second, he does come with durability concerns.  While he may have sub 4.3 40 speed, he failed to display that speed at the Combine because he tweaked his hamstring.  Moreover, his 5’8”, 175lb frame may not hold up at the pro level, where everyone is bigger, faster, and stronger.  With all of that said, Hamler immediately brings a special teams threat to Denver and he could make a name for himself stretching the field.  He’s a late round flier as a handcuff for Sutton or Jeudy, but little else. 

Round 2, Pick 17th, 49th overall (Pittsburgh Steelers): 
Chase Claypool, WR, University of Notre Dame
45 games played
RECEIVING: 150 receptions, 2159 yards, 14.4 yards per reception, 19TD
RUSHING: 3 attempts, 6 yards, 2.0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Claypool is one of the most explosive players in this year’s draft.  He ran a 4.4 40, has a 40” vertical leap, and a 10’6” broad jump at 6’4”, 238lbs.  He’d be a tight end if he was any bigger.  He’s a phenomenal size speed guy who can leverage both of those things to attack the seam on deep posts.  He can get upfield quick and use his hands to reel in deep passes.  He can also high point the ball and catch it over the tops of defenders.  Unfortunately his route running needs polishing and his numbers suffered as a result of inconsistent quarterback play.  Nevertheless, he could be the second coming of DK Metcalf and he could start off as a redzone threat for the Steelers. Juju was a ghost last year, Washington hasn’t quite panned out, and Diontae Johnson was just starting to hit his stride a little with Mason Rudolph under center.  Claypool could be given plenty of opportunity depending on how preseason plays out.  The Steelers’ receiver room is pretty crowded now, but they can only keep a talent like Claypool sidelined for so long.  Claypool can be left on the wires in most formats and all but the deepest of leagues at the moment, but keep an eye on him.  He could post some sneaky good numbers. 

Round 2, Pick 25, 57th overall (Los Angeles Rams): 
Van Jefferson, WR, University of Florida
45 games played
RECEIVING: 175 receptions, 2159 yards, 12.3 yards per reception, 16TD
RUSHING: 6 attempts, 47 yards, 7.8 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

The best way to describe Van Jefferson is reliable.  He’s a solid receiving option who contributed to Florida’s football success.  He makes great adjustments to the catch, has strong, reliable hands, and he’s a decent route runner.  Put the ball somewhere in his vicinity and there’s a very good chance he’ll make the catch.  While he’s not the biggest or fastest wideout, he has sufficient size at 6’1”, 200lbs and enough speed to thrive at the next level.  He’s not great at any one particular thing, but he’s good at everything.  He’s a well-rounded pass catcher who can really shine with some small tweaks in his game and the right opportunity.  Unfortunately, he was drafted by the Rams and could be the fourth receiver on the roster behind Kupp, Woods, and Reynolds.  Moreover, Sean McVay moved away from three receiver sets toward the end of the year and opted to throw to tight end Tyler Higbee instead.  Jefferson’s lack of opportunity might be capped and he’s only worth a look in dynasty leagues.  

Round 2, Pick 27th, 59th overall (New York Jets): 
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor University
40 games played
RECEIVING: 186  receptions, 2925 yards, 15.7 yards per reception, 28TD
RUSHING: 1 attempts, -6 yards, -6 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

This kid might seriously be the most underrated wideout in this draft.  At 6’3”, 207lbs, Mims might be a little light for a wideout at the next level, but he has all of the playmaking ability.  Strong hands, ball skill, adjustment to poor throws, and a massive catch radius can all be checked off the list.  His ability to get off the line in press coverage, and exceptional route running help him get to where he needs to be or get open in general.  He’s used to catching it in traffic and he’s tough to bring down after the catch.  The only thing he might be lacking is some speed, but he shut the haters up pretty quickly by posting a 4.38 40.  He could’ve been the top receiver in this draft if he had Hurts, Tua, or Herbert throwing to him.  Gang green is starved for receiving weapons which means Mims can step in and be an immediate difference maker. He’ll have plenty of time to develop a relationship with young quarterback Sam Darnold, and he’ll have plenty of opportunities.  All these combine to make him worth a middle round pick.  He’s an excellent late round flier and should be drafted in dynasty leagues. 

UPDATE: Mims is currently nursing a hamstring injury and should be left on the wire. 

Round 3, Pick 2, 66th overall (Washington Football Team fka Redskins): 
Antonio Gibson, WR, University of Memphis
19 games played
RECEIVING: 44 receptions, 834 yards, 19.0 yards per reception, 10TD
RUSHING: 33 attempts, 369 yards, 11.2 yards per carry (ypc), 4TD

Antonio Gibson is a playmaker.  Whether he’s taking handoffs, catching passes, or handling return duties, he’s always a home run threat. At 6’3”, 206lbs, he measures in at a pretty standard size for a receiver, but he runs and plays a lot bigger than that.  He’s elusive with the ball in his hands and he’s tough to bring down.  He runs with incredible balance, soaks up the hits, and sheds tackles when defenders try to bring him down.  He catches like a wideout and runs like a running back.  Sure his route running needs polishing and he won’t always stretch the field, but he can get downfield, get open, and he knows how to get in the endzone. He joins a Redskins roster nearly completely void of offensive playmakers. Terry McLaurin, was the lone offensive bright spot but he flew under most fantasy radars given how bad the Redskins were.  Guice played five games in his first two seasons and didn’t do anything significant.  Adrian Peterson is on his last leg.  Bryce Love was drafted in the fourth round last year, but never played a snap due to an injury.  Gibson has the opportunity to step in and be a weapon on the ground, through the air, and on special teams.  He could go as high as the middle rounds, he’s an excellent late round flier, and he should be drafted in all dynasty leagues.  

Round 3, Pick 16, 80th overall (Oakland Raiders): 
Lynn Bowden, WR, University of Kentucky
37 games played
RECEIVING: 114 receptions, 1303 yards, 11.4 yards per reception, 6TD
RUSHING: 206 attempts, 1530 yards, 7.4 yards per carry (ypc), 13TD

Bowden might be the definition of versatility.  He runs, catches, and throws.  The former high school quarterback is officially listed as a wide receiver, but he’s done it all.  During his senior year, he completed 35 of 74 passes for 403 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 picks.  He’s used to running draws, read options, giving handoffs, or taking handoffs.  As a receiver, he understands routes, how to run them, and where he’s supposed to be.  He also has a natural ability to improvise during scramble drills both as a passer and a receiver.  As a runner, he’s elusive and he has decent vision.  This kid truly understands the big picture having played basically every offensive skill position.  At 5’11”, 205lbs, he’s on the shorter side for a WB, but he’s tall and sticky enough to be a running back or wideout.  Gruden can move Bowden anywhere and everywhere on the field.  His fantasy impact will depend on what position he plays and what opportunities he has.  He’s a late round flier in deep leagues at best, but Gruden is creative so keep an eye on this guy.

Round 3, Pick 17, 81st overall (Oakland Raiders): 
Bryan Edwards, WR, University of South Carolina
48 games played
RECEIVING: 234 receptions, 3045 yards, 13.0 yards per reception, 22TD
RUSHING: 6 attempts, 41 yards, 6.8 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

At 6’3”, 212lbs, Bryan Edwards plays bigger than his size.  Strong hands, great catch radius, and the ability to high point the ball are the hallmarks of his game.  He’s focused, catches in traffic, and sometimes makes highlight reel adjustments to bring in the pass. He’s also tough to bring down after the catch and he’ll fight for those extra yards after contact.  No, he’s not a vertical burner or a jump ball specialist, but he has plenty of size, speed, and ball skill to compete at the next level.  He’ll be an immediate redzone threat in Las Vegas, where he’ll team up with Gruden and Carr and a good, young core of players.  His fantasy production could be tricky though.  He joins a crowded receiving room with Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, and fellow rookies Henry Ruggs and Lynn Bowden.  Darren Waller was also heavily targeted last year.  Edwards is a late round flier at best, but could be worth a look in keeper or dynasty leagues.  

Round 3, Pick 28, 92 overall (Baltimore Ravens): 
Devin Duvernay, WR, University of Texas
45 games played
RECEIVING: 176 receptions, 2468 yards, 14.0 yards per reception, 16TD
RUSHING: 11 attempts, 34 yards, 3.1 yards per carry (ypc), 1TD 

At 5’11”, 210lbs, Duvernay is built like a running back and he plays like one too.  He’s a well-rounded playmaker who works short and intermediate routes, but he can track and haul in the deep pass as well.  He’s not the biggest or fastest wide receiver, but his strong, reliable hands and tough running style after the catch mean this playmaker will get plenty of yards after the catch.  He joins a young Baltimore Ravens offensive unit that already touts Mark Andrews, Hollywood Brown, Miles Boykin, and fellow rookie JK Dobbins.  Chances are pretty slim that he‘ll make a fantasy impact this year, but he’s worth a look in dynasty leagues.  Otherwise he joins a run-heavy offense that already has plenty of receiving options.  

Round 4, Pick 22, 128th overall (Buffalo Bills): 
Gabriel Davis, WR, University of Central Florida
34 games played
RECEIVING: 152 receptions, 2447 yards, 16.1 yards per reception, 23TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

At 6’3”, 213lbs, Gabriel Davis might be one of the more underrated receivers in this draft. He could be a second or third round pick in other drafts, but might have fallen to the fourth due to the depth of this draft. He’s a big bodied receiver with good speed.  He’s a natural hands catcher who can extend outside of his frame to high point the ball or haul in passes that were thrown behind him. He’s physical with his hands at the line of scrimmage, and get downfield in a hurry where he can track the ball and reel it in.  He’s not a dynamic route runner and he struggles to separate or uncover sometimes, but his ball skill and contested catch ability make up for that.  He’s not very dynamic or elusive after the catch either.  Still, his hands and ability to stretch the field for a guy his size are really what stand out on tape.  He’ll probably be used as another downfield threat to be paired with Josh Allen’s arm.  However, his targets could be capped by Diggs, Brown, and Beasley.  He might be worth a late round flier and he’s someone to keep an eye on in dynasty leagues.

Round 4, Pick 36, 142nd overall (Washington Football Team fka Redskins): 
Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty University
24 games played
RECEIVING: 150 receptions, 2433 yards, 16.2 yards per reception, 20TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Antonio Gandy-Golden is a prime example of big time talent at a small time school.  A wide receiver who made it on the Biletnikoff Award (for best NCAA wideout in the nation) watch list cannot be ignored.  His acrobatic, sometimes one-handed catches cannot be overlooked either.  He’s a human highlight reel who has made a name for himself by turning adjusting to bad throws and turning them into great catches.  Sure he played in a smaller conference and didn’t face the best competition, but some of the catches he made were incredible, almost up there with CeeDee Lamb!  At 6’4”, 220lbs, he’ll start off as the occasional redzone threat.  However, he’s also a bigger wideout who’s tough to bring down.  He’s elusive after the catch, and must be gang tackled.  He runs a 4.6 40 and he’s not a great route runner, but he makes up for that with his ball skill, athleticism, and toughness.  He might get off to a slow start, but he has a great chance to work himself into a much larger role in Washington. Terry McLaurin is the undisputed number one wideout on the former Redskins roster that’s void of other receiving options.  If Gandy-Golden and Haskins can get on the same page quickly, then the rookie could be the surprise fantasy draft pick of the year.  The opportunity is there and it’s up to Golden-Gandy to take advantage of it.  

Round 5, Pick 5, 151st overall (Los Angeles Chargers): 
Joe Reed, WR, University of Virginia
47 games played
RECEIVING: 129 receptions, 1465 yards, 11.4 yards per reception, 16TD
RUSHING: 34 attempts, 172 yards, 5.1 yards per carry (ypc), 1TD 

What the stats above don’t show are Reed’s monstrous kick return stats.  In 106 returns during his NCAA career, he’s racked up over 3000 return yards, averaged 28.7 yards per return, and housed it 5 times.  He has handled kick return duties since his freshman year and he’s been successful at it.  Reed is an electric playmaker and a home run threat any time he has the ball.  In addition to being a wideout and kick returner, he was also asked to work out at running back.  At 6’0”, 224lbs, he ya the build, versatility, and ability to play just about any position on the field.  His route running, ball skill, and catch radius are all good, but he’s a threat when he’s in the open field with the football.  He runs with great vision, knows how to find the lanes, and he’s elusive in the open field.  For now, it remains TBD how Tyrod Taylor, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler, and fellow rookie Justin Herbert will operate as an offensive unit.  However, Reed’s versatility means he can line up anywhere on the field in just about any position and contribute.  That said, potential owners need to keep a close eye on training camp, where Reed fits in, and what role he’ll be playing.  It’s tough to determine where he should be drafted in standard or even PPR formats, but he could be worth a look later in dynasty leagues. He’ll also reward owners who draft him in leagues that award individual special teams touchdowns.  

Round 5, Pick 16, 161st overall (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): 
Tyler Johnson, WR, University of Minnesota
43 games played
RECEIVING: 213 receptions, 3305 yards, 15.5 yards per reception, 33TD
RUSHING: 1 attempts, -1 yards, -1 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Tyler Johnson’s stock may have dropped a bit thanks to the depth of this year’s receiver class and the school he played at.  However, at 6’2”, 206lbs, Tyler Johnson brings a big body, reliable hands, great catch adjustments, and consistent playmaking ability to his new team.  He was a dominant receiver in the Big Ten.  He caught contested passes in traffic on short routes and he hauled in the long ball downfield.  He’s not the biggest, fastest, or most elusive, but he’s as dependable a playmaker as they come.  The Buccaneers have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin locked in at their receivers 1 and 2, and they have Gronk at tight end.  Unfortunately they lack any type of depth behind that.  Johnson’s opportunities will come on 3 receiver sets and he’ll probably work on the outside.  However, he‘ll probably get a lot more targets if any of their top 3 wideouts go down.  He’s worth stashing in deeper leagues and worth drafting in keeper and dynasty leagues.  He has Tom Brady throwing to him, so that could raise his fantasy ceiling as well.

Round 5, Pick 20, 165th overall (Jacksonville Jaguars):
Collin Johnson, WR, University of Texas
42 games played
RECEIVING: 188 receptions, 2624 yards, 14.0 yards per reception, 15TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Collin Johnson is the ideal jump ball redzone threat.  At 6’6”, 222lbs, he’s able to climb the ladder, high point the ball, come down with the pass, hang on to it, and fight for a few extra yards after the catch.  He’s a big, physical athlete who can dominate defensive backs and be a nightmare to cover or tackle.  Johnson can assist any looking for an imposing threat in the endzone.  He didn’t do much at the Combine or at his pro day except run through positional drills, but his tape doesn’t lie.  While his numbers might not be as gaudy as other receivers, he uses simple routes to get open or get upfield in a hurry.  He also has some extra size on his frame so he can bulk up to play tight end if he wants.  Either way, he’s a big, physical target who will help out young quarterbacks like Gardner Minshew.  The Jaguars found a young, go to target in DJ Chark in 2019.  Unfortunately, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and Chris Conley just didn’t pan out as a second threat behind Chark.  This leaves the second wide receiver position wide open which means Johnson’s opportunities could come early and often.  He’ll probably start off as a redzone threat, but he could rapidly turn into a playmaking machine in Duval County.  He’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow with Minshew and Shark and that makes him worth rostering one dynasty and keeper formats. 

Round 5, Pick 21, 166th overall (Detroit Lions):
Quintez Cephus,  WR, University of Wisconsin
20 games played
RECEIVING: 93 receptions, 1496 yards, 16.1 yards per reception, 13TD
RUSHING: 9 attempts, 46 yards, 5.1 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

At 6’1”, 207lbs, Cephus is a stocky possession receiver who can be counted on to move the chains.  He’s perfectly comfortable using hand fighting or footwork to get off the line in press coverage.  His route running is a big reason why he can ditch his defender, get open, and just sit in a gap in coverage and wait for the pass.  He works mostly outside the numbers but he can be a slot receiver as well.  It’s not all fun and games though.  Unfortunately he lacks the top end speed to pull away from defenders and stretch the field.  Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones have the down field duties locked up, so Cephus will probably compete with Amendola and TJ Hockenson as a role player for the underneath targets.  If Hockenson and Amendola both go down, which is a very real possibility, Cephus could get on the field as the possession guy and become a PPR Maven.  He’s not worth rostering until then, but he’s worth keeping an eye on. 

Round 5, Pick 23, 168th overall (Philadelphia Eagles):
John Hightower,  WR, Boise State University
23 games played
RECEIVING: 82 receptions, 1447 yards, 17.6 yards per reception, 14TD
RUSHING: 24 attempts, 317 yards, 13.2 yards per carry (ypc), 2TD

Speed kills, and John Hightower has plenty of it.  He ran a 4.43 40 at this year’s Combine and he’ll take the top off of any defense.  He’s electric, explosive, and he’s a home run threat any time he has the ball.  He worked the deep go routes, but he occasionally worked underneath routes as well when Boise State manufactured touches for him.  He’s also a pitch/toss,  sweep gadget player who’s also had his fair share of carries and he was good at it.  He averaged over 13 yards a carry when Boise State did get him the ball in the backfield and he found the endzone a couple of times as well.  The downside is he’s a bit of a one trick pony.  He’s a speedster and a deep route specialist which means he’s not a great route runner and runs a very limited route tree.  He’s also not a natural hands catcher and tends to bring passes in using his body.  At 6’2”, 190lbs, he also has a fairly slender frame which may or may not hold up at the pro level.  With that said, he fits into an Eagles scheme that thrives on speed and creativity.  Coach Pederson can manufacture touches and figure out ways to get the ball to this young burner.  He might compete with DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Marquise Goodwin, and fellow rookie Jalen Reagor for targets.  It’s a crowded receivers room to say the least.  He also has to contend with tight ends Ertz and Goedert.  However, Hightower’s opportunities might come sooner rather than later given Jackson, Jeffery, and Goodwin’s injury histories.  He’s only worth rostering in deeper keeper and dynasty formats, but fantasy managers should keep an eye on him in all leagues.

Round 5, Pick 26, 171 overall (Houston Texans):
Isaiah Coulter,  WR, University of Rhode Island
30 games played
RECEIVING: 114 receptions, 1643 yards, 14.4 yards per reception, 11TD
RUSHING: 3 attempts, 6 yards, 2.0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

At 6’3”, 190lbs, Isaiah Coulter is a size speed prospect.  He ran a 4.45 40 at this year’s Combine and he posted a respectable 36” vertical.  He runs a limited route tree, but his footwork is just good enough to get off the line and get defenders to bite.  He can get downfield in a hurry and extend to catch the ball instead of catching it against his chest.  He doesn’t make great adjustments to passes that are under thrown or behind him and he’s struggled with drops and contested catches at times.  It’s a good thing he was drafted by the Texans into a system that compliments his strengths.  Deshaun Watson has a cannon for an arm which should pair well with the four or five downfield routes Coulter might be asked to run.  He’s also worth keeping an eye on because injuries to Randall Cobb or Will Fuller will open up opportunities.  Given Fuller and Cobb’s injury histories, Coulter could see plenty of targets early on.  Buyer beware, the Texans face the AFC North and NFC North which have some of the best secondaries in the league. 

Round 5, Pick 28, 173 overall (Chicago Bears):
Darnell Mooney, WR, University of Tulane
46 games played
RECEIVING: 154 receptions, 2572 yards, 16.7 yards per reception, 19TD
RUSHING: 5 attempts, 28 yards, 5.6 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

A 4.38 40 and a 37” vertical leap mean this burner is explosive.  At 5’11”, 174lbs, Darnell Mooney isn’t the biggest receiver out there but he can certainly take the top off of any defense.  Great burst off the line, acceleration, and half way decent footwork mean he can get behind any defense and make them pay.  He can use his hops to go up and get it deep downfield too.  There are some downsides to Mooney though.  He does have a fairly slender frame that’s not so tall, which means he might not hold up well on middle routes that could result in a lot of contact.  He also had the second worst drop rate in this year’s draft class, so while he may be able to go up and get it or snag it out of the air, there’s a decent chance he might not actually reel in the pass.  In other words, he’s a bit like Ted Ginn Jr, who the Bears have just signed.  Coach Nagy has undoubtedly wanted a speedster like he had in Kansas City with Tyreek Hill, and he might get that with Mooney.  Targets could be tough to come by though since he’ll be sharing a receiving room with Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Riley Ridley, and Ted Ginn Jr to name a few.  Mooney could carve out a niche as a speedster though, and speed is always part of any Andy Reid system.  This makes him worth keeping an eye on.

Round 5, Pick 31, 176 overall (Minnesota Vikings):
KJ Osborn, WR, University of Miami (FL)
46 games played
RECEIVING: 146 receptions, 2037 yards, 14.0 yards per reception, 17TD 
RUSHING: 14 attempts, 53 yards, 3.8 yards per carry (ypc), 1TD

Osborn was the reliable receiver, returner, and playmaker for the University of Miami Hurricanes.  At 6’0”, 205lbs, he was tough to bring down and elusive with the ball in his hands.  He was used on screens and short passes and was counted on to move the chains.  As a receiver, he mostly worked in short intermediate routes that started inside the numbers or started outside and worked their way back toward the middle of the field.  His reliable hands and ability to pluck the ball out of the air in traffic meant that he was targeted often in close coverage.  After he makes the catch, he runs with vision and uses his experience as a returner yo understand where the blocks are coming from and where and when to cut back.  His route running and adjustments to the catch are unremarkable, but he’s caught his share of back corner fades in the endzone and he’ll fight for extra yards.  Kirk Cousins, if anything, is also unremarkable.  Osborn could earn a decent target load if he and Cousins can get on the same page.  Diggs moved into to Buffalo and vacates plenty of targets that could get distributed to Osborn and fellow rookie Justin Jefferson.  The presence of Dalvin Cook and Kubiak’s use of receiving running backs could further cap Osborn’s fantasy production as a wideout.  While Osborn is reliable, he could see just 5 to 7 targets a game in short yardage situations, but those targets could go to the bigger Justin Jefferson.  It was rare for both Diggs and Thielen to have great fantasy outings on the same weeks.  With all of that said, Osborn isn’t worth rostering unless Jefferson or Thielen get hurt.  

Round 6, Pick 8, 187 overall (Cleveland Browns):
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, University of Michigan
37 games played
RECEIVING: 103, receptions, 1327 yards, 12.9 yards per reception, 14TD
RUSHING: 9 attempts, 87 yards, 9.7 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

At 6’2, 212lbs, Donovan Peoples-Jones is an explosive size speed combo.  He runs a 4.4 40 and has a vertical leap of over 44 inches.  He’s an athlete who’s big, fast, elusive in the open field, and he can make defenders and coverage units miss.  All of his measurables say he should’ve gone in the top 3 rounds of the draft.  Well, he does have some issues. First of all, he’s not the greatest route runner which makes him a bit of a one trick pony.  Then there’s all the talk of him underachieving and his stat line illustrates that.  In a single season, some wideouts pile up over 100 catches and 1400 yards in a single season.  It looks like he hasn’t maximized his athletic ability.  In addition, the Big Ten isn’t known for their receiving talent and Michigan’s offense was inconsistent at best.  Perhaps Peoples-Jones just never to prove himself, and it could be even more difficult now that he joins a Browns receiving room with two of the best in OBJ and Jarvis Landry.  Moreover, his new head coach may use a more run heavy approach to the offense, which further limits Peoples-Jones’ upside.  He might be worth a look in deeper dynasty formats, but he can be left on the wire in all other leagues until he actually produces. 

Round 6, Pick 21, 200 overall (Philadelphia Eagles):
Quez Watkins, WR, University of Southern Mississippi
34 games played
RECEIVING: 159 receptions, 2404 yards, 15.1 yards per reception, 17TD
RUSHING: 5 attempts, 12 yards, 2.4 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Quez Watkins can fly.  At 6’2”, 190lbs, he’s a tall, lanky receiver who has legit 4.3 speed and a vertical of over 36 inches.  He adjusts to passes well since passes were often thrown behind him.  He does well downfield in tight coverage as well and he can pull away from most defenders at the top of his routes.  He’s a go route specialist and a true burner.  He does struggle with route running and getting off the line in press coverage.  At 190lbs, he’s still pretty light at 6’2” which means he can pack on more muscle and add strength to avoid getting bullied in man coverage.  Opposing defensive backs can jam him at the line or redirect him off his routes pretty easily, so he’ll need that added heft to help him fight back and not get held up.  Luckily for him, Watkins was drafted into a system that uses his strength, which is his speed.  He’ll need to fight for targets among other speedsters in the Eagles receiving room who are either faster or better receivers than he is, or he’ll need to wait until someone gets hurt.  There might not be enough targets to go around between Alshon, JJ, and fellow rookies Reagor and Hightower among others.  Watkins is a system guy who can be left on the wire until other receiving options are injured, traded, or cut. 

Round 6, Pick 22, 201 overall (Baltimore Ravens):
James Proche, WR, Southern Methodist University
49 games played
RECEIVING: 301, receptions, 3949 yards, 13.1 yards per reception, 39TD
RUSHING: 10 attempts, 50 yards, 5.0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

The best way to describe Proche is either reliable or consistent.  He’s one of the more underrated players in the draft.  At 5’11”, 193lbs, he’s basically a running back with excellent hands who knows how to get in the endzone.  He can haul in just about any catch thrown near him and just snag it right out of the air.  He can catch it in traffic, in tight coverage, and he can reel it in often times with just one hand.  His contested catch ability is excellent.  He averaged around 1200 receiving yards his junior and senior years at at SMU and was a great possession receiver.  He can work outside, but he could be the next Julian Edelman and work inside if he can work on his route running.  He’s not the fastest receiver, but he knows when to cut it back to make guys miss and house it.  Proche May have been drafted to take Willie Snead’s place in the offense.  Snead will be a free agent in 2021, and he works mostly in the middle of the field as well.  Unfortunately for Proche, he might be the fourth receiving option behind Mark Andrews, Hollywood Brown, and Miles Boykin in a run heavy offense.  He’ll also have to fend off fellow rookie Devin Duvernay as well.  Even if Proche does receive Snead’s targets next year, Snead was targeted just 46 times in 2019.  Proche is only worth a look in deeper dynasty leagues.  Otherwise he can be left on the wire.  

Round 6, Pick 28, 207 overall (Buffalo Bills):
Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State University
34 games played
RECEIVING: 176 receptions, 2322 yards, 13.2 yards per reception, 20TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

At 6’4” 210lbs, it’s a pretty good bet Isaiah Hodgins will literally catch anything thrown his way.  He has fantastic hands, a massive catch radius, and makes great adjustments to reel in anything.  He’s a big target that can be heavily utilized in the redzone or in the middle of the field where there’s a lot of traffic.  Unfortunately he’s average or below average at just about everything else.  He ran one of the slowest times at the combine and he gets jammed at the line, which means it’s tough for him to uncover at times.  His route running could work as well, although he does a decent job at selling the routes he does run.  He’s not twitchy, elusive, or explosive in his route running or after the catch either which means it’s tough for him to gain yards after contact.  His presence on the field could help Josh Allen’s inaccurate arm especially in redzone situations.  The Bills could also use him in 3 receiver threats as a big possession receiver.  He’s not much of a fit in Buffalo’s offense though.  Hodgins is a one trick pony who could turn into a role player, but little else.  He can be left on the wire.  

Round 6, Pick 33, 212 overall (Indianapolis Colts):
Dezmon Patmon, WR, Washington State University
36 games played
RECEIVING: 156, receptions, 1976 yards, 12.7 yards per reception, 13TD
RUSHING: 0 attempts, 0 yards, 0 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Patmon might be one of the better receivers no one is talking about.  At 6’4”, 225lbs, he has big hands, a muscular frame, and 4.4 speed to get him up the field.  He’s a rare combination of size and speed that allow him to really stretch the field.  He tracks the deep ball pretty well and he can haul it in.  However, he’s had the occasional drop, especially when there are defenders nearby.  He’s also a downfield route specialist with average footwork.  He won’t win contested catches especially when he anticipates contact.  It will be tough to know where to play him as such a limited role player, but he joins a Colts team whose receiving options can’t stay healthy so his chances may come sooner rather than later.  

Round 6, Pick 35, 214 overall (Seattle Seahawks):
Freddie Swain, WR, University of Florida
37 games played
RECEIVING: 68 receptions, 996 yards, 14.6 yards per reception, 15TD
RUSHING: 4 attempts, 27 yards, 6.8 yards per carry (ypc), 0TD

Swain is a burner who can fly.  At 6’0”, 199lbs, he’s built like a running back and he can be used like one too.  He catches passes in the flat, on quick slants, or attacks deep downfield on seam routes.  He has 4.4 speed and he does a decent job of tracking deep passes.  He’s also a playmaker with the ball in his hands, he knows how to follow his blocks and he’s elusive in the open field so he can make guys miss and gain yards after the catch.  He’s not a true route runner but his speed and ability to adjust to the catch more than makes up for it.  He’ll pair well with Russell Wilson’s arm and he’ll have plenty of success if he can get on the same page as Wilson during scramble drills.  Lockett and Metcalf are the top two receivers in Seattle at the moment, but Swain could work himself into a larger role.  He can be left in the wire until other players are unavailable four to injury or sickness.  

REDSHIRTS - for more details on these second year wideouts and what they did in college, check out 2019’s Rookies and Redshirts blog here.

AJ BROWN, Tennessee Titans
AJ Brown was a bit of a late bloomer last year, but he was arguably the best wideout of the class.  He struggled along with the rest of the Titans’ receiving options during the beginning of the year while offensive coordinator Arthur Smith figured out how to incorporate Brown into the offense with Corey Davis and Delanie Walker already on the roster.  Mariota’s play didn’t help either.  However, Brown’s season really took off after Smith stopped messing around, benched Mariota for Tannehill, and made Brown a primary target.  Brown uses his quick feet help him run every route and his stocky build makes him tough to bring down.  While he does it all, he works short and intermediate routes to turn them into big gains.  His stocky build makes him tough to bring down and he’s elusive in the open field.  He should be targeted in the early to middle rounds of most formats and has a flex floor with a high WR3 ceiling given the number of targets other receiving options might steal.  Still, Brown has WR2 upside if he remains the primary target in the Titans passing attack.

DK METCALF, Seattle Seahawks
Metcalf got all of the hype for being a physical specimen at the Combine.  However, he was a bit of a disappointment when push came to shove.  He’s a bit of a one trick pony who runs go’s and hitches and wrestles contested catches away from defenders.  He was the jump ball guy who worked opposite AJ Brown at Ole Miss.  However, there’s a place for wideouts like that in the league as Dez Bryant and DJ Chark have demonstrated.  Lockett is still clearly the top target in Seattle, so Metcalf will continue to compete with guys like David Moore, Jaron Brown, and now Phillip Dorsett for targets.  At 6’4”, 230lbs, this size-speed specimen remains in the WR3 conversation, but could have WR1 upside if he can climb the depth chart.  He he caught six catches in 5 of his last 8 games of the season and got in the endzone in 3 of those 8.  He also caught 11 passes for 219 yards and a score in 2 playoff games.  He’s worth taking as high as round 5 in deep leagues.

DEEBO SAMUEL, San Francisco 49ers
Much like AJ Brown, Deebo Samuel’s season got off to a slow start.  The 49ers focused primarily on getting their ground game going and getting the ball to their big tight end George Kittle.  This gave time for Samuel to learn his routes and carve out a role for himself.  However, injuries to Coleman and Breida forced the Niners to take to the air more often.  Samuel eventually overtook Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin to become one of the more targeted wideouts behind Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle.  He’s a prime candidate to break out and establish himself as a consistent primary target in the Niners passing attack.  He’s a solid flex who should be targeted in the middle to late rounds because of a broken foot he suffered earlier this summer.  He topped 100 receiving yards in just 3 games as a rookie, but he has WR2 upside with Sanders out of the picture and if defenses focus on Kittle.  Potential owners should keep an eye on his return date.  

TERRY MCLAURIN, Washington Redskins 
McLaurin came in strong from the get go and racked up big fantasy stats no matter who was under center.  He posted 23 catches for 408 yards and 5 touchdowns through his first 5 games.  Then he went through a slump of 6 games where he was held out of the endzone and 40 receiving yards or less in 4 of those 6 games.  There were doubts initially after Case Keemun was benched in favor of his old college QB and fellow rookie Dwayne Haskins, but their rapport only helped McLaurin on the field.  Both former Buckeyes should be in line to have great years this year, especially McLaurin who repeatedly torched NFC East secondaries using his ability to catch the ball on short passes and turn them into big gains.  He turned it back on for his last 3 games of the season posting 16 catches for 273 yards and two scores during that time.  At 6’0”, 201lbs, this size speed combination would be a good value if he falls past the fifth round in most formats and is a prime candidate to break into WR2 territory.

Hollywood, the first wideout to be drafted in last year’s draft has fallen a bit to the wayside.  He became a victim of Greg Roman’s run-first read-option offense and fell off the fantasy radar thanks to Lamar Jackson’s history-making year and Mark Andrews being targeted most.  Brown is perhaps the ultimate boom or bust fantasy player.  He had five games where he scored at least one touchdown, but he had 8 games where he scored 5 points or less in standard formats.  The emergence of Miles Boykin late last year could hold cap Brown’s ceiling and hold him to flex status.  He’s a late round flier.  

The two best abilities in fantasy sports are availability and consistency.  Shepard and Engram have been consistently unavailable throughout their careers as New York Giants.  Their injuries opened up opportunities for Slayton to step up and Slayton didn’t waste time getting going.  In his last 7 games of 2019,  he caught 31 passes for 467 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Factor in the goose egg that he laid in week 16 and all of a sudden those averages don’t look so bad.  Engram hasn’t played a full season and played just half of his games in 2019. Shepard has been reliable as long as he’s on the field, but he’s played 11 games or less in 2 of his 4 seasons.  Slayton topped Shepard in receiving yards and touchdowns last year, and should continue to develop with his fellow sophomore Daniel Jones.  Slayton is a borderline flex play, but he’s someone who will remain on most fantasy benches until injuries free up targets from either Engram or Shepard.  He should be drafted in the mid-late to late rounds.

JJ ARCEGA-WHITESIDE, Philadelphia Eagles 
Eagles GM Howie Roseman has stated that he’s prepared to rebuild through the draft and roll with a new, young corps of players.  Second year player Arcega-Whiteside should see an expanded role as a result of the new approach.  Agholor is a free agent (at the time of this writing).  Alshon has been consistently injured and DJax was cut earlier this season.  The Eagles’ receiving corps truly looked like the walking wounded during the playoffs last week with Greg Ward and Arcega-Whiteside being the best receiving targets.  The 6’2”, 225lb target caught just 10 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown last year.  The problem is there are still too many mouths to feed.  Zach Ertz is still the top target.  Goedert and Alshon will fight for targets, and rookie Jalen Reagor has been making waves at camp.  Arcega-Whiteside has a pretty high ceiling if he can take over the big bodied receiving role from Alshon, but the plethora of options also lowers his floor.  He’s a boom or bust late round flier. 

N’KEAL HARRY, New England Patriots
Harry is a big bodied, physical wideout that will out-muscle any defender that tries to tackle him or pick off a contested catch.  He could’ve been the go to guy in New England last year, but he got lost in the shuffle with the Antonio Brown debacle, Edelman still being the top target, and the Patriots choosing to go with their stable of multiple running backs instead of Tom Brady’s arm.  That led to him starting just 7 games and catching 12 passes for 105 yards and a pair of scores.  Harry is currently listed first on the depth chart opposite Julian Edelman, but it’s anyone’s guess what he’ll do with Cam under center, no preseason, and a very limited time at camp.  He’s worth a late round pick just to have him, but he could struggle again this year with the Pats appearing to tank for Trevor.

DIONTAE JOHNSON, Pittsburgh Steelers
During a season when Duck and Rudolph took turns taking snaps for the Steelers all seemed lost, Diontae Johnson became one of the lone bright spots.  Juju had a case of the dropsies and James Washington didn’t live up to expectations, although that could be attributed to poor quarterback play.  Johnson played in all 16 games and delivered 59 catches for 680 yards and 5 touchdowns.  The 5’10”, 183lb slot receiver continues to wow at camp with his route running and ability to find gaps or get open.  However, it remains TBD how well he’ll do with Big Ben under center and with Eric Enron potentially working underneath routes as well.  Nevertheless, the second year receiver deserves flex consideration especially in PPR formats.  

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