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Bold Prediction: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley outscores DeAndre Hopkins in fantasy football in 2020

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been generating plenty of buzz around fantasy football this summer as a WR2 primed to take the next step in his third season. Based on Ridley's career trajectory and outlook for 2020, my bold prediction for Ridley is that he will outscore Arizona Cardinals’ newly acquired superstar DeAndre Hopkins.

I have Ridley and Hopkins back-to-back in my current fantasy rankings at WR8 and WR9, respectively. So by no means do I think Ridley will outscore Hopkins by a landslide. But Ridley is currently being drafted as WR16 compared to Hopkins at WR5, making the third-year man a much better value considering he could easily finish the season ahead of the Cardinals' new WR1.

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Ridley Is Ascending  

After an impressive rookie season, Ridley made further strides in Year 2. His 70.5 PFF receiving grade in 2018 ranked 32nd in the league among wide receivers with at least 80 targets, and he followed that showing up with a 74.8 grade last season, good for 25th in the NFL.

Ridley tacked on two more fantasy points per game in 2019 and also increased his efficiency — his 13.7 yards per reception helped generate 866 total receiving yards. Ridley scored seven touchdowns in just 13 games.

He also ranked 25th in yards per route run (1.69) and was even more efficient outside the numbers, where his yards per route run (3.23) ranked fifth-best among receivers with at least 50 targets. Ridley played 86% of his snaps from out wide in 2019.

Yards per route run by wide receivers outside the numbers (2019)
Stefon Diggs 3.47
Davante Adams 3.47
Michael Thomas 3.37
Julio Jones 3.26
Calvin Ridley 3.23

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