News & Analysis

Breaking down the fantasy football potential of all 32 NFL wide receiver rooms in 2020

NFL offenses are more pass-happy and efficient than ever, regularly enabling multiple fantasy-relevant wide receivers from the same team. Of course, not every situation is created equal, and the presence of a high-usage tight end or running back can lead to a No. 2 WR actually working outside of their team’s top-three pass-game options.

[Subscribe to PFF EDGE or ELITE to gain access to our fantasy football rankings and projectionsPFF Player Grades, premium content and more.]

What follows is a breakdown of every team’s wide receiver room entering the 2020 season. Physical data is courtesy of NFL.com and PlayerProfiler.com, alignment information is from PFF and each wideout’s target share and air yard market share is provided by AirYards.com.

Arizona Cardinals

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left DeAndre Hopkins 6-1 214 4.57 0.3 0.34 1.99
Slot Larry Fitzgerald 6-3 225 4.48 0.2 0.21 1.4
Right Christian Kirk 5-11 201 4.47 0.23 0.31 1.41

WR Breakdown: DeAndre Hopkins has 192, 151, 174, 163 and 150 targets over the past five seasons. Antonio Brown (four), Julio Jones (three) and Allen Robinson (three) are the only other players with more than two such seasons during that span. Christian Kirk was the Cardinals' No. 1 WR in 2019; his average of 8.3 targets per game would be good for 133 targets if extrapolated over a 16-game season.

It'd be surprising if Nuk's per-game average isn't higher than Kirk’s pace in 2020. Realize that this is a somewhat crowded offense attempting to factor in a high-volume receiver who won't have as much time to get on the same page with his quarterback during this unique offseason.

Either way, we have more than enough evidence of Hopkins thriving with underwhelming quarterbacks to feel comfortable that WR1 production should be on the way with a player of Kyler Murray’s caliber under center:

Coach Kliff Kingsbury started last season with plenty of four-wideout sets but gradually used a tight end more often after the first month. Perhaps the Cardinals will get back to spreading things out with one of Andy Isabella (please), KeeSean Johnson and/or Trent Sherfield. Either way, it seems rather unlikely that anyone other than Kirk or Larry Fitzgerald has a chance to flirt with triple-digit targets behind Hopkins.

Prediction: Hopkins continues to function as anyone’s idea of a top-five wide receiver in both real life and fantasy, while Kirk emerges as the passing game’s No. 2 contributor and flirts with borderline WR3 production.

Atlanta Falcons

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Julio Jones 6-3 220 4.39 0.25 0.37 2.44
Slot Russell Gage 6-0 184 4.55 0.12 0.11 1.18
Right Calvin Ridley 6-1 189 4.43 0.17 0.27 1.69

WR Breakdown: As founding president of the 2020 Calvin Ridley equals 2019 Chris Godwin fan club, this blurb excites me to write.

Ridley has had at least eight targets in eight career games. He's posted the following stat lines:

    • 7 receptions-146 yards-3 TDs
    • 6-71-1
    • 8-93-1
    • 8-105-1
    • 5-88-1
    • 8-143-1
    • 6-85-1
    • 8-91-0

No offense has more available targets than the Falcons. Ridley averaged 17.5 points per game in six games without Mohamed Sanu in 2019, a mark that would’ve ranked seventh among all wideouts if extrapolated over the entire season. The league’s most pass-happy offense from a year ago curiously didn’t add any competition at the wide receiver position. Matt Ryan proved plenty capable of enabling multiple high-end WRs back in the day with Julio Jones and Roddy White.

Of course, Ridley will still function as the offense’s clear-cut No. 2 WR behind Jones. The future Hall-of-Famer led the NFL in yards per route run in each of 2015 (3.04), 2016 (3.12), 2017 (3.08) and 2018 (2.93). He ranked “just” fifth in 2019 after averaging 2.44 yards per route run. Jones turned 31 in February and averaged a career-low 8.9 yards per target last season, but his reduced performance was still good enough to function as the PPR WR3. Continue to treat Jones as a locked-in, high-end WR1 until we see any evidence that he won't see upward of 150 targets.

Slot receiver Russell Gage averaged a healthy 7.3 targets per game after Mohamed Sanu was shipped off to the Patriots. The problem was inconsistent snap usage, as Gage played fewer than 60% of the offense's snaps in four of the nine games without Sanu. The good news for Gage is that his only real newfound competition is Laquon Treadwell. This offense is an injury away to pretty much any skill-position player from being in some trouble.

Prediction: Both Jones and Ridley finish as fantasy WR1s, while Gage finishes as the offense’s No. 4 pass-game option behind tight end Hayden Hurst.

Baltimore Ravens

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Miles Boykin 6-4 220 4.42 0.06 0.12 1.1
Slot Willie Snead 5-11 195 4.62 0.1 0.11 1.07
Right Marquise Brown 5-9 166 N/A 0.18 0.23 1.81

WR Breakdown: Marquise Brown reached 20.33 miles per hour on an 83-yard score in Week 1 of 2019. This was despite playing at less than 100% with a screw in his foot. The artist known as Hollywood allegedly clocked a 4.3-second 40-yard dash before his final season at Oklahoma.

The exact measure of how fast Brown is doesn't really matter. We already have a number of examples of him blowing past corners and would-be tacklers alike.

Of course, things weren’t always great for Brown as a rookie — he spent as many weeks as a top-32 wide receiver (six) as he did outside of the top-64 options (six). The good news is that Brown has now had an entire offseason to both get healthy and further integrate himself into the Ravens' offense. He again appears to be the team's undisputed No. 1 WR entering next season.

Hollywood is plenty capable of providing more boom than bust weeks in 2020. Still, it’s tough to project anybody other than Brown and Mark Andrews for much success in this run-first offense, considering it’s likely to fall off at least a bit from its insanely efficient ways. Only eight quarterbacks had posted a touchdown rate of at least 8% in a season since 2000 before Lamar Jackson became the ninth such player in 2019. Each heavily regressed in the following season:

Miles Boykin seems like the best bet behind Brown to put together some spikes, but the ceiling and floor alike are low. Willie Snead IV is most at risk of losing snaps to third-round receiver Devin Duvernay.

Prediction: Brown flirts with season-long WR2 production with plenty of big weeks along the way. No other Ravens wideout finishes among fantasy’s top 50 receivers.

Buffalo Bills

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left John Brown 5-10 179 4.34 0.24 0.38 1.97
Slot Cole Beasley 5-8 177 4.54 0.22 0.19 1.64
Right Stefon Diggs 6-foot 195 4.46 0.21 0.41 2.69

WR Breakdown: The Bills added John Brown and Cole Beasley to the mix in 2019 to give Josh Allen some semblance of WR talent. And it worked. Allen significantly improved in completion rate (+6%), TD rate (+1.2%), INT rate (-1.8%), adjusted yards per attempt (+1.3) and passer rating (+17.4).

Enter Stefon Diggs. The Vikings' long-time stud receiver and a 2020 seventh-round pick were acquired for 2020 first-, fifth- and sixth-round picks along with a 2021 fourth-round selection. Diggs is one of the league's premier deep-ball threats and is capable of roasting even the league's best corners. The only wide receivers in the past decade to gain more yards on deep balls than 2019 Diggs have been 2018 Tyreek Hill, 2015 Allen Robinson, 2012 Calvin Johnson and 2011 Jordy Nelson.

He's regularly displayed an elite combination of route-running prowess and ball-tracking ability. Diggs is just 26 years old and has played in 70 of a potential 80 games during his five-year career, so there's no reason to believe that he will take a step back anytime soon.

The question is whether Diggs is good enough to enable Allen to new heights. The Bills’ young quarterback loves to throw deep, but the ball has seldom gone where it’s supposed to.

    • Deep yards per attempt: 8.7 (No. 32 among 35 QBs to throw at least 20 passes 20-plus yards downfield in 2019)
    • Deep catchable rate: 31% (No. 32)
    • Deep QB rating: 64.4 (No. 28)
    • Deep ball rate: 14.8% (No. 6)

Both Brown (PPR WR20) and Beasley (WR34) were pleasant surprises in fantasy land last season. Still, each receiver is almost certain to regress due to the presence of Diggs, who should have every opportunity to match, if not beat, Smokey’s production.

Prediction: Diggs functions as more of a boom-or-bust option than usual, finishes as a borderline WR2 and exists as a better real-life than fantasy asset. The latter point also holds true for Brown and Beasley, who each fail to finish as top-50 fantasy WRs.

Carolina Panthers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left D.J. Moore 6-foot 210 4.42 0.23 0.31 2.03
Slot Curtis Samuel 5-11 196 4.31 0.17 0.3 0.97
Right Robby Anderson 6-3 190 4.41 0.18 0.34 1.37

WR Breakdown: 23-year-old D.J. Moore has already accomplished quite a bit during his two-year career. He finds himself in excellent company when it comes to most receiving yards gained by the age of 22 during the Moss era (1998-2019):

Moore's 55-788-2 and 87-1,175-4 receiving lines in 2018 and 2019, respectively, didn't exactly light the world on fire, but the production was truly special when we consider most receivers that were his age during this time still played college football.

There’s reason to believe that the ceiling and floor should be higher than ever with Teddy Bridgewater now under center. Moore and Curtis Samuel were two of just 10 players to receive a catchable deep-ball rate of 30% or lower (min. 10 deep-ball targets). Overall, the Panthers boasted a league-worst 25% deep-ball rate in 2019. The Colts (31%) were the next-worst offense.

It was a particularly brutal “what if” season for Samuel.

Of course, the biggest knock on Bridgewater is his tendency to check down. Only Jimmy Garoppolo (6.5% deep-ball rate) had a lower percentage of his pass attempts travel fewer than 20 yards downfield in 2019. Kyle Allen (11%) ranked 16th. The good news for Moore is 1) He was used more underneath than Samuel in 2019 (11.74 vs. 14.78 average target depth), and 2) Bridgewater (57% catchable deep ball rate) was far and away more accurate when he did throw deep compared to Allen (30%).

Moore is the clear-cut favorite to serve as Bridgewater's new-look Michael Thomas. Last season, both Thomas and Alvin Kamara played in Weeks 3-6 and averaged 10.3 and seven targets per game, respectively. Even working under the assumption that Christian McCaffrey is this offense's version of Thomas, there's still a healthy chunk of targets for Moore — assuming he emerges as the offense's clear No. 1 WR.

The potential for Samuel to assume a low-aDOT role in the slot while Robby Anderson works as the field-stretching receiver makes the former the superior value, considering Bridgewater's tendency to check down. Rushing attempts for the former Ohio State RB/WR hybrid would also be welcomed.

Prediction: Moore posts top-15 PPR production and continues to look a lot like one of the league’s better wideouts with the ball in his hands. Samuel usually posts WR3/WR4 production, and Anderson WR4/WR5 numbers, but this passing game ultimately flows through CMC and Moore.

Chicago Bears

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Allen Robinson 6-2 220 4.56 0.27 0.39 1.82
Slot Anthony Miller 5-11 201 4.55 0.15 0.2 1.4
Right Ted Ginn 5-11 180 4.43 0.1 0.25 0.96

WR Breakdown: The only receivers who are arguably more established as their offense’s No. 1 pass-game option than Allen Robinson are Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, Adam Thielen and Julio Jones. He now gets to play with the best quarterback of his career. No, it's not an exaggeration to easily call Foles the best quarterback to throw Robinson the ball. Dating back to his days at Penn State, he's caught passes from Christian Hackenberg, Matt McGloin, Blake Bortles, Chad Henne, Chase Daniel and Mitchell Trubisky.

A quarterback change can’t be ignored when projecting enhanced production from a wideout, but in this case, it’s safe to say Foles should be plenty capable of feeding the ball to Robinson in a better manner than any of his previous signal-callers. He was already the PPR WR8 last season and saw the third-most targets in the league. The 26-year-old looked as good as ever in 2019, and now he has the chance to regain his status as one of his position’s most productive players.

Robinson had at least five catches in 13 games in 2019, a feat that was topped only by DeAndre Hopkins (15) and Michael Thomas (15). He possesses a great floor thanks to this type of high-volume usage while also carrying an elite scoring ceiling. Only Courtland Sutton, Michael Thomas and Stefon Diggs had a higher percentage share of their team's air yards than Robinson in 2019. Robinson scored 14 touchdowns in 16 games with the Jaguars in 2015; otherwise, he's found the end zone 19 times in 56 games.

And then we have Anthony Miller, who caught seven touchdowns while playing through a bum shoulder as a rookie and then came on strong during the second half of 2019. Overall, Miller posted receiving lines of 6 rec.-54 yds-0 TDs, 6-77-0, 9-140-0, 3-42-1 and 9-118-1 from Weeks 11-15, working as the PPR WR8 along the way. It's not fair to simply take the best stretch of a player's career and assume that he can replicate it moving forward, although Miller seems to be going under the radar considering 1) Taylor Gabriel is gone, and 2) We're just one season removed from everyone talking themselves into Dede Westbrook based on Foles' historical usage of slot receivers. Even if Foles doesn’t win the starting job, Miller (8.22) has been the most efficient target of Trubisky's career in terms of adjusted yards per attempt.

The problem over the years has been opportunity. Gabriel made a habit of functioning as the offense's No. 2 WR, but Miller certainly looked the part when asked to step up.

    • Miller's per game with Gabriel (23 games): 7.5 PPR, 2.4 receptions, 30.8 yards, 0.3 TD, 4.1 targets
    • Without (7 games): 11.1 PPR, 4.1 receptions, 52.9 yards, 0.3 TD, 6.4 targets

The Bears’ passing attack hardly figures to function among the league’s most explosive units, although it’s good for fantasy business to have an offense with two fairly clear-cut receivers at the top of the depth chart. Robinson has already proven plenty capable of posting elite WR1 production. The biggest issue for Miller is leaping running back Tarik Cohen to become the passing game's No. 2 option. This shouldn't be that hard of a decision to make: Cohen's average of 4.4 yards per target was the single-worst mark among 38 players with triple-digit targets last season. Still, this development will be the difference between Miller flirting with 90-100 targets and easily surpassing the century mark.

Prediction: Allen Robinson posts top-eight fantasy production (again), while Miller finishes on the WR3 borderline due to good-not-great target share.

Cincinnati Bengals

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left A.J. Green 6-4 211 4.5 N/A N/A N/A
Slot Tyler Boyd 6-1 197 4.58 0.24 0.25 1.65
Right John Ross 5-11 188 4.22 0.18 0.34 1.95

WR Breakdown: 2019 National Champion and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow has a surprisingly deep WR room entering his rookie season:

    • A.J. Green has gained over 1,000 yards and scored at least six touchdowns in every season of his career where has played more than 10 games. He's a true alpha No. 1 WR when healthy, which he should be after missing the entire 2019 season.
    • Tyler Boyd has cleared the 1,000-yard mark in back-to-back seasons and has proven to be a force out of the slot, where Burrow enabled Justin Jefferson to reach great heights last fall.
    • John Ross posted electric receiving lines of 7-158-2 and 4-112-1 to start 2019 before (again) missing time due to injury. He's been the subject of trade rumors but possesses the sort of game-breaking speed that is hard to part ways with.
    • Auden Tate made a slew of fantastic contested-catch snags throughout the year and finished second on the team in yards per target. Perhaps Burrow's willingness to throw 50/50 balls could keep Tate (6-foot-5 and 228 pounds) on the roster.
    • Tee Higgins (18.1 yards per reception at Clemson) boasts some field-stretching ability and was drafted with the No. 33 overall pick. The pecking order is up for grabs behind Green, meaning Higgins could feasibly flirt with triple-digit targets if he quickly earns a spot in three-receiver sets.

There’s a bit of an unknown factor here in terms of both Burrow’s preferred pecking order and NFL-level efficiency. Still, none of these options are particularly expensive in fantasy land, and their respective ceilings inside of one of 2019’s most pass-happy offenses are a bit underrated.

Prediction: A.J. Green is healthy enough to post WR2 production, and Boyd WR3 numbers, but the rest of the crew is largely better real-life options than fantasy-friendly assets.

Cleveland Browns

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Odell Beckham 5-11 198 4.43 0.25 0.38 1.81
Slot Jarvis Landry 5-11 205 4.65 0.26 0.29 2.04
Right KhaDarel Hodge 6-2 198 4.63 0.02 0.04 0.79

WR Breakdown: The Browns curiously declined to add any real competition at their No. 3 WR spot, meaning this passing game should once again be focused around the former LSU teammates. Of course, Jarvis Landry was better than Odell Beckham Jr. in basically every meaningful category in 2019, as they finished as the PPR WR12 and WR25, respectively.

The good news is we can again expect this offense to be fairly condensed in the passing game. Landry (71 targets), Beckham (66) and Kareem Hunt (44) were the only players with more than 20 targets in eight games after Hunt returned to action. Perhaps the larger potential issue is total pass-game volume. Coach Kevin Stefanski ran a tight ship with the Vikings in 2019, ultimately feeding No. 1 pass-game target Stefon Diggs a pedestrian team-high 94 targets. High-priced tight end addition Austin Hooper will be plenty involved in what could very well be a run-first offense.

Beckham *should* be healthier in 2020 than he was in 2019, while Landry’s Week 1 status is a bit murky. He’s been the PPR WR18 and WR12 over the past two seasons, demonstrating more chemistry with Baker Mayfield than just about anybody. It’d be easy to lock Landry into the WR2 range if we had a bit more clarity surrounding his health. The Browns’ talented slot receiver is recovering from hip surgery and said in May, “I can’t predict when exactly I’ll be on the field, whether that’s July, August or September. But obviously my [anticipated] return date is sometime in August.”

Ultimately, the biggest variable facing this offense is whether Mayfield can get back to looking like the same world-beating talent we saw during the second half of his rookie season. Without a leap from Mayfield, it’s tough to see this fairly crowded passing game enabling more than one high-end fantasy asset.

Prediction: Odell Beckham Jr. rebounds enough to flirt with the WR1 borderline, while Jarvis Landry suffers more from the new offense and finishes as a WR3.

Dallas Cowboys

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Michael Gallup 6-1 205 4.51 0.21 0.28 2.16
Slot CeeDee Lamb 6-2 198 4.5 N/A N/A N/A
Right Amari Cooper 6-1 211 4.42 0.2 0.26 2.29

WR Breakdown: Both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are still set up plenty well ahead of the 2020 season. Cooper caught a bunch of flack for his porous end to 2019, although he had to deal with fairly extreme cornerback matchups over the second half of the season:

    • Week 11: at Lions, 3-38-0 shadowed by Darius Slay
    • Week 12: at Patriots, 0-0-0 shadowed by Stephon Gilmore
    • Week 13: vs. Bills, 8-85-0 shadowed by Tre'Davious White
    • Week 14 at Bears, 6-83-1 not shadowed
    • Week 15: vs. Rams, 1-19-0 shadowed by Jalen Ramsey

Things are a bit more crowded than they were this time last week, but don't underestimate the potential for a scoring boom all the way around inside of this ridiculously efficient offense. The Cowboys became one of just 11 offenses since 1970 to average at least 6.5 yards per play last season — they look even better on paper ahead of 2020.

Available targets reflect vacant opportunities for every team in terms of their 2019 targets minus those by players still on their roster in 2020. Only the Falcons (261) have more available targets than the Cowboys (190). Lamb might not have a clear path to No. 1 — or even No. 2 — WR duties, but the absences of Randall Cobb (83 targets in 2019) and Jason Witten (83) open up a fairly major Year 1 role anyway.

Gallup (PPR WR8), Cooper (WR21) and Cobb (WR27) were each more-than-relevant fantasy options in nine games following the Cowboys' Week 8 bye last season. There's enough talent here for Dak Prescott to again foster three top-30 fantasy receivers, but the ceiling of each undoubtedly shrinks after adding a player of Lamb's caliber.

Prediction: Things are fairly split up between Cooper (WR16), Gallup (WR32) and Lamb (WR49), ultimately leading to an incredible real-life offense but somewhat inconsistent fantasy production.

Denver Broncos

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Courtland Sutton 6-3 218 4.54 0.25 0.41 2.08
Slot KJ Hamler 5-11 178 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Right Jerry Jeudy 6-1 193 4.45 N/A N/A N/A

WR Breakdown: The ability for the Broncos to enable multiple fantasy-relevant receivers is going to come down to Drew Lock. While the rookie’s 4-1 record was great, the competition and his individual performance left a lot to be desired:

    • Week 13 vs. Chargers: 18-28, 134 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
    • Week 14 at Texans: 22-27, 309 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
    • Week 15 at Chiefs: 18-40, 208 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
    • Week 16 vs. Lions: 25-33, 192 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
    • Week 17 vs. Raiders: 17-28, 177 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Luckily, John Elway and company made a concerted effort to get their rising second-year quarterback more weapons. The Broncos suddenly possess a plethora of speedsters:

Sutton commanded a 25% target share and a 40% air yard market share of the Broncos’ passing game with Lock under center in Weeks 13-17 last season. The 24-year-old wideout averaged a robust 9 yards per target in 2019 as a rookie and finished as one of just 13 WRs to average more than 2.05 yards per route run. The best is likely yet to come for last season's PPR WR19.

The outlook for Jeudy and Hamler is a bit less promising considering the potential for Fant and Gordon to each siphon off a good chunk of Lock’s target share. Jeudy is the front-runner for No. 2 WR duties at least, but it could very well be a committee of sorts behind Sutton.

Prediction: Courtland Sutton finishes as a top-24 WR and largely resembles one of the position’s better talents. Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler show promise but don’t function as high-end fantasy options in more weeks than not.

Detroit Lions

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Kenny Golladay 6-4 218 4.5 0.2 0.32 2.03
Slot Danny Amendola 5-10 186 4.68 0.18 0.17 1.51
Right Marvin Jones 6-2 200 4.46 0.19 0.26 1.53

WR Breakdown: The 2019 Lions weren't nearly as bad as most remember. Yes, their 3-12-1 finish was hardly ideal, and there weren't too many excuses to be had for the league's 25th- and 26th-ranked defense in yards allowed per play and points allowed per game, respectively. Also yes: Matthew Stafford had this offense humming through the first eight weeks of the season.

The Lions' longtime franchise QB *easily* set career-high marks in a variety of efficiency metrics during his first season under OC Darrell Bevell:

  • TD rate: 6.5%
  • Yards per attempt: 8.6
  • Adjusted yards per attempt: 9.1
  • Yards per completion: 13.4
  • QBR: 73.1

The Lions posted the following target distribution in eight games with Stafford under center last season:

Golladay and Jones have quietly matched each other ever since the Lions drafted the former WR in 2017. Whether you want to look at just the eight games with Stafford last season:

  • Golladay: 62 targets, 35 receptions, 640 yards, 7 TDs, PPR WR11
  • Jones: 57 targets, 42 receptions, 535 yards, 6 TDs, PPR WR14

Or since 2017 as a whole:

  • Golladay (42 games): 163 receptions, 2,730 receiving yards, 19 TDs
  • Jones (38 games): 158 receptions, 2,388 receiving yards, 23 TDs

It's clear that Jones is more of a 1B than a true No. 2 WR in this offense.

It's worth noting that not every target is created equal. Since 2014, WRs have understandably averaged more PPR on red-zone (2.46) and deep-ball (2.17) targets compared to looks between the 20s (1.45). Both Golladay and Jones ranked among the league’s top-15 most fantasy-friendly WRs, while Amendola came in at No. 69 among 79 qualified players.

Golladay is the answer here. He simply oozes talent and upside in an offense that is seemingly built around enhancing his strengths.

Amendola quietly cleared the century mark on three separate occasions in 2019. Alas, he's still never reached 700 yards or five TDs in a season. It wouldn't be shocking to see him take a reduced role behind the offense's rising second-year TE in 2020.

Prediction: Golladay gets a more alpha-like role and finishes as a top-10 fantasy option, while Jones easily beats his ADP and posts WR3 production. Amendola’s target numbers barely edge out Hockenson.

Green Bay Packers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Davante Adams 6-1 212 4.56 0.29 0.33 2.33
Slot Allen Lazard 6-3 225 4.55 0.12 0.19 1.62
Right Marquez Valdes-Scantling 6-4 206 4.37 0.1 0.2 1.37

WR Breakdown: Davante Adams has been next to unstoppable when healthy for the better part of the last four seasons:

  • 2016: WR10 in PPR per game
  • 2017: WR9
  • 2018: WR1
  • 2019: WR6

Adams has never missed more than four games in a single season since entering the league in 2014, although he's only played 16 games twice. This is why we've only seen him surpass 1,000 yards once, which some point to as a reason why he shouldn't be named among the league's best WRs.

In reality, Adams has been operating at the highest of levels for nearly a half decade. He's one of just 10 players to string together at least three consecutive seasons with double-digit receiving touchdowns during the Moss-era (1998-2019). The list is littered with future Hall of Fame talents and GOATs alike: Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Larry Fitzgerald, Marvin Harrison, Odell Beckham, Randy Moss, Rob Gronkowski and Terrell Owens.

Aaron Rodgers has made sure to feed Adams an appropriate workload for these talents in recent seasons. Overall, Adams has ranked first and second in targets per game over the past two seasons, trailing only Michael Thomas in 2019.

Somehow, the Packers declined to add any noteworthy pass-catchers throughout both free agency and the draft. This makes Allen Lazard the favorite for No. 2 WR duties. He possesses solid size (6-foot-3 and 225-pounds) and enough speed (4.55-second 40-yard dash) to cause some problems for smaller corners downfield. He flashed in 2019 with 3-103-1, 4-69-1 and 4-65-1 performances, but keep in mind those came against the Giants, Lions and Lions again. Otherwise, Lazard didn't clear 50 yards or find the end zone.

The wild card of this equation is the 25-year-old Devin Funchess, who never even had a chance to put together a decent season in 2019 after breaking his clavicle in Week 1. He averaged a 4-50-0.5 receiving line in 15 career games without Greg Olsen once upon a time. Your Kelvin Benjamin/TE jokes are mean and incorrect.

Prediction: Adams finishes as the PPR WR2 behind only Thomas. No other Packers WR finishes inside of fantasy’s top-50 receivers.

Houston Texans

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Brandin Cooks 5-10 189 4.33 0.13 0.23 1.29
Slot Randall Cobb 5-10 192 4.46 0.15 0.16 1.77
Right Will Fuller 6-foot 186 4.32 0.2 0.29 2.03

WR Breakdown: Losing DeAndre Hopkins is objectively bad. Still, we probably shouldn’t be writing off Deshaun Watson considering he’s done nothing but function as one of the most efficient signal-callers the league has ever seen:

  • Completion rate: 66.8% (No. 4 among all QBs to ever start at least 16 games)
  • Yards per attempt: 8.07 (No. 8)
  • Adjusted yards per attempt: 8.17 (No. 6)
  • Touchdown rate: 5.9% (No. 31)
  • Interception rate: 2.41 (No. 34)
  • Passer rating: 101 (No. 5)

Watson’s 2020 pecking order is one of 2020’s more curious mysteries, but the good news is he has plenty of capable receivers to choose from.

Surprisingly, Watson has been more efficient during his career when targeting Incumbent talents Will Fuller (10.9 adjusted yards per attempt) and Kenny Stills (10.8) as opposed to Hopkins (9.2). Fuller has averaged a 4.3-66-0.6 line in 22 games with Watson under center, good for a robust average of 14.7 PPR per game. He has emerged as one of the league’s most-volatile boom-or-bust WRs, catching three TDs in one game last season before dropping another three scores the very next week. Fuller’s ceiling with a healthy 16 games remains as high as ever.

Brandin Cooks just might be able to beat Fuller in a race. The former 2014 first-round pick averaged more than 15 yards per reception with each of the Saints, Patriots and Rams from 2016-2018 before falling off in 2019. This was largely due to uneven play from Jared Goff and a lack of opportunity; Cooks had just 72 targets in 14 games. Tom Brady (7.96 YPA with Cooks; 7.46 without), Drew Brees (7.59 vs. 7.49) and Goff (7.95 vs. 7.33) were all more efficient with Cooks than without.

Randall Cobb put together his best season in half a decade with Dak Prescott and company, averaging a robust 10 yards per target on his way to posting a 55-828-3 receiving line. The performance was enough to earn $18 million guaranteed from the Texans. He provides a reliable underneath threat that has been missing from this offense for most of Watson's career. While Cobb was one of just four WRs to drop at least nine passes last season, he's undoubtedly an upgrade over Keke Coutee.

It’s a crowded situation, but in fantasy, all these WRs are being priced much closer to their floors than ceilings.

Prediction: None of Fuller, Cooks or Cobb play a whole season, but they each post WR2/WR3 production when healthy. Watson continues to enable anyone’s idea of a top-10 passing offense.

Indianapolis Colts

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left T.Y. Hilton 5-9 183 4.39 0.23 0.32 1.82
Slot Parris Campbell 6-foot 205 4.31 0.1 0.11 1.07
Right Michael Pittman 6-4 223 4.52 N/A N/A N/A

WR Breakdown: T.Y. Hilton is one of the more underrated WRs of the past decade. With that said, his on/off splits with Andrew Luck have been incredibly meh:

  • Hilton with Luck (82 games): 15.5 PPR, 5 receptions, 79.3 yards, 0.4 TD, 8.5 targets
  • Without (36 games): 11.6 PPR, 4 receptions, 58.3 yards, 0.3 TD, 7 targets

Hilton is hardly the first elite WR to put up worse numbers without their stud QB. Hilton's sample without Luck is also heavily weighted by Jacoby Brissett, specifically. I do enjoy Brissett's ability to extend plays, but he's hardly a pinpoint passer. Only the Panthers (25%) had a lower percentage of catchable deep ball targets (20-plus yards downfield) than the Colts (31%) in 2019.

Still, there's another split that managed to trip up Hilton even during his days with Luck. We've simply seen a different receiver when the Colts aren't playing indoors:

  • Hilton indoors (73 games): 15.4 PPR, 5 receptions, 80.6 yards, 0.4 TD, 8.3 targets
  • Outdoors (45 games): 12.2 PPR, 4.2 receptions, 60.3 yards, 0.3 TD, 7.6 targets

Hilton's home/away splits aren't quite as severe because the away games include Hilton's yearly demolition jobs at NRG Stadium against the Texans. Never forget that Hilton literally wore a clown mask to Houston before leaving with a playoff victory.

The good news: We are 100% sure that Hilton is the Colts' No. 1 pass-game option. Just ask OC Nick Sirianni

“He’s still the main piece of this offense. T.Y. Hilton is who this pass offense runs through. Things will be schemed to get him the football. I know he’s worked hard on his body and worked hard through the offseason. He’s our guy. He’s our lead dog. He’s our alpha dog. And if he stays healthy, the sky’s the limit again for him.”

It’s tough to disagree with Sirianni. Hilton should be flanked in three-WR sets by second-round pick Michael Pittman and rising second-year WR Parris Campbell. Incumbent starting WR Zach Pascal could also make some noise. Pittman is perhaps the wild card to lead the unit in receiving scores. He might not have blazing speed, but he does have size (6-foot-4 and 223 pounds) that is missing from this Colts Offense.

Prediction: Hilton posts top-24 WR production, while Pittman impresses and leads all rookie WRs in scores. Campbell struggles to get an adequate target share in what figures to be a run-first offense.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Chris Conley 6-2 213 4.35 0.15 0.29 1.33
Slot Dede Westbrook 6-foot 178 4.44 0.19 0.17 1.2
Right D.J. Chark 6-3 199 4.34 0.21 0.33 1.69

WR Breakdown: Gardner Minshew was sneaky solid in 2019. The only rookie QBs (min. eight starts) to average more adjusted yards per attempt than Minshew since 2000 have been: Dak Prescott, Robert Griffin, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Nick Mullens, Matt Ryan, Baker Mayfield and Marcus Mariota. Obviously there are some busts in this group. The league has also had an entire offseason to study Minshew.

Still, the Jaguars might just boast enough receiving talent to enable something resembling an above-average passing game.

  • D.J. Chark‘s 97 targets were the most among all Jaguars in 14 games that Minshew threw at least 25 passes. The 2018 second-round pick finished the season with 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight scores, easily emerging as this passing game's undisputed No. 1 target along the way.
  • Dede Westbrook‘s 86 targets were the second-most pass-game opportunities during Minshew's time under center. The 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner took a step back in 2019 after a solid 2018 campaign, although a starting spot is likely thanks to Westbrook's combination of sure hands and after-the-catch goodness.
  • Chris Conley averaged a career-high 16.5 yards per catch in his first season with the Jaguars. The souped-up athlete (98th-percentile marks in 40-yard dash, speed score, burst score and catch radius per PlayerProfiler) has shown the ability to be a solid boom-or-bust, field-stretching option throughout his five-year career.
  • Laviska Shenault was selected in the second round and has received praise for his excellent ability with the ball in his hands after the catch. This type of big-play ability helped the likes of A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel emerge as strong fantasy producers as rookies despite their meh target volume. He's more of a threat to Westbrook than Conley and Chark.

Chark is the alpha of the group. Minshew was the only QB in the league with a higher deep-ball rating than Patrick Mahomes. Don’t underestimate the potential for his No. 1 WR to ball the hell out in 2020.

Prediction: Chark posts top-20 production and continues to look like one of the league’s more-exciting WRs. Nobody else sees enough targets to provide consistent fantasy value.

Kansas City Chiefs

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Demarcus Robinson 6-1 203 4.59 0.1 0.16 0.96
Slot Tyreek Hill 5-10 185 4.34 0.21 0.38 2.45
Right Sammy Watkins 6-1 211 4.43 0.19 0.22 1.46

WR Breakdown: We all know Patrick Mahomes is basically the best-case scenario when it comes to picking your fantasy WR’s ideal QB. The reality that the Chiefs return every offensive starter means this should again be the league’s premier explosive attack.

The artist known as TyFreak was the PPR WR8 in 2017, WR1 in 2018 and WR32 in 2019 after playing just 12 games. A bounce-back campaign is coming; nobody in the league instills more fear inside the hearts of opposing corners and defensive coordinators alike. The only WRs I'd feel truly comfortable drafting before Tyreek Hill are Michael Thomas and Davante Adams in fantasy formats of all shapes and sizes.

Mecole Hardman had the single-highest playmaker rate (rewards big plays and scores) in the entire league among 214 players with at least 30 touches in 2019. He clocked a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the combine and registered the seventh-fastest play of the season at 21.87 miles per hour on his 63-yard score against the Titans. This almost seems slow considering how much he jumps off the screen. Hardman’s average of 13.1 yards per target as a rookie was literally the highest mark by a first-year player since targets began being tracked in 1992. A Year-2 blowup is far from out of the question, but 2019 snap rates suggest that a consistent spot inside three-WR formations is unlikely.

Sammy Watkins has basically been written off by everyone after failing to do pretty much anything after his three-TD explosion in Week 1. Still, the man deserves credit for posting 6-62-0, 4-114-0, 2-76-0, 7-114-1 and 5-98-0 receiving lines in five playoff games over the past two seasons. Hill (87% snaps) and Watkins (87%) worked as full-time receivers during the Super Bowl, while Robinson (49%) lost snaps to Hardman (28%) and Byron Pringle (4%). Offseason speculation has indicated Hardman could see an enhanced role in 2020, likely at the expense of Watkins.

The Chiefs' longtime No. 3 WR, Robinson hasn't missed a career game and offers solid consistency. Still, his 6-172-2 breakout against the Raiders in Week 2 marked the only time all season (playoffs included) that he cleared even 60 yards in a game. Robinson’s biggest impact in 2020 will likely be whether or not he can keep Hardman on the bench.

In an ideal world, we’d see Hardman work well ahead of both Watkins and Robinson. The team’s desire to replace him on special teams in order to free up more offensive usage adds credence to this idea, but it’s still probably a bit of a stretch to expect consistent high-end target share for anyone in this offense other than Hill and Travis Kelce.

Prediction: Hill electrifies the league and finishes as the PPR WR3. Hardman makes enough big plays to post borderline WR3 production. Neither Watkins nor Robinson finish among fantasy’s top-50 WRs.

Las Vegas Raiders

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Tyrell Williams 6-3 204 4.48 0.15 0.32 1.58
Slot Hunter Renfrow 5-10 184 4.59 0.17 0.18 2.09
Right Henry Ruggs 5-11 188 4.27 N/A N/A N/A

WR Breakdown: The Raiders selected Henry Ruggs with the No. 12 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft. The former Alabama WR possesses blistering speed that helped him average a robust 17.5 yards per reception during his career. Somehow, Ruggs looks even faster on the field than his 4.27-second 40-yard dash might indicate.

While Jalen Reagor has the easiest path to his offense’s No. 1 WR spot among rookies, Ruggs might just have the best chance of seizing the role as his team’s No. 1 pass-game option. Jon Gruden’s target leader has received 153, 145, 133, 140, 142, 139, 122, 152, 143, 98, 138, 101 and most-recently 117 pass-game opportunities. Derek Carr’s pecking order is hardly defined, but Ruggs is my rookie WR1 for both his underrated potential target share and game-breaking ability.

Hunter Renfrow has a decent shot at finishing among the offense’s top-three targets. His 71 targets trailed only Darren Waller despite playing just 13 games in 2019. Even more impressive was the efficiency in which Renfrow picked up yards:

The final WR spot is a bit of a mystery. Tyrell Williams is the only player in the league to average at least 10 yards per target in each of the past three seasons. There's reason for optimism ahead of 2020 considering the still-barren depth chart, as well as the reality that he missed two games with a foot injury that seemed to bother him for the entire season. Still, Bryan Edwards wasn’t drafted inside of the top three rounds to sit on the bench, while rookie RB/WR Lynn Bowden and even free-agent addition Nelson Agholor could make some noise as well.

Prediction: Ruggs finishes as the rookie WR1, but this is mostly in the form of a boom-or-bust WR3. Neither Renfrow, Williams nor Edwards see enough targets to make any serious fantasy impact.

Los Angeles Chargers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Mike Williams 6-4 218 4.59 0.16 0.34 1.91
Slot Keenan Allen 6-2 206 4.71 0.25 0.3 2.01
Right Andre Patton 6-2 200 4.59 0.05 0.13 0.18

WR Breakdown: The elephant in the room: Tyrod Taylor is not good at enabling high-end fantasy WRs. He literally never fed a receiver 100-plus targets in his three years as the Bills' starting QB. Those offenses ranked 31st, 32nd and 31st in pass attempts.

Don't get me wrong: The artist formerly known as TyGod isn't bad. He was a more-than-serviceable QB with the Bills from 2015-2017 before being thrust into an impossible situation with Hue Jackson and the Browns for three weeks in 2018. It’s just tough to expect him to get more out of this talented group of receivers than Philip Rivers. Keenan Allen has averaged 148 targets over the past three seasons. Austin Ekeler had 108 targets in 2019. Both Mike Williams (90) and Hunter Henry (76) each felt extremely underused with their respective target totals.

Even if Taylor doesn’t wind up starting more than a handful of games, it’s tough to feel too optimistic about rookie Justin Herbert’s chances of enabling multiple fantasy-relevant WRs. Allen is again the favorite to lead the way as one of the league’s premiere route-running technicians, although his stranglehold on the No. 1 pass-game option job is more weak than usual. Williams leads the NFL in yards per reception (17.1) since entering the league in 2017 (min. 100 receptions) and could feasibly lead the way.

Prediction: Allen struggles to see the same sort of volume inside of this crowded, run-first offense, functioning as a WR2 and WR3 more weeks than not. Williams continues to supply some breathtaking downfield highlights despite rarely being fed.

Los Angeles Rams

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Josh Reynolds 6-3 194 4.52 0.07 0.1 1.23
Slot Cooper Kupp 6-2 204 4.62 0.21 0.21 2.08
Right Robert Woods 6-foot 201 4.51 0.23 0.25 1.88

WR Breakdown: The absence of Brandin Cooks leads me to believe the base Rams offense will consist of the following players:

Kupp oddly played just 28% of the offense's snaps in Week 14 before finishing the season with back-to-back performances with just 61% snap rates. He racked up 18 targets in these three games, indicating he'll still be fed plenty of pass-game opportunities even if the near every-down role isn't there. Still, the Rams dropped from first to 12th in three-WR sets pre/post bye, making Kupp’s usually sky-high floor a bit more worrisome entering 2020.

And then we have Woods, who has worked as the PPR WR11 and WR14 over the past two seasons. He joins a select group of players that have racked up at least 20 games with five-plus receptions and at least 50 receiving yards since 2018:

Woods is the easy pick over Kupp at the moment due to their unwarranted difference in ADP. Still, both are capable of providing WR1 production if Jared Goff again leads the league in pass attempts.

Reynolds seemed more worthy of a late-round dart throw before the Rams devoted a second-round pick to WR Van Jefferson. It’s unlikely this offense enables more than two fantasy-relevant WRs in 2020.

Prediction: Woods posts top-10 PPR production, while Cupp slips to the low WR2 range in this new-look offense.

Miami Dolphins

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left DeVante Parker 6-3 209 4.45 0.21 0.33 1.89
Slot Albert Wilson 5-9 202 4.43 0.12 0.08 1.13
Right Preston Williams 6-4 211 4.66 0.21 0.31 1.6

WR Breakdown: DeVante Parker is 27 years old and will be forced to adjust to life with Tua Tagovailoa under center sooner rather than later. The talent has always been there for the former No. 14 overall pick of the 2015 draft, but was 2019 an outlier or a sign of things to come?

There were two versions of Parker last season:

  • With Preston Williams (8 games): 52 targets, 28 receptions, 400 yards, 4 TD, PPR WR36
  • Without Williams (8 games): 76 targets, 44 receptions, 802 yards, 5 TD, PPR WR2

However, it was the manner in which Parker went about topping every WR other than Michael Thomas that was so impressive. Parker was consistently the focal point of opposing defenses and matched up with some of the game's best corners: He won shadow matchups against each of Tre'Davious White (7-135-0), William Jackson (5-111-1) and Stephon Gilmore (8-137-0).

Parker is a 6-foot-3 and 209-pound monster capable of running the 40 in 4.45 seconds. His contested-catch skills are truly elite, and he's flashed true alpha-No. 1 WR upside throughout his five-year career.

Additionally, we have a lot of evidence that new-OC Chan Gailey is all about enabling a high-end fantasy WR1. Parker had 128 targets in 2019. Gailey's last six No. 1 WRs in Dwayne Bowe (157), Steve Johnson (141, 134, 148) and Brandon Marshall (173, 128) each managed to meet or clear that mark with ease.

And then we have Williams, who had more targets (60 vs. 52), receptions (32 vs. 28) and yards (428 vs. 400) than Parker in his eight games last season. The undrafted free agent posted a similarly dismal 53% catch rate and struggled with drops, but Williams certainly did look like the offense's best WR for stretches of 2019 (particularly during the preseason). Parker will work ahead of Williams in 2020 based on the second half of last season, his natural talent and the invested capital, although the disparity likely won't be as big as their current average draft positions indicate.

There’s also a non-zero chance that Albert Wilson makes some noise in 2020. He was stupid efficient in 2018 on his way to averaging 11.2 yards per target and 3.03 yards per route run. Last season didn't go as well, but in Wilson's defense, he suffered rib, hip and calf injuries as well as a concussion. The shifty slot WR was playing a near every-down role by the end of the season and could be a wild card to emerge as this offense's No. 2 pass-game option if healthy.

Prediction: Parker remains a beast and posts top-20 fantasy production, while Williams assumes more of a true No. 2 WR role and finishes as a WR4. Wilson finishes outside of fantasy’s top-50 options.

Minnesota Vikings

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Adam Thielen 6-3 200 4.54 0.17 0.24 1.86
Slot Justin Jefferson 6-1 202 4.43 N/A N/A N/A
Right Olabisi Johnson 6-foot 204 4.51 0.11 0.16 1.03

WR Breakdown: Adam Thielen possesses a combination of sure hands and route-running goodness that leaves most corners without an answer. He wasn't too far off from being the same WR last season that he was during his brilliant two-year stretch from 2017-2018:

  • 2017: 14 yards per reception, 9 yards per target, 2.33 yards per route run
  • 2018: 12.2 YPR, 9 YPT, 2.1 YPRR
  • 2019: 13.9 YPR, 8.7 YPT, 1.86 YPRR

The only difference was that he had to miss time and play through a hamstring injury. Strong performances against the Saints (7-129-0) and 49ers (5-50-0) in the playoffs showed that Thielen was still operating near his peak post-injury. Note that he didn't miss a single game from 2014-2018.

Thielen averaged more PPR per game with Stefon Diggs (15) than without (13.5) over the past three seasons, but we have a whopping six-game sample size of Thielen without the Vikings' ex-stud WR and a much larger sample of No. 19 simply balling out. Overall, he finished as the PPR WR9 in 2017 with Case Keenum and the WR7 in 2018 after Kirk Cousins came to town.

The Vikings will again be a run-first offense under OC Gary Kubiak, but don’t underestimate the longtime offensive wizard’s ability to enable a legit fantasy WR1.

Year Team WR1 Targets PPR Rank Notes
1995 DEN Anthony Miller 108 11 14 gms
1996 DEN Anthony Miller 117 40 N/A
1997 DEN Rod Smith 131 7 N/A
1998 DEN Rod Smith 139 6 N/A
1999 DEN Rod Smith 139 28 15 gms
2000 DEN Rod Smith 173 2 N/A
2001 DEN Rod Smith 172 3 15 gms
2002 DEN Rod Smith 147 18 N/A
2003 DEN Rod Smith 114 20 15 gms
2004 DEN Rod Smith 136 15 N/A
2005 DEN Rod Smith 126 13 N/A
2006 HOU Andre Johnson 163 11 N/A
2007 HOU Andre Johnson 86 27 9 gms
2008 HOU Andre Johnson 171 1 N/A
2009 HOU Andre Johnson 171 1 N/A
2010 HOU Andre Johnson 138 7 13 gms
2011 HOU Andre Johnson 51 73 7 gms
2012 HOU Andre Johnson 162 5 N/A
2013 HOU Andre Johnson 181 10 N/A
2014 BAL Steve Smith 134 19 N/A
2015 DEN Demaryius Thomas 177 11 N/A
2016 DEN Demaryius Thomas 144 16 N/A
2019 MIN Stefon Diggs 94 24 15 gms

Overall, Kubiak enabled a top-12 PPR WR in 12 of 23 seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator and a top-24 WR in 19 of 23 seasons (with two of the four exceptions being due to injury). All in all, his No. 1 WR averaged a monstrous 138 targets per season.

The only real sort of competition for Thielen is the team’s rookie first-round pick, Justin Jefferson. The talented contested-catch artist has an underrated chance to lead the Vikings in receiving scores thanks to his big-play ability and potential to dominate from the slot. Still, it’s not a certainty that Jefferson starts the season ahead of the likes of Tajae Sharpe, Bisi Johnson and Chad Beebe. I’m guessing he will, but even then Thielen is locked in as this offense’s No. 1 pass-game option.

Prediction: Thielen finishes as a top-six PPR WR, while Jefferson trails only Michael Pittman in scores among all rookie receivers.

New England Patriots

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left N'Keal Harry 6-2 228 4.53 0.09 0.1 0.83
Slot Julian Edelman 5-10 198 4.57 0.25 0.3 1.83
Right Mohamed Sanu 6-2 211 4.67 0.14 0.12 1.05

WR Breakdown: Do the Patriots boast one of the league’s worst wide receiver rooms? Probably. Are they still perhaps the best group Cam Newton has ever had? Sadly, also probably.

The following wideouts received at least 50 targets for the Panthers from 2011-2019:

Newton’s national championship team at Auburn included approximately zero additional names that non-Tigers stans will remember.

It’s therefore tough to put a ton of stock in Newton’s historical target distribution splits considering the mess he dealt with during his early-to-middle seasons before force-feeding Christian McCaffrey targets in his later years.

A new quarterback could feasibly shuffle the entire pecking order in this offense, but Julian Edelman should still be the safe favorite to lead the way. Only Michael Thomas (185), Julio Jones (157) and Allen Robinson II (154) had more targets than Edelman (153) last season, and the Patriots’ No. 1 WR is also objectively the best talent in this offense’s passing game.

Prediction: Edelman doesn’t repeat fantasy WR1 production, but he’s still a solid asset and leads the offense in most receiving categories. Neither N'Keal Harry nor Mohamed Sanu manages to post anything resembling consistent production in an offense expected to continue to utilize its running backs and tight ends heavily in the passing game.

New Orleans Saints

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Michael Thomas 6-3 212 4.57 0.32 0.4 2.88
Slot Emmanuel Sanders 5-11 180 4.41 0.17 0.29 1.76
Right Tre'Quan Smith 6-2 203 4.49 0.07 0.09 0.82

WR Breakdown: Michael Thomas led the league in targets (185), receptions (149) and receiving yards (1,725) in 2019. Now he gets Drew Brees back after proving capable of maintaining high-end production even without his future Hall of Fame signal-caller, and the stud WR could further benefit from playing across from Emmanuel Sanders. The Saints’ undisputed No. 1 WR averaged a full 3.7 PPR points per game more than the next closest finisher in 2019; don’t overthink who fantasy’s top-ranked WR should be.

The better question is what we should expect from Sanders inside of a fairly crowded passing game that also includes Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook. The self-pronounced diva turned 33 in March, but he’s seemingly immune to Father Time after playing 17 regular-season games and a full postseason slate in 2019 following a late-season Achilles tear late in the 2018 season.

Sanders was a better ball away from being a Super Bowl hero.

Still, there’s a good chance that Sanders is a better real-life asset than consistent fantasy performer. Only Thomas, Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks have averaged more than 15 PPR points per game in a single season with the Saints since 2010, with 2016 marking the only year that Brees helped multiple WRs past that threshold.

The Saints rarely throw downfield, and Sanders could easily emerge as the No. 4 option in this passing game. We’ve learned better by now than to count him out, but expecting high-end fantasy production is probably a pipe dream.

Neither Tre’Quan Smith nor Deonte Harris are expected to receive enough opportunity to make any sort of real impact.

Prediction: Thomas repeats at fantasy’s WR1; Sanders provides WR3/WR4 value more weeks than not.

New York Giants

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt
Share
Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Darius Slayton 6-1 190 4.39 0.16 0.28 1.57
Slot Golden Tate 5-10 202 4.42 0.21 0.24 1.60
Right Sterling Shepard 5-10 194 4.48 0.22 0.26 1.48

WR Breakdown: There's talent everywhere in this offense; it's just a bit of a mystery as to who will rise to the top of Daniel Jones‘ pecking order.

Golden Tate saw at least eight targets in 6 of his 11 games during his debut season with the Giants, serving as a reliable slot receiver with big-play potential after the catch. The soon to be 32-year-old didn't look like he lost a step, averaging more yards per reception (13.8) than he had since his last season with the Seattle Seahawks back in 2013. This is mostly due to an elevated average target depth of 10.8 yards; Tate never posted a mark above even 9 yards while with the Detroit Lions. Impressively, Tate still averaged a robust 5.94 yards after the catch per reception. Jones quietly looked Tate's direction (1.54 deep-ball targets per game) more often than Darius Slayton (1.43) downfield. The perceived one-trick pony responded with the same amount of receptions (7) and drops (1) while topping the talented Giants' rookie WR in deep-ball scores (4 to 3). Tate also led the Giants with 1.60 yards per route run.

Sterling Shepard saw 27 targets over the last three weeks of the season in potentially our most actionable sample. He's the veteran of the WR room at this point and led the team's receivers with 14.2 PPR points per game in 2019. The most concerning takeaway from the season was how the presence of Tate caused Shepard's once-robust slot rate to dwindle. Shepard was the sixth-most sensitive WR to non-slot usage when taking the difference in yards per route run from the slot vs. elsewhere. The Giants' long-time WR deserves credit for creating more average separation (3.1 yards) than either Tate (2.2) or Slayton (2.2), but that could also just be more of a result from his low-aDOT role.

Slayton sure looked a lot like the best WR of the group at various points during last season, becoming just the 14th rookie WR to score at least eight touchdowns since 2010. He achieved this milestone with a mix of contested-catch goodness and underrated route-running ability. Slayton showed that his worst-case scenario is as a boom-or-bust field-stretching WR with blowup performances against the Eagles and Jets. Only A.J. Brown (12.5 yards per target), Deebo Samuel (9.9), Terry McLaurin (9.9) and D.K. Metcalf (9) were more efficient than Slayton (8.8) among 10 rookie WRs with at least 50 targets in 2019. There's a high ceiling here.

We didn’t have a single game with Jones, his top-three WRs, Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley in 2020, so take the following chart with a bit of a grain of salt.

Player Games Tgts Rec. Yards Touchdowns Tgts per game Yards per tgt
Golden Tate 9 76 47 614 5 8.4 8.08
Sterling Shepard 7 58 38 395 3 8.3 6.81
Evan Engram 6 46 27 303 2 7.7 6.59
Darius Slayton 12 73 41 555 5 6.1 7.60
Saquon Barkley 9 51 38 359 2 5.7 7.04
Kaden Smith 7 34 26 221 3 4.9 6.50
Bennie Fowler 6 21 13 102 0 3.5 4.86
Rhett Ellison 8 25 16 151 1 3.1 6.04
Cody Latimer 11 28 17 175 2 2.5 6.25

With that said, embrace the mystery of the Giants passing game in fantasy. All these WRs are being priced as WR3s and WR4s, which is seemingly their respective floors if they fall behind in the pecking order.

Prediction: Slayton leads the way and flirts with WR2 production, while both Shepard and Tate remain involved enough to post WR3 weeks more times than not.

New York Jets

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Breshad Perriman 6-2 212 4.30 0.13 0.20 1.44
Slot Jamison Crowder 5-9 185 4.56 0.23 0.24 1.58
Right Denzel Mims 6-3 207 4.38 N/A N/A N/A

WR Breakdown: Adam Gase has made a habit of feeding his offense's starting slot WR throughout his coaching career:

  • 2013: Wes Welker (8.5 targets per game)
  • 2014: Wes Welker (4.6)
  • 2015: Eddie Royal (5.6)
  • 2016: Jarvis Landry (8.2)
  • 2017: Jarvis Landry (10.1)
  • 2018: Danny Amendola (5.3)
  • 2019: Jamison Crowder (7.6)

For reference, Jamison Crowder‘s 7.6 targets per game ranked a respectable 24th among all WRs. Robby Anderson (96 targets), Le'Veon Bell (78) and Demaryius Thomas (58) were the only other players with even 50 targets for the Jets in 2019.

Crowder wasn't overwhelmingly efficient; he never gained over 100 yards and once converted 17 targets into 14 receptions for 99 yards and zero scores. Still, it was clear that he formed solid chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold on underneath routes, which led to an underrated ceiling. Overall, Crowder was one of just 15 WRs to finish at least five weeks as a top-12 PPR scorer at the position in 2019. Only Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones and Kenny Golladay spent more weeks as a PPR WR1. The potential for more targets in this uncertain and uncrowded offense could lead to Crowder supplying a familiar floor to go along with newfound spike weeks.

Perhaps Breshad Perriman can continue to turn around his career after posting back-to-back strong seasons with the Browns and Buccaneers, although Denzel Mims is my pick for the more likely breakout candidate. Mims possesses a lot of the same athletic traits as some of the league's most freakish WRs (via Player Profiler):

  • 40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds (96th-percentile among WRs)
  • Speed Score: 115.6 (96th)
  • Burst Score: 131 (90th)
  • Agility Score: 11.09 (67th)
  • Catch Radius: 10.34 (96th)
  • College Dominator: 42.3% (86th)

Mims and Perriman are certainly talented; just keep expectations in check for anyone involved in this snail-paced offense with a QB who has yet to put together an above-average performance for any sort of extended time in the NFL.

Prediction: Crowder finishes as the team’s top WR (again) and posts WR3 fantasy production. Mims and Perriman function as better real-life players than fantasy assets.

Philadelphia Eagles

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Alshon Jeffery 6-3 216 4.53 0.23 0.3 1.71
Slot Jalen Reagor 5-11 206 4.47 N/A N/A 1.29
Right DeSean Jackson 5-10 175 4.35 0.13 0.23 4.18

WR Breakdown: Only Henry Ruggs III has a clearer path to life as an offense's No. 1 WR. Like Ruggs, Jalen Reagor will lose plenty of targets to the team's TE group, but there's perhaps an easier path up the WR depth chart. Concerns about Reagor's lack of efficiency in college are outweighed by the reality that TCU QB Max Duggan was one of the most inaccurate passers in all of college football. An offense run by Carson Wentz is superior to one run by Derek Carr, but there's enough difference in collegiate production for me to lean towards the No. 12 overall pick.

The Eagles have infamously been light on skill-position talent outside of their TE room in recent seasons, but they suddenly boast an array of field-stretching talent that should give Carson Wentz the best group of weapons in his career.

  • Alshon Jeffery certainly didn’t look like the same beast we’ve seen in recent seasons, but it’s worth noting he played a total of 26 snaps in two injury-shortened games. His eight-game pace equals out to a much more respectable 86-980-8 season-long projection.
  • DeSean Jackson caught 8 of his 9 targets for 154 yards and a pair of scores in Week 1 against Washington then played 14 total snaps the rest of the season. The 33-year-old WR led the league in yards per reception in 2018 and will be on the field in three-receiver sets when healthy this season.
  • Marquise Goodwin possesses Olympic-caliber speed and provides the Eagles with multiple legit field-stretching threats for the first time since 2017 when they had Torrey Smith and rookie-year Mack Hollins.
  • J.J. Arcega-Whiteside did pretty much nothing of note as a rookie, which is incredibly concerning for his future outlook considering how desperate the Eagles were for any decent pass-catchers in 2019.
  • Rookies John Hightower (4.43-second 40-yard dash) and Quez Watkins (4.35) provide further depth if/when the Eagles inevitably suffer some injuries on the outside.

Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders and even Boston Scott figure to remain plenty involved in the passing game. It’s unlikely any single WR puts up monstrous numbers, but together they form a good enough group to feel great about this aerial attack in general.

Prediction: No Eagles WRs finish as top-30 fantasy performers, although Jackson and Reagor both beat their average draft positions as boom-or-bust options.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Diontae Johnson 5-10 183 4.53 0.18 0.21 1.61
Slot JuJu Smith-Schuster 6-1 215 4.54 0.17 0.23 1.49
Right James Washington 5-11 213 4.54 0.16 0.32 1.76

WR Breakdown: There's a case to be made that JuJu Smith-Schuster was the worst WR in this offense last season: Washington was the more efficient player on both a per reception (16.7 vs. 13.1 yards per catch) and per opportunity (9.2 vs. 7.9 yards per target), while Diontae Johnson improved as the season went on and flashed true No. 1 WR ability.

The 2019 Steelers went 8-8 despite suffering worst-case scenario QB play. Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 5,000 yards in 2018. Pittsburgh boasts anyone's idea of a top-five defense.

This offense is going to be good in 2020 if Big Ben can stay healthy.

JuJu averaged an absurd 11.6 yards per target as a rookie before posting a season-long 111-1,426-7 line on a ridiculous 166 total targets in his second season. Having Antonio Brown to take away attention helped, but we've still seen more than enough evidence at this point that Smith-Schuster is a special player.

Roethlisberger fed both A.B. and JuJu over 160 targets in 2018, helping both to fantasy WR1 heights. Expecting this for Johnson and JuJu in 2020 is a bit unrealistic, but it’s the ceiling.

Look for these two WRs to work as the passing game’s focal points while James Washington battles with Chase Claypool for the offense’s field-stretcher role. James Washington should be the favorite to round out three-receiver sets over the rookie, although Big Ben’s brutal chemistry (42% catch rate in 2018) with the rising third-year receiver is troublesome when expecting him to crack the top-two in the pecking order.

Prediction: JuJu and Johnson both post plenty of WR1 and (mostly) WR2 weeks, although the former receiver winds up being the more productive option by a decent margin. Washington loses his job to Claypool by November.

Seattle Seahawks

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left D.K. Metcalf 6-3 228 4.33 0.19 0.26 1.69
Slot Tyler Lockett 5-10 182 4.4 0.21 0.28 1.87
Right David Moore 6-1 219 4.48 0.07 0.11 1.58

WR Breakdown: Tyler Lockett set career-high marks in targets (110), receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,057) in 2019, averaging a robust 9.6 yards per target along the way.

Of course, fantasy managers don't remember things quite as fondly. Injuries and puzzling usage resulted in a four-game stretch that produced just seven receptions for 107 yards and no touchdowns from Weeks 10-14. Lockett didn't record a single reception in Week 13 with the fantasy playoffs right around the corner.

Yes, I'm still bitter.

Anyway, Lockett rebounded with 8-120-1, 6-51-1 and 9-136-1 performances in three of his final five games of the season. He still possesses Jedi-like chemistry with Russell Wilson and remains locked in as the offense's No. 2 pass-game option at the worst.

The question is whether Lockett and D.K. Metcalf will continue to function as co-leaders or if the Seahawks' rising second-year talent might just take over the whole passing game. Metcalf's route tree and usage expanded as the season went on, and the talented 2019 second-round pick posted exciting 6-81-1, 8-160-1 and 4-59-0 performances in the final three games of the season. Note that it took Doug Baldwin (four years) and Lockett (five years) quite a while to get triple-digit targets from Wilson in a single season; Metcalf did so as a rookie.

This passing game is more condensed than most throughout the league. The Seahawks are unfortunately going to keep running the ball to their heart's desire as long as offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer keeps calling plays. But both Metcalf and Lockett still present plenty of upside at their current mid-20 average draft positions (ADPs).

David Moore will likely split snaps with Phillip Dorsett if the Seahawks don’t go ahead and sign one of Antonio Brown or Josh Gordon. Brown's presence would obviously alter the pecking order in this passing game and lower the ceiling of everyone involved. Just realize that Brown is in all likelihood facing a multi-game suspension, and both Metcalf and Lockett are good enough to still provide spike weeks in a more-crowded passing game. Flash Gordon would likely inherit only a low-volume, field-stretching role — which would be better news for the fantasy outlooks of both Lockett and Metcalf.

Prediction: Both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf return WR2 value, although the latter ultimately emerges as Wilson’s new No. 1 option. Antonio Brown signs elsewhere.

San Francisco 49ers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Deebo Samuel 5-11 214 4.48 0.18 0.2 2.04
Slot Kendrick Bourne 6-1 181 4.62 0.09 0.11 1.31
Right Brandon Aiyuk 6-0 205 4.5 N/A N/A N/A

WR Breakdown: Deebo Samuel is expected to miss at least the first month of the season recovering from foot surgery. Only A.J. Brown (8.8) averaged more yards after the catch per reception than Samuel (8.5) in 2019. His 25 broken tackles in 2019 trailed only Lamar Jackson (42) among all non-running backs.

Things aren't crystal clear behind Samuel in this run-first offense that figures to feed all-world tight end George Kittle more than ever. This is an incredibly crowded receiver room at the moment:

  • Brandon Aiyuk was the 49ers' first-round pick and is the most likely candidate to join Samuel in two-receiver sets. He doesn't possess overwhelming size (6-foot and 205 pounds) or speed (4.5-second 40-yard dash), but his average of 17 yards per catch at Arizona State reflects the reality that it's a problem to get him to the ground. Kyle Shanahan called Aiyuk his favorite wideout in the draft, meaning a rather prominent Day 1 role isn't impossible. At a minimum, Aiyuk possesses the type of after-the-catch ability to fit neatly inside this offense and see a handful of opportunities per game.
  • Kendrick Bourne converted all five of his targets inside the 10-yard line into scores during the regular season, making the most of his part-time role. Still, he's cleared 50 yards in just 6-of-46 games since joining the 49ers in 2017. Bourne has a low ceiling and floor in 2020; it wouldn't be surprising if he's unseated by one of the team's young receivers.
  • Jalen Hurd missed all of 2019 due to a back injury. He was earning some preseason hype thanks to his versatile skill set and (wait for it) ability to rack up yards after the catch. The former collegiate RB/WR doesn't appear to be as firmly placed as a true wide receiver, meaning more of a part-time role could be on the table. Either way, he is another talented piece who Shanahan should be plenty capable of manufacturing touches for.
  • Dante Pettis averaged 10.4 yards per target in a promising rookie campaign before sinking to 4.5 yards per target during a worst-case scenario 2019 encore. He's fighting for a roster spot ahead of 2020, let alone a consistent role in the passing game.
  • Richie James Jr. is the team's primary returner and league-best flipper in the victory formation. While James does occasionally soak up some snaps, he has just 24 targets in 29 games over the past two seasons.
  • Trent Taylor was the leading candidate to start out of the slot in 2019 before missing the entire season with a Jones fracture. He could certainly win back the slot job, but a concentrated effort to get him the ball seems unlikely considering the other weapons all over the field.
  • Travis Benjamin is set to replace Marquise Goodwin. The ex-Chargers' field-stretching receiver could be asked to fly down the field on a few well-designed shot plays; just don't expect to see a consistent target share.

It’ll likely take a few weeks for things to sort themselves out, but Aiyuk is probably the top candidate to rise to the top for however long Samuel remains sidelined.

Prediction: None of the 49ers’  wide receivers finish as top-30 fantasy assets.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Mike Evans 6-5 231 4.53 0.23 0.35 2.3
Slot Chris Godwin 6-1 209 4.42 0.22 0.23 2.24
Right Justin Watson 6-3 225 4.49 0.07 0.09 1.09

WR Breakdown: This Buccaneers' offense is absolutely loaded with competent to amazing pass-catching talent.

Mike Evans posted monstrous 11-198-2, 8-190-3 and 12-180-1 performances in 2019 but otherwise cleared five receptions in a game just once. The idea that Tom Brady won’t be as willing as Jameis Winston to chuck it deep makes sense, but Brady is far from washed as a downfield passer. Overall, he was one of 14 quarterbacks to post a passer rating over 100.0 on attempts thrown at least 20 yards downfield last season. Evans joins Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons.

Chris Godwin’s case for another excellent season is simple: Brady just fed No. 1 slot wideout Julian Edelman 153 targets, and Godwin is fresh off averaging an absurd 11 yards per target on his way to functioning as the WR2 in PPR points per game. The talented 24-year-old is plenty capable of thriving with Brady under center. However, there’s a bit more competition for slot targets with Rob Gronkowski in town, and it’s unlikely Brady leads the league in pass attempts like Winston did last season. Both Evans and Godwin are exceptional, but the Brady hype has caused each to be valued near their ceiling.

Brady is the GOAT and dealt with plenty of injuries as well as simply porous performances from his receivers at times. Still, we probably shouldn’t expect the Buccaneers to rank near the top of the league in pass attempts again, and Brady is coming off anyone’s idea of his worst season in quite some time.

Year Rating ANY/A Cmp% TD% INT%
2006 67.2 6.08 61.8 4.7 2.3
2007 88.5 8.88 68.9 8.7 1.4
2009 73.2 7.38 65.7 5.0 2.3
2010 78.3 8.25 65.9 7.3 0.8
2011 75.2 8.25 65.6 6.4 2.0
2012 76.1 7.48 63.0 5.3 1.3
2013 62.1 6.13 60.5 4.0 1.8
2014 76.2 7.01 64.1 5.7 1.5
2015 68.0 7.48 64.4 5.8 1.1
2016 79.1 8.81 67.4 6.5 0.5
2017 73.2 7.56 66.3 5.5 1.4
2018 66.6 7.26 65.8 5.1 1.9
2019 52.5 6.24 60.8 3.9 1.3

One of Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller or Justin Watson is expected to fill out three-receiver sets, although we should probably project Tampa Bay to run more two-tight end formations than usual with their embarrassment of riches at the position.

Prediction: Chris Godwin posts another fantasy WR1 season, while Evans keeps the 1,000-yard streak alive but finishes as a WR2.

Tennessee Titans

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left A.J. Brown 6-0 226 4.49 0.19 0.29 2.67
Slot Adam Humphries 5-11 195 4.58 0.14 0.13 1.4
Right Corey Davis 6-3 209 4.53 0.16 0.23 1.48

WR Breakdown: 168 rookie WRs have had more than 50 targets in the Randy Moss era (1998-2019). Just 10 managed to average double-digit yards per target.

Brown’s ability to rack up yards after the catch was the root of his dominance. NFL's Next-Gen Stats calculates both a receiver's yards after the catch per reception *and* expected yards after the catch per reception. This allows us to see which receivers are under- or over-performing relative to expectations with the ball in their hands. Brown (+4.9) easily posted the single-highest mark in their database (2016-2019) as a rookie. 2018 George Kittle (+3.4) and 2018 D.J. Moore (+3.2) were the only other receivers to finish with a mark above three.

Brown joined Kareem Hunt, Deebo Samuel, Josh Allen, Diontae Johnson, Jonathan Williams and Lamar Jackson as the only players to break at least 0.3 tackles per touch. His average of 8.9 yards after the catch per reception is the highest since 2010, challenged only by 2012 Percy Harvin (8.7).

Not a stat person? Fine. Even someone who has never watched football would be able to identify Brown as one of the better players on the field more weeks than not.

Both Adam Humphries and Corey Davis are back to join Brown inside of three-receiver sets. Both complementary receivers were hampered by injuries last season. I'm out on Humphries functioning as a consistent fantasy option in this offense, but perhaps Davis could be looking at a late-career, DeVante Parker-esque breakout. After all, Davis and Parker are the exact same size at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, both are talented former first-round picks with proven ability, and each has managed to terrorize Stephon Gilmore — the NFL's best cornerback — over the years. None of Davis' 11 deep ball targets (thrown 20-plus yards downfield) were deemed catchable by PFF's accuracy charting in 2019. This offense will undoubtedly flow through Derrick Henry and Brown, but Ryan Tannehill might be capable of enabling two somewhat-consistent fantasy receivers if this offense throws the ball just a bit more often in 2020.

Prediction: The Titans (rightfully) increase A.J. Brown’s target share, leading to top-12 PPR production. Neither Corey Davis nor Adam Humphries emerge as anything resembling consistent fantasy options.

Washington Redskins

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Terry McLaurin 6-0 208 4.35 0.22 0.41 2.05
Slot Steven Sims 5-9 184 4.61 0.12 0.1 1.46
Right Kelvin Harmon 6-2 221 4.6 0.1 0.15 1.26

WR Breakdown: The Redskins bit on Terry McLaurin with the No. 76 overall pick. They were quickly rewarded by the rookie's combination of wildly polished route-running ability and field-stretching speed. While there weren't many positives about watching the ensuing 3-13 Washington squad in 2019, McLaurin regularly turned in at least a few snaps per game that resembled the work of an All-Pro receiver.

All in all, McLaurin caught 58-of-93 targets for 919 yards and seven receiving scores in 14 games during his debut campaign. Only nine rookie wide receivers have averaged more yards per target than the talented third-round pick since 2010 (minimum 50 targets):

Sure, neither Armstrong nor Williams exactly turned into stars, but the rest of the list is littered with long-term studs to go along with 2020's trio of high-performing rookies.

McLaurin's gaudy efficiency last season could’ve been even better with improved play under center.

Luckily, McLaurin proved plenty capable of producing with Dwayne Haskins or Case Keenum under center. Yes, McLaurin's 5-125-1, 5-62-1, 6-70-1 and 4-100-2 lines in his only four non-mud-bowl games with Keenum were great. Also yes, the rookie proved to be just fine with Haskins under center on a full-time basis:

    • Week 9: 4 receptions-39 yards-0 TDs (6 targets)
    • Week 11: 3-69-0 (4)
    • Week 12: 5-72-0 (12)
    • Week 13: 2-9-0 (4)
    • Week 14: 4-57-1 (7)
    • Week 15: 5-130-1 (5)
    • Week 16: 7-86-0 (9)

Three-receiver sets are tentatively expected to be filled out by Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon in 2020. Sims was the only pass-catcher other than McLaurin to really flash at all in 2019; Harmon failed to score or surpass 60 yards in a game all season. Fourth-round pick Antonio Gandy-Golden (6-foot-4 and 223 pounds) is probably more of a threat to Harmon's outside role than Sims, who ended the season on a 5-45-1, 6-64-2 and 5-81-1 tear. Washington currently employs Jeremy Sprinkle, Hale Hentges, Logan Thomas, Richard Rodgers and Marcus Baugh at tight end. Don't expect any of them to emerge as consistent fantasy options in 2020 due to both the competition at hand as well as the group's limited skill set.

Second-round running back Antonio Gibson is where things get interesting. It's easy to love Gibson the player. He scored 14 touchdowns on just 77 touches in 2019, ripping off seven plays of 50-plus yards and breaking roughly a million tackles along the way. Gibson is viewed as a WR/RB hybrid, standing at 6-foot-0 and weighing 228 pounds with the ability to run the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds. The problem is that The Athletic's Grant Paulsen reports that Washington wants to run more 21 personnel (two running backs, one tight end) with rookie Gibson and Derrius Guice or Adrian Peterson on the field at the same time. Unfortunately, any of Bryce Love, Peyton Barber, J.D. McKissic and Josh Ferguson could also compete for snaps in two-running back sets. Gibson clearly has the talent to thrive in the right role, but it's unclear that Washington has any plans to make that role a significant one in its below-average offense. Gibson's best chance at fantasy value in 2020 is to receive a WR fantasy designation, but an RB-esque role consisting of double-digit touches per game.

Prediction: Terry McLaurin posts top-20 PPR production as the only fantasy-relevant pass-catcher in Washington.

Fantasy Featured Tools

PFF Edge
Unlock Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft
Learn More
$39.99 / yr
$9.99 / mo
PFF Elite
Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS
Learn More
$199.99 / yr
$34.99 / mo