In this article, I will go over some of my buys at the Wide Receiver position. Listed are 10 guys who I am higher than consensus on and would be targeting in all dynasty leagues. With the rookie drafts over and the off-season in full effect, its time to start looking at these guys before the training camp hype inflates their value. It ranges from players who had bad years that are due for a rebound, injury-prone players whose price tag has dropped and just straight up disrespected vets who are falling in value for absurd reasons. If you don’t have some of these guys, hopefully, I can persuade you into targeting them and if you do and are looking to sell, hopefully, I can talk you into keeping them. Enjoy!
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The Arizona Cardinals trade for Deandre Hopkins and everybody forgets about Christian Kirk. Since the Hopkins trade, Kirk’s Average Draft Position (ADP) has dropped to around #90 overall ( #36 overall receiver) per Fantasy Football Calculator. If he is dropping like that in startups, those who already own him are sure to be valuing him much less than he should be. Larry Fitzgerald has one more year left in him and the addition of Deandre Hopkins should only help Kirk as Hopkins should draw the opposing team’s number one cornerback as well as get extra attention from the safety. Having a true number one receiver opposite him will only help him in this air raid offense where there should be plenty of targets to go around in Kyler Murray’s second year. We saw the potential Will Fuller had in the games he played across from Hopkins and I believe Kirk has that same potential with less risk. I would float around some offers for Kirk and see where his owner stands as his purchase price right now will look like a steal by the end of the year.
As we all know, Mohamed Sanu was traded to the New England Patriots midway through the season last year, leaving the door open for Russell Gage to step in as the WR3 for them. Prior to being traded, Sanu was one of the most underrated PPR options in all of fantasy football, ranking in the top 31 twice in his three full seasons with Atlanta. His last two full seasons with Atlanta, he averaged 95 targets, 66.5 receptions, 771 yards, and 4.5 touchdowns. The addition of Calvin Ridley did not change a thing for Sanu as he actually reached a career-high in receiving yards with 838 in 2018. The Falcons obviously felt comfortable enough with Gage when they traded Sanu and only added Laquon Treadwell in the off-season to “compete” with Gage. Gage is actually younger than Treadwell, was drafted by Quinn, and has two years of chemistry with Matt Ryan. Gage is going to win this job. In the nine games without Sanu, Gage accumulated a solid 66 targets (7.3 per game) bringing his estimated 16 game target total to 117 targets *insert curious emoji eyes*. Now obviously I don’t see Gage receiving 117 targets next year but a solid 80-90 is not out of the question…and something Sanu did every year in Atlanta. Right now, Gage can be had for practically nothing, and if he does slightly worse than Sanu, your still looking at a potential Top 40 WR in PPR leagues. SIGN ME UP.
One of the first things you hear when Brandin Cooks comes into a conversation is “injury prone”, when in reality he has only missed two games in the past five seasons, both coming last year. Has he had a history of concussions? Yes. But they have not caused him to miss many games. His main competition for targets, however, Will Fuller, has missed 22 games in his four-year career. Hand-picked by Bill O’Brien, Cooks will enter the year as the Texans number one receiver and Deandre Hopkins replacement. Prior to last year, Cooks put together four straight one thousand yard seasons, with three different Quarterbacks, finishing Top 15 in PPR points each year. According to Sports Injury Predictor, Cooks is only predicted to miss 0.2 games in 2020, which is the lowest of every Texans receiver. Cooks is only 26 years old in the prime of his career. There is no reason Cooks should be as cheap as he is right now and I would gladly give a 2021 2nd rounder for him. If I’m a serious contender, I would even consider my late 2021 1st round pick. I highly suggest kicking the tires on Cooks and seeing where his owner values him because there is a very good chance he outperforms whatever you will trade for him.
Harry was a consensus top two rookie pick last year, but an early-season injury cost him the first nine games of 2019. By that point, the chemistry with then starter Tom Brady was not there, Mohamed Sanu had been acquired and he only had seven games to get acclimated to the NFL speed. Harry was spectacular with Arizona State posting back to back 1,000-yard seasons with 17 touchdowns combined. His size/speed/catch radius most resembles Allen Robinson, who we all know is a stud. Harry spent most of his time with the second team in his rookie year, catching passes from none other than Jarrett Stidham, who oh yeah, is the starting quarterback for the Patriots this year. Do you know who Stidham wasn’t throwing passes to? Julian Edelman, who had a well-documented relationship with former Quarterback, Tom Brady. There will be a clean slate in 2020, so while Edelman’s talent is unquestioned, the chemistry with his new starting quarterback is not. Edelman is also 34 years old going into this season and could either retire or be playing with a new team as soon as next year. Being a first-round pick last year, Harry can remain under contract with the Patriots for four more years, which leads me to believe they will do everything in their power to mold him into their new number one option of the future. I have seen Harry being used as a worthless toss in some leagues of mine and it is ridiculous how low his price is right now. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, his Dynasty ADP is sitting at WR31….Chase Claypool is at WR29. Do yourself a favor and try and steal Harry at his deflated price tag while there is still time, you will thank me later.
UPDATE: With the Cam Newton signing, I like Harry even more than I originally did because he now has a proven passer under center. Even if Cam gets hurt down the line, for the above-mentioned reasons I still like Harry with Stidham at Quarterback.
Diontae Johnson has been by far my favorite buy this off-season. Johnson quietly finished as the #41 WR in PPR scoring his rookie year, leading the Pittsburgh Steelers in targets, receptions, and touchdowns, trailing only James Washington in receiving yards. Johnson did all of this with a combination of Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph throwing him the ball. The return of Ben Roethlisberger should help Johnson surpass his 2019 season numbers quite easily if his health cooperates. In 12 games last year, JuJu Smith-Schuster managed to go over 100 yards only once, leading some to question if he can be a true #1 receiver post, Antonio Brown. Consequently, JuJu’s contract is set to expire next year and there already have been rumors that the Steelers may let him walk, opening the door for an expanded 2021 role for Johnson. In this year’s draft, the Steelers surprisingly added size/speed freak, Chase Claypool, leading some to believe that Johnson or Washington’s role may be in danger as JuJu should man the slot. Claypool is more similar to Washington in regards that he can be a big play/deep threat with his speed and that is going to be the battle to watch. Johnson is a fantastic route runner and a technician at the position, with lightning-quick feet (Led the entire NFL in separation per target) and soft hands (88.1% catch rate) I believe he has a real chance to emerge as the WR1 for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. Now just imagine if Johnson takes that next step like I expect him to, they let JuJu walk in free agency as a result and they draft a talented young Quarterback in the 2021 draft to pair with him moving forward…You are going to be wishing you bought him before this season while his price is cheap. It’s not like your getting no slouch in 2020 either, as I expect Johnson to surpass over 100 targets easily this year with upside for a monster workload in 2021. Buy him now before its too late.
According to Fantasy Football Calculator ADP, Robert Woods Dynasty ADP stands at WR31. That’s absurd for a 28-year-old Wide receiver coming off two straight Top 15 PPR seasons WITH Brandin Cooks on the team. Cooks is now gone and Wood’s is a lock to go up from his two touchdowns from last year plus a slight increase in targets from last year 139 is likely. I am in the minority here, but Robert Woods has a chance to be a top 8-10 fantasy WR this year. He is currently being ranked in the ’20s in redraft rankings, behind Kupp. See what it takes to acquire Woods and reap the rewards.
I have seen a lot of people saying to stay away from the Chargers offense this year with Phillip Rivers gone, but was Rivers even that good? He looked completely finished, throwing only three more touchdowns than interceptions and a decreased completion percentage from 2018. I personally am a fan of Justin Herbert and he should be an upgrade for Keenan moving forward in his career. We are talking of a guy who has posted at least 97 catches, 1,100 yards and six touchdowns in three straight seasons. People also say he is “Injury Prone” which is also not true because he hasn’t missed a game since 2016. I don’t get the Allen disrespect and would love to have him as a high-end WR2, so if someone is selling I suggest buying before all the worries get pushed aside mid-season when he looks like the same stud receiver we all know.
While D.K. Metcalf is getting all the hype out of Seattle, don’t forget about their true number one receiver. Lockett is in the prime of his career and coming off his first 1,000-yard season while having a combined 18 touchdowns in the last two years. He beat D.K. in all stat categories and basically all advanced metrics such as catch rate etc… last year. Lockett is a high-end WR2 with a weekly upside for more thanks to his touchdown output.
Another guy who is getting over-shadowed by a recent addition is Michael Gallup. We all know CeeDee Lamb is great and has a very good chance of jumping Gallup as early as 2021, but Gallup will be in his final contract year and will most likely be on a new team as the cap-strapped Cowboys won’t be able to retain him by then. For 2020, I fully expect Gallup to remain as the WR2 in Dallas and be successful in doing so. In only his second year he posted a 1,100-yard season, showing that he is plenty capable of being a top 2 option for a team. So even if he cedes (get it) work to CeeDee in 2021, I believe he will get paid as a WR2 somewhere and produce just as he did in 2019.
Once he was drafted by Indianapolis last year, a lot of analysts got excited and moved Campbell way up their rookie rankings, high as WR3 overall, but an injury-filled rookie season followed and sunk his value. Campbell is ridiculously cheap right now, even more so with the drafting of Michael Pittman this year. Campbell’s role will stay safe as the primary slot guy for Rivers and he should still see a decent amount of targets as a playmaker out of the slot. I can see Campbell cracking the Top 50 in PPR leagues this year with upside for more given Hilton’s injury history.