I can’t believe the start of the NFL season is only a few days away. With everything going on in the world, the football season is quickly sneaking upon us. Limited training camps and no preseason games can make it difficult to prepare yourself for this years’ draft. But, don’t worry, we here at Gridiron Experts are here to help give you a leg up on your competition. I will be going over all the players I plan on targeting and staying away from at each position. These will be players I believe to be undervalued (or overvalued) at their current ADP, as well as a few players I see as possible league winners. All ADPs are based on 12-team PPR leagues from fantasyfootballcalculator.com. And be sure to check out our Staff’s Wide Receiver Rankings here!
As I mentioned with the RBs, I love the guys at the top – Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, and Julio Jones – and I don’t have to tell you they’re great options. The WR position is extremely deep, but there are a few potential land mines. Below, I will go into who stands out above the rest in each round as well as a few guys you should probably stay away from.
Average Draft Position: 26
Golladay had a monster 2019 campaign, posting 65-1,190-11 on 116 targets, good for a top 10 WR finish in PPR leagues. He’ll happily welcome back his veteran QB, Matthew Stafford, who was under center when Golladay did the majority of his damage. Seven of his 11 TDs came before Stafford was lost for the season. Golladay is the clear No. 1 option in Detroit, receiving just over 25% of the targets. I expect his target share to be around the same in 2020 and hopefully gets to play all 16 games with Stafford. Golladay looks poised to post a Megatron-like fantasy season.
Average Draft Position: 33
If everyone wants to keep passing on A-Rob, I’m perfectly fine with rostering him in all of my leagues. He’s being taken towards the end of the 3rd round and I have seen him slip into the 4th in some drafts. With the inaccurate Mitch Trubisky under center, A-Rob still managed 98-1,147-7 leading to a WR7 finish (Weeks 1-16). I would’ve liked to see Nick Foles win the starting role for the Bears, but regardless of who is under center, they will be looking Robinson’s way quite often. He had a whopping 154 targets last year, only behind Michael Thomas (185) and Julio Jones (157), and he should be in for another monster target load in 2020. I’m interested.
This is the range I plan on grabbing most of my WRs. I do have a lot of love for Calvin Ridley & DK Metcalf this year, but they always seem to go earlier than their ADP.
Average Draft Position: 42
Woods is coming off back to back 1,100+ yard seasons while receiving 130+ targets in both. I’m all about that volume. The Rams are now without Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley, vacating 121 targets between the two of them. They did add some intriguing rookies in Van Jefferson and Cam Akers, but it is almost a guarantee that Woods sees a minimum of 130 targets again in 2020. I know he’s not the young, sexy pick, but he is about as safe as you can get in the WR2 range. If he can manage to find the endzone a few more than times than he did in 2019 (2), he may find himself in the WR1 conversation at the end of the year.
Average Draft Position: 43
A.J. Brown will look to build on his phenomenal rookie season where he posted 52-1,051-8 on 84 targets. He also added on 60 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD finishing the season as WR23 in PPR formats (WR12 Wks 7-16). There were 79 WRs that saw 50 targets or more last season. Among those, Brown was 1st in yards per target (12.5), yards after the catch per reception (8.88), and yards after contact per reception (5.02). He also finished 2nd in passer rating when targeted (127.6), 2nd in missed tackles forced per reception (0.31) and 3rd in yards per route run (2.67). Brown now gets to play a full season with Ryan Tannehill at QB. He received 61 of his 84 targets with Tannehill under center so I expect him to look his way quite often again. Brown is a solid WR2 with WR1 upside due to his big-play ability.
Average Draft Position: 47
DJ Chark broke out in a big way in his sophomore season, turning in 73-1,008-8 on 118 targets and finished WR16 in PPR leagues. He impressed me with his body control, strong hands, and ability tocatch and turn it up the field. It’s obvious by his team-high 118 targets that he and Minshew have a connection and he is the clear cut #1 in Jacksonville. New OC Jay Gruden has said that he plans to use Chark all over the formation this year which should only benefit him. The Jags recently let go of Leonard Fournette so that bodes well for the passing attack. Look for Chark to build on his 2019 breakout season.
Average Draft Position: 51
McLaurin will be one of, if not, the only fantasy-relevant player on the Washington Football Team. The 2nd year wideout showed off his speed and hands in his rookie season, producing 58-919-7 on 93 targets in 14 games. McLaurin has virtually no competition for targets and I expect Washington to be playing from behind in most games. With Haskins under center from Weeks 9-16 last year, he targeted Mclaurin on 47 of his 181 pass attempts (25.9%). He’s a lock to see over 120 targets this season is a guy I am happy to have on my roster.
Average Draft Position: 57
Courtland Sutton will look to take another step in his 3rd year with the Denver Broncos. Even though he caught balls from three different QBs last season, he didn’t miss a beat. Sutton caught 72 balls on 125 targets for 1,112 yards and 6 TDs finishing as WR18 in PPR leagues. The Broncos may have a few more mouths to feed this year, but Sutton is a star in the making. He received almost 30% of the teams’ targets last year and I am projecting him to receive over 25% again this year. Drew Lock will be under center and he targeted Sutton on 28.5% of his pass attempts last season. Everything is lining up for Sutton produce at a high level again in 2020.
Average Draft Position: 59
If you didn’t notice I have a lot of love for the 2nd year WRs. The speedster was a bit boom or bust last season. However, he was dealing with a foot injury which may have been part of the reason behind him only seeing 58% of the snaps. He had the screws taken out of his foot this offseason and will look to return his early-season form. He should be Lamar Jackson’s No. 1 WR option and will be competing with Mark Andrews for targets. “Hollywood” Brown is a big play waiting to happen, but Jackson looked his way quite often in the end zone as well. He received 10 targets in the end zone which was tied for the 11th most. I expect Brown’s snap share to increase dramatically and everything else to go with it. Do yourself a favor and take a chance on “Hollywood”.
Average Draft Position: 67
Can Will Fuller stay healthy? That is the ultimate question and is the only reason he isn’t being taken higher. Ever since I got to watch this kid at Notre Dame, I knew he was special. He has a knack for finding the endzone as he has 16TDs in only 42 games. He’ll now be Deshaun Watson’s go-to guy after the Texans traded away DeAndre Hopkins, opening up 30% of the teams’ targets. He received at least 6 targets in 7 of the 11 games he played last season and I expect that to be the case in every game this season. For whatever reason, I just have a gut feeling that Fuller is going to stay healthy this season and is well worth the risk in the 6th round.
Average Draft Position: 72
I don’t know if people realize how talented Michael Gallup is. He seems to be the forgotten man in Dallas with all of Dak’s contracts talks, the rookie WR Ceedee Lamb turning heads in training camp, and the Blake Jarwin hype. But, he posted 66-1,107-6 on 113 targets in just 14 games last season. Yes, the Cowboys drafted a future star in Lamb who will contend for targets, but they also have the 2nd most vacated targets after moving on from Randall Cobb and Jason Witten. Last year, Gallup actually averaged more targets and more yards per game than his counterpart, Amari Cooper, and is being selected 33 spots behind him. Take the cheaper Cowboy WR here and don’t think twice about it.
Average Draft Position: 74
People keep sleeping on Tyler Boyd and I’m ok with that. He’s coming off back to back season of over 1,000 yards which led him to finish as WR21 in both seasons (Weeks 1-16). This was all with a bad offensive line and a declining Andy Dalton. Cincy made some improvements on the O-line and he now gets to catch passes from the #1 overall pick, Joe Burrow. They also drafted Tee Higgins will be on the outside, opposite of AJ Green, which will open things up for Boyd underneath. He may see a decrease in targets (148), but I expect him to be a little more efficient in an offense that should be at the top of the league in pass attempts. I’m all in on Boyd this season and hope to have him on all of my rosters.
Average Draft Position: 86
In six seasons, Landry has never received less than 112 targets and caught at least 81 balls. He’s finished in the top 21 in every season except for his rookie year. Landry is about as consistent as it gets in PPR leagues. He finished last year with 83-1,174-6 on 138 targets, and that was with a struggling Baker Mayfield. I think people are down on all Browns’ offensive players this year after a disappointing 2019 campaign. I’m expecting a bounceback from all of them, and this is an offense that I want a part of. He’s being taken as the 35th WR off the board so you can wait it out a bit and probably take Landry as your WR3.
Average Draft Position: 106
Hardman put together a decent rookie season, posting 26-538-6 on 41 targets, averaging 20.7 YPC. Those might not be numbers that make you think he’s going to be the next Tyreek Hill, but they’re enough to think he’s going to play a role in this offense in year 2. I want pieces of this Chiefs offense and Hardman is one of the cheapest players you can have a crack at. With a year under his belt and the ability to learn from Hill, who is very similar to Hardman, I expect him to improve in the passing game. That along with growing chemistry with Patrick Mahomes makes Hardman a great pick at this point in the draft.
Average Draft Position: 32
I guess you could say Lazard had a mini-breakout in his 2nd year. After only seeing the field once in his rookie season, he played in all 16 games last season and caught 35 balls for 477 yards and 3 TDs on 52 targets. Aaron Rodgers seemed to gain Lazard’s trust as the season went on and I’m expecting that chemistry to grow in 2020. He showed of his strong hands and his ability to go get the ball at times last season. I’ve also heard that he and Rodgers have been connecting on the back shoulder throw in camp so if they can connect on that throughout the year, watch out. Lazard enters the year as Green Bays WR2 and is well worth the late-round flier.
Average Draft Position: 137
Another piece of Kyle Shanahan’s offense that I am looking to invest in. I was higher on Aiyuk a few weeks ago before he came up with a hamstring injury. The injury cut his training camp short but he is expected to be ready to go for Week 1. He can line up all over the field and is a great route runner with a wide catch radius. Deebo Samuel was on track to miss the first few games of the season, but it looks as if he will actually be ready for the opener. However, foot injuries can be tricky so if he misses time, Aiyuk will be Jimmy G’s No. 1 WR option. I’ll take a shot on the rookie here.
Average Draft Position: 39
Cooper is simply not reliable enough for me to be selected as your WR1. Some games he just doesn’t show up, particularly against some of the better CBs in the league. He scored less than 7 fantasy points in five games last year. That’s not something you expect out of your WR1. He’ll also be competing with Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Blake Jarwin for targets, and as I mentioned above, he averaged fewer targets and yards per game than Gallup last season. I’ll pass on Cooper and go after the cheaper Dallas receiving options.
Average Draft Position: 54
I love Keenan Allen and think he is a great receiver. He’s finished as a WR1 the past two seasons, but I don’t think we see that trend continuing. This will be his first year without Phillip Rivers, who seemed to always be locked into him. Tyrod Taylor is a major downgrade for Allen and I think we see a dip in production across the board for him. Whether it’s Taylor or rookie QB, Justin Herbert, throwing him the ball, his QB situation has me staying away from him this year. I also like the upside of some of the younger WR options going off the board around Allen.
Average Draft Position: 71
I can’t bring myself to draft AJ Green after he burned me last year. I took him in the majority of my leagues last year, expecting him back after a few weeks. But then it was just one more week and then another and then another until he never even set foot on the field in 2019. It’s a new year, but here we go again with the early injuries. He is back on the field now but already missed over a week of practice with a hamstring injury. I’m not willing to take another chance on Green this year and I like a lot of the other WRs in this range more than him.