Fantasy Football Overvalued – Wide Receivers – 2020
DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles
If there is one receiver who is boom or bust this season, it’s DeSean Jackson. When healthy he will give you 17.4 yards per catch. It’s simply a number difficult to ignore. He still has all the speed he needs to fly by defensive backs who get suckered on a veteran juke. He had core surgery in November last year and reports are that he is fully healthy.
Week one in 2019 Jackson exploded for 154 receiving yards and 2 TD’s. A week where he was likely on everyone’s bench with a wait and see attitude (I was one of them!). Jackson had one reception the rest of the season. The news of his full recovery will persuade some fantasy owners to take a chance but be careful. Wait until the last few rounds of your draft to select him but makes sure you’ve secured a #3 wide receiver with an emerging younger player.
Don’t forget to check out our other Overvalued Players!
Will Fuller V – Houston Texans
14,10,7 and 11. That’s the number of games Will Fuller V has played in each of his first four seasons. Over that span Fuller V has averaged less than 600 yards receiving and 4 TD’s. Last season a single game accounted for a 3rd of his receiving yards and all 3 of this TD’s. With the trade of DeAndre Hopkins, I guess that means Fuller V is now the number one receiver. There is no doubt Fuller V is an exciting big play target but a #1 WR in the NFL, let alone the fantasy world, I’m not so sure.
But that’s doesn’t mean Fuller V doesn’t have fantasy value at the right price. You’ll need a crafty backup plan for the 4-6 games he will likely miss. Fuller V will now see the coverage’s and double teams that Hopkins used to see, but 150 targets up for grabs is still an interesting a proposition. Consistency and health are the big questions for Fuller V this season and he’ll grade out at about a C+. Draft Fuller V and start Fuller V until the wheels come off but be prepared with Plan B. There are too many locks at the #1 WR position to take an early chance on him but if he starts to fall in your fantasy draft, a late round flyer is worth the risk.
Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers passed the ball 630 times and Chris Godwin was the successful recipient a career high 86 times on 121 targets last season. His third year was certainly the thing fantasy owners dream of with a mid to late round pick and top five overall production. The footnote on that 630 passing attempts is the 409 rush attempts. The Tampa Bay offense in 2019 was as imbalanced as it gets, and Winston was frankly chucking it recklessly down the field.
That’s great for fantasy numbers but the evaluation for this season is completely different. Obviously, coach Bruce Arians had enough of the wild west show and managed to sign the best sheriff of all time. Order will return to Tampa and there will be a clear regression in Godwin’s numbers. It’s not that they won’t pass the ball, they will, but not enough to vault Godwin into #1 wide receiver status.
Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers
Williams has been a slow starter after his 7th overall selection in the 2017 draft. That is, until last season where he reached the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time. He scored 10 TD’s in year two but followed up with only 2 scores last season. The Chargers offense was in shambles for a good portion of last year as the age of Philip Rivers began to show. Williams is a big receiver with an impressive yards per catch average. His 20.4 yards average was tops in the league in 2019. The outlook for Williams long-term is excellent and the Chargers agreed after they exercised his 5th year option after three years. This season however will be a struggle with a rookie quarterback (or journeyman) and plenty of competition for touches. Williams is the 4th option after Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry.
John Brown – Buffalo Bills
If at the beginning of the season, I would have said John Brown would have more receiving yards then Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham Jr. and Zach Ertz, you’d have said I was nuts. In his second 1,000 yard receiving season, Brown did just that. With great deep threat speed, the smaller but lighting quick Brown took it to the house 6 times with a 14.7 yards per catch average. That put him well within reach of the league’s top twenty (give or take a yard). The chemistry with Allen should continue to grow now that Buffalo finally has a franchise QB.
The question for 2020 is the impact of the addition of Stefon Diggs. Will targets get spread around more or will overall targets increase? In a predominately passing league, the Bill stayed close to 50/50 between the pass and run. Allen’s roll out and running ability skews the ratio a little as what may have started as a pass play turned into an Allen run.
Brown averaged almost 10 fantasy points per game last year but a co-number one receiver like Diggs will eat into that. I just don’t see Buffalo in the frigid Northeast suddenly turning into a pass first offense. Run the ball and play great defense is their formula. Frankly the addition of Diggs is confusing as he is a carbon copy of Brown. Brown should repeat his modest numbers, but the hope of a top 15 fantasy season is dashed.
Adam Humphries – Tennessee Titans
At first glance I thought his numbers were so low in 2019 because of injuries. But a detailed look at the 12 games Humphries played, he simply wasn’t utilized. And when he was, the consistently low yards per catch average over his career continued. Humphries is a 4th option in this passing game and may struggle to find the field. He will be the odd man out on a team with emerging weapons like A.J. Brown and Jonnu Smith. Corey Davis is also fighting for his NFL career this year and won’t go quietly. We can’t forget this offense goes through Derrick Henry, where a run play is often first, second and third choice.
Ted Ginn Jr. – Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears plan is to find a journeyman quarterback and pair him with a 35-year-old veteran who is now on his 7th NFL team and has never topped 800 yards receiving in a single season. Yes, he’s fast, but that only matters if the ball is in his hands. Even at this peak, Ted Ginn Jr wasn’t a viable fantasy starter, and now that he’s joined an anemic Bears passing game, he has no fantasy value.
Marvin Jones Jr. – Detroit Lions
Finding a productive #3 wide receiver in fantasy football is one of the trickiest things to accomplish. Marvin Jones Jr was signed to be the Lions #1 wide receiver and was meeting expectations until Kenny Golladay came onto the scene. Jones Jr is a slender receiver with good speed but suffers from very high highs and low lows.
The bright side is that even after missing 3 games last season and a backup quarterback carousel, Jones Jr hauled in 62 receptions off 91 targets for 779 yards and 9 TD’s.
The 2020 outlook for the Lions #2 wide receiver is unpredictable. Jones Jr averaged over 10 fantasy points a game but had wide swings in production from game to game. His inconsistency ranged from a low of 1.7 fantasy points (that’s just 17 yards!) to a high of 33 (which was a 4 TD game and that won’t happen again).
Five of his 13 games he managed double digit fantasy points and the other 8 were total busts. It’s always a guessing game when you’re not the team’s number one option. Jones Jr is capable of #1 wide receiver numbers in any single game, the challenge is which of the three games it happens in.
CeeDee Lamb – Dallas Cowboys
Was Jerry Jones draft war room the theater room of a $250 million yacht? What did I do wrong with my life? Jones was giddy when CeeDee Lamb dropped to the Cowboys and they grabbed him with the 17th pick. Lamb is a big play slot receiver and will more than fill the shoes vacated by Randall Cobb. Lamb makes the tough catches in traffic and is very elusive after the reception.
The Cowboys offense has a lot of mouths to feed with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup slotted in the outside starting spots. Blake Jarwin is steal at tight end and should be third, if not second in targets this year. And not that you need reminding, but the offense runs through Ezekiel Elliot. At best, Lamb is a third or fourth option. He might get enough touches for a #3 fantasy wide receiver but not many more.
Denzel Mims – New York Jets
The Jets were desperate for help at the wide receiver position and pulled the trigger in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft for Denzel Mims. Mims is a 6’3” 207-pound beast with sub 4.4 speed in the 40. The highlight reel jumps off the screen as his size and strength is dominating. Mims goes over the middle and after the catch breaks tackles and is a fighter for the last yard.
He was a common end zone target scooping in 12 TD’s in his final season at Baylor. That’s the good news. The bad news is Mims joins an inept passing game and a quarterback who may not play past his rookie contract. Mims has the talent to play at a high level, but I see his first few years going the Corey Davis route instead of the DK Metcalf route.