Tier 4: Little Giants
21. D.J. Chark, (Jacksonville Jaguars)- Was there a bigger free agency darling last year than Chark? It is hard not to root for him and quarterback Gardner Minshew. Despite the popularity, it is tough to be bullish on Chark’s 2020 outlook. He is not a model of consistency, failing to reach double-digit PPR points eight-out-of-fifteen games. The Jaguars also added receivers in the draft. Chark does not have the highest ceiling but you could do worse at this spot.
22. Terry McLaurin, (Washington Redskins)- Speaking of free agency darlings, McLaurin was easily one of the best pickups of last season. He is the definition of a speedster and big-play threat. However, inconsistent quarterback play and offensive inefficiency will hold him back from reaching the upper-echelon of receivers. That being said, there is not any real competition on the roster and Scary Terry likely surpasses 100 targets with ease.
23. DeVante Parker, (Miami Dolphins)- Oh DeVante, how I have awaited your ascension for years. Never quite living up to expectations from the time he was drafted, Parker had his best year yet last season and finished as WR7. Parker and Michael Thomas were the only two receivers to reach 55 yards in 13 games in 2019. The Dolphins offense looks much different this year with the additions of Matt Breida, Jordan Howard, and Tua Tagovailoa and it will be interesting to see if Parker’s volume remains as high. With the opt-outs of Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson, it certainly helps Parker’s case.
24. D.K. Metcalf, (Seattle Seahawks)- Metcalf was considered extremely raw coming into the NFL but no doubt physically gifted. Many doubted that he could be a competent receiver at the next level but he proved his critics wrong by having a tremendous rookie campaign. He had over 60 yards in nine different games and set the rookie receiving record with 160 yards in the playoffs. If he continues to polish his route-running and can cut down on the dropped passes, he will be an unstoppable force for years to come.
25. Courtland Sutton, (Denver Broncos)- Sutton had a great 2019 campaign on a Broncos team that did not have high expectations. He surpassed 120 targets and 1100 yards. However, with the addition of Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Melvin Gordon, as well as Noah Fant in his second year, it is a lot to ask of the young quarterback Drew Lock to feed that many mouths. Sutton will no doubt be Lock’s most trusted receiver but the volume is a concern for Sutton to repeat.
26. Stefon Diggs, (Buffalo Bills)- Diggs got his wish and is now the feature guy in Buffalo. Will he be able to find the kind of success that people think he is capable of? John Brown and Cole Beasley surpassed over 100 targets each last year, so something’s gotta give. For Diggs to get anywhere close to WR1 territory in this offense, someone is going to have to take a significant step back. Josh Allen will also have to be more consistent with his accuracy down the field.
27. Tyler Boyd, (Cincinnati Bengals)- Boyd is poised to take a backseat compared to last year’s production as much of Boyd’s numbers came as a result of the Bengals playing from behind. It will be tough to reach 148 targets once again with a rookie quarterback and A.J. Green back in the mix. The Bengals also added Tee Higgins to compete for a start receiver spot. That being said, Boyd has reached 1,000 receiving yards in the last two seasons.
28. *Jarvis Landry, (Cleveland Browns)- Coming off of hip surgery this offseason, Landry’s outlook does not look as positive as we are accustomed to. As of this writing, Landry’s week one status is up in the air. The addition of Austin Hooper and OBJ still being atop the depth chart puts a hindrance on Landry’s potential. However, Landry has seen 138 and 149 targets in the last two seasons and has managed to finish in the top 24 WRs in the last five seasons. Also, bonus points if you reward return yardage in your league.
29. *T.Y. Hilton, (Indianapolis Colts)- I have always had an affinity for Hilton in PPR. After all, we share a birthday. This year, however, I am bearish on him due to his hamstring injury. As of this writing, it looks like he will be ready to get back on the field as soon as next week. Even if that is the case, I have seen what hamstring injuries do to WRs and many of them are highly susceptible to re-injury. He missed six games due to injury last season and is already starting this one off on the wrong foot. If he does manage to stay healthy, the thought of Philip Rivers slinging him passes is tantalizing and should raise his production from last season.
30. Marquise Brown, (Baltimore Ravens)- Brown had an uphill battle last year, dealing with foot surgery and ankle injuries but somehow managed a top-50 season. He and Mark Andrews should remain the top options in the passing game. The Ravens remain a run-first offense and would rather chew clock than put the ball in the air, limiting Brown’s upside.
31. Julian Edelman, (New England Patriots)- Over the years, Edelman has been one of the most reliable receivers in fantasy. With Tom Brady taking his talents to Tampa, will Edelman find the same success? He is now 34 years old and the Patriots have yet to name their starting quarterback. The Patriots also lost Marcus Cannon to opt-out and James Develin to retirement, two key pieces of their offense. It is tough to see Edelman having a top-25 season this year.
32. Michael Gallup, (Dallas Cowboys)- Many people are off of Gallup this year after the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb this spring. I do not believe as strongly in Lamb overtaking Gallup in his first year. Gallup was a 1,100+ yard receiver last year and is a red-zone weapon on the outside for Dak Prescott. Early reports are that most of Lamb’s work will come from the slot and with a shortened offseason, I do not foresee him affecting Gallup’s role on the outside as much as people are predicting. I will gladly take the dip on Gallup’s ADP and select him as my WR3 comfortably.
*33. A.J. Green, (Cincinnati Bengals)- Another year, another injury for Green in the preseason. This time Green has injured his hamstring and that is never good news for a receiver. He has been sitting out practices and it has not been determined when he will be able to practice again. At this stage in his career, it is hard to suggest taking Green in drafts. He comes with a huge amount of risk.
34. Will Fuller, (Houston Texans)- Fuller is probably the biggest boom-or-bust player in the league. However, with the departure of Hopkins, there are a ton of vacated targets to assume and those should fall to Fuller. The biggest question mark is health but if he can remain on the field, Fuller is a dangerous weapon and should be the preferred option of Deshaun Watson.
35. Brandin Cooks, (Houston Texans)- Fuller’s established chemistry with Watson and big-play ability is enough to edge out Cooks, but I still expect Cooks to have a nice season. Cooks has been in the top-24 WRs in four of the last five seasons and has done that on three different teams. Cooks battled concussions last season and it will be something to monitor moving forward. If he can stay on the field, Cooks should have a solid floor but not the highest ceiling.
Tier 5: The Replacements
36. Jamison Crowder, (New York Jets)- I feel that Crowder is one of the best values late this year. With Robby Anderson gone, Crowder and Breshad Perriman should compete for the go-to receiver role in this offense. Crowder should have the inside track as he was here last year and played well with Sam Darnold.
37. Marvin Jones, (Detroit Lions)- Jones is always consistent in PPR. He may not come with a huge ceiling but for his value, you could do much worse. In 13 games he had almost 800 receiving yards and came down with nine touchdowns. He also saw 91 targets and the Lions tend to air it out more than most teams in the league.
38. Christian Kirk, (Arizona Cardinals)- Kirk saw 108 targets last season but with the arrival of Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald’s decision to stay, Kirk’s target-share will be hindered. That being said, the Cardinals spread offense should provide plenty of opportunities.
39. Sterling Shepard, (New York Giants)- With the number of weapons at WR, it is hard to rank Shepard any higher. He is also coming off a year where he struggled with injuries, playing in just 10 games. He should be the number one option on paper but with Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley all vying for targets, the opportunity is limited.
40. Diontae Johnson, (Pittsburgh Steelers)- Against all odds, Johnson produced for fantasy owners last season, even with lackluster quarterback play. Now with Big Ben back and JuJu sliding back into the slot role, Johnson could be an absolute steal on draft day.
Photos courtesy of Icon Sportswire / Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)