We’ve recently been featuring the star QBs,
RBs, and WRs
most likely to fall from the Top 10 ranks this coming season. Now
we turn our attention to those who seem best equipped to replace
them. Historically, I’ve included a mix of both obvious and
not-so-obvious names and, as you’re about to see, 2020 is
A quick reminder of the Top 10 fantasy WRs from last season…
Note: All rankings are based on FFToday’s
Non-PPR league scoring.
Adams, GB: Letís get this out of the
way first: I was NOT a fan of the Packís draft strategy this year,
which consisted of loading up on positions of strength (QB, RB,
interior OL) and ignoring positions of weakness (help for Adams).
GM Brian Gutekunst claimed he just didnít see value at the WR position
despite most pundits proclaiming it a historically deep WR draft
(?), but the more likely explanation is that Green Bay intends to
move away from its Aaron
Rodgers-or-bust approach and mimic NFC champion/nemesis San
Francisco with a run-heavy scheme moving forward.
That may not actually be the worst thing for Adamsí 2020 prospects,
especially considering heís still Rodgersí only legitimate
threat on the perimeter. Despite missing four games to an early
turf toe injury, the Fresno St. product was targeted 127 times in
Matt LaFleurís first year at the helm, or a tick above 10
times per game. Had he played all 16, he would have merited about
169 looks (exactly how many he racked up in 2018). Only Michael Thomas, last yearís WR1, garnered more (185). Additionally,
Adams averaged a robust 10.8 FPts/G when he did suit up, good for
10th overall at the position.
Even if the Pack relies less on Rodgersí golden arm and more on
its growing stable of young RBs, itís hard to believe the future
Hall of Famer wonít continue to target Adams early and often when
he does drop back. After all, the other options are Allen
Funchess, MVS, ESB (guess), and some TEs youíve never heard
of, which probably explains why Adams was targeted on a full 30%
of Rodgersí passes last year. By the way, typing that list of other
GB receivers/opt-outs was thoroughly depressing. Trust only Davante.
MIN: Just as the Packers are starting to focus on a more
ground-based attack, so too are their division rivals...and then
some. The Vikesí Kirk
Cousins slung it a shocking 125 fewer times than the Head Cheese
last season, which maybe wasnít the worst idea ever since he didnít
have his favorite target to play catch with about half the time.
Thielen, who hadnít missed a single game since becoming a Minnesota
regular, missed six of them and parts of others in an injury-marred
2019 campaign, ultimately finishing as WR55 overall. Nevertheless,
he still managed to average 8.4 FPts/G (WR37) and thatís including
the game he got hurt (one catch for 25 yards in a brief Week 7)
and the game he tried to participate in a couple weeks later (goose
egg against the Super Bowl champs).
If Thielenís back to 100% in 2020, heís a very good
bet to get back into the Top 10, even despite his organizationís
decision to stop letting everything ride on Cousinsí $84M
arm. In 2017 and 2018, Minnyís WR1 was targeted 143 and 153
times, respectively. Thatís a Davante Adams-esque target share
and Thielen, unlike Adams, had all kinds of competition for his
quarterbackís attention (Stefon Diggs). The competition up
and moved on to upstate New York this off-season, however, meaning
thereís absolutely no question, if there ever was, who the
main man in Minnesota is now.
The Vikings did spend their first-round pick (No.22) on LSUís
Justin Jefferson, but rookie WRsósave for the organizationís
most famous one, of courseótypically donít make big
splashes right away. In other words, heís probably not producing
like the guy he was drafted to replace, Mr. Diggs. Accordingly,
Iím expecting an even larger target share and bounce-back
numbers for Thielen in 2020.
Lockett or DK
Metcalf, SEA: Yup, totally cheating here. Sue me...if
you even remember these predictions a couple months down the road
when the plug gets pulled on an already imperiled NFL season. For
a team that doesnít throw the ball that much (22nd in overall attempts
last season, dead last the year prior), the ĎHawks have managed
to produce some very relevant WR1s of late. Lockett was WR15 and
WR11 in 2018. Before that, Doug Baldwin ranked 7th, 10th, and 14th
at the position from 2015 to 2017. Guess this Russell
Wilson guy is pretty danged efficient, yeah?
Frankly, had Lamar Jackson not reinvented what success looks like
at the position, Wilson would have been the shoo-in for his first
MVP award last season. I say first because I think itís still
possible heíll win multiple. Heís that good. The former
NC State product by way of ĎSconny has strung together three
straight seasons of 30+ TD passes v. single-digit picks and hasnít
once, in eight NFL seasons, dipped below the 20 FPts/G mark, despite
throwing WAY fewer passes than other top flingers. His attempts
crept up in 2019 (516 after 427 in 2018) and could again now that
Seattle is more talented at the WR and TE spots. You know what else
Russ hasnít done in eight NFL seasons, BTW? He hasnít
missed a game.
So who IS Wilsonís WR1 in 2020? Itís gonna be one of
these two guys. LOL! If I had to bet, itíll probably be Lockett,
but Metcalf is a nightmare matchup in the red zone and is, by all
accounts, a perfectionist/workaholic, aside from being a physical
freak. The bottom line is that whoever leads the team in fantasy
points will also crack the Top 10 ranks. Book it.