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Welcome to the second installment of my 2020 fantasy positional recaps. In this series, I take a deeper dive into how the season played out for the relevant players at each position. Now, let’s review the 2020 season for receivers!
*All fantasy stats are based on PPR scoring*
2020 WR Results (via FantasyPros)
Jefferson dominated in his first year with the Vikings, breaking Anquon Boldin’s rookie receiving yards record along the way to a stunning WR6 finish. Many people questioned his potential fit with fellow star wideout Adam Thielen, but the LSU product put those concerns to rest with an 88-catch, 1,400-yard campaign. Jets has quickly earned the respect of corners and receivers all across the league, cementing his spot as a WR1.
Metcalf was a popular breakout pick for 2020, and the sophomore stud didn’t fail to meet those expectations. D.K. rose from a WR33 finish in 2019 to a WR7 finish this season, overtaking Tyler Lockett as Russell Wilson’s undisputed No. 1 target. Metcalf’s production increased by 25 catches, 403 yards and three touchdowns from his freshman to sophomore season. With Wilson under center, Metcalf’s WR1 status is a lock for the foreseeable future.
Ridley finally took the next step that Falcons fans have been waiting for since his arrival to the league, finishing with 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns en route to a WR5 finish. Unfortunately, this leap in production was clearly boosted by Julio Jones’ struggles with injuries throughout the season. With Jones’ status with the Falcons up in the air this offseason, Ridley could end up being the undisputed No. 1 receiver in Atlanta moving forward.
After an insane 2019 campaign where he broke the single-season reception record, Thomas was incredibly disappointing in 2020. New Orleans’ star wideout was never able to stay healthy, playing in just seven games. Even when he suited up, Thomas never looked 100%, and it should come as no surprise that he’ll undergo surgery this offseason to fix his lingering shoulder/ankle issues. With Drew Brees likely retiring, Thomas’ 2021 value is a huge question mark at this point.
D.J. Chark Jr.
Like Thomas, Chark dealt with his fair share of injuries this season. The third-year receiver was able to battle through his ailments for the most part, but it resulted in a pedestrian 11.9 points per contest. Chark was never able to re-establish the rapport he had built in 2019 with Gardner Minshew. Luckily for Chark, Trevor Lawrence is likely headed to Jacksonville in the NFL Draft, which greatly improves his odds at a bounceback 2021 season.
After sitting out for the 2019 season, many were excited about the possibility of a fresh A.J. Green with rookie sensation Joe Burrow under center for the Bengals this year. Things didn’t exactly work out as expected. Green dropped to No. 3 on Cincinnati’s depth chart behind Tyler Boyd and freshman-phenom Tee Higgins, resulting in the worst season of Green’s nine-year career. The veteran wideout will likely find a new home this offseason, but his best days are behind him.
Best Bangs for Their Buck
Stefon Diggs (ADP: Round 5/6)
Diggs was traded to Buffalo during the offseason, leaving some excited about his potential as an undisputed No. 1 receiver and some worried about his consistency with Josh Allen under center. Well, needless to say, it worked out just fine. Allen broke out and Diggs was the prime benefactor, finishing as WR3. Those who gambled on him in the 5th/6th round of drafts were generously rewarded.
Keenan Allen (ADP: Round 5/6)
Like Diggs, Allen entered the season as an established receiver with an unknown situation at quarterback, which left many to fade him. Justin Herbert took over for Tyrod Taylor after an unfortunate punctured-lung incident and proceeded to wreak havoc on opposing defenses, resulting in a likely OROY season. Allen established himself as Herbert’s favorite target and caught 100 balls for 992 yards and eight touchdowns (which was tied for his career-high), finishing as WR13. As Herbert continues to develop, Allen should also see a boost in production.