Julio Jones
AP
By the Numbers

Depth Chart Analysis: WR/TE Pre-Draft Notes

Updated On: April 22, 2020, 12:49 am ET

The NFL draft annually provides a much-needed boost of energy to the football-less offseason drag. However, I'm of the opinion that we tend to overrate the year-one readiness of rookies. Obviously these players will have an impact on the field in 2020, but the league will still be overwhelmingly shaped by its crop of veterans.

This is particularly true at the WR position. Literally twice as many rookie RBs (26) have finished as top-24 PPR performers than WRs (13) since 2010. Just two rookie TEs (Rob Gronkowski and Evan Engram) finished as top-12 fantasy producers.

We can essentially limit our list of fantasy-relevant rookie WRs to those that are drafted inside of the top-three rounds. There have only been two rookie WRs drafted outside of the first three rounds that finished as a top-24 PPR performer since 2010: Mike Williams (the Tampa Bay one) and Tyreek Hill. The latter player undoubtedly would've been a day one selection if it wasn't for off-the-field issues.

2020 presents a unique challenge due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We're moving forward under the assumption that the season takes place, but at the very least it seems likely these rookie WRs won't get a chance to build chemistry with their QBs until late in the summer at the earliest.

By combing through NFL rosters and 2019 usage we can begin to get an idea of what players have the best chance at earning a premiere role in their respective passing games. Below I breakdown every team's WR and TE groups in an effort to figure out both who will emerge as top pass-game targets, as well as to pinpoint teams that could best foster a productive rookie receiver. Physical data is courtesy of NFL.com and PlayerProfiler.com, alignment information is from Pro Football Focus while each WR's target share and air yard market share is provided by the fine folks at AirYards.com.


Arizona Cardinals

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left DeAndre Hopkins 73 214 4.57 0.3 0.34 1.99
Slot Larry Fitzgerald 75 225 4.48 0.2 0.21 1.4
Right Christian Kirk 71 201 4.47 0.23 0.31 1.41

WR Breakdown: I wrote shortly after the offseason's biggest blockbuster trade that the 2020 Cardinals now look a lot like the 2019 Browns due to their plethora of skill-position talent and still-meh offensive line.

Of course, this is more from a wins-and-losses perspective than an indictment on Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins. The first overall pick of the 2019 draft improved as his rookie season went on and is more-than-worthy of extreme fantasy exposure thanks to his sky-high rushing floor.

Nuk's standing among the league's top-fantasy WRs is a bit more questionable. Sure, the man has posted WR1 production with the overwhelming majority of the circus crew of QBs that he's played with since entering the league in 2013 ...

... but he's also used to being the no-doubt No. 1 option in his offense's passing attack. Consider that Hopkins has at least 150 targets in each of the past five seasons; Antonio Brown (4), Julio Jones (3) and Allen Robinson (3) are the only other players with more than two-such seasons during this span.

Kirk was the Cardinals' No. 1 WR in 2019. His average of 8.3 targets per game would be good for 133 targets when extrapolated over a 16-game season. It'd be surprising if Nuk's per-game average isn't higher; just realize this is a somewhat crowded offense attempting to work in a high-volume receiver that won't have as much time as usual to get on the same page with his QB during this unique offseason.

Obviously both Fitzgerald and Kirk (the subject of trade rumors) are going to have to fight harder for targets now. The potential for Arizona to use a high-round pick on the position, combined with the likelihood that some of Andy Isabella (please), KeeSean Johnson and/or Trent Sherfield get more involved, gives the rest of the Cardinals' pass-catching talents a relatively low ceiling ahead of 2020 despite the potential for the offense as a whole to take a big step forward.

TE Breakdown: The Cardinals utilized 4-WR sets at a league-high rate in 2019, although they still had a TE on the field more plays than not. The problem from a fantasy perspective was that Maxx Williams consistently split snaps with Charles Clay. The latter player is a free agent, but the presence of both Dan Arnold and Darrell Daniels will likely again render this position mute as far as fantasy is concerned.


Atlanta Falcons

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Julio Jones 75 220 4.39 0.25 0.37 2.44
Slot Russell Gage 72 184 4.55 0.12 0.11 1.18
Right Calvin Ridley 73 189 4.43 0.17 0.27 1.69

WR Breakdown: Ridley has had at least eight targets in eight career games. He's posted the following stat lines:

  • 7 receptions-146 yards-3 TDs
  • 6-71-1
  • 8-93-1
  • 8-105-1
  • 5-88-1
  • 8-143-1
  • 6-85-1
  • 8-91-0

The Falcons have 71 more available targets than the next-most barren passing game. Ridley has the talent, available opportunity and QB to be the 2020 version of 2019 Chris Godwin.

Julio led the NFL in yards per route run in each of 2015 (3.04), 2016 (3.12), 2017 (3.08) and 2018 (2.93). He ranked "just" fifth in 2019 after averaging 2.44 yards per route run. Jones turned 31 in February and averaged a career-low 8.9 yards per target last season, but his reduced performance was still good enough to function as the PPR WR3. Continue to treat Jones as a locked-in high-end WR1 until we see any evidence that he won't see upwards of 150 targets.

Slot WR Russell Gage averaged a healthy 7.3 targets per game after Mohamed Sanu was shipped off to the Patriots. The problem was inconsistent snap usage, as Gage played fewer than 60% of the offense's snaps in 4-of-9 games. The addition of Laquon Treadwell, combined with the likelihood that the Falcons draft a WR at some point, makes it unlikely that Gage carves out a consistent fantasy-friendly role in this offense.

TE Breakdown: The potential for ex-Ravens TE Hayden Hurst to see a near every-down role seems likely considering the Falcons parted ways with a second-round pick in order to acquire his services. I'd caution in expecting Hurst to repeat Austin Hooper's absurd early-season production from 2019; Hooper averaged 76.5 targets per season during 2017-2018 and posted an overwhelming amount of his production with the Falcons trailing. This isn't to suggest Matt Ryan and company won't spend plenty of time behind on the scoreboard in 2020, but just realize the ceiling for Hurst is as the passing game's No. 3 option.


Baltimore Ravens

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Miles Boykin 76 220 4.42 0.06 0.12 1.1
Slot Willie Snead 71 195 4.62 0.1 0.11 1.07
Right Marquise Brown 69 166 0 0.18 0.23 1.81

WR Breakdown: The Ravens are a popular contender to add an early-round receiver in the draft. This would seemingly impact Boykin and Snead more than Brown, who emerged as a true boom-or-bust specialist as a rookie. Overall, Hollywood posted 4-147-2, 7-126-0, 8-86-0 and 4-80-1 blowup lines to go along with 11 performances that didn't produce even 50 yards.

Ultimately, the league's most run-heavy offense isn't a great bet to enable multiple fantasy-relevant WRs – particularly when the team's No. 1 pass-game option will continue to play TE. Having exposure to anyone inside of the league's reigning No. 1 scoring offense isn't a bad idea, although Lamar Jackson's astronomical 9% TD rate is almost certain to regress.

Brown has the speed and big-play ability to make the most out of inconsistent usage. Betting on another WR to see enough volume to post consistent fantasy production seems like wishful thinking, particularly if/when the Ravens add another body to the room. 

TE Breakdown: Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle are locked in as the offense's top-two TEs now that Hayden Hurst is with the Falcons. It's tough to rank Andrews outside of the top-four TEs ahead of 2020. Jackson fed his trusty No. 1 receiver at least six targets in all but four games last season, and Andrews has demonstrated enough elite ability with both the ball in his hands as well as in contested-catch situations to continue to warrant high-end fantasy appeal. George Kittle was the only high-usage TE to average more yards per route run than Andrews (2.89) managed in 2019. I'd only take Kittle and Travis Kelce before Andrews in fantasy drafts of all shapes and sizes.


Buffalo Bills

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left John Brown 70 179 4.34 0.24 0.38 1.97
Slot Cole Beasley 68 177 4.54 0.22 0.19 1.64
Right Stefon Diggs 72 195 4.46 0.21 0.41 2.69

WR Breakdown: I'm a fan of the Josh Allen experience. This doesn't mean I believe Allen is a great QB, but it's tough to deny the man is fun to watch play football for better and for worse.

Literally anything can happen when Allen is under center. Consistently accurate passes haven't been one of the more-common outcomes (via Player Profiler):

  • True passer rating: 87.7 (No. 19 among all QBs)
  • True completion percentage: 64.7% (No. 33)
  • Play-action completion percentage: 63.6% (No. 24)
  • Red-zone completion percentage: 49.1% (No. 46)
  • Deep-ball completion percentage: 25% (No. 33)
  • Pressured completion percentage: 17.1% (No. 34)
  • Clear completion percentage: 67% (No. 34)

Brown (PPR WR20) and Beasley (WR34) were both good-not-great fantasy assets in 2019. Both are almost certain to regress due to the presence of Diggs, who figures to be the alpha of the group after being acquired for first-, fifth- and sixth-round picks.

Diggs is the definition of an elite field-stretching talent; his 635 yards on deep passes (targets thrown 20-plus yards downfield) in 2019 were the fifth-highest single-season mark over the past decade (PFF). He's more than capable of making the most out of a limited workload. Still, Allen isn't quite Kirk Cousins when it comes to deep-ball accuracy, and Diggs is now facing the most competition of his career when it comes to targets.

Don't expect a player of Diggs' caliber to be held in check for long once the season gets starts. Big games will happen. Just keep your expectations in check for the No. 1 WR of a crowded run-first offense with a typically-erratic QB under center.

TE Breakdown: Dawson Knox flashed as both a blocker and receiver as a rookie, although a position-high nine drops were hardly ideal. The team's trio of high-end WRs, combined with the potential for any of Tyler KroftLee SmithTommy SweeneyJason Croom or Nate Becker to steal snaps, restricts Knox to nothing more than a boom-or-bust low-end TE2 despite the potential for a second-year leap. In fantasy football it's best to chase opportunity, not talent.


Carolina Panthers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left D.J. Moore 72 210 4.42 0.23 0.31 2.03
Slot Curtis Samuel 71 196 4.31 0.17 0.3 0.97
Right Robby Anderson 75 190 4.41 0.18 0.34 1.37

WR Breakdown: The entire Panthers Offense is a bit of a mystery with Teddy Bridgewater under center and new coaches Matt Rhule as well as Joe Brady calling plays. Expect recently #paid RB Christian McCaffrey to continue to receive all the carries and targets he can handle, but things are a bit of a mystery otherwise.

The most-likely scenario for this offense seems to be Moore and Anderson on the outside with Samuel operating out of the slot. Let's make one thing clear: Samuel wasn't miscast as a field-stretcher in 2019; Kyle Allen was miscast as a starting QB. Anderson also sure didn't receive a lot of help in terms of catchable targets. The presence of Bridgewater, who threw downfield at the league's lowest rate in 2019, won't help anybody's air yards, but at least the league's single-worst offense in catchable deep balls should see a few more accurate passes this time around.

Moore is just 23 years old and has already demonstrated the ability to operate as a true No. 1 WR. His ability to thrive in the underneath and intermediate areas of the field makes him a prime No. 1 option for Bridgewater on the outside. It *should* be a long time until we treat Moore as anything other than a fantasy WR1.

It remains to be seen whether Samuel or Anderson will seize the No. 3 pass-game role. No. 4 WR Seth Roberts has the potential to be annoyingly involved as well. I'm most willing to gamble on Samuel.

The Panthers have anyone's idea of the NFL's worst defense. The NFC South should once again be home to plenty of shootouts. Each of CMC and Moore should again have every opportunity to prove their place among the league's top-producing receivers, while Samuel and Anderson could post more sporadic production in this sneaky-crowded passing game.

TE Breakdown: Ian Thomas has routinely flashed in the past when Greg Olsen missed time. The problem is that Bridgewater didn't make a habit of involving Jared Cook during his time under center in 2019, instead force-feeding the likes of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara to his heart's desires. Thomas is one of many late-round TEs that have the ability to provide high-level production, but he might be too far down this offense's totem pole of target share to put together a big season.


Chicago Bears

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Allen Robinson 74 220 4.56 0.27 0.39 1.82
Slot Anthony Miller 71 201 4.55 0.15 0.2 1.4
Right Javon Wims 75 215 4.53 0.09 0.15 0.65

WR Breakdown: The Bears have one of the best-pure WRs in the league at their disposal in Robinson.

Of course, A-Rob hasn't had the luxury of playing with what some might call "good" QBs throughout his career. Specifically, Robinson has caught passes from Mitchell TrubiskyChase Daniel, Blake Bortles and Chad Henne since entering the league in 2014. The man was subjected to Christian Hackenberg in college for crying out loud.

Thus, calling Nick Foles the best QB that Robinson has ever had the privilege of catching passes from is hardly an understatement. His status as the PPR WR14 in average draft position (ADP) seems to be a bit closer to his floor considering he was the PPR WR8 in 2019.

And then we have Miller, who caught seven TDs while playing through a bum shoulder as a rookie before coming on strong during the second half of 2019. Overall, Miller posted 6-54-0, 6-77-0, 9-140-0, 3-42-1 and 9-118-1 receiving lines from Weeks 11-15, working as the PPR WR8 along the way. It's not fair to simply take the best stretch of a player's career and assume that he can replicate it moving forward, although Miller seems to be going under the radar just one season after everyone talked themselves into Dede Westbrook based on Foles' historical usage of slot WRs.

The absence of Taylor Gabriel leaves the Bears with only two pass-game options that have played at a consistently high level in recent seasons. The potential for a bounce-back season from Foles makes both A-Rob and Miller undervalued assets at their current ADPs. Wims will likely be the biggest loser if/when the Bears add another WR through the draft. Riley Ridley has the potential to steal some snaps.

TE Breakdown: The Bears currently employ the following American citizens as TEs: Jimmy GrahamDemetrius Harris, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, J.P. Holtz, Jesper Horsted, Eric Saubert, Alex Moran, Dax Raymond and Darion Clark. Only one of those names is actually a fictional TV character. The likelihood that Graham (#washed) leads the way in snaps and targets makes this a position to stay far, far away from in fantasy land.


Cincinnati Bengals

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left A.J. Green 76 211 4.5 N/A N/A N/A
Slot Tyler Boyd 73 197 4.58 0.24 0.25 1.65
Right John Ross 71 188 4.22 0.18 0.34 1.95

WR Breakdown: Joe Burrow has a sneaky-talented quartet of pass-game options at his disposal in 2020:

  • Green has gained over 1,000 yards and scored at least six TDs in every season of his career that has consisted of more than 10 games.
  • Boyd has cleared the 1,000-yard mark in back-to-back seasons and has proven to be a force out of the slot.
  • Ross posted electric 7-158-2 and 4-112-1 lines to start 2019 before (again) missing time due to injury.
  • Auden Tate made a slew of fantastic contested-catch snags throughout the year and finished second on the team in yards per target.

AJG-Boyd-Ross-Tate is the easy projected order here, but don't underestimate the potential for a new QB under center to shake things up. Joe Mixon, Giovani Bernard and the team's TE group will also be plenty involved.

It's fairly comical that Boyd is being drafted so close to Green. Still, Ross seems like the best price-adjusted value at the moment. Each of these WRs are more than capable of demanding high-target volume, but it's best to check our expectations all the way around ahead of a lightly-prepared season with a rookie QB under center.

TE Breakdown: C.J. Uzomah could inherit a full-time role with Tyler Eifert now in Jacksonville. Still, he's caught at least five passes in just 7-of-61 career games. The potential for any of Drew Sample, Mason Schreck or Cethan Carter to steal snaps gives Uzomah a low floor and ceiling alike.


Cleveland Browns

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Odell Beckham 71 198 4.43 0.25 0.38 1.81
Slot Jarvis Landry 71 205 4.65 0.26 0.29 2.04
Right KhaDarel Hodge 74 198 4.63 0.02 0.04 0.79

WR Breakdown: Landry was better than OBJ in basically every meaningful category in 2019. Overall, Landry and Beckham finished as the PPR WR12 and WR25, respectively.

The good news is we can again expect this offense to be fairly condensed in the passing game. Landry (71 targets), Beckham (66) and Kareem Hunt (44) were the only players with more than 20 targets in eight games after Hunt returned to action.

Perhaps the larger potential issue is total pass-game volume. Coach Kevin Stefanski ran a tight ship with the Vikings in 2019, ultimately feeding No. 1 pass-game target Stefon Diggs a pedestrian team-high 94 targets. High-priced addition TE Austin Hooper will certainly be plenty involved in what could very well be a run-first offense.

I've always been an OBJ stan. Unfortunately, I have a hard time believing he bounces back in 2020 and posts top-10 production if this offense resembles what the Vikings were running in 2019. This offense is overflowing with competent pass-game options, and Mayfield hasn't shown a penchant for force-feeding anybody.

Perhaps Stefanski's offense was heavily influence by boomers Mike Zimmer and Gary Kubiak. If not, expect Landry and OBJ to resemble 2019 Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs: extremely talented WRs that could fail to provide consistent WR1 production due to their crowded run-first offense.

TE Breakdown: Hooper could feasibly find himself in a quasi-committee system with David Njoku. After all, Kyle Rudolph (48 targets) and Irv Smith (47) were nearly equally involved in Stefanski's offense last season. Hooper is a great real-life TE; his status as fantasy's No. 1 option at the position to start last season isn't likely to occur again anytime soon. There's a chance he finishes behind each of Landry, Beckham and Hunt in targets.

Dallas Cowboys

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Michael Gallup 73 205 4.51 0.21 0.28 2.16
Slot Cedrick Wilson 74 197 4.55 0.05 0.09 1.18
Right Amari Cooper 73 211 4.42 0.2 0.26 2.29

WR Breakdown: Yes, Cooper had a rough end to the 2019 season. Also yes, he had just about the hardest CB schedule that anyone could ask for during Weeks 11-15:

  • Week 11: at Lions, 3-38-0 shadowed by Darius Slay
  • Week 12: at Patriots, 0-0-0 shadowed by Stephon Gilmore
  • Week 13: vs. Bills, 8-85-0 shadowed by Tre'Davious White
  • Week 14 at Bears, 6-83-1 not shadowed
  • Week 15: vs. Rams, 1-19-0 shadowed by Jalen Ramsey

It's not like Cooper is incapable of defeating shadow coverage; just ask Jaire Alexander (11-226-1).

Still, there's more of a floor with the Cowboys' No. 1 WR than perhaps we initially thought. Gallup is the easy value pick in fantasy drafts at the moment considering there wasn't a discernible difference in efficiency of production between the two WRs in 2019:

  • Cooper: 119 targets, 79 receptions, 1,189 yards, 8 TD, 10 yards per target, 2.29 yards per route run
  • Gallup: 113 targets, 66 receptions, 1,107 yards, 6 TD, 9.8 yards per target, 2.16 yards per route run

Ultimately, the Cowboys finished last season as one of just 11 offenses to average at least 6.5 yards per play since 1970. Only the Falcons have more available targets. *Both* Cooper and Gallup should have more than enough volume to provide borderline WR1 production. Target them in 2020 fantasy drafts of all shapes and sizes.

The Cowboys are rumored to still be in the market for another WR after letting Randall Cobb walk in free agency. Their best option to fill the open-slot role is backup RB Tony Pollard in this writer's humble opinion, but in all likelihood we'll probably see several players combine to fill this No. 3 WR role.

TE Breakdown: Blake Jarwin was third on the Cowboys in yards per route run last season. Overall, Prescott's most-efficient receivers (min. 50 targets) during his career have been Brice Butler (10.5 adjusted yards per attempt), Cooper (10.3) ... and Jarwin (9.1). Don't expect the Cowboys' starting TE to work as anything more than the No. 4 pass-game option in this run-first offense, but there should be more than enough spiked weeks to warrant late-round and streamer consideration.


Denver Broncos

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Courtland Sutton 75 218 4.54 0.25 0.41 2.08
Slot Tim Patrick 77 210 4.52 0.12 0.16 1.18
Right DaeSean Hamilton 73 203 4.57 0.12 0.14 0.76

WR Breakdown: Drew Lock's target distribution in five starts during Weeks 13-17:

Sutton is locked in as Lock's No. 1 pass-game option. The 24-year-old WR averaged a robust nine yards per target in 2019 as a rookie and finished as one of just 13 WRs to average more than 2.05 yards per route run (PFF). The best is likely yet to come for last season's PPR WR19.

Neither Patrick nor Hamilton have shown enough to warrant fantasy consideration. There's a good chance they would each finish behind Sutton, TE Noah Fant and RB Melvin Gordon in targets if the season started tomorrow.

This is one of the most-prime situations in the entire league for a highly-drafted WR to emerge as a high-end producer. The probable lack of training camp reps makes it unlikely we see too many rookie WRs excel, but there simply isn't as much competition on the Broncos as we see elsewhere around the league.

TE Breakdown: Fant is talented enough to experience a year-two boom. Rookie TEs basically never produce, so the fact that Fant provided anything in 2019 was a positive. In reality, it was truly a great first season, as Fant became just the 10th rookie TE to average at least eight yards per target since 2000 (min. 50 targets). The only concern is a potential mini-committee considering the TE room also consists of Nick VannettAndrew BeckTroy FumagalliJeff Heuerman and Jake Butt. Still, this is a situation where talent *should* meet opportunity, making Fant arguably the prime late-ish round TE pickup of 2020.


Detroit Lions

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Kenny Golladay 76 218 4.5 0.2 0.32 2.03
Slot Danny Amendola 70 186 4.68 0.18 0.17 1.51
Right Marvin Jones 74 200 4.46 0.19 0.26 1.53

WR Breakdown: The Lions were quietly one of the league's best offenses in the first half of last season, fueled by Matthew Stafford's accession as a deep-ball passer in his first year with OC Darrell Bevell.

Overall, Stafford *easily* set career-high marks in ...

  • TD rate: 6.5%
  • Yards per attempt: 8.6
  • Adjusted yards per attempt: 9.1
  • Yards per completion: 13.4
  • QBR: 73.1

Only Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott averaged more fantasy points per game among all QBs.

Each of Golladay and Jones were healthy for Stafford's eight games of 2019:

  • Golladay: 62 targets, 35 receptions, 640 yards, 7 TDs, PPR WR11
  • Jones: 57 targets, 42 receptions, 535 yards, 6 TDs, PPR WR14

Golladay is the more-talented player that seems capable of blowing up for a breathtaking 16-game stretch sooner rather than later. Still, Jones is (once again) shaping up as the superior value due to his reduced ADP.

Amendola quietly cleared the century mark on three separate occasions in 2019. Alas, he's still never reached 700 yards or five TDs in a season. It wouldn't be shocking to see him take a reduced role behind the offense's rising second-year TE in 2020. At the very least it'll take an injury (or two) in order for Amendola to provide any sort of consistent fantasy production.

TE Breakdown: T.J. Hockenson is a great young player that seems to have a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, he was a distant fourth in targets with Stafford under center, and also consistently lost snaps to Jesse James. Hockenson looked amazing in his 6-131-1 Week 1 debut. Still, that occurred against the Cardinals' historically-awful defense against TEs, and he cleared 50 yards on just one other occasion. It seems unlikely Hockenson sees enough volume to function as a top-10 fantasy TE in 2020.


Green Bay Packers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Davante Adams 73 212 4.56 0.29 0.33 2.33
Slot Allen Lazard 75 225 4.55 0.12 0.19 1.62
Right Marquez Valdes-Scantling 76 206 4.37 0.1 0.2 1.37

WR Breakdown: The Packers once again appear to be entering the season with no proven high-end pass-game option to complement Adams.

This reality should cement him as a consensus top-five WR entering the 2020 season. His proven chemistry with Aaron Rodgers and pristine route-running ability is simply too much for defenses to handle.

MVS seems like the likely fatality once the Packers inevitably draft a WR: Lazard (92% snaps) joined Adams (97%) and departed Geronimo Allison (54%) in 3-WR sets during the Packers' NFC Championship loss to the 49ers. Lazard has flashed at times, but I'm hesitant in putting too much faith behind someone that is seemingly receiving most of their hype because they were once invited to Thanksgiving at the Rodgers household.

Devin Funchess is the wild card of this equation. Still just 25 years old, Funchess never even had a chance to put together a decent season in 2019 after breaking his clavicle in Week 1. He averaged a 4-50-0.5 receiving line in 15 career games without Greg Olsen once upon a time. At the very least, Funchess gives the Packers a WR that has at least made big catches in regular season games before.

TE Breakdown: The Packers appear to be moving forward with Jace Sternberger as their featured TE. Whether or not this amounts to a near every-down role remains to be seen, but there's plenty of opportunity and upside to be had for anyone involved in this offense. Sternberger is a 6-foot-4 and 251-pound TE with enough speed to stretch the seam. He put up an exciting 48-832-10 line at Texas A&M in 2018. Coach Matt LaFleur has already gone out of his way to compliment Sternberger's blocking ability. The second-year TE is one of my favorite late-round dart throws at the position.


Houston Texans

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Brandin Cooks 70 189 4.33 0.13 0.23 1.29
Slot Randall Cobb 70 192 4.46 0.15 0.16 1.77
Right Will Fuller 72 186 4.32 0.2 0.29 2.03

WR Breakdown: What a mess. The current WR depth chart in Houston also includes Kenny Stills, although he's reportedly expected to be the odd man out once Week 1 comes along.

Fuller is the potential game-breaking wild card here. He's averaged a 4.3-66-0.6 line in 22 games with Deshaun Watson under center, good for a robust average of 14.7 PPR per game.

Then we have Cobb, who the Texans gave $18 million guaranteed ... as well as Cooks, who was traded for in an effort to replace Nuk Hopkins.

Watson is a wizard and will have speed all over the field. The question is whether or not he's willing to force feed a WR other than Hopkins. Overall, there have been 34 instances of a Texans receiver getting double-digit targets in a game since Watson took over in 2017 ... and Hopkins is responsible for 29 of them.

Fuller and Cooks are obviously sexier picks than Cobb, but the disparity in ADP between the trio is unwarranted considering the amount of unknown in this offense. I'd be surprised if any one WR pulls too far away from the other two, making this a better situation to invest in for Best Ball and/or towards the end of drafts.

TE Breakdown: Darren Fells scored seven TDs last season, but split snaps with Jordan Akins pretty much the entire time. The latter player ultimately finished with more receptions and yards. The Texans TE position is a fantasy-friendly role, although it's tough to expect much consistent production as long as the job continues to be split by two players.


Indianapolis Colts

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left T.Y. Hilton 69 183 4.39 0.23 0.32 1.82
Slot Parris Campbell 72 205 4.31 0.1 0.11 1.07
Right Zach Pascal 74 219 4.55 0.14 0.19 1.45

WR Breakdown: There's an air of both uncertainty and optimism in Indianapolis, where Philip Rivers will attempt to get the most out of the Colts' beastly offensive line and underrated crop of skill-position players.

Still, it's at least a little bit worrisome to project Hilton moving forward. The days of receiving 130-plus targets from Andrew Luck are over, and historically we just haven't seen consistent evidence that Hilton can be a high-end fantasy producer otherwise:

  • Hilton per game with Luck: 9 targets, 5.3 receptions, 85 yards, 0.4 TDs 
  • Without: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 58 yards, 0.3 TDs

The lack of experienced pass-catchers elsewhere on the Colts means that Hilton's status as the passing game's No. 1 option likely isn't going anywhere, but I'd be concerned about expecting much beyond 2020 if I owned the long-time stud WR in dynasty.

Pascal flashed on occasion in 2019, but it was Campbell that looked a lot like a future star. Blessed with angle-erasing speed, Campbell has the skill-set to flourish in a Deebo Samuel-esque role that prioritizes getting him the ball in space.

I'm more inclined to take a late-round dart throw at Campbell than chasing Hilton as long as the latter WR continues to carry a top-20 ADP.

TE Breakdown: All Jack Doyle did the last time he had a starting role to himself was post a season-long 80-690-4 line in 2017 with Jacoby Brissett under center. Sure, Mo Alie-Cox might steal some targets and receive more fantasy-friendly shots down the seam, but Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry flourished with Rivers for a reason. There's far from a non-zero chance that Doyle gets back to working as a fantasy TE1 if he winds up building adequate red-zone chemistry with Rivers.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Chris Conley 74 213 4.35 0.15 0.29 1.33
Slot Dede Westbrook 72 178 4.44 0.19 0.17 1.2
Right D.J. Chark 75 199 4.34 0.21 0.33 1.69

WR Breakdown: Gardner Minshew threw at least 25 passes in 14 games last season. The following players had at least 20 targets:

Removing Fournette from the equation would be good for both the upside of these WRs as well as Minshew's general efficiency.

Chark (1.69 yards per route run) is clearly the superior talent over Conley (1.33) and Westbrook (1.2). The former player finished as the PPR WR17 in 2019 and deserves to be drafted as a top-20 receiver ahead of 2020. I'm more inclined to chase Conley's upside than Westbrook's floor at this point.

Just realize the goal of the 2020 Jaguars appears to be to lose as many games as possible. Expose yourself to this dumpster fire at your own risk.

TE Breakdown: It seems likely we see a committee of sorts between Josh Oliver and Tyler Eifert. The Jaguars were excited to get their rookie back in action last season, but Oliver ultimately couldn't stay healthy and played in just four games. Eifert played in 16 games for the first time ever in 2019 and averaged career-worst efficiency marks across the board for his efforts. Don't expect either to emerge as a consistent producer in 2020.


Kansas City Chiefs

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Demarcus Robinson 73 203 4.59 0.1 0.16 0.96
Slot Tyreek Hill 70 185 4.34 0.21 0.38 2.45
Right Sammy Watkins 73 211 4.43 0.19 0.22 1.46

WR Breakdown: Hill (87% snaps) and Watkins (87%) worked as full-time receivers during the Super Bowl, while Robinson (49%) lost snaps to Mecole Hardman (28%) and Byron Pringle (4%). Robinson has shown off glimpses of upside over the years, while Hardman could seemingly give Hill a true challenge in a race, but neither appears particularly primed for bunches of targets in this crowded offense.

The artist known as TyFreak was the PPR WR8 in 2017, WR1 in 2018, and WR32 in 2019 after playing just 12 games. A bounce-back campaign is coming. The only WR I'd feel truly comfortable drafting before Hill is Michael Thomas in fantasy formats of all shapes and sizes.

Watkins parlayed his disappointing regular season with 2-76-0, 7-114-1 and 5-98-0 playoff performances. He's back in Kansas City for at least one more year. Don't expect a return to WR1 or even WR2 relevance here, but Watkins' current ADP has him going behind Hardman for crying out lout. There are worse WRs to have on the fantasy bench than someone like Watkins, who at the very least has weekly value as a near every-down player in the Chiefs' juggernaut offense. 

TE Breakdown: Travis Kelce has been the league's No. 1 PPR TE in four (!!!) consecutive seasons. The question is how much longer he'll be able to provide this type of high-end production. He hasn't missed a game due to injury since 2013, although fellow-HOF talent Rob Gronkowski is only 144 days older. TE is one of the league's more demanding positions. There isn't much reason to expect severe regression from Kelce in 2020, particularly as long as Patrick Mahomes is operating as a world-beating talent. Just realize that this sort of consistency can't last forever.

Los Angeles Chargers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Mike Williams 76 218 4.59 0.16 0.34 1.91
Slot Keenan Allen 74 206 4.71 0.25 0.3 2.01
Right Andre Patton 74 200 4.59 0.05 0.13 0.18

WR Breakdown: This offense is stockpiled with high-level talent at WR, TE and RB alike. Alas, this isn't looking like the most fantasy-friendly situation  long as Tyrod Taylor is operating under center.

Don't get me wrong: the artist formerly known as TyGod isn't bad. He was a more-than-serviceable QB with the Bills from 2015-2017 before being thrust into an impossible situation with Hue Jackson and the Browns for three weeks in 2018.

The problem is Taylor's history of enabling fantasy-relevant WRs isn't great. He literally never fed a receiver 100-plus targets in his three years as the Bills' starting QB. Those offenses ranked 31st, 32nd and 31st in pass attempts.

Meanwhile, Allen has averaged 148 targets over the past three seasons. Austin Ekeler had 108 targets in 2019. Both Williams (90) and Hunter Henry (76) each felt extremely underused with their respective target totals.

This projection would be incredibly different if say Jameis Winston, or even a rookie, were under center. However, this isn't the case at the moment. Every Chargers' skill-position player is presently being drafted too high given their projected minuscule volume, although I lean towards Williams as the wild card of the group. The talented WR joins Tyreek Hill and Tyrell Williams as the only players to average double-digit yards per target in multiple seasons since 2017.

TE Breakdown: Charles Clay had over 500 yards in each of his three seasons with Taylor in Buffalo. Obviously Henry is a much-more talented TE than Clay, but he's also dealing with more competition in this loaded offense. The potential for Virgil Green and/or Donald Parham to steal snaps makes Henry a stay-away prospect at his currently elevated ADP.


Los Angeles Rams

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Josh Reynolds 75 194 4.52 0.07 0.1 1.23
Slot Cooper Kupp 74 204 4.62 0.21 0.21 2.08
Right Robert Woods 72 201 4.51 0.23 0.25 1.88

WR Breakdown: The absence of Brandin Cooks leads me to believe the base Rams Offense will consist of the following players:

Kupp oddly played just 28% of the offense's snaps in Week 14 before finishing the season with back-to-back performances with just 61% snap rates. Still, he racked up 18 targets in these three games, indicating he'll still be fed plenty of pass-game opportunities even if the near every-down role isn't there.

And then we have Woods, who has worked as the PPR WR11 and WR14 over the past two seasons. He joins a select group of players that have racked up at least 20 games with five-plus receptions and at least 50 receiving yards since 2018:

Woods is the easy pick over Kupp at the moment due to their unwarranted difference in ADP. Still, both are capable of providing WR1 production if Jared Goff again leads the league in pass attempts.

Reynolds is worthy of a late-round dart throw in the chance that the Rams continue to embrace a 3-WR heavy offense, but I'd be surprised if he doesn't lose snaps to Everett and/or a rookie receiver.

TE Breakdown: The Rams gave Higbee a four-year, $29 million contract in 2019. At first this didn't change their usual practice of rotating him with Everett, who was always believed to be the superior receiving option at the position. And then December happened. Overall, Higbee posted 7-107-1, 7-116-0, 12-111-0, 9-104-0 and 8-84-1 receiving lines to end the season, averaging a robust 11.2 targets per game along the way. Yes, Everett was dealing with injuries at the time, but the absence of Cooks moving forward makes it more likely that we see Higbee continue to occupy this full-time role. I'm more than fine with rolling the dice on Higbee in fantasy drafts of all shapes and sizes as long as his ADP remains out of the TE1 range. His four-game streak with at least 100 receiving yards has only been matched by Jimmy Graham and Kelce at the position over the last decade.


Las Vegas Raiders

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Tyrell Williams 75 204 4.48 0.15 0.32 1.58
Slot Hunter Renfrow 70 184 4.59 0.17 0.18 2.09
Right Zay Jones 74 201 4.45 0.08 0.11 0.58

WR Breakdown: The Raiders are arguably the draft's premiere spot for a rookie WR to potentially flourish. This doesn't mean they're currently devoid of talent, but none of their current trio of receivers quite resembles a true No. 1 option. There's uncertainty everywhere with Jason Witten expected to at least somewhat limit the snaps of Darren Waller (team-high 117 targets in 2019).

Williams is the only player in the league to average at least 10 yards per target in each of the past three seasons. There's reason for optimism ahead of 2020 considering the still-barren depth chart, as well as the reality that he missed two games with a foot injury that seemed to bother him for the entire season. Williams will still almost assuredly be locked into 3-WR sets if/when the Raiders draft a high-round receiver, making him a worthwhile fantasy option to target in the later rounds of drafts.

Renfrow is also an intriguing option in this unsettled offense. His 71 targets trailed only Waller despite playing just 13 games. Even more impressive was the efficiency in which Renfrow picked up yards:

Most yards per route run in 2019 (min. 50 targets, PFF)

I'd take Williams over Renfrow because drafting tiny slot receivers is boring and this year sucks. Still, both are reasonable targets at their present ADP.

Jones soaked up snaps upon debuting for the Raiders in Week 8, but ultimately never scored, surpassed three receptions, or gained more than 30 yards in a game.

TE Breakdown: Waller *should* be the undisputed go-to TE in this offense. Then again, this roster is currently carrying Witten, Foster MoreauDerek CarrierNick O'Leary and something named Paul Butler. Perhaps Jon Gruden isn't happy with Waller's blocking ability, receiving excellence be damned. There's uncertainty with pretty much every TE after Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Zach Ertz and Mark Andrews in 2020. Derek Carr has enabled fantasy's PPR TE3 and TE5 over the past two seasons, but the Witten signing has a real possibility of screwing all that up.


Miami Dolphins

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left DeVante Parker 75 209 4.45 0.21 0.33 1.89
Slot Albert Wilson 69 202 4.43 0.12 0.08 1.13
Right Preston Williams 76 211 4.66 0.21 0.31 1.6

WR Breakdown: There were two versions of Parker in 2019:

  • With Williams (8 games): 52 targets, 28 receptions, 400 yards, 4 TD, PPR WR36
  • Without Williams (8 games): 76 targets, 44 receptions, 802 yards, 5 TD, PPR WR2

Of course, it can't be understated just how superhuman the without-Williams version truly was. Each of the Bills, Patriots and Bengals attempted to take away Parker by having their respective No. 1 CBs shadow him all over the field. All the Dolphins' No. 1 WR did was torch the living daylights out of Tre'Davious White (7-135-0), Stephon Gilmore (8-137-0) and William Jackson (5-111-1) alike.

The talent is there for Parker. It's always been there. The question is whether or not he can continue to thrive in a potentially more-crowded offense that isn't certain to have someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick tossing 50/50 balls without a moment's hesitation for much longer.

I'm not willing to buy Parker at last season's peak. Luckily, we don't have to! He's the discount version of A.J. Brown: amazing talent with proven top-five upside in an offense that isn't guaranteed to have quite the same target structure ... yet returns most of the same pieces that enabled great stretches in 2019.

Gambling on Williams or Wilson in 2020 doesn't seem to make as much sense. Both have flashed at numerous times with the Dolphins, although this will be a new offense under Chan Gailey that figures to add at least one high-round receiver to the picture. Allen Hurns could also annoyingly steal snaps.

It seems likely that Parker will serve the Steve Johnson/Brandon Marshall role as the offense's true No. 1 WR, while the rest of the picture could be muddled more weeks than not.

TE Breakdown: Mike Gesicki was essentially the Dolphins' No. 2 WR in 2019 after Williams went down, as the "TE" played 77% of his snaps in the slot or out wide. The question in Miami isn't really between Parker and Williams for the No. 1 job; it's between Williams and Gesicki for the No. 2 job. Perhaps another contender will enter, but for now my money is on Gesicki winning the battle and emerging as the Dolphins' No. 2 pass-game option. This is a bet on both draft capital (Gesicki second-round pick; Williams undrafted), athleticism (Gesicki 97th-percentile SPARQ-X score; Williams ran a 4.66 second 40-yard dash), and the reality that Gesicki won't be coming off an injury like Williams. The rising third-year TE is worthy of strong fantasy consideration as long as his ADP continues to bounce around the TE2 range.  


Minnesota Vikings

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Adam Thielen 75 200 4.54 0.17 0.24 1.86
Slot Chad Beebe 70 178 4.73 0.03 0 3.68
Right Bisi Johnson 72 204 4.51 0.11 0.16 1.03

WR Breakdown: This offense needs a field-stretching talent from the draft in a major way.

The good news is Thielen seems to be #good enough to carry the passing game as a high-usage No. 1 WR. When healthy, Thielen possesses a combination of sure hands and route-running goodness that leaves most corners without an answer.

Thielen averaged more PPR per game with Diggs (15) than without (13.5) over the past three seasons ... but we have a whopping six-game sample size of Thielen without the Vikings' ex-stud WR, and a much larger sample of No. 19 simply balling out.

Thielen wasn't too far off from being the same WR last season that he was during his brilliant two-year stretch from 2017-2018 ...

  • 2017: 14 yards per reception, 9 yards per target, 2.33 yards per route run
  • 2018: 12.2 YPR, 9 YPT, 2.1 YPRR
  • 2019: 13.9 YPR, 8.7 YPT, 1.86 YPRR

... the only difference was he had to miss time and play through a hamstring injury. Strong performances against the Saints (7-129-0) and 49ers (5-50-0) in the playoffs reinforce the idea that Thielen is still operating near his peak.

Thielen is plenty talented enough to post WR1 production with the type of volume he should be projected for in 2020. A fluke injury could always be an issue, but don't be afraid to snag Thielen as long as his ADP continues to float around the WR15-20 range.

Johnson is fine, but he never even cleared 45 yards in a game last season. Betting on breakouts from WRs that averaged 9.5 yards per reception and 6.5 yards per target in a run-first offense isn't usually good for business. Beebe has six career catches in six games and might not even have a part-time role if the Vikings truly embrace a two-TE offense.

TE Breakdown: Kyle Rudolph posted a 39-367-6 line on 48 targets last season. Irv Smith went for 36-311-2 on 47 targets. Rudolph (361 routes) was on the field a bit more often than Smith (322), although clearly this is a situation that likely won't foster much of a ceiling. Neither are exactly worthy of a late-round pick, although an injury to either could produce a true No. 1 TE option. This is basically a poor man's version of the Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert partnership.


New England Patriots

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left N'Keal Harry 74 228 4.53 0.09 0.1 0.83
Slot Julian Edelman 70 198 4.57 0.25 0.3 1.83
Right Mohamed Sanu 74 211 4.67 0.14 0.12 1.05

WR Breakdown: Honestly, who knows right now. This situation is a complete wild card without Tom Brady.

  • Will Jarrett Stidham actually be the Patriots' Week 1 starting QB?
  • Will the offense continue to have such an emphasis on keeping the RBs involved in the passing game?
  • Will the TE position reemerge as a viable pass-game option?
  • Will the team's 2019 first-round pick emerge as the group's alpha in 2020?
  • Will the squad's long-time veteran WR have a bounce-back campaign with improved health?
  • Will the man that Bill Belichick traded a second-round pick for during the middle of the 2019 season wind up as the No. 1 option in this revamped offense?

I truly don't know. Each of Harry, Edelman and Sanu were so banged up for prolonged periods of last season that it's tough to take much of anything away from their collective inability to separate during the team's stretch run.

It doesn't seem possible for a Belichick-coached squad to finish too far out of playoff contention. The 2020 Patriots will score points ... it's just even more of a mystery than normal in regards to who will be doing the scoring.

It seems silly to invest too much in Edelman with so much uncertainty across the offense. Meanwhile, Harry and Sanu are realistic late-round dart throws as likely No. 2/3 pass-game options that have the ADP of college WRs and clear-cut No. 3 options.

This team as a whole has always played to the strengths of its roster, pre-existing schemes be damned. Don't expect this to change in 2020, and be ready to adjust your preconceived notions on the fly.

TE Breakdown: It seems unlikely the Patriots enter 2020 with only Matt LaCosseRyan Izzo and Jakob Johnson in their TE room. Expect a committee of sorts that likely won't produce much fantasy impact. Ben Watson led all Patriots TEs in 2019 in targets (24), receptions (17) and yards (173). Stay away.


New Orleans Saints

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Michael Thomas 75 212 4.57 0.32 0.4 2.88
Slot Emmanuel Sanders 71 180 4.41 0.17 0.29 1.76
Right Tre'Quan Smith 74 203 4.49 0.07 0.09 0.82

WR Breakdown: Thomas led the league in targets (185), receptions (149) and receiving yards (1,725) in 2019. Now he gets his QB back even after proving capable of maintaining high-end production without Drew Brees anyway, and the stud WR could further benefit from playing across from Manny Sanders.

Thomas is fantasy's no-doubt WR1 that is worthy of being drafted immediately after the top-tier of RBs.

And then we have Sanders, who will battle with TE Jared Cook for the No. 3 role in a passing game that almost exclusively flows through Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Sanders averaged a robust 9.5 yards per target with the 49ers and was a better ball away from scoring the game-winning TD in the Super Bowl, but my money is on Sanders being a better real-life addition than consistent fantasy producer. This is particularly true considering Taysom Hill will again serve as a vulture every time the Saints get near the goal line.

Smith seems to be at risk of losing additional snaps to Deonte Harris. He simply hasn't demonstrated anything resembling a decent floor, failing to clear 50 yards in all but three of his 29 career games.

TE Breakdown: Jared Cook set career-high marks in yards per reception (16.4), yards per target (10.8) and touchdowns (9) in his first season with the Saints. The 33-year-old TE was dominant during the second half of the season once Brees returned to the lineup, although he ultimately finished with fewer than five targets in 8-of-15 games. Having exposure to anyone involved in a likely top-five scoring offense isn't bad for business, I'd just prioritize any TEs that have a realistic shot at being a clear-cut top-three option in their offense's passing game.


New York Giants

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Darius Slayton 73 190 4.39 0.16 0.28 1.57
Slot Golden Tate 70 202 4.42 0.21 0.24 1.6
Right Sterling Shepard 70 194 4.48 0.22 0.26 1.48

WR Breakdown: We have a one game sample with each of Slayton, Tate, Shepard and TE Evan Engram playing in the same game.

There's talent everywhere on this offense; it's just a bit of a mystery as to who will rise to the top of Daniel Jones' pecking order.

  • Engram was dominating target share to start the season and is one of the league's most-talented TEs. And yet, he's been the subject of offseason trade rumors and just hasn't been able to consistently stay healthy.
  • Tate saw at least eight targets in 6-of-11 games, serving as a reliable slot WR with big-play potential after the catch. Perhaps new OC Jason Garrett wants to feed the slot.
  • Shepard had 27 targets over the last three weeks of the season in potentially our most-actionable sample. He's the veteran of the WR room at this point.
  • Slayton sure looked a lot like the best WR of the group at various points during last season. He became just the 14th rookie WR to score at least eight TDs since 2010.

All three players are values at the moment with ADPs mostly outside of the top-40 WRs. This Giants Offense has the talent to put up a good amount of points, and another putrid effort on the defensive side of the ball could mean more catch-up mode for Danny Dimes and company. An injury to any WR would obviously boost everyone else's ceiling and provide some target clarity for all involved.

TE Breakdown: Engram is far from a one-trick pony. Alas, there's a chance the organization decides to eventually move forward with Kaden Smith as their starter. The likelihood that Engram would be featured as a key piece on a different roster makes him a viable low-end TE1 fantasy target that has the potential to be much more.

New York Jets

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Breshad Perriman 74 212 4.3 0.13 0.2 1.44
Slot Jamison Crowder 68 185 4.56 0.23 0.24 1.58
Right Quincy Enunwa 74 225 4.45 0.07 0.21 -0.1

WR Breakdown: Crowder emerged as the Jets' No. 1 WR in 2019, racking up a team-high 122 targets and setting a career-high mark in receptions (78). Coach Adam Gase has shown a strong bias towards slot WRs over the years, and now Crowder's biggest competition for targets in Robby Anderson is out of the picture.

Call me crazy but I don't see Gase going out of his comfort zone to feature a rookie WR that he likely won't even be able to coach until the fall. Crowder is easily fantasy's cheapest No. 1 WR, and he should see enough volume to warrant high exposure as long as his ADP remains outside of the position's top-35 players.

If Anderson couldn't put together a full season of goodness with the Jets, I don't see Perriman doing so. The uneasiness that seems to exist between the organization and Enunwa makes him the prime candidate to lose snaps to a rookie.

TE Breakdown: Here's the full list of rookie TEs to average at least eight yards per target since 2000 (min. 50 targets): Mark Andrews, Rob Gronkowski, Hunter Henry, Heath Miller, Aaron Hernandez, Noah Fant, Jordan Reed, Zach Ertz, George Kittle ... and Chris Herndon. Ryan Griffin was fine in relief of Herndon in 2019, but it's not like the Jets' talented third-year TE lost his job. Herndon was simply suspended and then injured before even having a chance of showing what he could do. Last season's goose-egg has left a sour taste in the mouths of Herndon's ex-fantasy investors. Feel free to bet on the proven talent bouncing back, as it won't cost you more than a late-round pick to do so.


Philadelphia Eagles

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Alshon Jeffery 75 216 4.53 0.23 0.3 1.71
Slot Greg Ward 71 186 4.64 N/A N/A 1.29
Right DeSean Jackson 70 175 4.35 0.13 0.23 4.18

WR Breakdown: Yes, it'd behoove the Eagles to invest in a high-round WR to give the position some semblance of depth at the position.

Also yes, the passing game isn't in a rough place *if* they can stay healthy for once.

D-Jax caught 8-of-9 targets for 154 yards and a pair of scores in his only full game of 2019. He averaged a league-high 18.9 yards per reception as recently as 2018. Jackson hasn't played 16 games since 2013 ... but he's reached at least 10 games in every season except 2019. Jackson is a prime late-round best ball pick that will offer boom value every week that he's healthy enough to suit up.

Jeffery's 2019 season looks a lot better if we realize that he played a total of 26 snaps in two injury-shortened games. Keeping this in mind, his eight-game pace of 43-490-4 can be extrapolated to a season-long 86-980-8 line. It's unclear if Jeffery, who turned 30 in February, is still capable of playing 16 games, but last season didn't suggest that he's completely washed just yet.

Neither D-Jax nor Jeffery should be relied on as center pieces of any fantasy squad, but they're currently each being drafted outside of the position's top-50 players. They'll both almost assuredly out-produce those ADPs with even a little bit better injury luck in 2020.

Ward is the most-likely receiver to lose his job to either a rookie or second-year WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. It's pretty tough to expect much from JJAW considering his pitiful production (10-169-1) in 16 games on an offense that was in dire need of play-makers for most of the season.

TE Breakdown: Zach Ertz didn't quite replicate his historic 2018 campaign, but a season-long 88-916-6 line on 135 targets was hardly a problem for fantasy managers. Still, the rise of Dallas Goedert is near: Ertz narrowly out-targeted Goedert 60-to-55 after the Eagles' Week 10 bye. Ertz remains the preferred fantasy option, but the ceiling is lower than past years. Goedert is capable of returning low-end TE1 value without an injury, and he's good enough to put together top-three production if Ertz were ever to miss an extended stretch of action.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Diontae Johnson 70 183 4.53 0.18 0.21 1.61
Slot JuJu Smith-Schuster 73 215 4.54 0.17 0.23 1.49
Right James Washington 71 213 4.54 0.16 0.32 1.76

WR Breakdown: There's a case to be made that JuJu was the worst WR in this offense last season: Washington was the more-efficient player on both a per reception (16.7 vs. 13.1 yards per catch) and per opportunity (9.2 vs. 7.9 yards per target), while Johnson improved as the season went on and flashed true No. 1 WR ability.

The 2019 Steelers went 8-8 despite suffering worst-case scenario QB play. Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 5,000 yards in 2018. Pittsburgh boasts anyone's idea of a top-five defense.

This team is going to be good in 2020 if Big Ben can stay healthy.

JuJu averaged an absurd 11.6 yards per target as a rookie before posting a season-long 111-1,426-7 line on a ridiculous 166 total targets in his second season. Having Antonio Brown to take away attention helped, but we've still seen more than enough evidence at this point that Smith-Schuster is a special player.

Still, JuJu is presently being drafted alongside undisputed No. 1 WRs and high-end No. 2 WRs in more-proven passing games. Washington and especially Johnson each theoretically have the potential to finish within shouting distance of JuJu in targets, making both prime targets with their current low-end ADPs.

TE Breakdown: Eric Ebron scored 13 TDs in 2018 with Andrew Luck under center. The problem is that it took 110 targets to do so, and we simply don't have enough evidence that 1) Big Ben is interested in feeding a TE that level of volume and 2) Vance McDonald should remain involved to an extent. Expect Ebron to be a better real-life addition to the Steelers than consistent fantasy producer, especially as long as he's forced to play limited snaps.


Seattle Seahawks

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left D.K. Metcalf 75 228 4.33 0.19 0.26 1.69
Slot Tyler Lockett 70 182 4.4 0.21 0.28 1.87
Right David Moore 73 219 4.48 0.07 0.11 1.58

WR Breakdown: Lockett set career-high marks in targets (110), receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,057) in 2019, averaging a robust 9.6 yards per target along the way.

Of course, fantasy managers don't remember things quite as fondly. Injuries and puzzling usage resulted in a four-game stretch that produced just seven receptions for 107-scoreless yards from Weeks 10-14. The man didn't record a single reception in Week 13 with the fantasy playoffs right around the corner.

Yes I'm still bitter.

Anyway, Lockett rebounded with 8-120-1, 6-51-1 and 9-136-1 performances during three of his final five games of the season. He still possesses Jedi-like chemistry with Russell Wilson and remains locked in as the offense's No. 2 pass-game option at worse.

The question is whether or not Lockett and Metcalf will continue to function as co-leaders ... or if the Seahawks' rising second-year talent might just take over the whole passing game. Metcalf's route tree and usage expanded as the season went on, and the talented 2019 second-round pick posted exciting 6-81-1, 8-160-1 and 4-59-0 performances in the final three games of the season.

This passing game is more condensed than most throughout the league. The Seahawks are unfortunately going to keep running the ball to their heart's desire as long as OC Brian Schottenheimer keeps calling plays, but both Metcalf and Lockett present plenty of upside at their current mid-20 ADPs.

Moore will likely split snaps with Phillip Dorsett and/or a rookie.

TE Breakdown: It seems unlikely that Greg Olsen came to Seattle to sit on the bench. Yet, Will Dissly has been far too good to stay on the sideline for long if healthy. Jacob Hollister was far from a disappointment during his stretch as the team's starter in 2019. Any of these players are good enough to provide TE1 value alone, but together this will likely be a volatile and inconsistent rotation. Keep an eye on preseason usage before investing too heavily in any of them.


San Francisco 49ers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Deebo Samuel 71 214 4.48 0.18 0.2 2.04
Slot Trent Taylor 68 181 4.62 N/A N/A N/A
Right Kendrick Bourne 73 203 4.68 0.09 0.11 1.31

WR Breakdown: Reasons to love Deebo in 2020:

  • Only Kareem Hunt (0.42) averaged more broken tackles per touch than Samuel (0.35) among everyone with at least 50 touches (PFF).
  • Only A.J. Brown averaged more yards after the catch per reception than Samuel.
  • Only Lamar Jackson had more broken tackles than Samuel among all non-RBs.
  • Samuel averaged a robust 14-159-3 rushing line, as coach Kyle Shanahan made a consistent effort to get him the ball in space.
  • Deebo finished 10th and 15th among WRs in yards per target and yards per route run, respectively.

And now Samuel is locked in as the 49ers' No. 1 WR with Emmanuel Sanders in New Orleans. TE George Kittle is the favorite to lead the team in targets, but the idea that Samuel won't take a step forward because of a rookie WR, or the return of Jalen Hurd, seems silly. I wouldn't necessarily reach for the No. 2 pass-game option in what figures to again be one of the league's most run-heavy offenses, but Samuel demonstrated enough talent with the ball in his hands to believe the best is still yet to come.

It's unlikely that this offense manages to consistently enable many receivers behind Samuel and Kittle. The likes of Hurd, Marquise Goodwin and maybe even Dante Pettis figure to challenge Bourne and Taylor for snaps, potentially leading to a jumbled mess for the No. 2 and No. 3 WR spots.

TE Breakdown: Kittle owns PFF's top-two single-season marks in yards per route run over the past decade. Only Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans and Travis Kelce have more receiving yards than Kittle since 2018. I'd still take Kelce over Kittle in fantasy drafts, but there's a tier between them and whoever you want to call the league's No. 3 TE.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Mike Evans 77 231 4.53 0.23 0.35 2.3
Slot Chris Godwin 73 209 4.42 0.22 0.23 2.24
Right Justin Watson 75 225 4.49 0.07 0.09 1.09

WR Breakdown: Tom Brady wasn't washed in 2020. Only Dak Prescott (36) had more dropped passes than Brady (34). Additionally, Brady didn't exactly fall off a cliff when it came to the ability to test defenses downfield, as he was one of 14 QBs to post a QB Rating over 100 on passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield (PFF).

It's still tough to call the performance anything other than his worst in quite some time.

Brady by year

Of course, it's hard to ask for a better upgrade in weaponry. I agree with the notion that Chris Godwin should be drafted ahead of Mike Evans due to Brady's historical willingness to feed his slot WR. Still, Evans probably shouldn't be drafted outside of the top-10 WRs. He joins Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons.

Watson could easily lose his job to Scott Miller. There's also a chance we see the front office add a mid-round WR to the equation.

TE Breakdown: Oh boy. This TE room currently consists of Rob GronkowskiO.J. HowardCameron BrateTanner Hudson, Anthony Auclair and Jordan Leggett. It's safe to say the first three TEs will be the only ones consistently involved on game day, but who knows what the pecking order will look like. Gronk doesn't appear especially likely to play a near every-down role, Howard has been the talk of trade rumors for months, and Brate just keeps on keeping on. The most-likely scenario is a committee of sorts, with Gronk probably leading the way. Still, the last version we saw of the GOAT TE wasn't anything to write home about. Cautiously treat Gronk as a borderline TE1 until we get more clarification on both his and Howard's roles.


Tennessee Titans

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left A.J. Brown 72 226 4.49 0.19 0.29 2.67
Slot Corey Davis 75 209 4.53 0.16 0.23 1.48
Right Adam Humphries 71 195 4.58 0.14 0.13 1.4

WR Breakdown: Brown was incredible in 2019. He's the only rookie WR to average at least 12 yards per target over the past 25 years (min. 50 targets). Browns' efficiency metrics, athletic profile and film paint the picture of a true No. 1 WR that has the ability to dominate the league for years to come.

The question is just how high his ceiling will be in 2020. Brown somehow had just nine combined targets in three playoff games, and he finished with fewer than five catches in all but three regular season affairs. He's proven that it doesn't take more than a few targets in order to rack up fantasy points, but expecting this type of efficiency to continue is probably wishful thinking.

I don't mind chasing Brown's sky-high ceiling as the WR15 or so. Anything higher is tough to warrant without praying for a spike in target share.

Both Adam Humphries and Corey Davis were hampered by injuries last season. I'm #out on Hump functioning as a consistent fantasy option in this offense, but perhaps Davis could be looking at a late-career DeVante Parker-esque breakout. After all, Davis and Parker are the exact same size at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, both are talented former first-round picks with proven ability, and each have managed to terrorize the NFL's best CB Stephon Gilmore over the years. Exactly zero of Davis' 11 deep ball targets (thrown 20-plus yards downfield) were deemed catchable by PFF in 2020. This offense will undoubtedly flow through Derrick Henry and Brown, but Ryan Tannehill might be capable of enabling two somewhat-consistent fantasy WRs if he can further build on what we saw in 2019.

Davis' fantasy stock couldn't be any lower at the moment. Buying cheap No. 2 WRs that have flashed the ability to dominate is generally a good idea.

TE Breakdown: Jonnu Smith finished 2019 ranked among the league's top-eight TEs in yards per target (No. 2), yards per route run (No. 8) and yards after the catch per reception (No. 2). The problem is 1) Anthony Firkser steals snaps and targets alike and 2) Smith is this run-first offense's No. 3 (at best) pass-game option. Smith has caught at least five passes in just 4-of-50 career games. Luckily, he's being priced as a low-end TE2 at the moment. Ultimately, Smith is the type of talent that can make the most out of a small workload and a prime example of just how deep this year's fantasy class of TEs truly is.


Washington Redskins

Position WR Height Weight Speed Tgt Share Air Yard Share YPRR
Left Terry McLaurin 72 208 4.35 0.22 0.41 2.05
Slot Steven Sims 69 184 4.61 0.12 0.1 1.46
Right Kelvin Harmon 74 221 4.6 0.1 0.15 1.26

WR Breakdown: The artist known as McLaurin F1 should've easily had an additional three scores in 2019.

Either way, his 58-919-7 debut was spectacular. McLaurin averaged a robust 9.9 yards per target and was the bright spot of an otherwise porous Washington offense. Early-season concerns that he couldn't produce with Dwayne Haskins under center were eased by 4-57-1, 5-130-1 and 7-86-0 performances during his last three games of the season.

McLaurin finished 2019 as the PPR WR29. This is basically his ADP at the moment, even though his role and production have the potential to expand in a major way in 2020.

Sims was the only other pass-catcher in this offense to really flash last season. Still, there's a chance the new regime views him as more of a gadget than full-time WR. Harmon failed to score or surpass even 60 yards in a game all season.

It wouldn't be surprising to see a rookie WR start the season in 3-WR sets, but expectations in this offense should be checked for everyone other than McLaurin.

TE Breakdown: Currently the Redskins employ Jeremy SprinkleHale HentgesLogan ThomasRichard Rodgers and Marcus Baugh at TE. Don't expect any of them to emerge as consistent fantasy options in 2020 due to both the competition at hand as well as the general putridness of this offense.


Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/article/numbers/depth-chart-analysis-wrte-pre-draft-notes