In May 2020, we delivered the RotoHeat 2020 Redraft Rankings Series, bringing you a look at the top 12 rankings for each position. As we enter August and Redraft season we have updated our rankings. We kick off the updated series with the Updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
The RotoHeat 2020 Redraft Rankings Series brings you a look at the top 12 rankings for each position. In Redraft Leagues, your team roster starts fresh each season. The RotoHeat 2020 Redraft Rankings Series takes a deep dive into those players that we feel are at the top of their positions entering 2020. Engage with passionate fantasy football managers, and let the RotoHeat content team know what topics YOU want to hear about by visiting our RotoHeat Redraft Fantasy Football Facebook page.
I started this series with the Quarterbacks and stated that of all the positions to rank, Quarterback remains the most difficult. If given enough time, I can make a compelling argument for 20-23 of the leagues starting quarterbacks to be top 12 fantasy options. In part two of this series I ranked the Running Backs. I pointed out that it has been a volatile position over the last few seasons, as we have seen plenty of movement within RB rankings and end of season numbers.
In part three I discuss the Wide Receivers. This position without fail is deep. Plucking twelve of them off the list is rather easy at the top, and gets dramatically more difficult from seven on down. Being ranked as a WR13 or WR15 simply means there are 12 or 14 I like more. Those ranked in that slot are still extremely talented and a WR that you want on your rosters in 2020.
Updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings
13. Honorable Mentions
16. Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams (Previously 17th)
Robert Woods has posted back-to-back 130-plus target seasons with consecutive top-16 finishes in PPR. In my opinion, he’s a no doubt No. 2 fantasy receiver. He’s had 15-plus PPR points in half of his games over the past two seasons, creating some good consistency.
The Rams offense has been among the most aggressive passing the ball since Sean McVay took over, and Woods should continue to see plenty of work. In 2019, Woods posted his second consecutive season over 1,100 yards and set a career high with 90 receptions. Woods remarkably didn’t score a touchdown until Week 12 and ended the season with only two. If Woods can experience some positive touchdown regression he has top-12 WR upside and may very well be too low in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
15. Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams (Previously 14th)
In his past 24 games, Cooper Kupp has 16 touchdowns and 13 games with 17-plus PPR points. He’s also had six or more targets in 18 of those 24 games. In addition, Kupp finished in the top 10 among receivers in red-zone targets and top five in targets inside the 10-yard line in 2019.
The reason that Kupp falls back to 15 the uncertainty of how he will be used in in this Rams offense. In 2019 after the Rams bye week, there was a shift to an increase of 12 personnel, involving Tyler Higbee more in the offense. With a weak offensive line and the running game struggling, the shift to 12 personnel made sense. In Weeks 1-8, Kupp was WR2 overall with 167.8 PPR points. In Weeks 10-17 he was WR21 with 102.9 PPR points. The shift in offensive approach effected Kupp’s usage in the slot.
I don’t see Kupp averaging 20.98 points a game like he did in the first half, and I don’t expect him to average 12.86 points like he did in the second half either. Combine the uptick in touchdowns for Woods with an expected regression for Kupp ultimately lands him at 15 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
14. Odell Beckham Jr. – Cleveland Browns (Previously 11th)
Odell Beckham Jr. was a fantasy bust last season. Fantasy managers drafted OBJ to be a top WR, not the WR25 that he ended up being. He finished with 74 receptions, 1,035 yards and 4 touchdowns on 133 targets. The 55.6% reception percentage was the lowest of his career. The yards and the touchdowns were also his lowest in any season except for 2017 when he appeared in only 4 games. Beckham will bounce back in 2020.
Injuries hampered OBJ in 2019. He dealt with groin and hip pain the entire season. The injury clearly played a factor in OBJ’s ability to gain separation from defenders. In addition to injury, the Browns offense was a mess. Baker Mayfield struggled and Head Coach Freddie Kitchens was a disaster.
The Browns have done an excellent job re-tooling their offensive line, and new head coach Kevin Stefanski has proven to be an effective offensive coach. Stefanski’s offense tends to be run dominate which may bring his targets down slightly. I originally had OBJ at 11, but with with Jarvis Landry expected in Week one and Stefanski’s tendency to run first, I am sliding Beckham back to 14 my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
13. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previously 15th)
Mike Evans has been a top 10 fantasy WR in three seasons of his six seasons while catching passes from Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston, and others. He was the NFL’s most productive fantasy receiver in 2016, with 96 receptions, 1,321 yards and 12 TDs. Evans produces regardless of who’s under center, so you should expect him to continue to produce with his new quarterback, Tom Brady, in 2020.
Evans is one of of the most physically imposing wide receivers in the game and excels at making contested catches. There is something to be said for Brady’s ability to get the ball downfield to Evans. The concern is overblown. Brady, outside of Julian Edleman in the slot, had little to target in the Patriots’ offense a year ago. He will be just fine in Tampa in 2020. Evans finished as WR15 a year ago in 13 games, his 16 game pace would have seen him finish as WR6.
Evans may see fewer targets sharing the field with Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and OJ Howard, but he should see an increase in scoring opportunities. Brady might not throw for the 5,109 yards that Jameis Winston did in 2019, but he also won’t come close to the 30 interceptions either. Tampa is going to have longer drives in 2020 and score more points. Mike Evans will play a large role in extending drives and the increase in points. Ranked at 13 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings, Evans may end up being too low here.
12. Juju Smith Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers (Previously 13th)
Heading into the 2019 season, I had many-a-debate with those on the potential of Juju Smith-Schuster. My take was Juju had the ability to finish as the top scoring WR in fantasy a year ago. The end result was a WR65 finish with 113.2 PPR fantasy points–not what I was expecting, and dare I say not what anyone was expecting.
Juju played without his starting quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger for all but 6 quarters last season and the replacement combo of Mason Rudolph and Dalvin Hodges was a steep drop off, to be polite. There was also the injury that shortened Juju’s season and hindered his production. The real question facing Juju last season was could he be the team’s #1 guy, and sadly he never really had a chance to prove it. In 2020, I believe he will.
After the Steelers drafted Chase Claypool, they stated that Juju will move back into the slot role he played while Antonio Brown was there. That’s great news for his outlook, as it allows him to be mismatched with nickel cornerbacks who only come on the field at certain times. Provided Roethlisberger is healthy and returns to normal, Smith-Schuster should return low-end WR1/high-end WR2 numbers. I have struggled to rank Juju all offseason, and ultimately I just cant leave this talent outside my top-12 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receivers Rankings.
11. Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons (Previously 18th)
Julio Jones is still the alpha in Atlanta, but Calvin Ridley has become his 1B. Ridley’s 2019 breakout was derailed by injury, but it’s there if you look hard enough. His 16-game pace was for 78 catches, 1,066 yards and nine touchdowns. In six games after Mohamed Sanu was traded, Ridley averaged better than 80 yards per game, posted 88.1 PPR points and was WR12.
Since 2014, Dirk Koetter offenses have averaged 610 passing attempts a year. Last season, the Falcons (with Koetter back as the OC) threw the ball a league leading 684 times. That inflated number is due, in large part, to the fact that defense was atrocious for the majority of the season and the Falcons were forced to pass more to keep up in games. While the Falcons are unlikely to throw the ball 684 times again in 2020, this defense still has some holes on it that will prevent the Falcons from fully relying on the running game.
Looking at 2020, the Falcons didn’t bring in any competition for targets at the WR position and seem keen on moving forward with Julio Jones, Ridley, and Russell Gage. Ridley’s walking into a large target share and he’s already shown that he can make a big impact when he’s on the field. I liken the situation in Atlanta this season to what we saw in Tampa Bay a season ago where Chris Godwin and Mike Evans finished as top-12 WRs. I am very high on Calvin Ridley and have moved him from 18 to 11 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receivers Rankings.
10. Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings (Previously 16th)
Adam Thielen finished 2017 as WR8, and 2018 as WR7. In 2019 he suffered through an ineffective offense early and injury late en route to a disappointing WR64 finish with 114.4 points in 10 games. Thielen was injured in Week 6 vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. In the 4 games he played post injury, Thielen was targeted 10 times, catching 4 for 52 yards and a touchdown.
In the two seasons that Thielen saw over 100 targets, he finished inside the top 10 in PPR scoring . Get ready for another triple-digit target campaign in 2020. With Stefon Diggs off to Buffalo, the Vikings will look for passing-game help from several young players, but Thielen remains the number one target. That locks him into a productive year assuming he’s healthy. Despite last year’s injuries, he still managed double-digit PPR points in five of his first six games. If he stays on the field, expect him to bounce back to being a WR1, and he moves up from 16 to 10 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receivers Rankings.
9. Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions (Previously 10th)
In 2018, second year WR Kenny Golladay had a mini-breakout season finishing as the WR21. In 2019 Kenny G, completed his “third-year” breakout with a bang, finishing as the WR9. The most impressive part of Golladay’s 65 catch, 1,190 yard, 11 touchdown season was he did it without Matthew Stafford for half the season.
Golladay finished the last half of the season as WR11, averaging 14.7 points per game with the combination of David Blough and Jeff Driskel as his quarterback. Golladay led the NFL in targets inside the opponents 10 yard line a year ago with 13. He hauled in 7 of them, 6 for touchdowns.
In addition to being a top red zone target, Golladay is also a top deep ball threat. KG finished with 15.6 TAY (average targeted air yards), 2nd to only Mike Williams for receivers with a minimum of 90 targets. With Matthew Stafford returning and hopefully healthy, Golladay belongs at 9 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
8. Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears (Previously 7th)
In 2019, Allen Robinson was once again an elite WR. Robinson finished the year as WR8 with 254.9 PPR points. His 154 targets, and his 98 receptions were both career highs. His 1,147 yards and 7 touchdowns were second only to his 1,400 yard 14 touchdown 2015 season. Robinson will still just be 27 years old when the season starts. The Nick Foles / Mitch Trubisky combo at QB is not ideal, but Robinson has proven throughout his career that bad QB play has little effect on his ability to produce.
According to Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception, Robinson checked in with a 79.3 percent success rate vs. man coverage (98th percentile) and 83.7% success rate vs. press (97th percentile). Both of those marks are Top-10 scores in Reception Perception history. Robinson obliterated people as a route runner last year. He also remains one of the best receivers at the catch point, posting an 85 percent contested catch rate on 20 sample targets. Allen Robinson is an unappreciated talent, his Fantasy Pros ADP has him coming off the board at pick 29. At WR 9 he remains a value and I have A-Rob ranked at 8 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
7. D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers (Previously 9th)
In 15 games a season ago, D.J. Moore posted 230.5 PPR points and a WR16 finish–impressive considering that the majority of his production came with below average replacement Quarterback play. In 2018, Moore finished as WR36 with 157 PPR points.
With Teddy Bridgewater in place as the Panthers Quarterback, things are looking up for Moore in 2020. Bridgewater is not an air yards kind of QB and Moore isn’t an air yards kind of WR. In 2019, Moore ran a slant route 27% of the time, the most of any route on his tree. He was successful on those routes 81.1% of the time. If Moore is targeted as much as he was last season (135), he is in line for a monster season.
Moore specializes in yards after the catch, and new Panther’s OC Joe Brady knows Bridgewater and his strengths and should tailor-make this offense to benefit those running routes close to the Quarterback. 2020 is going to be the first of many seasons that D.J. Moore makes his way into my top-12, and he finds himself moving up to 7 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
6. Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previously 6th)
In his third season, Chris Godwin truly delivered on the breakout season anticipated by many. His breakout was anticipated, but his #2 overall fantasy finish at WR was not. In 14 games Godwin finished with 86 catches, 1,333 yards, and 9 TDs for 276.1 PPR points.
I would expect Godwin to experience some regression in 2020. Mike Evans is still in his prime and will remain a top targets as well. It is hard to predict volume in this new Tampa Bay offense with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn mixing in. Godwin gets a lot of work from the slot, and he beats press coverage routinely. His high success rates on routes like the slant and dig should fit right in with new Quarterback Tom Brady. Even with some expected regression, Godwin has proven he has the talent to finish as the top fantasy WR. As a result, I slide down from 2 last season to 6 in my rankings and he remains at 6 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
5. DeAndre Hopkins – Arizona Cardinals (Previously 2nd)
For reasons known only to himself, Houston Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brian decided to trade WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason. Hopkins was last season’s WR5 with 269.5 fantasy points in what was a down season. Nuk has averaged over 1,200+ yards per season in his 7-year career. The 150 targets last year was his lowest in the past five seasons. He’s been a top-5 fantasy WR in four of the past five seasons.
There are those that are concerned that in Arizona that Kyler Murray and the Kliff Kingsbury offense might struggle to get him enough targets to keep him in the top 5. Simply put, I am not one of those. In fact, I believe it’s the opposite. Arizona will target Hopkins early and often, he is the perfect fit for a Kingsbury offense that wants to play at a high tempo in 4 WR sets.
If you are worried about Nuk, don’t be. This is a WR that averaged 79 catches 1,122 yards and 6 touchdowns a season in his first 4 seasons. His quarterbacks in those 4 years were Matt Schaub, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryan Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, TJ Yates, Brock Osweiler, and Tom Savage. Hopkins will remain an elite fantasy option. I am sliding him back to 5 from 2 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings simply due to the change in team and the lack of offseason work with Kyler.
4. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons (Previously 4th)
A few seasons ago I started to call out the regression that was coming for Julio Jones. He was getting older, seemingly never scored touchdowns, and the Falcons added a route running specialist in Calvin Ridley via the draft. In those two seasons, Julio finished as the WR4 and the WR3, with a combined 599.9 PPR points: 31 games, 212 receptions, 3,071 yards and 14 touchdowns. If only they all regressed like Julio. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. There will not be a third time.
Atlanta uses him the most on slant and dig patterns, where he overwhelms defenders in the middle of the field. There is nothing to suggest that he is going to slow down anytime soon. Julio Jones, barring injury, is a lock for a top 5 spot in 2020. Julio remains at 4 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
3. Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs (Previously 5th)
Tyreek Hill finished as WR32 a season ago with 188.3 PPR points. It was quite a roller-coaster of a year for Hill and the Kansas City Chiefs. It all started at the 2019 NFL Draft where news leaked out in regards to some off-field activity. The Chiefs immediately selected Mecole Hardman the following day, and it looked like a suspension was coming for Hill. Coming off a breakout season in 2018 with a WR3 overall finish, the news was less than ideal for all involved.
In the end, Hill avoided suspension and started the season with his Kansas City teammates. His adversity, however, continued. Injured in Week 1, Hill did not see the field again until Week 6. From that point on, Tyreek Hill was the 5th highest scoring Wide Receiver, totaling 184.2 points (16.8 (points/game). Hil,l like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, benefits from playing in an Andy Reid system with the best Quarterback on the planet in Patrick Mahomes.
Hill combines elite route running with blazing speed. As a result, he faces very little press coverage and often simply blows by the defender like they are standing still. I originally had Hill ranked at WR5, noting that he possesses the ability to finish anywhere in the top 5 in 2020. The number of weapons Patrick Mahomes has at his disposal hurts Tyreek Hill in my opinion. Tyreek has a WR1 overall ceiling and moves up to 3 in my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
2. Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers (Previously 3rd)
Davante Adams finished second among Receivers in PPR in 2018 with 329.6 points (22.1/game). In 2019, a turf toe injury caused him to miss four games resulting in a slightly disappointing fantasy season. He ended up with 212.7 points in 12 games (17.7/game), and a WR23 finish.
The Packers, for reasons unknown, did not use a single draft pick to address the Receiver position, leaving Adams and teammates Allen Lazard and Devin Funchess as fantasy winners following the NFL Draft. Devin Funchess has elected to opt out of the 2020 season, further elevating Adams value. With all do respect to Lazard, Adams is unquestionably going to operate as the clear-cut number one option in Aaron Rodgers’ passing attack. The 2020 Davante Adams fantasy football value remains strong. Given his likely target share and dominant ability, as long as Adams stays healthy, he has a clear path to a top two spot on the updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.
1. Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints (Previously 1st)
What should come as no surprise, Michael Thomas tops my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings. Thomas set an NFL record with 149 receptions last season. After averaging 1,325 receiving yards over the previous two seasons, he had 1,725 (+400) last year. His 185 targets were the most in the NFL since 2015.
In 2020, it’s a pretty sure bet that his targets will regress. The Saints added Emmanuel Sanders via free agency to help balance the load. Regardless, he’s he’s still the top pick at WR with Drew Brees back as the Saints QB for another season. I confidently have Michael Thomas atop my updated 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings.