Even though there might not be fans at the games, the NFL season looks to be on it’s way for 2020-2021. Which means the Fantasy Football season is underway as well. Each month I will be updating you on trends through mock drafts, fantasy football relevant news, and which players to stay away from when drafting.
As the NFL gets more and more pass happy we will see more and more talented receivers stepping onto the field. Since most leagues have you start at least two, if not three WRs, I thought to make this list a tad deeper this time. Here is a list of wide receivers that are currently trending up or down in the world of fantasy football.
(Having a player in the “Trending Down” section isn’t me calling them bad. Continue on!)
The Atlanta Falcons can easily be labeled as a mess currently, but they know how to draft/produce top level fantasy receivers consistently. From Roddy White, Julio Jones, to even Mohamed Sanu, the Falcons have always had reliable passing weapons. Ridley is entering his third year in the NFL, and should receive an increase in targets now that he is the full time second option in the offense. Matt Ryan has thrown the ball over 600 times in six of his last eight seasons. Calvin Ridley is a safe pick going in the 4th round or so, but has plenty of upside to become a Top-8 receiver in fantasy football.
A busted toe caused Green to miss pretty much half of 2018 for the Bengals. Then in training camp he tore ligaments in his ankle forcing him to miss all of 2019. He nearly was able to return at the end of last season, but considering what was left to play for, they decided it would be smarter to just sit those games. Now he is currently sitting in the 6th round of most mock drafts as of June 20th, and one of the most valuable receivers available after round 2. There is no doubt in my mind a healthy A.J. Green can be a reliable WR1, if not WR2, in any fantasy football league. Joe Burrow might have his rookie mistakes, but I believe there is still plenty of potential in the Bengals offense for a solid fantasy output.
D.K. Metcalf has done everything (but a 3-cone drill) to show the NFL world he is going to be the next freak wide receiver in the league. Russell Wilson is most likely going to put up another MVP-like season this year, and a large part will be from Metcalf’s jump in year 2. He is going to be the Seahawks best red zone threat in the passing game, and still has big play potential all game long. I like where he is currently being selected in mock drafts, and I think he still has a great chance of out playing his ADP. I won’t be surprised if Metcalf leads the league in red zone targets this season.
DeAndre Hopkins shockingly was traded to the Arizona Cardinals this off season for David Johnson, and a 2nd round pick. Houston now has 150 targets, 30% of the passing game, to replace. David Johnson obviously isn’t going to do that himself, but the Texans also did acquire Brandin Cooks from the Rams. I think people will be surprised with the production put up by Cooks, making it one of the more underrated moves this off season. Wherever he goes Cooks puts up at least WR2 numbers, and is being selected in the 8th round. He battled injuries often last season, giving him a very inconsistent 2019, but I am betting on a bounce back season. I would much rather take my luck on someone that should receive WR1 targets over Gronk, Tarik Cohen, or Devante Parker.
The Saints finally found themselves a solid second receiver, and Michael Thomas is still being viewed as ESPN’s 5th overall player for 2020. That puts him over Zeke, Saquon, and teammate Alvin Kamara. This year has plenty of great, valuable, wide receivers in the 4th and 5th round. It is much more efficient to select RB/RB with your first two selections as of now. The value that Michael Thomas brings most likely won’t be more than Saquon or Zeke, and you can still select your receivers after the running back well dries up in the first two rounds. Emmanuel Sanders is also in New Orleans now, which will take away from the 185 targets he saw last season.
Like I mentioned in my D/ST & Kickers report, I have very little confidence in the Lions offense this year. I would feel more comfortable taking someone like JuJu Smith-Schuster, or Amari Cooper than someone like Golladay. This is no knock on Golladay, but more of a knock on the opportunity to exceed his ADP. He only caught 56% of the passes thrown his way, and had a very up and down 2019 in fantasy terms. Mix in the fact the Lions (oddly?) drafted De’Andre Swift and that is enough for me to stay away from Golladay in 2020.
Deebo Samuel was someone that I considered as one of my receivers that are trending up for the 2021 NFL season, but sadly that is no longer. On Thursday (June 18th) the 49ers reported that Samuel under went surgery due to a Jones fracture suffered in a throwing session in Nashville, Tennessee. This is an injury that will cost him 8-16 weeks, which is the rest of his offseason and all of his preseason at least. Deebo went live on IG post-surgery and said “in 10 weeks there will be a better Deebo.” But until then we must wait.