The 2020 NFL Draft is nearly here. We don't know where the top skill players will land, but as fantasy football junkies we know where we want them to go. This list is filled with my favorite wide receivers for the 2020 class, starting with the receivers I believe are the most talented and capable of thriving in any destination, both short-and-long-term. I will break down each player and provide my top ideal landing spots, as well as a worst-case scenario. These are simply in regards to fantasy value. Once you are done here with the top tier wide receivers, be sure to read part two of this article looking at the dream destinations for the second tier of rookie wide receivers.
Wide receivers are made in all shapes and sizes and come with various abilities and strengths. Some players listed are so talented that it would not matter who is on their team in three years given that they would be the workhorse WR regardless. Talent overcomes location at the end of the day but at least for redraft purposes, these WRs may struggle with certain teams. There are, of course, outliers like A.J. Brown last year who ended up in a run-heavy offense that was perceivably an awful landing spot, but due to a mid-season QB change, lack of competition for targets, and incredible play-making abilities, he thrived. Nevertheless, that is not always the case.
The "Dream Destinations" are based on fit in particular offenses around the leagues. Factors considered when selecting the teams included position depth, talent/skill overlap, and function of offense. Not only is future fantasy value for dynasty/redraft taken into account, but also, how a player complements the current roster in place along with any future standalone value. Also, the destinations are based on draft positioning. If it weren't, I would just have Ceedee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy "ideally" ending up in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes, but that probably is not happening. Let's see where the top wideouts should end up.Editor's Note: Love the strategy of season-long fantasy sports? Live for the short term gratification of DFS? Try Weekly Fantasy Sports on OwnersBox - a new weekly DFS platform. Sign up today for a FREE $50 Deposit Match. Sign Up Now!
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Dream Destinations: Raiders, Jets
Worst Case: 49ers
CeeDee Lamb is my WR1 for the 2020 class. He is the most dominant pass-catcher at the point of attack, can run routes with the best of them and is nearly impossible to tackle on a defense's first try. He is the prototypical, alpha X-receiver of this class and has drawn comps to DeAndre Hopkins (obviously a high-end outcome but in the range of possibilities).
CeeDee made this play vs Texas last year and it might not have been his best in that game alone pic.twitter.com/0WG7I0UjWt— Kev “Mr. Small Chest” Mahserejian (@RotoSurgeon) April 18, 2020
Almost anywhere he lands, he will be the WR1 and be fed targets due to his talent and physical prowess. He has the body to handle 150 targets per year and that is more than available with the Jets, Raiders, and Eagles. The Jets just let Robby Anderson walk and have been in need of a true WR1 since the departure of Brandon Marshall. They recently signed former first-round pick Breshad Perriman to a one-year deal and have Jamison Crowder locking up the slot. Lamb is a perfect fit along-side them with a hopefully mono-free Sam Darnold slinging them the ball going forward.
The Raiders are in a similar situation as the Jets. They have their slot locked up in Hunter Renfrow along with Tyrell Williams acting as the big-bodied deep threat outside like Perriman. They are also lacking that true do-it-all receiver like Lamb. I am worried that either Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota could limit his team's WR production but I am sure that Jon Gruden will do a decent job scheming the offense around them.
While San Francisco is a great real-life destination for the talented wide-out, there is cause for concern in Kyle Shanahan's offense. He is going to be competing with George Kittle and Deebo Samuel for targets along with having to deal with a run-heavy scheme that spreads out targets. Lamb's efficiency would probably be best-off in SF but fantasy-wise it will be difficult week-to-week. There truly is no "worst-case scenario" with Lamb given that he is so talented that he would fit anywhere. SF is just better off targeting a deep threat who can take the top off of defenses and open up space for the rest of the offense.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Dream Destinations: Jaguars, Eagles
Worst Case: Cardinals
Jeudy is one of the most, if not the most agile receiver in the entire class and can cut on a dime to get open or create extra yardage. He might be best off starting out as a slot receiver (where he played a ton in college) and then maybe moving outside occasionally or better yet, down the line. He's a big play waiting to happen with incredible speed who can add multiple dimensions to any offense. The poor contested catch-rate (5%) has me worried with regards to Jeudy. He is not a physical WR at all and requires his shifty movements to create extra yardage.
Jacksonville's plan at the moment is to roll with Gardner Minshew II for 2020 and see where that goes. While this is a likely tank job, especially with rumors they are trying to trade Leonard Fournette, they will still want to surround their young QB with as much young talent as possible. The Jaguars are an ideal destination for Jeudy as he can fit in the slot next to D.J. Chark and attack the intermediate part of the field while Chark dominates deep. Both receivers have 4.4 speed and can open up space for the run game to operate.
While the Jaguars currently have Dede Westbrook in the slot, he has failed to display the Biletnekoff-esque domination from his Oklahoma Sooner days. There is definitely the option of moving Jeudy around, however; if Westbrook continues to stagnate, he should get relegated to the bench. Jay Gruden taking over as OC is a plus for the Jags as they will hopefully be headed towards a more modern offense that is built around the pass.
The Eagles are an incredible landing-spot for Jeudy as well. He is a perfect fit between Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson this year and should be able to take the WR1 crown soon after. While they will have to trade up to get him, the rumors are that they are willing to do so for a WR. With their selection of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside last year and release of Nelson Agholor, it makes sense that they would target Jeudy to fit in the slot, although their current interest is reportedly in CeeDee Lamb or Justin Jefferson.
Jeudy is an immediate upgrade for an offense that is often without playmakers due to injury and should see a fair share of targets early-on with more to come if one or both of Jackson/Jeffrey go down. Carson Wentz is a great, reliable QB (when he's on the field) who is accurate on deep shots and can extend plays for Jeudy to thrive.
There are rumblings that the Cardinals might add a WR with their eighth overall pick (or in a trade-down scenario). While this may be smoke, it would be terrible for Jeudy because there would be little possibility that he comes out as a WR1/target-hog for at least few years. The Cardinals just traded for DeAndre Hopkins and are planning on extending RB Kenyan Drake. They drafted several receivers in 2019 (albeit not the best), slot-man Christian Kirk in 2018 and still have Larry Fitzgerald around. Jeudy would immediately impact the team given his talent-level but would have a tough time getting the ball, even in a pass-heavy offense that runs out four-wide often.
Henry Ruggs III. Alabama
Dream Destinations: 49ers, Broncos
Worst Case: Buccaneers
Ruggs is more than just a deep threat. Folks online have comped him to John Ross, Ted Ginn Jr. etc as these smaller, speedy wideouts who get drafted high and then bust. Points are made about Ruggs' lack of production in relation to his Alabama teammates, however, that is pretty foolish to consider when every single one of them is a prospective first-round pick. Ruggs is much closer to Tyreek Hill than he is to John Ross, although he is not identical to either.
Ruggs plays bigger than his size suggests although he is not one to make contested catches anytime soon. Ruggs has a solid body and massive 10" hands that make it easier to reel in deep shots than his speedy counterparts.
The 49ers would be one hell of a landing spot for Ruggs because he is the perfect complement to an offense that just lost Emmanuel Sanders and lacks a true deep-threat. Although Jimmy Garoppolo does not have the strongest arm, he is capable of making his fair share of accurate, deep throws (unfortunately not in early-February...). Plus, with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle in the mix, it will be hard to double Ruggs, leaving an open opportunity somewhere on the offense for him to find the end-zone.
The Broncos are a great landing spot as well, particularly due to their lack of depth at receiver. Ruggs would immediately take over as the WR2 opposite alpha wideout Courtland Sutton. Denver wants to lean on the run to alleviate pressure on sophomore QB Drew Lock but will need to air it out a few times a game if they plan on winning.
Lock possesses very good arm strength and can make throws off bootlegs to allow Ruggs enough time to break wide-open. In situations where Ruggs is heavily covered, the field will be open for Lock to find Noah Fant, Sutton or dump it off to one of his running backs in space. If Sutton were to go down at any point, Ruggs would surely be capable of playing the WR1 role, even at his size.
The Buccaneers are a brutal potential landing spot for Ruggs. Not only will he get a 43-year old Tom Brady throwing him passes, but he also has to compete for targets with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, arguably the most talented WR duo in the NFL.
Ruggs would be a great addition for the franchise, no doubt acting as another field-stretcher for Brady and filling the WR3 role but it would be awful for fantasy, His targets would be lower end due to who he is playing with and it is unlikely that Brady has enough juice in his arm to hit him in stride consistently.
Jalen Reagor, TCU
Dream Destinations: Eagles, Raiders
Worst Case: Dolphins
Reagor is one of the most fun wide receivers to watch in this entire class. He is not the tallest guy but he is built solidly and plays big for a receiver under six-feet tall. Reagor's lack of production last season along with his drops are definitely red flags. However, he was reportedly playing through an injury and also dealing with some awful quarterback play. His catch rate these past few seasons is extremely low but after watching him, it was clear that his targets were often nowhere near him.
His speed off the line-of-scrimmage and ability to make contested catches at his size are incredibly impressive. He ran in the mid-4.4's at the combine but plays much faster on tape. Reagor is not your prototypical dominant, outside receiver but he sure can play like one, particularly at the next level.
The Eagles are probably the absolute best landing spot for Reagor given that he can operate as their WR1 as soon as Alshon Jeffery is gone. He can fit in the slot immediately and honestly be the most talented WR on the field. No disrespect to D-Jax or Jeffery but Reagor is on another level. He has insane burst off of the line of scrimmage, can blow by defenders, runs fluid routes, and make tough contested catches. He may not see too many targets from the jump due to his rookie status but if Jeffery or Jackson gets hurt early in the season, he will get an instantaneous boost.
Reagor in Las Vegas would be great as well. He, like Lamb, would immediately step in as the best WR on the roster. Reagor's ability to create plays with the ball in his hand and open up space without it will work wonders for the rest of the offense no matter who is under center. His speed would make everyone else's job much easier. He is very much used to playing with bad quarterbacks (just turn on any recent TCU game) and would be fine with either Carr or Mariota. For a sub-six foot tall receiver, he has a very solid catch radius due to his athleticism. His drop issue is a bit overblown, and so is his poor catch rate (46% in 2019). Just having an NFL QB throwing to him will change this perception immediately.
The Dolphins are a team on the upswing with their bountiful draft capital and re-invigorated culture thanks to Coach Brian Flores, however, for all that they lack, they are solid at WR with two strong starters moving forward. Former first-round pick DeVante Parker finally broke out last season and signed a three-year extension to stick around while undrafted free agent Preston Williams broke out on the scene and provided 32 receptions, 428 yards, and three touchdowns in eight games before tearing his ACL. Of course, Reagor would be a fine addition to this WR room but he would not have the opportunity to thrive.
It is possible to have a great rookie season in 2020 if Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter and he airs it out like last season, providing plenty of targets all over the field. However, the expectation is that Miami is bringing in a running back with one of their first-round picks and will want to get him on the field as soon as possible. This, unfortunately, makes it likely that they will lean heavily on the run to alleviate the pressure on the rookie QB. Reagor does not stand to benefit in fantasy if he were to land in Miami for at least the first couple of seasons.
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