It’s never too early to prepare for the 2020 fantasy football season! What better way to get a leg up on the competition than to consume content filled with interesting tidbits to help you determine your favorite draft targets! With that in mind, let’s turn to a position that has become one of the deepest in fantasy football: wide receiver.
Wide receiver is such a stacked position that when you take a close look at these rankings, you come away with thinking that the top four tiers have potential WR1s and you can find WR2 upside as late as tier seven!
Let’s dig deeper on the first four tiers in our RotoBaller PPR WR Rankings. We’ll take a look at each wide receiver’s 2019 production and attempt to forecast their outlook based on changes in team context or whether their production was sustainable.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!
Wide Receiver PPR Rankings and Tiers
|Position Tier||Position Rank||Player||Overall Tier||Overall Rank|
|2||10||Allen Robinson II||3||27|
|2||11||Odell Beckham Jr.||3||28|
|7||51||Henry Ruggs III||8||124|
|8||61||Michael Pittman Jr.||10||162|
|9||78||Laviska Shenault Jr.||12||207|
|10||104||Willie Snead IV||15||298|
|13||142||Paul Richardson Jr.||18||419|
Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, Chris Godwin
Michael Thomas is the WR1 as the hyper-efficient target-hog in a strong offense. His league-leading 185 TGT were 28 more than second-place Julio Jones. It was his third consecutive season with 140+ TGT. While the signing of Emmanuel Sanders will eat into Thomas’ target share, we can still bank on close to 150 TGT for the overall WR1.
DeAndre Hopkins gets a fresh start in Arizona after being surprisingly dealt to the Cardinals. While his 150 TGT will likely decline in a Kliff Kingsbury offense that emphasizes multiple WR sets, we can safely project improvement in efficiency for Hopkins. He’ll be playing in a superior offense, so expect a return to norms in Y/R after posting a career-low 11.2 in 2019. Hopkins will also have more scoring opportunities in this prolific offense.
Davante Adams remains the alpha WR1 in an offense with a narrow target tree with no established WR2 or TE. If he can stay healthy in 2020, a return to 150+ TGT is highly likely. While the Packers are transitioning to more of a run-heavy approach under head coach Matt LaFleur, Adams will still be peppered with targets from Aaron Rodgers. Adams is a good bet to lead the league in TGT in 2020, making him one of the safest picks at his position.
Julio Jones is coming off his lowest yardage output since 2013, but he remains in a pass-heavy Falcons’ offense that figures to be involved in several shootouts this year due to a porous defense. Entering his age-31 season, Julio’s best days are behind him, but his status as a target hog with a strong team context keeps him in the elite tier of wide receivers.
Tyreek Hill has asserted himself as the premier deep-threat in the NFL. As the top perimeter option in the best offense in the NFL, Hill is one of the elite options at his position. While he won’t receive the same amount of targets as the other receivers on this list, his downfield ability will allow for more chunk plays and big yardage. Hill is not as safe as the others in this tier, but his upside is unmatched.
Chris Godwin broke out as a slot receiver in Bruce Arians’ offense. New quarterback Tom Brady has loved throwing to slot receivers in the past, such as Julian Edelman and Wes Welker. Brady’s deep ball has declined in recent years, so it appears that Godwin is more likely to emerge as Brady’s new favourite target. The slot receiver also plays a huge role in Arians’ scheme, so we can once again expect Godwin to be peppered with targets. Godwin possesses a nice combination of floor and upside.
Amari Cooper, Kenny Golladay, Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham Jr., Cooper Kupp
Amari Cooper provided solid production in his first full season as a Cowboy, totaling 79 REC, 1,189 YDS, and eight TD on 119 TGT in 16 games. While the team selected wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round of this year’s draft, the departures of Randall Cobb and Jason Witten left behind a combined 166 vacated TGT, so the addition of Lamb should not affect Cooper’s target share. Cooper remains the top option in an offense that projects to be one of the most explosive in the NFL.
Kenny Golladay was able to put up 65 REC, 1,190 YDS, and 11 TD on 116 TGT in 16 games, despite having starting quarterback Matthew Stafford for only eight games. Golladay’s ability to produce with the likes of David Blough under center demonstrates alpha WR1 talent. Golladay put up 35 REC, 630 YDS, and seven TD on 61 TGT with Stafford, so it’s intriguing to see what the duo can do over the course of a full season. The Lions became more of an aggressive, pass-heavy offense last year, which bodes well for Golladay’s 2020 outlook.
Mike Evans has been one of the most consistent receivers since entering the league, averaging 77 REC, 1,210 YDS, and 8 TD on 139 TGT. He’s played over 15 games in every season besides last year. While Tom Brady’s deep ball is no longer what it once was, Evans should still see a fair share of targets in an offense that figures to be prolific. His downfield ability and consistent production provide a nice combination of floor and upside.
Allen Robinson has been able to provide solid production despite subpar quarterback play, having caught passes from the likes of Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky. If Nick Foles can supplant Trubisky as starter, it would unlock Robinson’s upside, as Foles has had success with big targets in the past, such as Alshon Jeffery. Either way, Robinson should see a significant target share as the alpha WR1 for the Bears.
Odell Beckham Jr. had a disappointing debut season with the Browns, totalling 74 REC, 1,035 YDS, and four TD on 133 TGT in 16 games. New head coach Kevin Stefanski has had success with the running game as offensive coordinator for the Vikings, so we can project a more balanced offense in Cleveland this season. While it’s unlikely that OBJ will return to the 150 TGT hog he was with the Giants, he still can produce WR1 numbers in an offense with an improved offensive line and a new target in Austin Hooper.
Cooper Kupp bounced back from a torn ACL with 94 REC, 1,161 YDS, and 10 TD on 134 TGT in 16 games. The departure of Brandin Cooks opens up 72 targets, which should provide more opportunities for Kupp. The Rams figure to utilize more 2-WR/2-TE sets instead of their usual 3-WR/1-TE formation, so we could see more of Kupp on the perimeter. Entering his age-27 season, Kupp remains quarterback Jared Goff’s favourite target. He has a high floor, but with a lower ceiling than the others in this tier.
Keenan Allen, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen, D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton, A.J. Brown, DeVante Parker
Keenan Allen put up 104 REC, 1,199 YDS, and six TD on 149 TGT in 16 games last season, but changes in team context have downgraded him for 2020. The transition from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor at quarterback will involve a shift towards a low-volume, run-heavy scheme, resulting in a likely decrease in targets for Allen. Allen is more of a possession receiver, so fewer targets are concerning. This change in scheme really caps Allen’s upside, making him more of a floor play for the upcoming season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is coming off a disappointing season, as he had to deal with numerous nagging injuries and erratic quarterback play. However, the return of Ben Roethlisberger should lead to a bounce-back season for the 23-year old wideout. JuJu is the top option in a pass-heavy offense, making him a great target in this tier. We can project at least 130 targets (166 targets in 2018) for JuJu in 2020, giving him a nice combination of floor and upside.
Adam Thielen had an injury-plagued season in 2019, limiting him to 30 REC, 418 YDS, and six TD on 48 TGT in 10 games, but he has a promising outlook for 2020. The trade of Stefon Diggs frees up 94 TGT, some of which will go to Thielen. While the Vikings drafted wide receiver Justin Jefferson in the first round, he’s a downgrade from Diggs, so there is less competition for targets. A return to 140+ TGTS appears likely for Kirk Cousins’ favourite target. Let’s not forget that Thielen is only one year removed from a season in which he put up over six REC and 100+ YDS in eight consecutive games.
D.J. Moore broke out in 2019, and while the Panthers have added Robby Anderson, Moore remains the top option at wideout. New quarterback Teddy Bridgewater thrives in the intermediate passing game, which is where Moore wins on the field, making this a potentially intriguing duo. The Panthers also have one of the most inexperienced defenses in the NFL, which means likely shootouts and positive game scripts for Moore. Expect a career season in 2020 for the 23-year old wideout.
Courtland Sutton became the clear WR1 in Denver in 2019. The Broncos have made improvements to their offense, drafting wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, which could open up more room for Sutton, but also take away some of his target share. The projected growth of promising tight end Noah Fant also casts doubts upon Sutton’s upside for 2020. While Sutton is a talented receiver, the decrease in targets makes him more of a floor play for this upcoming season.
A.J. Brown had one of the more impressive rookie seasons in recent memory, putting up 52 REC, 1,051 YDS, and eight TD on only 84 TGT in 16 games. Brown was only the third rookie receiver since 1990 (joining Mike Wallace and DeSean Jackson) to put up 50+ REC, 1000+ YDS, and 20+ Y/R. He has terrific ability after the catch and can turn a quick slant into a long touchdown at any point. While the Titans are a run-heavy offense, Brown is the clear top option in the passing game. Their efficiency from last season is unsustainable, so we’ll likely see more passing attempts and thus targets for Brown as the Titans start to trail more in games. Brown has some of the highest upside at the wide receiver position.
DeVante Parker finally broke out in 2019, posting 72 REC, 1,202 YDS, and nine TD on 128 TGT in 16 games. He finished the season on a torrid stretch, with four 100+ yard games out of his final seven. While the return of promising wide receiver Preston Williams could eat into Parker’s targets, he enters his age-27 season as the clear alpha in the Dolphins’ offense. Parker was able to establish rapport with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will likely open the season as the starter with rookie Tua Tagovailoa on the mend from injury. Parker has upside to post WR1 numbers in 2020.
D.J. Chark, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, T.Y. Hilton, Calvin Ridley, Robert Woods, Stefon Diggs, Terry McLaurin, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Julian Edelman, Jarvis Landry
D.J. Chark enters his age-24 season as the clear top dog for a Jaguars team that figures to be playing catch-up in several games in a rebuilding year. With a 6’4, 198 lb frame and 4.34 speed, Chark fits the profile of an alpha WR1. New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden spoke about lining up Chark in the slot, which would put him into more favorable matchups. Chark has among the highest upsides of receivers within this tier.
D.K. Metcalf began the year as a raw rookie but finished it with an expanded route tree. Metcalf also has alpha WR1 athleticism, standing in at 6’4, 229 lbs with 4.33 speed. There are concerns with the Seahawks’ scheme, as the team repeatedly insists on establishing the running game, despite the presence of elite quarterback Russell Wilson. While Wilson attempted 516 passes in 2019, he only threw 427 in 2018, so there’s always a risk of decreased attempts which means fewer targets for Metcalf. Still, the sophomore wideout has high upside with elite athleticism.
Tyler Lockett remains the top option in this offense, but sophomore receiver D.K. Metcalf is knocking on the door to supplant him as the apple of Russell Wilson’s eye. Lockett looks like more of a floor play in a run-heavy offense, as Metcalf continues to establish himself as the superior downfield threat for the Seahawks.
T.Y. Hilton had an injury-riddled season in 2019, putting up 45 REC, 501 YDS, and five TD on 68 TGT in 10 games. Hilton’s 11.1 Y/R was a career-low and is the mark of a possession receiver as opposed to the dominant deep threat that he was in the past. This low number likely was caused by nagging injuries and erratic play from Jacoby Brissett, so perhaps newcomer Philip Rivers can help Hilton return to form. Entering his age-31 season, Hilton is on a downward trajectory, but he still looks to have a bounce-back season left in the tank. Let’s not forget that he’s only one year removed from a 76 REC, 1,270 YDS, and six TDS season.
Calvin Ridley has a terrific team context, playing for a pass-heavy Falcons team with a porous defense. The departure of tight end Austin Hooper frees up 97 TGT. While the team acquired Hayden Hurst as his replacement, it’s unlikely that he will receive the same type of volume, so expect a career-high in TGTS for Ridley. The Falcons’ receiver depth is also very thin, so if 31-year old Julio Jones were to go down with an injury, Ridley would become an absolute target monster. Ridley is on track for a big breakout in 2020, a la Chris Godwin.
Robert Woods should see some positive regression on his low touchdown output in 2019. The departure of Brandin Cooks frees up 72 TGT, so Woods could see a bump in volume. However, the Rams appear likely to become more of a balanced offense, establishing the running game with 2-WR/2-TE sets to help take the load off Jared Goff, which could limit Woods’ upside. Woods looks like more of a floor play on a declining Rams offense.
Stefon Diggs has shown the ability to make the most of his targets, posting a career-high with a 17.9 Y/R. We can likely project similar target totals for Diggs in Buffalo, since quarterback Josh Allen is an inconsistent passer who can make plays on the ground. It could also take time for Diggs to establish rapport with Allen in this tumultuous offseason. This could result in inconsistent play for Diggs, giving him a lower floor for 2020.
Terry McLaurin enters his sophomore season as the clear top option in this Redskins offense, so 120+ TGT is clearly an attainable goal. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins showed improvements towards the end of his rookie season, which also bodes well for McLaurin’s outlook. The Redskins simply don’t have many options in the passing game, which could lead to significant volume for McLaurin.
Deebo Samuel was used all over the field, including the running game, as Samuel added 159 YDS and three TD on 14 ATT on the ground. There are concerns over volume, as Samuel remains second fiddle for targets to tight end George Kittle. The 49ers also drafted wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first round, which could also impact Samuel’s volume. The team’s status as a run-heavy offense with a strong defense also limits Samuel’s upside. Still, this is a talented sophomore receiver with an elite play-caller, so he remains an intriguing asset.
A.J. Green enters his age-32 season in an upgraded Bengals’ offense with the additions of rookies Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins, but it’s risky to bank on a veteran that has only played eight games in two years. Green should still be the top option in this offense, but it will be difficult to rely on him for a full season. Still, the Bengals have a talented skills group that could put up a ton of points this season, so Green still has upside, but with a low-floor.
Tyler Boyd has established himself as a premier slot receiver in the NFL. While Boyd’s target share will decrease with the return of A.J. Green, Boyd’s efficiency will improve, since Green will open up opportunities due to his downfield ability. Boyd should see more room to work in the slot, so we can likely project more big plays - a return to 13+ Y/R is within reach. Boyd is more of a floor play due to his status as a possession receiver second in line in targets behind A.J. Green.
Julian Edelman had a career season in 2019, posting 100 REC, 1,117 YDS, and six TD on 153 TGT in 16 games. The departure of Tom Brady to Tampa Bay is bad news for Edelman’s outlook, as the duo established a terrific rapport over the years. It remains to be seen if Edelman will remain as the top option in this offense with Jared Stidham at the helm. Entering his age-34 season, Edelman is on a downward trajectory on a team in transition, so it’s difficult to see much upside here.
Jarvis Landry has limited upside for 2020, as the Browns added tight end Austin Hooper, who will eat up underneath targets that once went to Landry. Landry also opted to have surgery on an injured hip, so he’s spent the offseason in rehab. While he’s expected to be healthy for the start of the season, this surgery could have lingering effects on his performance, at least for the start of the year. It will be difficult for Landry to replicate last season's numbers in 2020.
More Fantasy Football Analysis
Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.