RotoBaller’s 2020 wide receiver rankings for standard fantasy football leagues are looking a little different than they did a few months ago.
The NFL draft, trades, free-agent signings, salary-cap cuts and opt-outs due to the COVID crisis have all affected the wide receiver rankings since the last time our website’s rankings were released. So now that the start of the football season is a couple of weeks away, it is time to take a last look at these updated rankings before your upcoming auctions and drafts.
Here is my analysis of RotoBaller’s current 2020 wide receiver rankings for standard fantasy football leagues:Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, rankings, projections, 15 lineup tools and daily Premium DFS research/tools including our Lineup Optimizer, Research Station and so much more! Sign Up Now!
Wide Receiver Standard Rankings and Tiers
|Position Rank||Position Tier||Player Name||Overall Rank||Overall Tier|
|9||2||Allen Robinson II||28||3|
|15||2||Odell Beckham Jr.||38||4|
|34||4||Marvin Jones Jr.||79||6|
|36||5||Will Fuller V||85||6|
|54||7||Henry Ruggs III||130||8|
|64||9||Michael Pittman Jr.||161||10|
|79||10||Laviska Shenault Jr.||203||12|
|130||13||Paul Richardson Jr.||419||18|
|153||13||Equanimeous St. Brown||499||20|
Michael Thomas led all receivers in receptions, targets and receiving yards in 2019, and he nobody was in his zip code in any of the categories. Considering he is only 27 years old and has trusty future Hall of Famer Drew Brees passing to him again, there is no reason to doubt this Thomas will be the top receiver in fantasy football for a second straight season.
Julio Jones has every right to be ranked right up with the best of the receivers, but his major drawback is he does not find the end zone nearly as often as other upper-echelon pass catchers. He has not had a double-digit touchdown season since 2012 and has only scored 17 times over this past three seasons despite being targeted 475 times. When a receiver is seeing that volume of passes, he has to get himself into the end zone more, especially when he is as talented as Jones is.
DeAndre Hopkins was already in a superb situation in Houston with Deshaun Watson throwing to him and having the Texans passing attack revolve around him, but now he gets to go to Arizona’s pass-first offense that is designed to open up space and create big-play opportunities for its playmakers. Fantasy players can bank on Hopkins gifting them 110 receptions, 1,400 yards and a dozen touchdowns in 2020.
Chris Godwin is coming off a breakout season (86-1,333-9) and will enjoy a humongous quarterback upgrade going from interception machine Jameis Winston to Hall of Famer Tom Brady. It is hard to place Godwin any higher, though, because you have to wonder how the targets in Tampa will be divided among him, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and everyone else involved in Bruce Arians’ offense.
Golladay racked up 1,190 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns last year even though he had Jeff Driskel and David Blough throwing dying quails at him for half the season after Matthew Stafford was injured. His 2020 numbers will be even better if Stafford suits up for 16 games.
Smith-Schuster has a lot to prove coming off his injury-riddled 2019 campaign. He still has to show that he can post big numbers when Antonio Brown is not on the opposite side of the field distracting defenders.
Now that Brandin Cooks has been traded to Houston, Kupp’s targets should increase and so should his role in the Rams passing attack. Scattershot Jared Goff might not throw the prettiest passes, but they always seem to find Kupp’s sticky hands when they head his way.
A.J. Brown has four 100-yard games and five touchdowns over the final half-dozen games of the regular season, but he was shut down in the playoffs (five catches for 64 in three contests). Which Brown will fantasy players get in 2020? He deserves his Tier 2 ranking, but do not be surprised if he ends up as a Tier 1.
Both Sutton and Chark are young, exciting receivers who had breakout years in 2019 and have tremendous upsides. That said, they are in Tier 3 and not Tier 2 because they do not have proven track records and neither do the quarterbacks that will be throwing to them this season.
Keenan Allen was Philip Rivers’ top target and thanks to the veteran quarterback was able to post three consecutive seasons of at least 97 catches, 1190 yards and six touchdowns. Now that Rivers is in Indianapolis and Allen is stuck with either rookie Justin Herbert or mediocre veteran Tyrod Taylor, look for Allen’s numbers to trail off.
Not only is DeVante Parker coming off a career year that saw him rack up 1202 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, he has less competition for targets now that No. 3 and No. 4 receivers Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson have opted out of the upcoming season. He is the one to watch out of the Tier 3 group.
Hilton is coming off a season where he missed a career-high six games and averaged a career-low 11.1 yards per catch, plus he is 30 and will turn 31 in November. He has also never scored eight touchdowns in a season, which is a mild surprise considering how successful he has been. But since he has five 1,000-yard seasons to his credit and Philip Rivers coming in as his QB, Hilton deserves a spot in this tier rather than a tier or two below.
Stefon Diggs is one of the most explosive receivers in the business, is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard years in Minnesota and is escaping Adam Thielen’s shadow now that he is in Buffalo. But will Diggs be able to escape Buffalo’s winter weather in December when Mother Nature is causing him more headaches than sticky cornerbacks? Switching offenses will not be a fantasy upgrade for Diggs, either.
McLaurin struggled at first when franchise quarterback Dwayne Haskins took over the offense in Washington, but the pair’s chemistry improved at the end of the season when McLaurin piled up 16 receptions for 273 yards and two touchdowns over his last three contests. Washington might not have a team name, but they have an undeniable No. 1 WR.
Fantasy players cannot afford to forget about A.J. Green. Sure, he cannot be ranked higher since he missed all of 2019 due to injury and was banged-up the year before, too. But Green was a top-five fantasy receiver before his injuries and has No. 1 pick overall Joe Burrow as his battery mate. If Green drinks his milk, takes his vitamins and stays healthy, his fantasy value will be a couple tiers higher than where it is now.
Edelman’s fantasy value will be decimated by the departure of longtime passing partner Tom Brady. His new quarterback and passing partner, Cam Newton, has not done his wideouts any fantasy favors in recent years. No Carolina WR topped the 1,000-yard mark when Newton was at the helm between 2015 and 2018.
Marquise Brown has the makings of being the next DeSean Jackson. He is going to be a hit-or-miss fantasy receiver who could hit a home run or two in a game and give fantasy owners 150 yards and two touchdowns one week, then be held to two catches for 30 yards the next. He will just not be targeted enough to be a top-tier fantasy WR because of Baltimore’s run-first offense. Hollywood was not targeted more than seven times in any of last 11 regular-season games last year.
Brandin Cooks was a money-in-the-bank fantasy producer between 2015 and 2018, breaking the 1,000-yard barrier with three different teams during those glory years. Of course, he was part of three tremendous offenses and benefitted greatly from the schemes and quarterbacks in those situations. Now Cooks will be part of a reshuffled receiver corps in Houston and is one concussion away from possibly having from having his career ended, so those risks keep him from reaching Tier 4 status right now.
Mike Williams is dealing with a sprained shoulder, which could impact his availability for Week 1. Nagging injuries have hampered him at times throughout his young career, and while his 20.4 YPC in 2019 was quite impressive, finding the end zone only two times after 10 scores in 2018 was not.
The door is wide open for Will Fuller to make a huge fantasy impact in Houston now that Hopkins has been dealt away, but will his harmed hamstrings and knobby knees allow him to? Fuller has missed 22 games during his four-year career and is too risky to rank any higher.
Emmanuel Sanders finds himself on his third team in less than a calendar year. Signing with the Saints might sound like it makes fantasy sense on paper, but No. 2 receivers never post quality numbers in New Orleans with Michael Thomas, tight end Jared Cook and top tailback Alvin Kamara all higher on the target totem pole.
CeeDee Lamb is a greyhound and would be ranked a tier or two higher if he was not drafted by Dallas. He might have a hard time finding consistent targets with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already entrenched as the top two receivers in “Big D.”
Golden Tate’s 2019 numbers were skewed by a drug suspension that cost him the first month of the season. He would have finished with 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns over a full season if he was around all 16 weeks. Keep that in mind when ranking your receivers on your cheat sheet.
This year that other talented young receivers who might have their fantasy values stunted by issues beyond their control. Christian Kirk is on the verge of becoming a star, but now Nuk is in Arizona to assume the No. 1 WR role and take most of the targets.
Jerry Jeudy will be a future star in Denver, but what kind of quarterback play can he expect?
Perriman shows flashes of brilliance in limited time with Tampa Bay towards the end of last year, but can he be consistent and injury-free as a member of the New York Jets offense?
Tier 7 and Below
Diontae Johnson is an intriguing late-round option as long as Ben Roethlisberger does not suffer another season-ending injury.
Give Watkins credit for sticking with Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes for at least one more season even though he had to take a pay cut. Winning means more to him than putting up fantastic stats. That makes him a great guy but not the best fantasy receiver to hang your helmet on.
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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.