Time now to take a look at the wide receiver position. It was only a few years ago that we drafted players like Antonio Brown with the first overall pick in fantasy because of his consistent production. And while I give you a moment to let that sink in, the receiver position is still valued because of the pass-happy nature of the NFL. It does mean there is better opportunity to grab top-line talent later on in drafts.
Let's start here with some of the best draft values in 2020.
Best wide receiver values
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
It seems like everyone has been in on this one. Most fantasy enthusiasts who missed on Chris Godwin are trying to get out in front of this one. It's like missing out on a fad and trying to get in on the next thing. Like if you're just now starting to get into planking. And I'll be honest, it always scares me when the entire fantasy community comes together to hype a player. It's like when everybody started giving out positive reviews for Justice League, because it just seemed like something was amiss. But I'm not overly concerned about Ridley because of the sheer volume available in Atlanta's passing game. The Falcons led the NFL in passes attempted last year (42.8 per game). And Ridley was amazing when Austin Hooper was out of the lineup, averaging 22.5 fantasy points per game in his absence. I bring this up because Austin Hooper is in Cleveland. What, maybe you didn't already know?
Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans
Be prepared. Your friends are going to make fun of you when you draft Fuller. They will make jokes about his availability. But you need to be undaunted. It's like when you started drinking Truly and all of your friends mocked you. Who was laughing later that afternoon when they were all begging you for one of those refreshing drinks? That's right, YOU! But DeAndre Hopkins is gone, meaning there is a significant number of targets available this year (Hopkins ranked fifth in the NFL with 150 targets last year). Fuller has scored at least 21 points in five of the eight games where he's had at least eight targets. Give him a chance and he can win a league for you.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
I've been grabbing more shares of Metcalf here in his second season, even drafting him over Tyler Lockett in some spots. Which seems crazy. The reason I love Metcalf this year is that he led the NFL in end zone targets in 2019 (16). He scored at least 11 fantasy points in 11 games last year. And the Seahawks were fourth in the NFL with 31 touchdown passes last year. And if you can put aside the corniness of Russell Wilson's social media videos, the better off you will be.
Other players I like this year include: Jarvis Landry, who had at least 10 fantasy points in 12 games last season. His 20 red zone targets were the third-highest total in the league. … Marvin Jones Jr. is another receiver I've targeted. He had eight red zone touchdowns last year, the highest total in the league despite playing in just 13 games.
Worst wide receiver values
Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
I quote from one of the greatest philosophers of our time -- Katy Perry -- who once said, "you're hot then you're cold. You're yes then you're no. You're in then you're out." And I'm going to have to leave you off my draft board. Your ADP is way too high for the production. Cooper had four games with 100-plus receiving yards from Weeks 1-10. He had no such games from Week 11-17, right in the heart of the fantasy playoffs when we needed you the most. The Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb. And while Cooper said there is room for three 1,000-yard receivers, I just don't see it from this offense. (Especially since it's Blake Jarwin season), so I'm out.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
I love Keenan Allen. He's one of the best receivers in the game. It's not him. It's his quarterback. Tyrod Taylor has topped 300 passing yards once in 45 career starts. He's had three-plus touchdowns in six of those games. The Chargers have said they have faith in Tyrod. But they drafted Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick. If you like the quarterback so much, why are you drafting his replacement? That's made me pass on Allen given his current ADP of the fourth round. I'd take Terry McLaurin, Courtland Sutton or Marquise "Hollywood" Brown over him.
Some other receivers with worse value include: Tyler Boyd. I would love Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense in a year with a full preseason. Then you are starting to see more receivers added to the mix for the Bengals with Tee Higgins drafted in the second round and the return of A.J. Green (who I'm also avoiding). Plus, Boyd has scored five touchdowns or fewer in three of four seasons. … DeVante Parker also concerns me. Did he really break out last year, or was it the absence of Preston Williams? I want to believe in Parker because he has immense talent. But I can't seem to pull the trigger in the fifth round.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Too many people are sleeping on DJ with the return of Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers led the NFL in pass attempts in 2018 with Big Ben at quarterback. Diontae led all 2019 rookies with 59 receptions, while he led the Steelers in receiving touchdowns (five) and targets (92). He also averaged 3.6 yards of separation per target last year, the most among receivers with at least 50 targets. He's going to break out this year.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
I know it's really easy to see Renfrow as the Julian Edelman of the Raiders. And yeah, that's pretty much all that I have. Just kidding. But Renfrow was second-to-last in air-yards-per-target last year. But that doesn't matter much in the Raiders' scheme. With Henry Ruggs III brought in to stretch the field, I see more opportunities for Renfrow to thrive in the slot and be a PPR monster this year.
UPDATE: As I wrote this, Raiders OC Greg Olson said Ruggs will start in the slot this season. And well, all we can do now is put on a brave face. I don't mind taking Renfrow in the latter rounds. Like rounds 14-15. Because he showed ability last year. Had great chemistry with Derek Carr. And he's one of those players who feel like will always find a way to survive and thrive. He's a great flier at the end of drafts. But I would move Ruggs up your draft boards for this season.
Some other sleeper receivers: I mentioned Preston Williams earlier. He led the Dolphins in targets (60), receptions (32), receiving yards (428) and air yards (861) from Weeks 1-9 before his season-ending ACL. Monitor his health in camp. But a number of Dolphins have opted out already. … Marquise Brown. He led the Ravens in targets. And being the top-targeted player on the Ravens is a lot like owning the most jackets while living on the equator. But I'm taking a shot on Brown this year.