The Lowdown – Wide receivers

Saints receiver Michael Thomas hauled in nine touchdowns in 2019.

Twenty-five wide receivers had 1,000 or more yards receiving in the 2019 season. 

Twenty-five. 

That’s up seven from 2019. It’s almost double the total of 13 wide receivers with 1,000 plus yards in 2018. 

Only 15 running backs reached 1,000 yards rushing in 2019. Three tight ends hit 1,000 yards receiving. So did one running back – Christian McCaffrey. 

So… lots of wide receivers are putting up lots of big numbers. 

What does that mean for a fantasy team on draft day? 

It means there’s no reason to panic if you don’t get one of the top several wide receivers early on. In fact, showing great patience at wide receiver could payoff in a very big way for your team. There’s just an abundance of very good talent at the position 

Yes, that goes against the trendy thinking that you should show great patience at running back. Wait, wait, wait, because you can always get a back. Well, maybe. 

But The Czar’s thought is… if you miss out on Michael Thomas, Davonte Adams, or a select few other WRs in your first or second round…. ok…. don’t freak… and start drafting WR who are lower on your board. Patience grasshopper!!! 

Instead… look for the primo running backs who are still out there. Take your first, second or third choice at quarterback. Put top tier talent at other spots. Then loop back, pick up three or four intriguing WRs, and feel dang good about your fine work. 

A PPR league might make you think that this strategy won’t fly, but we think not. Twenty-two wide receivers had 70+ receptions in 2019, and 19 of those 22 had 1,000 yards receiving. Lots of wide receivers. Lots of big numbers. 

WIDE RECEIVER THOUGHTS… 

There were six wide receivers taken in the 1st round of the 2020 draft. Seven more were drafted in the 2nd round, five more in the 3rd and 4th rounds. It’s considered a very talented wide receiver class that could have a big impact sooner rather than later. We’re betting on the later. 

With Covid-19 forcing the NFL to adjust on the fly and change-up training camps and the preseason in a huge way, it will be a real challenge to get the young WRs up to speed quickly. Some will get there and have good rookie seasons, but we’re guessing that for most, it will take a bit longer than usual. 

There’s a bigger learning curve at wide receiver that there is at running back. With that in mind, if you’re in a seasonal league, don’t be afraid to load up on veteran wide receivers. Guys who have produced at the NFL. They’ll be up to speed from day one. The rookies will get there eventually, so if you’re in a dynasty league, get after them. But for the 2020 fantasy season? The Czar likes his veterans. 

There are soooo many really good, young veteran wide receivers who should make you drool on draft day. Guys who just might be ready to have career seasons. JuJu Smith-Schuster should be tremendous again. Amari Cooper has arrived. Cooper Kupp’s health is fine and his game is even better. Those guys are obvious – that’s why they’re all in Tier 2 of our rankings. Keep an eye on the guys in Tiers 4 and 5. You could do a lot worse than ending up with several of them on your team — some young guys who fit the career season thought, and veterans who are exactly the types of producers we mentioned earlier.