- JuJu Smith Schuster drops to 13 amid experiences that he’s not standing out within the Steelers’ coaching camp, plus the chance that different Pittsburgh pass-catchers (comparable to Diontae Johnson, now at 41) eat into his goal share.
- Miami’s DeVante Parker slips behind Tyler Lockett and D.Okay. Metcalf at 23.
- Will Fuller and his big-play skill for the Texans strikes as much as 29.
- A powerful displaying in Giants camps for Sterling Shepard pushes him to 37.
- A hamstring injury for the Bengals’ A.J. Green is a reminder of his fragility and knocks him all the way down to 38.
- Preston Williams’s return from ACL surgical procedure appears to be going so properly he vaults to 43.
- Shoulder accidents for the Chargers’ Mike Williams and the Eagles’ Jalen Reagor that seem set to sideline them for the beginning of the season have them tumbling to 54 and 55, respectively.
Keep in thoughts that issues can and can proceed to vary quickly, notably within the occasion of accidents, new developments with the novel coronavirus pandemic and/or personnel strikes. Thus I’ve embedded my general rankings on the backside, and they’ll replace regularly between now and the beginning of the common season.
Note that I’m defaulting to half-PPR scoring, so be happy to regulate gamers up or down a bit for normal or full-PPR codecs.
1. Michael Thomas, Saints (bye week: 6)
Thomas might not be the sexiest first-round decide, however he’s arguably the most secure. The favourite goal of Drew Brees since his rookie 12 months in 2016, Thomas has been locked in together with his future Hall of Fame QB to the tune of 274 receptions over the previous two seasons, together with an NFL-record 149 final 12 months, and a ridiculous 82.5 catch proportion on 332 targets over that span.
2. Davante Adams, Packers (5)
Second solely to Thomas final season in targets per sport, Adams may simply ascend to the highest in that class this season, given the paucity of established choices for Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. Adams can’t lay declare to being an ironman (he performed simply 12 video games final 12 months), or to having essentially the most eye-popping expertise, however he has a primacy in his staff’s passing sport that few can match.
3. Julio Jones, Falcons (10)
Metronomic, elite manufacturing, thy identify is Julio Jones. The man mainly by no means fails to place up top-10 numbers, and it’s been extra love top-five over the previous half-decade. Sure, he’s 31 and has the beaten-up physique components to flash for it, however Jones has solely missed 4 video games since 2014. One of those years he would possibly even rating a bunch of touchdowns.
4. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (10)
The prime WR in half-PPR codecs two years in the past, Hill will seemingly by no means get the targets to which others of his ilk have grow to be accustomed, however he makes up for it by being so harmful with the targets he does obtain. Oh, and it doesn’t damage that these passes are coming from Patrick Mahomes.
5. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals (8)
There’s so much to love about Arizona’s offense, and Hopkins ought to get his after transferring from Houston. But Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray can’t be thought-about the passing equal of Deshaun Watson simply but, and we are able to’t make certain Hopkins will command the identical goal share he did with the Texans. Switching groups throughout this most uncommon of offseasons could be sufficient to take a number of extra rating spots from a lesser WR, however “Nuk” deserves the advantage of the doubt.
6. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (13)
With Rob Gronkowski following Tom Brady to Tampa Bay, the Bucs will typically be in two-TE units that push Godwin out of the slot. That’s the dangerous information. The excellent news is that Godwin received a QB improve and will discover himself open extra typically, taking an already very environment friendly WR to a different degree.
7. Kenny Golladay, Lions (5)
Golladay broke out in 2018, his second season, after which constructed on that in 2019, establishing himself as one of many league’s finest deep threats (third within the NFL at 18.Three yards per catch) and touchdown-makers (an NFL-leading 11 receiving scores). Perhaps his most spectacular accomplishment got here after QB Matthew Stafford was misplaced for the second half of Detroit’s season, when Golladay managed to put up strong numbers whereas catching passes from David Blough and Jeff Driskel.
8. Allen Robinson, Bears (11)
His 154 targets trailed solely Thomas and Jones, however missing the quarterbacking abilities of Brees or Matt Ryan, Robinson submitted a stat line of 98 catches, 1,147 yards and 7 touchdowns that would have been a lot extra. With apologies to Ted Ginn, Chicago didn’t add anybody who figures to take a lot of these targets away. The Bears additionally traded for Nick Foles, offering hope that Robinson can profit from an enchancment at QB even when Mitchell Trubisky continues to battle.
9. Mike Evans, Buccaneers (13)
If anybody in Tampa Bay is more likely to undergo from the swap to the cautious Brady from the aggressive-to-the-point-of-recklessness Jameis Winston, it’s Evans, who thrives on downfield and jump-ball performs. That stated, some knowledge factors counsel the 43-year-old Brady can nonetheless be efficient when he chooses to go deep, and after missing for a home-run menace because the Randy Moss period led to New England, Brady might be licking his chops on the prospect of difficult secondaries with this perennial 1,000-yard receiver.
10. D.J. Moore, Panthers (13)
Moore nonetheless feels love the darling of the fantasy hipster scene, however there’s so much for everybody to love about his expertise and state of affairs. After catching 87 passes for 1,175 yards final season, largely from Kyle Allen with a tiny Will Grier (and pre-injury Cam Newton) blended in, Moore is ready to thrive with new arrival Teddy Bridgewater, in an offensive scheme that helped Joe Burrow rewrite the NCAA report e-book at LSU.
11. Adam Thielen, Vikings (7)
Things are trying significantly better for Thielen than in 2019, and never solely as a result of he needs to be long gone a hamstring harm that restricted him to simply 418 yards in 10 video games. Stefon Diggs and his hefty goal share are off to Buffalo, leaving tiny in the best way of Thielen trying extra love his 2017-18 self, when he averaged a stat line of 102 catches, 1,325 yards and 7 TDs.
12. Amari Cooper, Cowboys (10)
Sure, Dallas spent the 17th general decide so as to add extremely regarded CeeDee Lamb to a WR corps that already features a 1,100-yard receiver in Michael Gallup, that means Cooper might be much more up-and-down than typical this 12 months. The optimistic view is that the Cowboys needs to be extra explosive than ever underneath QB Dak Prescott, which helps Cooper and everybody else. Also, Lamb may take a lot of his targets from the 83 apiece vacated by Randall Cobb and Jason Witten.
13. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (8)
Ben Roethlisberger was misplaced after two video games final 12 months and the Pittsburgh QB took his staff’s offensive competence with him, so it makes extra sense to have a look at Smith-Schuster’s 2018 season. That’s when he and Roethlisberger — who’s again and claims to be in full well being — related 111 instances on a whopping 166 targets for 1,426 yards and 7 touchdowns, numbers that even with a drop-off would nonetheless depart Smith-Schuster as a prime WR.
14. Odell Beckham Jr., Browns (9)
Considering how brilliantly Beckham’s first three seasons went, his subsequent three had been disappointing, and he has some work to do to regain his spot among the many elite. It’s not that onerous to see it taking place, assuming Beckham can keep wholesome and, making a maybe safer assumption, that Cleveland’s head-coaching swap from Freddie Kitchens to Kevin Stefanski leads to a extra useful offense.
15. Calvin Ridley, Falcons (10)
Ridley doesn’t must displace Julio Jones in Atlanta’s pecking order to justify his rating, but it surely’s good to know that state of affairs is amongst his vary of outcomes. As it’s, the 2018 first-round decide noticed his catches and yards soar up after the Falcons traded away Mohamed Sanu final October, and the one main change within the receiving corps this offseason was the substitute of TE Austin Hooper with the comparatively unproven Hayden Hurst.
16. A.J. Brown, Titans (7)
Can I curiosity you in a 6-foot, 226-pound 23-year-old who, as a rookie, led the NFL in yards per goal and yards after the catch per goal, and completed a really shut second in yards per reception? The solely catch, because it had been, for Brown is that he had simply 52 receptions on 84 targets, and with Tennessee preferring to grind out opponents on the bottom, these numbers might not rise very a lot in his sophomore season.
17. D.J. Chark, Jaguars (7)
A forgotten man after doing subsequent to nothing as a rookie for a Jacksonville franchise that doesn’t generate a whole lot of nationwide consideration, Chark greater than made a reputation for himself final 12 months by ending 16th at his place. With unusual measurement (6-4) and pace (4.34 40 on the NFL mix), Chark suits the mould of a WR1, and with the woeful Jaguars anticipated to be taking part in from behind in most of their video games, he needs to be very busy.
18. Robert Woods, Rams (9)
Perhaps if Woods, who has simply 25 receiving touchdowns in seven NFL seasons, received ultimately zone extra typically he could be perceived as a tiny extra thrilling. What he does do is play virtually each snap (95% and 89% for the Rams up to now two seasons) and get open, giving his drafters a really secure shot at an 88-catch, 1,150-yard, four-touchdown kind of season.
19. Cooper Kupp, Rams (9)
As with Godwin, Kupp won’t discover himself taking part in from the slot in fairly so many three-WR units this season, however the departure of Brandin Cooks all however ensures he’ll stay on the sphere in most conditions. Unlike his teammate Woods, Kupp has proven a nostril for the top zone (21 touchdowns in 39 profession video games), and he may get much more possibilities to attain now that the Rams have jettisoned operating again Todd Gurley.
20. Terry McLaurin, Washington (8)
McLaurin’s breakout rookie season might have been a shock, however this 12 months it might be one thing of a shock if he stays wholesome and doesn’t put up huge numbers. Although Washington can hope for the same emergence from certainly one of its different barely legal pass-catchers (Steven Sims Jr., Antonio Gibson or Antonio Gandy-Golden), the cabinet seems pretty naked for fantasy functions.
21. Tyler Lockett, and 22. D.Okay. Metcalf, Seahawks (6)
Let’s simply go forward and mix Lockett and Metcalf, so carefully paired on the sphere and in my rankings, right into a single blurb. Part of what makes them such an intriguing duo is that they’re opposites in type, with the smaller (5-10, 182), shiftier Lockett utilizing his slot routes to take quite a lot of paths to success, whereas Metcalf, ridiculously huge (6-4, 230) and quick (4.33 40 time) however infamously poor in agility tests, places his bodily benefits to good use on slants and go patterns.
Despite his stature, Lockett truly received essentially the most red-zone targets of any NFL participant final 12 months, though one has to marvel if that sort of utilization will proceed with the arrival of veteran TE Greg Olsen and the anticipated return from harm of TE Will Dissly. Even if Lockett loses targets close to the top zone, each he and Metcalf ought to profit from being main choices in a passing assault that’s all the time exceptionally environment friendly underneath QB Russell Wilson.
23. Courtland Sutton, Broncos (8)
It’s nice that Denver is making an attempt to arrange barely legal QB Drew Lock for achievement by buying so many extra weapons, together with veteran RB Melvin Gordon, high-round rookie WRs Jerry Jeudy and Okay.J. Hamler, plus rookie TE Albert Okwuegbunam. It won’t be such a favor to Sutton, who blossomed in 2019 however may discover his 124 targets arduous to copy on a run-heavy staff that now has a number of extra mouths to feed, together with proficient TE Noah Fant, the Broncos’ first-round decide a 12 months in the past.
24. DeVante Parker, Dolphins (11)
Some gamers take longer to hit their stride than others, and it in all probability didn’t assist Parker that after Miami made him the 14th decide within the 2015 draft, it charged coaches Joe Philbin and Adam Gase with nurturing the primary 4 years of his growth. In any occasion, Parker lastly delivered on his promise in 2019, and the Dolphins desperately want him to once more present No. 1 WR manufacturing, contemplating their No. 2, Preston Williams, is coming back from an ACL tear and veterans Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns have opted out.
25. Keenan Allen, Chargers (10)
26. Marquise Brown, Ravens (8)
27. T.Y. Hilton, Colts (7)
28. Stefon Diggs, Bills (11)
29. Will Fuller, Texans (8)
30. Jarvis Landry, Browns (9)
31. Tyler Boyd, Bengals (9)
32. Michael Gallup, Cowboys (10)
33. Marvin Jones, Lions (5)
34. Julian Edelman, Patriots (6)
35. Brandin Cooks, Texans (8)
36. Jamison Crowder, Jets (11)
37. Sterling Shepard, Giants (11)
38. A.J. Green, Bengals (9)
39. Christian Kirk, Cardinals (8)
40. John Brown, Bills (11)
41. Diontae Johnson, Steelers (8)
42. Deebo Samuel, 49ers (11)
43. Preston Williams, Dolphins (11)
44. Anthony Miller, Bears (11)
45. CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (10)
46. Emmanuel Sanders, Saints (6)
47. Darius Slayton, Giants (11)
48. Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (8)
49. Henry Ruggs III, Raiders (6)
50. DeSean Jackson, Eagles (9)
51. Mecole Hardman, Chiefs (10)
52. Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (11)
53. Laviska Shenault Jr., Jaguars (7)
54. Golden Tate, Giants (11)
55. Allen Lazard, Packers (5)
56. Mike Williams, Chargers (10)
57. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs (10)
58. Parris Campbell, Colts (7)
59. Robby Anderson, Panthers (13)
60. Jalen Reagor, Eagles (9)