5 Wide Receivers to Avoid (2020 Fantasy Football)
Our writers are here to provide an early look a the wide receivers they are currently avoiding based on their Expert Consensus Ranking.
Q: Which wide receiver are you least likely to draft at their current Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR)?
DeVante Parker (MIA)
DeVante Parker is going to need to show me more than a half of a good year for me to consider taking him as more than a WR3. Currently ranked as WR17, it seems like many expect his late-2019 momentum to carry into the 2020 season. On one hand, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be returning to the Miami Dolphins this year. Parker did most of his damage with Fitzpatrick under center, but who knows how long Fitzpatrick will last as the team’s starter?
All indications point to the Dolphins drafting a rookie quarterback, who may get handed the starting role midway through the season if Fitzpatrick doesn’t keep them competitive. I also expect the running game to get a boost by way of drafting a rookie running back or bringing in a veteran free agent. It wouldn’t take much for Miami’s rushing attack to get better than last year’s as they averaged a paltry 72.2 rushing yards per game 2019. There’s certainly plenty of room for improvement and to take opportunities away from Miami pass catchers.
Similarly, Miami threw the ball on nearly 66 percent of plays last year, the second-highest rate in the league. Even if that dips just below 60 percent, that could mean another 10-15 fewer targets for Parker. Finally, last year was the first time that Parker played in all 16 games as he’s dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career.
– Sam Hoppen (@SamHoppen)
No doubt, DeVante Parker seems poised to disappoint owners in 2020. Arguably all of Parker’s rare fifth-year “breakout” can be attributed to three things: Ryan Fitzpatrick playing YOLO football, the Dolphins having zero rushing attack, and Preston Williams getting hurt. Unless those exact circumstances repeat, Parker will not live up to expectations in 2020.
DeVante Parker averaged 6.5 targets, 3.5 catches, 50 yards, and .5 TDs in the eight games Preston Williams played, good for 11.5 PPR points per game (WR44). He was little more than a deep threat used to stretch the field. However, Parker averaged 9.5 targets, 5.5 catches, 100 yards, and .625 TDs in the eight games Preston Williams did not play, good for 19.25 PPR points per game (WR3). Also, consider the fact that while both receivers were healthy, Williams’ targets and stats (32-428-3) outpaced Parker’s (28-400-4).
The Dolphins should not only have Williams back healthy this season, but they will almost certainly have a stronger rushing attack now that Jordan Howard has been signed. Plus, a rookie rusher figures to be added through the draft; D’Andre Swift has been heavily mocked to Miami. It’s also very likely the team brings in more pass catchers to build their receiving depth. Parker won’t disappear, but he’s far more of a WR3 despite the fact he’s being erroneously ranked by the industry as a mid-range WR2.
– Paul Ghiglieri (@FantasyGhigs)
Allen Robinson (CHI)
Allen Robinson is currently being ranked as the 12th-best wide receiver and 29th player overall according to ECR, meaning he would be taken in the middle of the third round in 12-team leagues. Yet, I have reservations that Robinson can sustain his production next year. I am concerned with Robinson’s history, as he has only surpassed 900 receiving yards twice in his six-year career. He’s a talented receiver, but Chicago will assuredly acquire additional receivers throughout the offseason, which could cause Robinson to see a significant dip from his career-high 154 targets.
If he loses out on volume, I don’t believe he could make up for it in efficiency, as he ranked 69th among wide receivers in yards per reception. Robinson also didn’t help himself get open when Trubisky threw him the ball, only creating an average target separation of 1.22 yards, which ranked 93rd among wideouts according to Player Profiler. He was fortunate to make a large number of contested catches (ranking 5th among wide receivers), which is an area of the receiving game that is prime for regression.
Like we saw from Marvin Jones between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Robinson may not be so lucky to come down with the 50/50 balls next year. If so, his production will suffer from being unable to create chunk plays. I am staying away from Robinson at his current rank; I’d much rather draft a receiver with a better quarterback who has an easier time getting open. I would prefer not to spend such a high pick on a risky asset that is extremely target-dependent.
– Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)
Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)
OBJ was one of the most hyped additions last offseason, as the Browns gave up a first and second-round pick and S Jabrill Peppers to acquire him from the New York Giants. The payoff was only 74 receptions on 133 targets for 1,035 yards receiving and four touchdowns. He was the 31st ranked fantasy wide receiver and he had eight games with less than 60 yards receiving and 12 games where he failed to find the endzone. That is staggering when you consider that Beckham was the 15th most targeted player in the NFL.
There could be some hope that OBJ bounces back with a new coaching staff, Freddie Kitchens was not a good fit as the head coach and QB Baker Mayfield regressed in his second year. He could definitely rebound with a new head coach and a new offense. There are still questions about Mayfield’s ability to make the jump to elite quarterback in his third year and at the 11th wide receiver ranking, there is not much room for OBJ to outperform his current ADP.
I would much rather take a player with upside in a better quarterback situation than a player that has little to no upside and a ton of question marks on a dysfunctional franchise. I just do not think OBJ will be on the board by the time I consider him a worthwhile risk and I do see myself drafting him at his current rank.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)
Keenan Allen (LAC)
Allen is the WR13 in Fantasy Pros consensus rankings, but now that Philip Rivers is headed to Indianapolis, that ranking will probably drop. Listen, no one is more excited than I am to see Tyrod Taylor reclaim an NFL offense… but I just don’t see his gameplay translating to much success for Keenan Allen this season. In his three years as the starter in Buffalo, Taylor’s receiving leaders were Sammy Watkins (60-1047-7), Charles Clay (57-552-4), and LeSean McCoy (59-448-2). Woof.
While your knee-jerk reaction might be to blame these bad numbers on “bad” Bills teams — you simply can’t because that just isn’t true (go check the stats and standings). Regardless of new schemes or settings, Taylor’s going to do what he always does; he’s going to check down and scramble more than he’s going to connect downfield. Is that the sort of quarterback you want for your low-end WR1 or high-end WR2? No.
Sure, Allen could have some big games here and there, but his floor is so much lower now than it ever was with Rivers, period. I’d much rather draft other guys in Allen’s range, such as Courtland Sutton (WR14), JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR16), Cooper Kupp (WR18), and Stefon Diggs (WR19) to name a few — I guarantee they all have better fantasy seasons than Keenan Allen does in 2020.
– Jim Colombo (@WideRightNBlue)
DeAndre Hopkins (ARI)
With the recent news of DeAndre Hopkins being traded to the Arizona Cardinals, many are ecstatic about him playing alongside Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk with Kyler Murray under center. I am excited as well but with regards to fantasy scoring, I am not as optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, Hopkins is still a stud and I believe he will finish as a top-12 receiver. However, I just don’t see him ending up as the second-best fantasy wide receiver in 2020 like his ADP suggests.
Hopkins has only been a top-two fantasy wide receiver twice in his career and Kingsbury likes to spread the ball around. Larry Fitzgerald led the way in 2019 with 75 receptions, which was tied for 25th most. Kirk was just behind with 68 (35th most) while only playing 13 games. Fitz is on the decline but is still capable, Kirk is on the rise heading into his third season. And don’t forget Andy Isabella. The Cardinals didn’t pick him in the second-round for nothing.
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)