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Impact Rookie Wide Receivers (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Jul 8, 2020

Every year, we see rookie WRs make an impact when it comes to fantasy football. There’s an extreme benefit to finding these players, because their ADP (Average Draft Position) is extremely low due to the unknowns surrounding them. Identifying these players ahead of time and selecting them late in your drafts is paramount to building a championship roster.

For example, there were a few players last year that propelled rosters to a championship run based on where you able to get them in your draft.

(2019 ADP Data courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator)

D.K. Metcalf was going in the 12th round last year, but he finished the season as the WR32 and had some big performances. Terry McLaurin wasn’t even being drafted in the first 15 rounds of most mock drafts, but he ended up finishing the season as the WR28 and was on fire to begin the year.

Perhaps the biggest draft “hit” over the past several years though was AJ Brown. After going essentially un-drafted last year, Brown was a fantasy force and finished as the WR15.

Rookie WRs are adjusting to today’s NFL quicker than ever before and there’s value to be had in redraft leagues if you’re willing to take the chance. With that in mind, let’s look at a few wide receivers from the 2020 rookie class that could emerge and solidify themselves as steady contributors for your fantasy football roster this season.

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(Honorable Mentions: Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Denzel Mims, Brandon Aiyuk)

Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles
Current ADP: WR56
My Ranking: WR62

Reagor was selected No. 21 overall by the Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s a speed demon on the field and is able to make contested catches look easy for someone of his size. He has a phenomenal opportunity this season though with the uncertainty surrounding Alshon Jeffery and the rest of the Eagles receiving options. Jeffery is currently recovering from Lisfranc surgery and there is reportedly no timetable for his return. Additionally, DeSean Jackson made some very controversial comments on social media the other day and his standing with the organization may be in question. If Jackson is no longer with the team week one of the NFL season, Reagor’s target totals could skyrocket. While I’m not projecting that just yet, which is why his ranking is below the current ADP, he does have upside at that draft spot right now.


Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Current ADP: WR54
My Ranking: WR41

Jefferson is an incredibly smooth route-runner and is one of the more polished receivers coming out of this year’s draft class. He was selected by the Minnesota Vikings at No. 22 overall to be the Stefon Diggs replacement in this offense. He’s going to fit right in and should become a factor almost immediately. He’s easily going to be second on this team in targets, but comes with incredible upside if we see Adam Thielen struggle with injuries again this year. As a WR4/WR5 on your roster, I don’t think you can go wrong selecting the talented wideout from LSU.


Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts
Current ADP: WR62
My Ranking: WR28

Pittman fell into arguably the best landing spot for immediate fantasy impact. T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell are Pittman’s main competition for targets and Rivers has shown an affinity to lock onto big receivers downfield. Pittman is a monster at all three levels of the field and he’s going to quickly develop into one of the game’s finer receivers. He’s a diverse route-runner with incredible body control for a player of his size and has incredible receiving ability to go along with it. If you’re looking for this year’s version of AJ Brown, look no further than Pittman in Indianapolis.


Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens
Current ADP: N/A
My Ranking: WR58

According to PFF, the Ravens scored a total of 19 touchdowns last season to players lined up in the slot. While Mark Andrews moved into the slot regularly, Willie Snead had a total of 5 receiving TDs last year. Duvernay is one of the most explosive receivers in this year’s draft class and he’s immensely more talented than Snead. Last season, Duvernay finished with 106 receptions at Texas and only had one drop. He’s a threat after the catch and is set to explode in this Ravens offense.


Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders
Current ADP: WR52
My Ranking: WR43

Ruggs is going to step onto the field week one and instantly be one of the league’s most explosive wide receivers. He’s electric with or without the ball in his hands and is more established as a complete wide receiver than he gets credit for sometimes. Ruggs has a lot more competition for targets in his offense than other guys on this list, but he’s still going to be a fine FLEX option for you that could single-handedly win you a matchup with one big play.



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Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.

 

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