9 High-Floor Wide Receivers (2020 Fantasy Football)
In my previous edition of High-Floor Fantasy Players, I discussed potential high-floor running back options that you could target if you opted to neglect the position in the early rounds of the draft. Now, we can talk about the flip-side of the coin: high-floor wideouts to draft when spending early capital on running backs.
The wideout position is a tad easier to predict regarding their baseline of points because their purpose on the field is more defined. You have the outside, possession receivers who are big-bodied, jump-ball guys, the outside, deep-threats who use their speed to take the top off of the defense, and the inside, slot receivers who run the short routes and thrive on yards after the catch. If you want a comfortable floor at the position, the possession and slot receivers are your best bet.
Let’s run through some of my favorite high-floor wide receivers that I am confident you can plug into your lineup with the relative certainty that they’ll average double-digit points on a weekly basis.
Robert Woods (LAR): ADP WR23
I’ve sung the praises for Robert Woods all offseason, and yet he is still continually undervalued. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Woods has been a model of consistency and outproduced expectations time and time again. Woods has averaged 15.5 PPR points per game during his time in L.A. and has fantasy finishes of WR32, WR14, and WR11 over the past three years. He’s also been a target-hog as the intermediate route runner for Jared Goff, seeing over 130 targets in each of the past two years.
Despite only catching two touchdowns last season, which is bound for positive regression, Woods was dominant in PPR formats and a league-winner in December. Over the last five weeks of the season, Woods averaged over 11 targets per game and finished as the PPR WR5. On targets alone, Woods should provide a safe enough floor for you to roll him out in your lineup each and every week.
Woods is currently going in the back of the fourth round and has an average draft price of WR19. He has yet to disappoint in a Rams uniform and will be one of the most consistent wideouts on your roster. If I decide to draft all running backs through the first three rounds. I’d happily take Woods as my WR1.
Stefon Diggs (BUF): ADP WR27
Typically, I try to avoid wide receivers who are transitioning to new teams. It often takes time for them to adjust to a change in scheme and quarterback, thus making their actual fantasy output considerably lower than their expected total. Odell Beckham Jr. was a prime example of the follies that could come with selecting a transitioning wideout high in the draft.
Yet, Stefon Diggs really doesn’t require much capital to get him on your team. He is currently as the 62nd overall player off of the board and WR26, meaning you could grab him at the top of the sixth round. Even though he finds himself playing with a different quarterback, Diggs’ floor is about as safe as it can be. He is a near-lock for 100 targets, as both John Brown and Cole Beasley surpassed that total for Buffalo last season.
Diggs hasn’t finished outside of WR2 territory since 2016 and is highly regarded as one of the best route runners in the league. While Josh Allen may be less accurate than Cousins, he will make up for his erratic passing with the number of attempts he throws Diggs’ way. Diggs is by far one of the cheapest No. 1 passing options you can get in the draft and will provide consistent output each and every week. If Brown can finish as the WR20 in this offense, Diggs should be a safe option to target as your WR2.
Terry McLaurin (WSH): ADP WR25
Like Diggs, McLaurin is the de facto receiving option for his franchise. In his rookie season, he rattled off 58 receptions on 93 targets for 919 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished as the WR29 despite missing two games, playing with a bevy of mediocre quarterbacks, and having no other receiving threats to take the pressure off of him. Now, he finds himself in a near-identical situation and looks primed to see an increased target share in his sophomore season.
Washington failed to bring in any additional receiving talent to the offensive side of the ball, as only running back Antonio Gibson is likely to make an impact as a pass-catcher. McLaurin remains the only notable receiving threat on a team that will likely be playing catch-up for most of the season (despite their underrated defense). We’ve seen in the past how Ron Rivera will run his offense through his No. 1 wideout, as D.J. Moore and Steve Smith both had top-20 seasons under Rivera.
Right now, McLaurin is going only one spot ahead of Diggs, making his sixth-round average draft position a bargain for his likely 100+ target output in 2020. He may not finish as a WR1, but I find it hard to believe that Washington’s No. 1 wideout doesn’t provide you a consistent baseline of points as your WR2.
The FLEX Players
Brandin Cooks (HOU): ADP WR36
How does a player who has put up over 1,000 receiving yards in four of his past five NFL seasons fall to the WR36 in ADP and become a mid-seventh round pick? The answer is recency bias. Last season, Cooks was only able to suit up for 14 games and never really recovered once he returned from injury. His target total dipped from 117 to 72 as the Los Angeles Rams shifted their focus to more 12 personnel as the season progressed.
However, Cooks has now become a value as the No. 1 passing option in Houston and looks to be the de facto WR1 for the Texans. He has the opportunity to fill DeAndre Hopkins’ 150 target void and play for a franchise that will likely have a bottom-10 defense in the league. With the remainder of the Houston skill position players being quite injury prone over the past several seasons, Cooks remains the healthiest option upon which Deshaun Watson can rely.
He may not be the Brandin Cooks of old, but he’s a reliable FLEX option to put in your lineup, as he’s likely to see a considerable target share. For someone who was a top-fifteen wide receiver from 2016-2018, Cooks is a solid bounce-back candidate who can provide a nice floor to your lineup.
Michael Gallup (DAL): ADP WR29
Michael Gallup’s stock took a massive tumble following the Cowboys’ selection of CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the NFL draft. Still, there are more than enough targets available for Gallup to maintain or even improve on his WR22 finish from last season. Dallas ranks second in the NFL in vacated targets, with Jason Witten, Randall Cobb, and Tavon Austin leaving 190 pass-catching opportunities behind for current Cowboys receivers.
Given CeeDee Lamb and Blake Jarwin are unlikely to make up that total by themselves, how can we downgrade Gallup from his 113 target output in 2019? Even though Dallas was top-five in passing attempts last season, they are expected to push the throttle even further through the air with Mike McCarthy in town. Gallup was also relatively consistent, having scored nine or more points in nearly 80 percent of his games and becoming a focal point of the offense down the stretch.
Gallup currently has an ADP of WR32 and is projected to go in the middle of the sixth round. While there are certainly a lot of mouths to feed in Dallas, the third-year wideout will see higher efficiency with his targets given both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb will require heavy coverage. Expect Gallup to be a high-floor, low-ceiling play that you can insert into your FLEX spot on a weekly basis.
Marvin Jones (DET): ADP WR38
Every year Marvin Jones gets pushed down draft boards for no apparent reason. As Matthew Stafford’s WR2, Jones has done nothing but impress when he’s been on the field, averaging approximately 14.1 points per game over the past three years. The last time Jones was able to play a full 16 games, he finished as the PPR WR12 on the season.
Like Gallup, he scored above nine PPR points in nearly 80 percent of his contests, making him a viable high-floor FLEX option every week. Conversely, he also presents one of the highest ceilings of the players going in his ADP range, given he finished with 20 or more points in 25 percent of his games in 2019. Even without Stafford, Jones still averaged 12.4 PPR points per game.
Jones is an amazing value and should provide a consistent output each week. As the WR37 currently falling to the ninth round, I can’t possibly pass on Jones given the security he provides.
Jamison Crowder (NYJ): ADP WR46
There are not many New York Jets you’ll be excited to put into your lineup this season, but Jamison Crowder is as safe as they come. Last season, Crowder was a PPR machine. With Sam Darnold in the lineup, he averaged 7.5 targets per game and 12.4 fantasy points per contest. He was a constant threat in the passing game and often Darnold’s first read.
With an ADP of WR40 and 98 overall, Crowder is a reliable bench player whom you can confidently expect to provide you with a solid floor if you are in need of a spot-start. Although it’s highly unlikely he provides you with a week-winning performance, he’s just as unlikely to put up a goose-egg on the stat sheet.
Golden Tate (NYG): ADP WR52
Golden Tate has always been a reliable floor-play throughout his career. Last year, Tate scored 10 or more PPR points in 83 percent of his games and saw at least four targets in all of them. Like Crowder, he was a reliable slot wide receiver that became a safety valve for Daniel Jones when his offensive line couldn’t provide him enough protection to look downfield.
Tate is currently the last of the New York Giants’ starters to be drafted, going as the WR52 and a full two rounds after Crowder. While he is a value given the safety he provides on a weekly basis, you could play the long game and hope he hits waivers after his tough start to the season (PIT, CHI, SF, LA). Nonetheless, even against tougher opponents, he’ll be heavily relied upon as Jones struggles with pressure; he’ll still score enough points to make him a worthwhile spot-start each week.
Russell Gage (ATL): ADP WR100
Russell Gage is often the forgotten receiver in Atlanta, as everyone is mesmerized by the core group of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Todd Gurley, and Hayden Hurst (as they should be). Still, Atlanta ranks No. 1 in the league with 258 vacated targets and is once again projected to be a high-octane passing offense. Despite the bounty of weapons at Matt Ryan’s disposal, Gage may once again become a fantasy relevant spot-start given his proclivity as a slot receiver.
Since Week 8 of last season, Gage averaged over seven targets per game and recorded five or more receptions in 67 percent of those contests. He should see plenty of playing time in three-WR sets and have numerous fantasy viable weeks. With an ADP of WR86 and 305 overall, he is an option to consider in 14-team leagues or those that utilize large benches. He’s not flashy and won’t provide much upside, but you can insert him into your lineup if you’re in a pinch.
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