Hot-To-Not – Wide Receiver Edition

In this article, I will be looking at players who were Hot in fantasy in the 2019 season and will not be in the upcoming 2020 fantasy season. Second up it’s Wide Receivers. Even though there is more depth at this position than Running Backs. It is still vital to get your WR1 right. So here are three busts I think you should avoid unless their price becomes super low.

Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans is coming off a productive Fantasy Football season. Finishing as the WR12 overall with 199 (half PPR) points. He had 67 receptions for 1157 yards and 8 TD’s in just 13 games. His ECR (expert consensus ranking) is 22nd overall. It makes him the WR8 off fantasy boards. And while this may seem good value to most. To me it shouts avoid. He will still have a couple of fantasy relevant weeks. But not enough to put him in the WR1 tier. Here’s why!

I think first it’s only right we speak about the G.O.A.T, Tom Brady. Having been the talk of all free agency, Tampa Bay gets an upgrade at QB. An upgrade that could spell disaster for Evans. For the last 2 seasons at Tampa Bay, Evans averaged 17.5 yards per catch. While Brady has only averaged 7.5 yards per attempt in 20 seasons. Brady’s game management skills make him elite. But making huge plays for a big threat down field Receiver has never been his thing. With Brady’s age it remains to be seen whether he even has the arm strength anymore. Especially when he had elbow issues at the end of the 2019 season.

Return of Gronk

More big news. Gronk is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Although fans are rubbing their hands together. This is more bad news for Evans. It’s now another mouth to feed on an all star offensive team. For the last 5 years when Gronk has lined up with Brady. New England has targeted Wide Receivers 6% less than the league average. With Gronk being Brady’s big go to target. With Winston gone and his 626 pass attempts (joint 1st in NFL) gone too. Expect a downward target volume for Evans.

On to Chris Godwin. Godwin had a stellar fantasy football campaign. Finishing as the WR2 overall with 233 (half PPR) points. He had 86 receptions for 1333 yards and 9 TD’s. Also, only playing 14 games! Brady loves to target the slot Receiver. So step forward Godwin. Evans will now lose out on more targets since the switch at QB. Since 2015 Edelman (slot Receiver) has been Brady’s top targeted Wide Receiver 4 out of 5 times. Brady loves to move the chains and manage games. And that’s exactly what he will do with Godwin and Gronk. With Evans being the man left out.

Evans has always been inconsistent in fantasy football. One week he will score you 30+ points. The next week he will score you 0-10 points. I expect that now with Brady in town there will be more 0-10 point weeks. And the 30+ weeks will become a thing of the past. With his ADP (average draft position) being 18 on the sleeper app in half point PPR leagues. That’s a 2nd round pick. And as most go Running Back in the 1st round. This leaves Evans as your WR1. If he slides to the 4th round and you already have a WR1 then I’d take him. I think Evans falls out of the top 20-25 Wide Receivers for the 2020 season. Evans is a great athlete and brilliant football player, but what’s happened in Tampa this offseason has hurt him fantasy wise.

Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions

Another Wide Receiver who had an excellent 2019 fantasy campaign was Kenny Golladay. Golladay had 215 (half PPR) points making him the WR6 overall. He had 65 receptions for 1190 yards and 11 TD’s. His ECR is 21 and his ADP is 26 overall. He should be available at the end of the second beginning of the third round in drafts (depending on the league format). A lot of people are very high on Golladay this year but I’m not convinced. A lot will ride on Golladay having another great fantasy season.

We have to talk about Stafford. Although I believe he is an excellent QB. Albeit somewhat underrated. He had multiple fractures in his back last season. The Lions are saying he should be ready for their offseason programme. But who knows how the injury will limit Stafford for this season and beyond. If there are limitations on Stafford this could be a huge problem for Golladay. With Stafford throwing to Golladay, he averaged 80 yards per game and scored 7 TD’s in 8 games. With Stafford out injured he averaged 68 yards per game which was boosted massively by his week 13 game after receiving 158 yards. He only scored 4 TD’s in those 8 games too. Stafford had 8.2 yards per attempt last season 2nd overall in the NFL. While his average over 10 seasons is 7.2 yards per attempt. So I expect that to drop next season and regress to nearer his average.

The Run Game

Now on to Detroit’s run game (or lack of it!). The Lions have finished outside the top 20 for the past 5 seasons in yards per rush and yards per game. They seemed to have addressed this issue in the draft by selecting D’Andre Swift. Pairing him with the often injured Kerryon Johnson means they have at least one more capable back to carry the workload. This should mean less pass attempts and more rush attempts as last year Detroit threw the ball 60% of the time. They have finished in the top 12 in the passing vs running the ball in 3 of the last 4 seasons. I can see Detroit running the ball a lot more in the 2020 season which only spells trouble for Golladay.

Let’s have a look at Golladay’s production last season. The 65 receptions ranked him 29th overall out of the Wide Receivers. In half PPR and full PPR leagues if he’s your WR1 he could land you in hot water. He finished the season with 11 receiving TD’s, the most in the NFL. This is what got the fantasy owners out of trouble. He ranked 1st in deep targets in the 2019 season. Meaning if he doesn’t make big explosive plays, he’s not going to score you many fantasy points without TD’s. He’s also not a target hog on the Detroit roster with only 21% target share, ranking him 33rd overall out of Wide Receivers.

Is The Cost Too High?

With Golladay’s ADP at 26th overall I think you’re drafting him at the very top of his ceiling. Yes Kenny Golladay is going to score TD’s. 100% Kenny Golladay is going to put up yards. Yes Kenny Golladay is going to have fantasy relevant weeks. Only 1 player in 20 years has scored more TD’s than the season before when they finished with the most received TD’s in the NFL that year. A future hall of famer I might add in Larry Fitzgerald. So expect a decline in TD’s for the 2020 season. I would take him as my WR2 and pair him nicely with a target hog like Micheal Thomas. Add a couple of Running Backs in round 2 and 3. And grab Golladay in the 4th and you have yourself a strong contender for the fantasy championship.

Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys

Onto my last Wide Receiver, Amari Cooper. Cooper had a great fantasy 2019 season. He finished as the WR9 overall with 207 (half PPR) points. Cooper had 79 receptions for 1189 yards and 8 TD’s. His ECR is 27th overall and ADP is the 24. Making him the WR9 off most fantasy boards. Although this seems like good value, you’re drafting him based on his finished position last season. And for someone who’s only ever finished in the WR1 tier once before, this seems like a big risk.

Dak Prescott is a good NFL QB. Not elite, but good enough. He put up great numbers last season, especially fantasy wise. Dak threw for 4902 yards last season. His highest total since joining the NFL. It was his first time over 4000 passing yards. Dak showed last season that he hasn’t got a go to guy. Both Cooper and Gallup had an even amount of targets. With Gallup missing 2 games and only having 6 less targets. Cobb felt the effects of lining up with 2 good Receivers. He only had 83 targets compared to the 110+ targets to Cooper and Gallup. With the addition of a top Wide Receiver in the draft, it remains to be seen how Dak will be able to cope feeding 3 hungry mouths.

CeeDee Lamb

The Cowboys selected Lamb with the 17th pick overall in the NFL draft. He will replace Cobb and give Dallas a feared trio of Wide Receivers. The difference being Lamb will command more targets than Cobb. So the pressure will be on Dak to find more than the 83 targets Cobb had. Or more likely Cooper and Gallup will see the effects and loose targets. Lamb was a TD machine in his last 2 years at college. Scoring 25 TD’s in 27 games. With Cobb only finding the end zone 3 times last season. I think Lamb will eat into a good bit of the TD’s dished out in Dallas.

There has always been a lot of talk that Cooper doesn’t show up when playing away. Since moving to Dallas Cooper has proved the hearsay. Playing 13 home games Cooper has 83 receptions and he totaled 1419 yards and 10 TD’s. He’s played one less away game but only managed 49 receptions. Has nearly a third less yardage with 494 and only scored 3 TD’s. Yes 3! So it’s obvious what you need to do. Only put Cooper in your line-ups when he’s playing at home but at his draft cost you simply cannot do that.

Touchdown Regression

Cooper has never been a TD machine. With his total of 8 TD’s last season his highest total so far. And now with three Wide Receivers competing to be the man in Dallas. It remains to be seen what happens to Cooper next season. With his ADP being 24th overall this makes him most people’s WR1 when taking a Running Back in the first round. Grabbing Cooper in the second round is not appealing to me at all. Especially when you have a target hog like Allen or a player heavily relied on like Kupp still there. I have Cooper ranked in the mid WR2 tier at present. But as the season moves closer, I can see him slipping to a late WR2 or high WR3. So be careful drafting Cooper as your top Wide Receiver!

So there you have it Rush Nation, my Hot-To-Not Wide Receiver selections. Once again get in touch on Twitter and let me know what you think. Am I close or Miles away? Get in touch and have your say.

-Josh P @5yardrush

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