As I mentioned in my previous articles, focusing on youth and talent is my preferred dynasty startup strategy and that will continue very heavily at the wide receiver position. A young WR can provide fantasy value for 8+ years in the right situations. Let’s get it started!
Top Dynasty Startup WR Rankings for 2020
1. Tyreek Hill
Last season, Hill dealt with a clavicle injury that forced him to miss Weeks 2 through 5, a hamstring issue in the middle of the season, and he saw his new $500 million dollar quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffer a knee dislocation that caused him to miss some games in the middle of the season. These situations resulted in Hill not quite living up to his potential.
If we look back to 2018, however, Hill scored 328 PPR points, trailing only Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins. That would have been good for second in PPR scoring last year, behind only Michael Thomas. Unless the injury bug strikes down the Mahomes/Hill combination, I feel pretty good that Hill, who just turned 26 in April, and is signed to a very team-friendly deal through 2022, is a near-lock for Top 5 WR production each of the next three seasons and beyond when tied to Mahomes.
2. Chris Godwin
After talking about how much age matters in my previous articles, you should not be surprised to see Chris Godwin coming in as my number two WR in dynasty startups for 2020.
After a solid rookie season in 2018, Godwin exploded in 2019 as the second-highest scoring PPR WR in the league, despite not playing in Weeks 16 or 17. Godwin will be just 24 years old when the season ends, and while his long term quarterback future has some uncertainty with Tom Brady being 43 when this season starts, I have little doubt he is going to be able to maintain elite status both this season to keep his value high, and in the future to keep returning on your early investment.
3. D.J. Moore
Finishing as the 16th best PPR WR in 2019 usually doesn’t earn high praise, but don’t forget Moore didn’t play in Week 17 and left the Week 16 game in the first quarter with a concussion. He is still just 23 years old entering his third season in the league, and he looks poised to be the top receiver for the Carolina Panthers for the foreseeable future.
New head coach Matt Rhule hired Joe Brady to be his offensive coordinator in Carolina. Brady just led the one of the best passing attacks in the history of college football last year at LSU and will no doubt be able to get the maximum out of an elite athlete like Moore. Moore’s PPR floor looks to be insanely high for the near future with Teddy Bridgewater under center. Bridgewater seems extremely comfortable on the short-to-intermediate range throws that Moore thrives in.
4. Michael Thomas
Most rankings have Thomas in the top two, but as good as I think his 2020 season will be, I’m not expecting him to lead the position by nearly 100 fantasy points like he did in 2019.
What has Thomas down in my rankings compared to most has to due with his age and uncertainty at the New Orleans Saints quarterback situation for the future. Thomas will be 28 when the 2021 season starts and could be playing without one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game in Drew Brees after this year.
These two facts are undoubtedly going to lower Thomas’s dynasty value in the public’s eyes as we move forward into next season. Taking players that are very likely to depreciate in value the next season as your early picks in dynasty startups is a risky proposition unless you lean into it from the very start and try to take the championship down for the first year or two at the expense of long-term sustainability.
5. JuJu Smith-Schuster
After one of the most disappointing fantasy seasons in recent memory for a player many thought could be the leagues next big thing, JuJu looks poised for a big rebound season, and I am looking to get ahead of the value curve.
Injuries to both Ben Roethlisberger and himself stifled JuJu’s rise into stardom last year after a massive 2018 campaign saw him targeted 166 times, reeling in 111 receptions for 1426 yards and seven touchdowns. JuJu will still be just 23 years old when the season ends with a long career ahead. He is unlikely to see a value drop if he can post a Top 12 WR performance this season.
6. Davante Adams
I had Adams in my players to avoid in dynasty a few weeks ago since most rankings have him as a top-three dynasty wide receiver, which is simply too high of an investment for me. As the number six WR, however, the investment starts to make slightly more sense, and if you can happen to grab him cheaper, it gets even better.
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I’m not in love with the Green Bay Packers front office signaling that change is coming with the selection of Jordan Love in the first round or the fact that Adams will be 28 heading into next season and likely to see his dynasty value decline. His 2020 season, however, looks poised to be one of the best in the league as the Packers did next to nothing to add viable pass catchers in the off-season. This will only further cement his status as the true alpha in the passing game.
7. Mike Evans
Dynasty players seem to not give Mike Evans the respect he deserves, although he’s posted six straight 1,000-yard seasons to start his career. He will be 28 years old when the 2021 season starts, and with the gunslinger mentality of Jameis Winston now gone, there is a small amount of doubt in regard to both his production this season and moving forward under Tom Brady.
Evans was not the most explosive athlete when he entered the NFL in 2014, which does throw another small red flag up as his long-term profile looks like a player who might see his production drop rapidly as he gets closer to the 30-year-old threshold.
Nonetheless, you have to factor in expected scoring over the next couple of seasons in your rankings. With six straight years of elite fantasy production and a clear role as the number one or number two option on a team coached by Bruce Arians, Evans simply can’t be dropped any further in my rankings as he has the ability to post top-five numbers at the position for the next couple of years before I can see production falling off.
8. Allen Robinson
If Allen Robinson had a good quarterback at any point in his career, he would be talked about as one of the best wide receivers in the league. Instead, he has been forced to ball out on his own with some of the worst quarterback play in the league over his entire career in both Jacksonville and Chicago.
Robinson was WR8 in PPR scoring last season and third in the league in targets with an unquestioned alpha role heading into this season. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season. It wouldn’t seem to be such a bad thing if he changes teams since the combination of Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback don’t do much to elevate his game to me. Robinson was a good enough athlete out of college to continue being an alpha for the foreseeable future no matter where he ends up playing after this season.
9. D.K. Metcalf
D.K. Metcalf really looks the part of what you would expect a true dominant wide receiver to look like in a NFL uniform. With him tied to Russell Wilson for possibly his entire career, his arrow is pointing straight up for me in dynasty. Metcalf expanded his route tree late in the 2019 season, which was good to see, but I’m expecting him to be one of the premier deep threats in the league for seasons to come as his pairing with Wilson is simply going to be one of the most dynamic connections seeing as the fit could not be more perfect.
10. A.J. Brown
As it turns outs, my final two receivers to close out my top 10 both come from the same college. However, with Metcalf having one of the best quarterbacks of this generation throwing him the ball, he gets the slight nod over former college teammate A.J. Brown.
As a rookie, Brown relied on yards after the catch as he recorded 44% of his yards after hauling in the football. While this is a great attribute to have, it isn’t the most repeatable aspect year after year. The reason I have Brown creeping into my top 10 over guys like Amari Cooper and Kenny Golladay is simply due to age.
Brown just turned 23 and showed he can be the top option in the passing game for the Tennessee Titans for years to come. With Top 15 WR potential each and every year for the next 4-5 years looking extremely likely, he has to be ranked over these other players who are 3-4 years older than him for your dynasty startup drafts.
There you have my top dynasty startup WR rankings for 2020! Get those young studs in your startup drafts and let your opponents overdraft the DeAndre Hopkins and Amari Coopers of the world while you set yourself up to dominate for years to come! Stay tuned for my Top dynasty startup TE article coming soon.