At the highest-stakes Texas hold ’em poker table in Iowa, you put your career on the line. Every Friday, a group of graduate students gathered at a professor’s house. This professor, he was short, balding, and a British footballer. If it was your first time at his table, you’d drink wine for free and he’d chip $10 into the pot for you. He’d grab an LP, something you never heard before but was charming, like The Doves or Interpol. A 500-page book sat at the edge of the poker table, and the professor talked about the awards it won and his Cambridge education. He’d invite you back for another game, but next time, you bring the wine and chip in $20 to the pot. By the fifth game, you’re bringing snacks and booze and maybe some of his groceries. The book was always on the table, as were the stories of Cambridge. One night, the soundtrack would be Tom Waits for three hours straight. Who listens to Tom Waits for that long? Of course, he asked you to get the $60 bottle of wine because you’re enjoying your time so much. Seems like the professor is winning more than usual tonight. Around 11PM, you notice there’s some cards missing from the discard pile nearby the professor. You mention it. The professor stands, his hand on his award-winning book, his mood affected by the Pinot Noir you paid for. He looks you in the eye and says, “You’re accusing an award-winning, full professor in your department, from Cambridge, of cheating?” And you realize: it’s the cost of the wine and the buy-in, or your career. You went swimming with the sharks, and you got eaten. You back down. Tom Waits keeps growling in the background. 

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What wide receiver stats really matter? If you scroll through Twitter on any given day you will see a plethora of numbers backing up sleepers, busts and “league winners” among other things. For WRs you’ve got YAC stans, yards/target pushers, market share aficionados and everywhere in between. It’s easy to get excited when you see that a certain player had 25 yards/reception and is in line for increased targets the next year!

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So the country is mostly reopened now. New Orleans has even reached “phase 2” of their reopening, and as you can see in my sub-tweeted image below, folks are really getting out there. The guy in the back right is particularly out there if you know what I mean—don’t look!

Did you look? I told you not to! So there’s lots going on in the Big Easy lately. First we had the whole Drew Brees BLM saga, then protesters toppled a slave owner statue and now Dick’s taking full advantage of phase 2. But in the midst of all this craziness we find one rock: Michael Thomas. The guy just keeps getting better with receiving yardage totals exceeding 1,100 in 2016, 1,200 in 2017, 1,400 in 2018 and 1,700 in 2019. 2,100 yards in 2020 is logically the next stop, should be easy enough for Thomas to demolishing Megatron’s single season record by 140 yards. Anyway, here’s my top 20 wide receivers for 2020 PPR fantasy football:

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I watched The Match on Sunday featuring Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning battling against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. The echo chamber said Tiger had a huge advantage playing at his home course. The echo chamber said Tiger wouldn’t lose two matches in a row to Phil. Turns out the echo chamber sometimes echos for good reason, as the Tiger/Manning duo held off a later charge from Phil and Brady to hoist the Pandemic Cup. But the echo chamber isn’t always right, especially in fantasy football. Remember last years mad chants of David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell as surefire first rounders? And JuJu and OBJ as top 15 draft pick elite WR1s? Well, I’ve stepped outside the echo chamber and into a private padded room to compile my 2020 fantasy football rankings. Over the weekend I gave you my overall top 10 for 2020 fantasy football which were crazy as a pack of unicycle-riding-gorillas. The only echos you’ll find here are the friendly, completely sane, voices inside my head. Anyway, here’s my top 20 for 2020 PPR fantasy football:

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You ever go to the driving range? Not one of those fancy Top Golf ranges, I’m talking old school range. Like the one Kevin Costner owned in Tin Cup. Cheech Marin’s character would get sent out in a cart to pick up the range balls and all the crappy golfers would take aim. Nailing the cart boy with a line drive is the pinnacle of golf.  Actually I don’t think Cheech ever fetch range balls in the movie, but what else was doing there other than smoking the reefer? Dynasty rankings are like going after that range ball collection cart—a constantly moving target. And I’m the crappy golfer, blinded by Kerryon Johnson’s beautiful eyes and A.J. Dillon’s sexy legs, like Costner with the hots for Rene Russo. Man I need to add that movie to my pandemic watchlist. Anyway, here’s my top 10 dynasty players for 2020 PPR dynasty football:

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So a couple days ago you checked out my updated Kerryon Johnson rankings, I mean my updated dynasty running back rankings, and you avoided smashing your computer in disgust? I’m impressed! Now just wait til you see how high I’ve ranked Kerryon in my updated dynasty wide receiver rankings. I can’t help it, I love Johnson’s. And football players with the last name Johnson. Alright, enough Johnson talk (no such thing), here’s my updated top 20 wide receivers for 2020 PPR dynasty football leagues:

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Welcome to the back half of my top 30 rookie WRs! Kudos to the degenerates reading this, as you’re obviously in a deep dynasty format. If you’ve been following my offseason process, you know what I look for when ranking prospects. If you are a first timer please check out this article explaining my general rationale. 

Additionally, you can see the ascent and decline of various WRs since February with my pre-combine rankings and post-combine rankings

There are some major shakeups now that we know draft capital and landing spot. There were some bubble guys that got surprising draft capital and some late round picks falling into nice situations that got a bump. After the 3rd round, I weigh draft capital a little less round to round. 

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Over the past four weeks Tom Brady has been slowly settling into life in Tampa Bay, scouting retirement communities and getting to know his new Buccaneer teammates. On Monday young tight end O.J. Howard ate Brady’s spinach, arugula and GOAT cheese salad out of the team fridge while complaining about the lack of tomatoes. Howard then violated the quarterback’s 6-foot radius of personal space before coughing without covering his mouth. Enough was enough, it was time for Tom to dust off his trusty Gronk signal and shine the big man’s light into the balmy Florida night sky. And Rob Gronkowski wasted no time in answering the call of his old friend. By Tuesday afternoon Gronkman had been traded from the Patriots with a 7th-round pick in exchange for the the Buccaneers 4th-round pick.

Gronk battled injuries from 2016-2018 missing 13 games over his final three seasons prior to his early-retirement. He also looked quite slimmed down during his 2019 public appearances. That said, you can’t help but root for the big boy, and a year of rest and relaxation likely did his overworked body some good. Off the bat, I’ll pencil him in as my #7 tight end behind Kelce, Kittle, Waller, Ertz, Andrews and Hooper. And I’ll give him an initial projection of 50 receptions for 700 yards and 6 touchdowns with lots of upside (and downside) from there. Anyway, here’s what other news I saw around the league for 2020 fantasy football: 

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It’s NFL Draft Week 2020! I hope you are all planning to celebrate in some kind of awesome way. I will be setting up a draft prediction pool and running a Zoom poker night while the picks come in. This is the closest thing to sports we’ve had since the shutdown and we have to bask in its glow.

While I think it’s valuable to have your favorite prospects in some tiered order pre-draft, there’s no way to ignore that landing spot matters to some extent. In dynasty I think your own talent evaluation should be weighted most, but for redraft leagues landing spot is very important in how we should view a rookie’s year 1 potential. I have laid out my rankings for QB, RB, WR, and TE previously but now will give you my favorite rookie landing spots.

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back to review DT’s dynasty WR rankings. The guys begin the show by discussing some shows that they’ve been watching, and make some recommendations to pass the time. Side note: Grey’s wardrobe trend has him somewhere in between Elvis Costello, Cam Newton, and The Tiger King.  

After the quarantine talk, we get into Donkey’s WR rankings (links below). DT walks us through is ranking process and how he values some of the various dynasty attributes (talent, situation, league format, etc.). B_Don asks DT about the TB duo of Evans and Godwin, and whether they can sustain this type of production from 2019. I ask why DT hates Juju and how to handle a couple of third year WRs in Michael Gallup and Calvin Ridley. 

 

1-20 Dynasty WRs

21-40 Dynasty WRs

41-60 Dynasty WRs

61-80 Dynasty WRs

 

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