It’s negative 19 degrees outside, your power has been out for three days and you’re wearing every piece of clothing you own while burning the last of your Hustler magazine collection in the middle of your living room floor for warmth. Thank goodness you have 8% battery left on your cell phone, just enough to pull up your fourteenth favorite fantasy football site and read about last year’s top 20 wide receivers. In this series I’m going over the top players at each position, listed in order of how many total fantasy points they actually scored this season in half PPR leagues. This is not a ranking for 2021 fantasy football. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A RANKING FOR 2021! I’ve already gone over the final 2020 fantasy football rankings for QBs and RBs, if your phone has enough battery left then give them a glance. Anyway, here’s the top 20 wide receivers for 2020 fantasy football and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:
1. Davante Adams – There’s only two plausible explanations for Rodgers’ career year at age 37: a) he fired his agent Gabe who’s been holding him back for years, b) Davante Adams. I tend to lean toward the Gabe theory, but Adams could probably post 1,000+ yards and 10 touchdowns with Gabe himself playing quarterback. Preseason Rank #2, 2020 Projections: 95 receptions, 1,140 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 115 receptions, 1,374 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns in 14 games.
2. Tyreek Hill – Why did I rank Reek below Hopkins, Julio and Godwin? Could’ve be the brain damage from from the bleach I ingested to protect me from COVID. But at least I haven’t gotten the virus yet. Lesson learned, don’t even slightly fade an elite receiving talent who’s anchored to the best passing QB in the league. Durrrr. Preseason Rank #6, 2020 Projections: 70 receptions, 1,050 receiving yards, 40 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 87 receptions, 1,276 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns in 15 games.
3. Stefon Diggs – People will be talking about my 2020 ranking of Diggs long after I’m dead—which will likely be in the next couple days considering all the bleach I drank. Point is, I ranked Diggs higher than all other 160 analysts in this year’s FantasyPros draft ranking accuracy contest. Here’s what I said when I ranked him #12 in my top 20 wide receiver rankings, “Things never seemed to fully click for Diggs in Minnesota. And that’s saying something for a 26 year old with two 1,000 yard receiving seasons under his belt and 30 career touchdowns. But he’s been a streaky receiver with huge performances often followed by stinkers. A change in scenery where he’ll be the undisputed #1 option for an up and coming Josh Allen could lead to a career year.” Dang, 2020 Donkey Teeth sounds very intelligent and handsome! Preseason Rank #12, 2020 Projections: 80 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards, 50 rushing yards, 8 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 127 receptions, 1,535 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns in 16 games.
4. Calvin Ridley – This was my biggest whiff. I’ve never been a believer in Ridley as more than a solid WR2. Sure, he was boosted slightly by Julio’s nagging injuries but he also saw more defensive attention in those games. And even with Julio on the field Ridley put up steady numbers, catching six of his nine (nice) TDs in those nine contests. Ridley has finally made a believer out of me. Preseason Rank #24, 2020 Projections: 75 receptions, 950 receiving yards, 45 rushing yards, 7 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 90 receptions, 1,374 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns in 15 games.
5. DeAndre Hopkins – Remember how receivers on new teams are supposed to struggle? Rules do not apply to sorcerers little Hopkins and Diggs. The year end numbers don’t quite do Nuk justice either, as Kyler Murray was dealing with a shoulder injury for weeks 11-13—DHop totaled just 158 receiving yards over that three game span. Can’t wait for the second year peep show these two are about to put on for us. Preseason Rank #4, 2020 Projections: 90 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns in 15 games. Final Numbers: 115 receptions, 1,407 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns in 16 games.
6. Justin Jefferson – You can’t tell it from my preseason rank, but I loved J-Jeff coming out of college. Here’s the proof in my 2020 dynasty rookie rankings. Turns out my concern regarding the affects of a watered down training camp, with no preseason, on this year’s rookie receiving class maaaaaaay have been slightly overblown. Preseason Rank #55, 2020 Projections: 55 receptions, 780 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 15 games. Final Numbers: 88 receptions, 1,400 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns in 16 games.
7. D.K. Metcalf – When Russ was whipping up soufflés in the early season, Metcalf looked like a league winner. Then Russ began cookin’ frozen pizzas like a drunken college student and the frat party was over. Metcalf posted eight 90+ receiving yard games in the first 11 weeks with nine touchdowns, in the final five weeks he recorded zero games over 80 yards and only one touchdown. Scott Engel told us D.K. was his #1 draft target on my YouTube show back in August, but he forgot to tell us to sell him after week 11:
Preseason Rank #16, 2020 Projections: 75 receptions, 1,050 receiving yards, 10 rushing yards, 9 total touchdowns in 15 games. Final Numbers: 83 receptions, 1,303 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns in 16 games.
8. Adam Thielen – My advice over the summer was to draft Thielen and then sell him around midseason—he was a second half dud each of the previous two years. Bad advice. Thielen bucked the trend in 2020 by catching seven touchdowns over the final seven weeks. Process over results though, right? You know who never says “process over results?” People getting good results! Preseason Rank #11, 2020 Projections: 80 receptions, 1,120 receiving yards, 10 rushing yards, 8 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 74 receptions, 925 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns in 16 games.
9. Tyler Lockett – This had to be one of the least enjoyable top 10 fantasy receiver seasons in the history of fantasy football. I owned Lockett and it was like getting my dong slammed in the car door over and over—which I wish I hadn’t tried. Yes, he caught 10 touchdowns. But six of those scores came in weeks 3 and 7 when he posted his only two 100+ yard games of the year. His next best game? A 90 yard, two touchdown performance in WEEK 17! I’m done with you, Tyler. Preseason Rank #22, 2020 Projections: 75 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, 40 rushing yards, 8 total touchdowns in 16 games. Final Numbers: 100 receptions, 1,054 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns in 16 games.
10. Mike Evans – I faded Evans this year, but it was a mild fade. I had a large tier of receivers ranked in the #11-20 range. Take a look at my Big Mike projections, they were spot on except four touchdowns shy. How was I supposed to know Brady would look at Evans like he was Gisele 2.0 when they got down by the end zone. Preseason Rank #20, 2020 Projections: 75 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, 9 total touchdowns in 15 games. Final Numbers: 70 receptions, 1,006 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns in 16 games.
11. A.J. Brown – Nailed the projection on receptions and receiving yards, but touchdowns are tougher to project than Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona. Both the stud second year WRs, AJB and DKM, have a nose for the end zone. If they aren’t both WR1s for the next seven years then I’ll change my name to Honkey Teeth. Preseason Rank #17, 2020 Projections: 70 receptions, 1,150 receiving yards, 60 rushing yards, 8 total touchdowns, in 15 games. Final Numbers: 70 receptions, 1,073 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns in 14 games.
12. Allen Robinson – You may not know this about me: I’m a Bears fan. And as a Bears fan I’m required to enjoy sausage (not that kind!), worship Ditka and cry about our quarterback situation for an eternity. How good would Allen Robinson have been if Mahomes or Watson was throwing to him? Preseason Rank #13, 2020 Projections: 90 receptions, 1,050 receiving yards, 7 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 102 receptions, 1,250 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns in 16 games.
13. Robert Woods – Bobby Trees found his way out of the forest after catching only two touchdowns in 2019. Anyone else looking forward to seeing Stafford chuck it Woods this coming season? Preseason Rank #14, 2020 Projections: 85 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards, 50 rushing yards, 5 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 90 receptions, 936 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns in 16 games.
14. Keenan Allen – Two words: Justin Herbert. Have to admit it, I didn’t think Uncie Herb was this good. Just an incredible rookie year. I’m expecting to be all in on Allen next season. Preseason Rank #21, 2020 Projections: 90 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, 20 rushing yards, 6 total touchdowns in 15 games. Final Numbers: 100 receptions, 992 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns in 14 games.
15. Brandin Cooks – I avoided Cooks out of fear of total loss due to concussion—one more knock to the noggin could mark the end of his career. Not only was he not concussed in 2020 (there was one close call), but when Will Fuller did his yearly Will Fuller injury thing, Cooks was there to swoop in and produce the pudding. Preseason Rank #37, 2020 Projections: 65 receptions, 950 receiving yards, 6 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 81 receptions, 1,150 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns in 15 games.
16. Amari Cooper – If you travelled back in time to tell August Donkey that Amari Cooper would catch 92 passes for 1,114 yards with Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert at QB for 11 games I would’ve said, “Who the hell are Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert and what’s Tesla’s stock price in six months?” Preseason Rank #18, 2020 Projections: 75 receptions, 1,100 yards, 9 total touchdowns in 15 games. Final Numbers: 92 receptions, 1,114 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns in 16 games.
17. Marvin Jones – Two more words: Kenny Golladay. Who killed Kenny’s 2020 season? Sorry. Jones obviously benefitted big time from the increased volume. Can’t imagine I’ll be buying in next year with Goff under center. Preseason Rank #41, 2020 Projections: 60 receptions, 850 receiving yards, 6 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 76 receptions, 978 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns in 16 games.
18. Juju Smith-Schuster – He is who we thought he was! The hate mail I received for my low JuJu dynasty ranking was second only to the hate mail I received for my high Kerryon Johnson ranking. 50% isn’t too bad, that’s way higher than the grade I received in calculus. Anyway, the year end numbers for JuJu weren’t horrible, but it doesn’t show the whole picture. There were five games in which he totaled less than 30 receiving yards with no touchdowns. I’m sure his owners would attest, it was not fun owning JJSS this year. Preseason Rank #27, 2020 Projections: 75 receptions, 950 receiving yards, 7 total touchdowns in 14 games. Final Numbers: 97 receptions, 831 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns in 16 games.
19. Chase Claypool – Did you Chase the dragon? There were some ups and downs, like any heroine high, but the highs were incredible! It’s really too bad stinky JuJu stole so many of Claypool’s targets down the stretch, it could’ve been a monster rookie season if he had a little less competition in the wide receiver room. Preseason Rank #N/A, 2020 Projections: None. Final Numbers: 62 receptions, 873 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns in 16 games.
20. CeeDee Lamb – Three rookies in the top 20. Apparently the whole rookie receiver struggles narrative needs to be rewritten after these past two seasons. Like I mentioned with Cooper, the most impressive thing is that Lamb was able to post these stats without Dak at the helm. Also, as mentioned with Jefferson, there was no preseason to ease these youngsters in. Anyone else licking their Lamb chops for CeeDee in 2021? Preseason Rank #52, 2020 Projections: 50 receptions, 700 receiving yards, 4 total touchdowns in 15 games. Final Numbers: 74 receptions, 935 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns in 16 games.