Quarantine Day 20:
Time is a flat circle. A circle which begins to look like an octagon after 20 days of solitude in my underground virus bunker. The eight points represent the number of times per hour that I breakdown crying divided how many days I’ve been out of toilet paper. I’ve been spending my days deep in philosophical and metaphysical discussion with my new best friend, a football by the name of Wilstoner. That football’s a real free thinker. On the topic of free thinking, I gave you my top 20 and top 40 dynasty wide receivers for 2020 fantasy football a week or two back. Or maybe it was a month or two back, I don’t even know anymore. This quarantine time octagon has me all mixed up. Anyway, here’s my top 60 dynasty wide receivers for 2020 PPR fantasy football co-authored by Wilstoner the football:
Tier 10 (cont’d)
41. Curtis Samuel – The Panthers have brought in NCAA coach of the year, Matt Rhule from Baylor. Great college coaches don’t always translate well to the NFL (see Chip Kelly), but over the past six years this guy has turned around two college programs (Baylor and Temple) in impressive fashion. A healthy Cam Newton would also help. But don’t hold your breath. Unless someone just coughed near you. UPDATE 3/24/20: Robby Anderson has signed with the Panthers which isn’t great for Samuel’s target share. On the plus side, Teddy Bridgewater is also coming to town which is at least a minor upgrade from Kyle Allen. Samuel will move down 5-10 spots in my next update.
43. Laviska Shenault Jr. – There was talk of Shenault going in the first round later this month, and he still might, but his post combine surgery for a core-muscle injury and pubic bone inflammation has clouded his prospects on top of a labrum tear and turf toe issues in college. Side note: I remember when I had pubic bone inflammation back in my own college years, what a night that was! Anyway, pay close attention to Viska’s draft slot later this month, it’ll tell us a lot about how concerned NFL teams are about his medicals. I’m ready to bump if up if a team is comfortable enough to pony up a first rounder. UPDATE 4/27/20: Shenault has been drafted by the Jaguars in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. Minshew and Chark had a strong connection in 2019, but Dede Westbrook never really got into the mix. There’s opportunity for Viska to swoop in and snag the number two job. His versatility and ability in the run game should make him an immediate factor. I’m thinking a Deebo Samuel type season is possible, health permitting.
44. N’Keal Harry – 2019 was not the coming out party the Big Harry and his supporters had hoped for and now Tom Brady has left town. But is the Brady departure a negative for the Patriot offense’s fantasy upside? I don’t think so, but I also can’t say I trust Jarrett Stidham. Still, Harry is only 22 and a 6’4″ 225 pound specimen, don’t give up on him quite yet.
45. Tee Higgins – The 6’4″ prospect out of Clemson draws a natural comp to A.J. Green. He didn’t participate in drills at the combine but he run a 4.54 forty at his pro day and an impressive 4.25 20-yard shuttle which would’ve slotted him in at #6 among all WRs at the combine. There’s WR1 upside here, stay tune for his landing spot. UPDATE 4/27/20: Higgins was taken by the Bengals in the 2nd round. It’s a crowded receiving core with Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green and Auden Tate already battling for targets. Maybe Green is shipped out of town or maybe he holds out, if not I don’t see much hope for Higgy’s fantasy stock in 2020.
46. Michael Pittman Jr. – At 6’4″/223 lbs, Pittman impressed during the speed drills at the combine. That’s an enticing frame. Bet Rodgers would love to touch that butt. Pittman’s billed as a red zone target and deep threat, so maybe a little more enticing in standard (non-PPR) leagues. Either way, pay close attention to where he goes at the draft later this month. UPDATE 4/27/20: Pittman has been drafted by the Colts in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. T.Y. Hilton hits free agency next off season which could open up the opportunity for Pittman to compete for the Colts’ #1 WR spot. Philip Rivers is on a one-year deal, but if all goes well, odds are he’s back in 2021. If all goes Trubisky then this year’s 4th rounder, Jacob Eason, is on tap for 2021. At least there’s some upside with Eason.
47. Brandon Aiyuk – UPDATE 4/27/20: Aiyuk was drafted by the 49ers in the 1st round. I wasn’t excited about him coming into the draft, but you can only drop a first round receiver so far. We do have to keep sight that part of his value to the 49ers is tied to his explosive ability in the return game. It’s hard to imagine Aiyuk becoming more than the #3 option in a run first offense that already features young studs George Kittle and Deebo Samuel gobbling targets in the pass game.
48. Emmanuel Sanders – Bourbon Street is barren these days, but Manny’s still coming to town. I ranked Sanders 59th among receivers in my top 200 dynasty rankings back in January. But New Orleans was about the best landing spot we could’ve hoped for, lining up with Michael Thomas and flashing Drew Brees like it’s Mardi Gras.
49. Brandin Cooks – While still only 26, there’s major long-term concussion concerns for the Rams’ wide-out. At some point, Cooks just might be asked to pack his knives and leave, for his own sake. UPDATE 4/9/20: Cooks has been dealt to the Texans in exchange for a second rounder in another overpay by Bill O’Brien. I’m definitely more interested in Cooks now as maybe Deshaun Watson’s number one target. But the concussion concerns still remain.
50. Michael Gallup – This could be a criminal under ranking of a youngster in a great offense with a new head coach coming into town. Unfortunately that new coach is Mike McCarthy. I think Gallup is plenty talented, I just don’t see the super-elite upside that others see in him. UPDATE 4/27/20: The CeeDee Lamb draft pick really put a damper on Gallup’s long-term outlook. He might be the #3 option in Dallas as soon as this season and I’d be surprised if he didn’t leave town when he hits free agency after the 2021 season.
52. John Brown – The arrival of Stefon Diggs in Buffalo may take some targets away from Smokey but more importantly it should draw some defensive attention away too. I know, its the age old chicken or coronavirus debate. Not sure we’ll ever know which came first.
54. Darius Slayton – Currently the 37th receiver off the board in early best balls and only 23 years old. I guess this is a bit of a snub according to the consensus, but I have my reservations. Slayton connected well with Danny Dimes in their shared rookie campaigns, but remember Evan Engram, Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard were all missing for decent chunks of the season. The first few games of 2020 should give us some clues. I could be very wrong on this one.
55. Mecole Hardman – A hard man is good to find. If you’re familiar with my work, then you know Patrick Mahomes gets my blood pumping in all the right places. Look for a sophomore breakout from the Jet in Kansas City (Missouri).
56. Bryan Edwards – So much upside in this year’s wide receiver class and Edwards is no exception. And he may come at a discount after missing the combine due to a broken foot. There’s also been much talk of his iffy hands and drop issues at South Carolina. On the plus side, big, strong, physical, quick, athletic and acrobatic are all words you hear thrown around when discussing the 6’2″/212 pound Edwards. I like all those words. UPDATE 4/27/20: The Raiders drafted Edwards in the 3rd round. The Las Vegas’ receiving room is suddenly more crowded than Caesar’s Palace on free-money-giveaway night. The crew includes Gruden favorite Hunter Renfrow, vet Tyrell Williams, free agent signing Nelson Agholor and now first rounder Henry Ruggs. That said, Edwards is an exciting upside play in dynasty leagues and those aren’t exactly the most exciting names he’s competing with. Just know his floor is non-existent.
57. Antonio Gandy-Golden – A bit of an under-the-radar prospect out of Liberty, Gandy-Golden put up some eye-popping numbers over his past three seasons averaging 73 receptions for 1,166 yards and 10 touchdowns. Again, those are his THREE-YEAR AVERAGES. Granted he wasn’t going up against the best defensive backs in the nation at powerhouse Liberty, but he does have the wide receiver size NFL GM’s, coaches and quarterbacks dream of at 6’4″/223 lbs. These are the type of high upside players I target later in my rookie drafts.UPDATE 4/27/20: AGG was drafted by the Redskins in the 4th round. Washington is a great landing spot for the big man as far as opportunity goes. He could immediately slide in behind Chin Sack Terry as the Skins #2.
58. Robby Anderson – In only a matter of days we escalated from “radio silence” level interest in the free-agent Anderson, to him signing in Carolina. Teddy Two Gloves also signed with the Panthers as Matt Rhule reworks his inherited offense without Cam Newton. Teddy’s going to be working overtime like Joe Exotic to feed all these hungry Panther receivers.
59. Jamison Crowder – A very nice PPR asset and only 26, there’s a good argument for Crowder higher. But the sexy-factor is lacking. And if there’s one lesson to learn from 20 days in quarantine, it’s that there’s no substitute for the sexy-factor; not even a football with a drawn on lipstick face.
60. Parris Campbell – Now these next two guys have the sexy-factor. As a rookie Campbell flashed in a major way during training camp, but lost the majority of the season to a slew of injuries. Philip Rivers will now be dishing the pigskin to Campbell in Indy. Philip Rivers does not have the sexy-factor. Still, there’s some major sophomore breakout potential with this youngster.