Lucas' Top 5 "Sleeper" Wide Receivers for your 2020 Fantasy Football Team.
I would first like to say thank you to the team over at Impact Sports and my longtime friend Ian Evans for letting me write this piece on something that I love to talk about day in and day out. Fantasy Football is one of the many things that keep us human during times like this, and I am here to give you an insight into the brain of someone who analyzes, and loves it more than most. Fantasy Football writers will generally give you what you need to know about the ins and outs of the game. I will be doing the same exact thing but from a different perspective, a normal persons perspective. I am no guru, but I am great at fantasy football and I hope this article will help you win your league.
1. Odell-Beckham Jr.
Photo Courtesy: Cleveland.com
Let me start this off by saying that I am not a fan of Odell Beckham. As a die hard fan of the Baltimore Ravens, I am not the biggest fan of the Browns for obvious reasons. I am also not a huge fan of the distraction Odell Beckham causes in the locker room. However, much like Antonio Brown, that distraction comes with an immense amount of talent that I believe is being slept on by most people. Beckham is one hell of a player. In current leagues, Beckham is being drafted at 6.06 (the 66th pick in the 6th round). For a player who had a “down” year, he still put up 1035 receiving yards, and 4 touchdowns. I believe that Beckham in a new offense, with a fresh start to the year will double his touchdowns, and put up over 1,300 yards. Baker Mayfield will be a lot better than his 35 interceptions in 30 games this year giving Beckham more targets and catches. The additions of Jedrick Wills in the first round of the draft, as well as Jack Conklin will solidify that line and give Baker Mayfield time to find the flamboyant, but electric Beckham. If you can find Beckham in the 4th or 5th round, I personally would not hesitate to pull the trigger.
2. Stefon Diggs
Photo Courtesy: Wsj.com
The stud receiver from Minnesota has found a new team, this team is the Super Bowl contending Buffalo Bills. I know, I know the Buffalo Bills and Super Bowl are only used together when we are talking about how many times they have lost it. However, their defense and now a top tier receiver could propel this team to glory. Diggs is one of the best route runners in the league and the inconsistent play by Kirk cousins created tensions on and off of the field. While Diggs had 63 receptions for 1,130 yards and 6 touchdowns, he underperformed from a fantasy perspective. From weeks 6-8 he had 21 receptions for 453 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was terribly inconsistent and because of that he made fantasy owners across the country angry. In my opinion this was not because of Diggs but it was because his quarterback liked Adam Thielen more. In a new system with an offense that yields competition for targets in John Brown, and Cole Beasely I believe Diggs will far out perform his 4.06 draft position.
3. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown
Photo Courtesy: NBC Sports
As a Ravens fan this pick may come off as biased, as well as cliche because it seems like everyone is talking about him but he is just flat out amazing. In 2019 I saw a rookie that weighed 160 pounds, with screws in his foot torch defensive backs week in and week out. Brown ended up missing two games in his rookie season and still put up 584 yards and 7 touchdowns. These numbers might not seem like a lot but in the playoffs he lodged 7 receptions for 126 yards against a really good Titans secondary. During the offseason Brown ended up getting surgery, removing the screws from his foot and adding close to 25 pounds onto his frame. Watch this kid's workouts on twitter, he is truly making a Lamar Jackson like transformation to start the 2020 season. Hollywood has an ADP in the 5th round at 5.10. He is being over drafted in most leagues, but if you can get him in the 6th or 7th round he will win you your theoretical fantasy trophy.
4. Brandin Cooks
Photo Courtesy: Chron.com
Brandin Cooks has been up there with the GOATs of the game in terms of production, but has become a sort of laughing stock becoming a part of 3 teams in the past four years. Cooks has been in the league for 6 years, and 4 of them he has posted 1000+ yards and 5+ touchdowns. The two seasons he posted less than 1,000 yards was his rookie season, and this past one. Cooks stats regressed this season because of injury and Jared Goff. Jared Goff is an atrocity to the quarterback position and Cooks should not be held accountable. Goff threw for a measly 22 touchdowns and a career high 16 interceptions while having top offensive weapons around him. Moving to the Texans, Deshaun Watson will treat him like a tiny Deandre Hopkins. This only spells good news for Cooks as he looks to repeat his past success with Brees, Brady, and even the dumpster fire we call Jared Goff. ESPN has Cooks ranked as the 99th best player this year. Theoretically you could get him in the 9th round making Cooks one of the best kept secrets of the draft this year.
5. Zach Pascal
Photo Courtesy: Colts.com
Finally a name that most of you probably have not heard of. Zach Pascal is one of the most low key draft prospects on the market. If you have already drafted I would bet you he is still on the waiver wire. While missing the first 2 games and having average quarterback play (R.I.P. Andrew Luck) Pascal still posted great numbers in his second year having 607 yards and 5 touchdowns. These numbers show me that if he can do that with Brissett, he will surely be able to do that with Philip Rivers. Rivers is known for making average receivers look amazing (See the 2016 season with Tyrell Williams, and Dontrell Inman). Pascal is currently 3rd on the depth chart but with an injury prone T.Y Hilton and a rookie slump from Michael Pittman Jr. you could see Pascal become a 1,000 yard receiver easily.
See you next week with my Top 5 sleeper running back picks, as well as more content in the future.