Missing out on an entire section of talented players can leave you scrambling to fill the void, so utilizing a tiers system is the most efficient way of drafting. In the third installment of our 2020 fantasy football tier rankings, we’ll take a look at which WRs to target in your upcoming fantasy football drafts. If you missed it when they originally released, make sure you also check out my QB and RB tiers to truly dominate your draft.
We would all love to live in a perfect world where we take our top-ranked player at every selection, but that’s just not realistic when building a formidable fantasy football squad. Each position has a different point where there’s a considerable drop-off in talent and opportunity. Understanding which round that drop-off comes depends on scoring settings and the flow of each individual draft, so always remain fluid as your draft shifts from one position run to the next. For now, let’s take a look at my WR tiers for the 2020 fantasy football season.
Tier One WRs are elite WR1’s in 2020 Fantasy Football
Tier One: Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, Chris Godwin, DeAndre Hopkins
The six wide receivers in tier one of my 2020 fantasy football rankings are all WR1’s in-line for massive volume on good-to-elite NFL offenses. New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was in a class of his own in 2019, outscoring the number two WR by more than 100 fantasy points in PPR formats. The addition of veteran Emmanuel Sanders isn’t enough to drop Thomas from the number one spot, but the former Denver Bronco and San Francisco 49ers’ standout is good enough to steal some of MT’s massive volume.
Davante Adams is in-line for Thomas-level volume in 2020 after Green Bay refused to upgrade the wide receivers around him, while Julio Jones should receive a nice chunk of departed tight end Austin Hooper’s 97 targets. As evidenced by his 4.23 Consistency Score (WR27) in 2019, Tyreek Hill is more boom-or-bust than other tier one receivers, but his boom weeks can single-handedly win you your weekly 2020 fantasy football matchup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin finished last season as the number two WR in PPR formats and looks like a natural pairing with Tom Brady. Godwin excels across the middle of the field where Brady likes to work, but the uptick in efficiency could hurt Godwin’s ability to reach top-two status again.
DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins is arguably the best wide receiver in football, but Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury prefers to spread targets around his entire offense. This may change with an elite talent like Hopkins in town, but there’s just more risk involved with Nuk than ever before. Even with the volume concerns, Hopkins is just too talented to drop further than this.
Tier Two wide receivers are WR1’s or talented WR2’s on elite offenses
Tier Two: Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson, Amari Cooper, D.J. Moore, Mike Evans, Adam Thielen, A.J. Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Calvin Ridley, Odell Beckham Jr.
Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson, D.J. Moore, Adam Thielen, A.J. Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Odell Beckham Jr., are all great WR1’s on average NFL offenses. Each player has WR1 potential, but the quarterback play or passing volume makes them more of a risk than tier one players.
Amari Cooper is the WR1 on one of the best passing offenses in the NFL, but his inconsistency can sometimes be detrimental to your team. Cooper is a poor man’s Tyreek Hill with more target competition at the wide receiver position. Hill competes with Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman for WR targets, while Cooper will battle Michael Gallup and 2020 first-round pick CeeDee Lamb.
Calvin Ridley and Mike Evans are their teams’ likely number two wide receivers, but both can be WR1’s in fantasy football. Ridley had 90+ targets and 800+ yards in each of his first two seasons, with those numbers expected to rise with Hooper off to Cleveland.
Evans has averaged 16.5 PPR points-per-game and has never received less than 100 targets over his six-year career. The switch from Jameis Winston to Brady is a bit of a concern, but Evans remains in-line to obtain 100+ targets, and his touchdown potential is probably being discounted in these rankings.
Tier Three receivers are fourth-round targets in 2020 fantasy football drafts
Tier Three: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin
My tier-three receivers feature a pair of target-stealing teammates and a second-year wide receiver expected to garner massive volume. The Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp (WR4) and Robert Woods (WR14) both had elite 2019 seasons, and we have little-to-no reason to believe they can’t repeat something similar in 2020. Seattle’s duo of Tyler Lockett (WR13) and D.K. Metcalf (WR33) weren’t quite as successful as the Rams pair, but the sky is the limit in 2020 if the Seahawks let quarterback Russell Wilson air it out more.
Even though he’s attached to one of the worst offenses in the NFL, Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin is one of my favorite values in 2020 fantasy drafts. One year after securing 58 receptions, it wouldn’t be a major shock to see that number creep above the 80+ range in 2020.
Tier Four WRs are great WR2’s in fantasy football
Tier Four: D.J. Chark, Courtland Sutton, Keenan Allen, DeVante Parker, Michael Gallup, Tyler Boyd, Jarvis Landry, Stefon Diggs
The eight wide receivers in tier four of my WR rankings are elite WR2’s in fantasy, but you’re probably in trouble if you’re relying on them as your WR1. D.J. Chark, Keenan Allen, DeVante Parker, Courtland Sutton, and Stefon Diggs are all WR1’s on their respective teams, but each carries enough risk to push them down to WR2 territory.
Gallup, Tyler Boyd, and Jarvis Landry, are all considered WR2’s on their respective teams, capping each of their fantasy ceilings. Even with that in mind, Boyd and Landry are two of the safest WR2 bets in this area, while Gallup has WR1 potential in Dallas’ high-powered passing offense.
Tier Five wide receivers are risky WR2’s
Tier Five: T.Y. Hilton, Will Fuller, Marquise Brown, Diontae Johnson, A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Henry Ruggs, Jamison Crowder
There are a lot of talented wide receivers in this range, but the tier five wide receivers come with more risk than those before them. T.Y. Hilton, Will Fuller, and A.J. Green are all elite wide receivers when healthy, but those days have been few and far between. As talented as these wide receivers are, they are a massive risk in fantasy football due to their tendency to miss multiple games per season.
With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back and looking healthy, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson is my favorite mid-to-late round wide receiver to target. Johnson is an elite route-runner that should excel with Big Ben back under center.
Las Vegas Raiders’ first-round pick Henry Ruggs is another potential breakout star after the season-ending injury to Tyrell Williams. Baltimore Ravens’ second-year wide receiver Marquise Brown looks healthier than he ever was during his rookie campaign and should be the number one WR for 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
Marvin Jones and Jamison Crowder are both high-floor, low-ceiling WR3’s that should be good enough to be in WR2 contention. I usually prefer players with higher-ceilings, but the value seems about right in this range.
Tier Six WRs are WR3’s or lower in 2020 fantasy football
Tier Six: Deebo Samuel, Julian Edelman, Christian Kirk, Mecole Hardman, Brandon Aiyuk, Brandin Cooks, CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Reagor, Sterling Shepard, Preston Williams
Deebo Samuel is far too talented to be this low, but his unfortunate Jones fracture is a situation to avoid. Even with Samuel doing some running and looking healthier by the day, this particular injury has been devastating to wide receivers in the past. The re-injury risk is exceptionally high, and I find it hard to believe Samuel will be 100% at any point this season. I really hope I’m wrong and he balls out, but the risk is far greater than the reward with Samuel this season.
Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Sterling Shepard, and Preston Williams are all looking to bounce back from injury-plagued 2019 campaigns. While all players seem to be fully-healthy entering the 2020 regular season, Cooks and Shepard’s concussion history is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Tier Seven receivers are solid depth pieces that could hit
Tier Seven: John Brown, Darius Slayton, Anthony Miller, DeSean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders, Parris Campbell, Jerry Jeudy, Bryan Edwards, Golden Tate, N’Keal Harry, Justin Jefferson, Allen Lazard, Michael Pittman Jr.
Now that we’re down at tier seven, you’re just looking for depth to add to your benches. These are safe or high-upside prospects that could hit gold if things fall just right. My favorite high-upside players in this area include Parris Campbell, Bryan Edwards, and DeSean Jackson.