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2020 Fantasy Football Sophomore Wide Receivers: Standouts vs Slumps


The 2019 NFL season brought forward unexpected stars, as fantasy football owners attempted to get ahead of the curve. The standout performances of select players will be carefully monitored for consistency later this year. Here, we discuss the performances of last year’s rookies and whether they can uphold their fantasy value moving forward.

Deebo Samuel (San Francisco 49ers)

With only 81 targets in 2019, Samuel managed to finish as WR26. He managed to exceed his fantasy projections in eight of his last 12 starts dating back to last season, and is involved in both the receiving and rushing attack.

With Emmanuel Sanders off the roster, he is currently the most accomplished wide receiver in San Francisco. He receives favorable matchups in each of his first five weeks, which helps fantasy owners who are seeking a quick start to the 2020 campaign.

AJ Brown (Tennessee Titans)

As the WR21 in 2019, AJ Brown established himself as the top receiving option in the Titans offense. In fact, he finished with nine more receptions, 450 more receiving yards, and four more touchdowns than anyone else on the team. In four of his final five starts last season, Brown totaled 14 or more fantasy points per game.

The Titans face a difficult schedule for fantasy wide receivers, and although Brown finished 6th in yards after the catch (465), he will face an uphill battle.

Standout or Slump: Slight Standout

DK Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks)

While Metcalf is developing at the appropriate rate, his rookie season was polarizing. While he topped 60+ receiving yards on nine occasions, he only totaled 10+ fantasy points once in his last seven starts.

He is expected to remain as the team’s primary red zone target, despite adding Phillip Dorsett in free agency. For fantasy owners, expect for his continued development to continue.

Standout or Slump: Slight Slump

Terry McLaurin (Washington Redskins)

After finished with 7+ targets in eight games last season, McLaurin is expected to develop alongside another promising sophomore in Dwayne Haskins. In fact, he totaled 12+ fantasy points in four of his first five games in 2019.

However, McLaurin didn’t finish with 12+ fantasy points in a single game for the rest of the season. He will likely see 100+ targets in 2020, but won’t become a breakout candidate.

Standout or Slump: Slight Slump

N’Keal Harry (New England Patriots)

Harry was only targeted more than four times on one occasion, and it came in Week 17 of the 2019 season. As the New England Patriots degrade from Tom Brady to Jarrett Stidham under center, it will be difficult to predict Harry’s production this upcoming season.

He becomes a deep dynasty option, but in re-draft leagues, it’s difficult to imagine Harry as anything more than a late flyer with hopes that he emerges as a favorite for Stidham.

Standout or Slump: Slump

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