Fantasy Football Busts: Wide Receivers
Dec 15, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of the jersey of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL has long been a league of change. There are always new players breaking out, Pro Bowlers becoming bench players, and teams going from 11-5 to 5-11 in the span of a year. This season will be no different.
In fantasy football, predicting the players who are going to break out is key to success. At the same time, avoiding players who are going to have a down year is essential, especially toward the top of your draft.
Here are three wide receivers destined to be fantasy busts in 2020.
Amari Cooper | Dallas Cowboys
Cooper is a talented wide receiver who has been great with the Cowboys since he was traded there during the 2018 season. However, he hasn’t developed his game enough to be a consistent number one target.
Last season Cooper had 79 catches on 119 targets, but those targets are going to drop because the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb with the No. 17 overall pick in this year’s draft. Lamb has the potential to be a Pro Bowl wideout as a rookie, and it’s only a matter of time until he’s the WR1 on the Cowboys’ depth chart. Michael Gallup will also get more targets after a phenomenal 2019 campaign, and he should be available late in most drafts.
Cooper’s projected to be a second round pick in most fantasy PPR leagues, so I would look elsewhere in the back end of the second round. He projects more as a WR2 for 2020, so avoid him until at least the middle of the third round.
Odell Beckham Jr. | Cleveland Browns
This one might be a little harsh considering Beckham had 74 catches, 1035 yards, and four touchdowns in 2019 while battling injuries. Still, he isn’t a great fit in Cleveland with all the talent surrounding him.
The offense was clunky and inefficient in 2019, and there’s no guarantee that Baker Mayfield and the rest of the Browns can turn it around this season. He had a 55.6 percent completion percentage in 2019, which doesn’t bode well for Beckham, who’s surrounded by other dangerous offensive weapons.
Beckham is being drafted in the second round of most PPR drafts, but you’d receive similar production from his teammate Jarvis Landry, who can be drafted in the fourth or fifth round. Take a pass on Beckham.
Tyler Boyd | Cincinnati Bengals
Boyd was a fantasy steal in 2019, but his production should drop in 2020. The Bengals now have a rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow, a ghost target machine in A.J Green, a healthy and emerging John Ross, and a newly drafted Tee Higgins.
Boyd saw 146 targets last season, which was on par with top 10 receivers like DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, and Julio Jones. That volume will be cut in half in 2020, so his consistent 15-point fantasy days are behind him.
Boyd is projected as a middle-round pick, but those who relied on him in 2019 should be wary of drafting him this year.