- Michael Thomas, Saints
- Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
- Davante Adams, Packers
- DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals
- Julio Jones, Falcons
- Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
- Kenny Golladay, Lions
- DJ Moore, Panthers
- Allen Robinson, Bears
- Mike Evans, Buccaneers
- Amari Cooper, Cowboys
- A.J. Brown, Titans
- Adam Thielen, Vikings
- Cooper Kupp, Rams
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers
- DeVante Parker, Dolphins
- Odell Beckham Jr., Browns
- DJ Chark, Jaguars
- Courtland Sutton, Broncos
- DK Metcalf, Seahawks
- Will Fuller, Texans
- Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team
- Stefon Diggs, Bills
- Calvin Ridley, Falcons
- Tyler Boyd, Bengals
- Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
- Keenan Allen, Chargers
- T.Y. Hilton, Colts
- Jarvis Landry, Browns
- Sterling Shepard, Giants
- Marvin Jones, Lions
- Julian Edelman, Patriots
- Christian Kirk, Cardinals
- Michael Gallup, Cowboys
- Robert Woods, Rams
- Brandin Cooks, Texans
- Marquise Brown, Ravens
- Diontae Johnson, Steelers
- A.J. Green, Bengals
- Deebo Samuel, 49ers
- Breshad Perriman, Jets
- Jerry Jeudy, Broncos
- John Brown, Bills
- Hunter Renfrow, Raiders
- Darius Slayton, Giants
- Sammy Watkins, Chiefs
- Emmanuel Sanders, Saints
- Anthony Miller, Bears
- DeSean Jackson, Eagles
- N’Keal Harry, Patriots
- Curtis Samuel, Panthers
- Mecole Hardman, Chiefs
- Jamison Crowder, Jets
- Bryan Edwards, Raiders
- Dede Westbrook, Jaguars
- Justin Jefferson, Vikings
- Robby Anderson, Panthers
- Cole Beasley, Bills
- Mike Williams, Chargers
- CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys
- Jalen Reagor, Eagles
- John Ross III, Bengals
- Corey Davis, Titans
- Michael Pittman Jr., Colts
- Preston Williams, Dolphins
- Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
- Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers
- Chris Conley, Jaguars
- Golden Tate, Giants
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers
- Henry Ruggs III, Raiders
- Parris Campbell, Colts
- Steven Sims, Washington Football Team
- Laviska Shenault, Jaguars
- Allen Lazard, Packers
THE ANNUAL PPR SPECTACULAR
PRESSURE PACKED: Results of three simultaneous mocks (No. 8 slot)
FANTASY: 4 ways to invoke the risky ‘Bye Week’ draft strategy
FANTASY: How to fake your way through an uncomfortably early draft
DEEP DIVE: Fun Facts-style breakdown of the 2020 schedule
TWO OF EVERYTHING: Cool results from our ‘Noah’s Ark’ mock draft
FREE MONEY: Our second crack at NFL ‘Survivor Pool’ picks for 2020
READY, SET, GO: The NFL’s 30 most anticipated matchups of the season
MOCK DRAFT SIMULATION: # 11 slot
MOCK DRAFT SIMULATION: #4 slot
a) You can bet the proverbial farm on Saints wideout Michael Thomas (149 catches, 1,725 yards, 9 TDs) incurring a slight production dip in 2020, citing three firm presumptions:
**Last season, Thomas notched a new NFL single-season record for catches; and for what it’s worth, only Cris Carter (1994-95) and Antonio Brown (2014-15) have posted consecutive seasons of 120-plus receptions.
**It’s difficult to envision Saints tailback Alvin Kamara (three-year average: 1,492 total yards, 12.3 TDs) falling short of 1,400 total yards and/or double-digit touchdowns this year, especially with the University of Tennessee product set to hit unrestricted free agency after the 2020 campaign.
**The Saints’ previous model of having Thomas outperform his wideout teammates by three or four times the targets reeked of absurdity; and that lack of balance contributed to the Saints averaging three points less in 2019 (compared to 2018).
To rectify the situation in 2020, New Orleans went out and signed Emmanuel Sanders for the WR2 role.
b) Chris Godwin finished second overall with the majority of PPR leagues last year (trailing only Thomas), despite ranking 11th in receptions (86), 17th in targets (120), 3rd in receiving yards (1,333) and 3rd in receiving touchdowns (9).
As such, there are two ways to interpret our positional ranking for 2020:
GOOD: Godwin (three double-digit target outings, six 100-yard games last year) might already be a fantasy superstar … but also has plenty of tangible upside with catches, targets and touchdowns.
MEH: Fantasy owners should never assume 1,300-plus yards and nine touchdowns from any wideout, year to year, especially one who has yet to clear 90 receptions.
Put it all together, and it’ll be fascinating to see how new Bucs quarterback Tom Brady utilizes arguably the NFC’s best collection of playmakers from Day 1 (Evans, Godwin, Ronald Jones, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Justin Watson).
c) We’ll keep this short and sweet with Davante Adams:
**When extrapolating his 2016-18 numbers over three 16-game campaigns, Adams tallied elite-level averages of 87 catches, 136 targets, 1,089 yards and 11.7 touchdowns.
**Adams’ 12-game numbers from last season, when extrapolated to a 16-game slate, shake out to 111 catches, 170 targets, 1,330 yards and 6.7 TDs.
d) Julio Jones (turned 31 in February) feels like a no-brainer pick for the top five, after posting six consecutive seasons of 1,300-plus yards.
In fact, let’s take a stab at prognosticating Julio’s precise statistics for 2020 — assuming full health:
First, let’s throw out Jones’ gold-standard season of (136 catches, 1,871 yards, 8 TDs) … and his, uh, worst, campaign of the last six years — 2017 (84 catches, 1,444 yards, 3 TDs).
The averages of the other four seasons (2014, 2016, 2018-19) come out to: 100 catches, 155 targets, 1,518 yards and seven scores for this season. BOOM!
e) Remember when noted ESPN blowhard Rex Ryan inadvertently referred to Amari Cooper as a ‘turd’ back in March?
It was obviously a poor choice of words on Ryan’s part, an indefensible cheap shot on national TV. But moving past the needless insult, did Ryan have a point in criticizing Cooper’s home/road splits with the Cowboys?
Check this out:
**For his 12 regular-season road outings (2018-19), Cooper owns painful averages of 3.8 catches, 7.1 targets, 41.2 yards and 0.3 TDs.
**For his 13 regular-season home games (2018-19), Cooper boasts stellar averages of 6.7 catches, 8.5 targets, 109 yards and 0.9 TDs.
What’s the verdict? Cooper might become the first top-10 wideout in fantasy history … to be mired in a home/away platoon with a third-tier receiver.
f) The Odell Beckham Jr. we knew from 2014-16 — boasting Hall of Fame-like averages of 96 catches, 1,374 yards, 12 TDs — probably doesn’t exist anymore … in totality.
Chalk it up to injuries (16 games missed since 2017), ego, complacency (middling catch-to-target rate of 55 percent last season), general unhappiness, unwanted change of scenery or simply getting older (four catches/11 red-zone targets last year).
Whatever the reasons, isolated or cumulative, the days of rubber-stamping 90 catches, 1,300 yards or even double-digit touchdowns have likely passed.
The lesson here: Stop taking OBJ high in Round 2 of PPR drafts!
You’ll be much happier with Beckham’s standing as a Round 5 or 6 selection.
And finally …
g) Here’s a cool stats to celebrate with your fantasy friends … and conceal from your rivals of this wonderfully addictive game:
In 2019, only three NFL wideouts racked up double-digit numbers with ‘games of eight-plus targets‘ AND ‘outings with seven catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown‘ — Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins … and emerging Panthers star DJ Moore (87 catches, 135 targets, 1,175 yards, 4 TDs).