The dust has settled, we’ve all got some sleep and this weekend is going to see rookie fantasy drafts kicking off across the US and Europe.
With one of the deepest WR classes in the modern history of the game, there seems to be value all over the place if your dynasty team is lacking in the pass catching department.
And here at the Full 10 Yards we’re generous people, and we want to give you every chance to grab that player who is a fixture on your roster for the next 10 years.
So, we’re going to break down the top 10 rookies that landed in good spots this year, some that were drafted in the first round, right through to some late round picks who have a chance to make an impact.
- Antonio Gibson – Washington Redskins
With a lot of heads being turned by Twitter darling Antonio Gandy-Golden being drafted by the Redskins in the 4th round, his new teammate Antonio Gibson is going quietly under the radar.
Gibson offered up a showcase at the combine, where he ran a 4.39 40. But those who have watched the Memphis product during his college career will have already been excited about the versatility he brings to Ron Rivera’s new look roster.
During his senior season, Gibson racked up 738yrds receiving, 369yrds rushing and 645yrds as a returner. That multi-position value is perfect for the modern game and will translate well for fantasy players who want to add a flex receiver with big upside.
- Quintez Cephus – Detroit Lions
The third overall pick, Jeffrey Okudah, recently named the most difficult opponent he faced in college as Wisconsin’s Quintez Cephus. Coincidently, they’re now teammates in Detroit, where Cephus sits behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola on the depth chart.
Naturally, that immediately limits his short-term fantasy value. However, Cephus has a lot of potential in deeper dynasty leagues. With Jones and Amendola free agents at the end of the season, there’s a chance for the Georgia native to learn from three of the most undervalued receivers at the league, polishing his footwork and several other attributes that need work.
But, with an ability to bully his opponents, win contested catches and run aggressively after the catch, the raw ingredients are already in place. Stash Cephus on that taxi squad now, and get ready to promote him when the Lions get rid of Matt Patricia and appoint an offensive mind to get the most out of Matt Stafford before it’s too late.
- CeeDee Lamb – Dallas Cowboys
Many expected Lamb to the be the first receiver off the board last week, as it happened he fell ever so slightly to the Cowboys.
The immediate reaction of fantasy players was one of disappointment, with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already on the Cowboys roster, it appears that, at least for now, Lamb won’t be the automatic WR1 in Dallas.
However, that doesn’t mean you should be avoiding the former Sooners’ star, there’s a reason he came touted as the top player in a deep class. Lamb’s YAC threat, separation ability and tendency to pull off the spectacular mean that he shouldn’t be a fantasy benchwarmer for long. And, with Jerry Jones insisting he take #88, it’s fair to say there’s a bright future in Texas for this young man.
- Jalen Reagor – Philadelphia Eagles
Another first round receiver takes the number seven spot. With Carson Wentz throwing to Greg Ward and not a lot else during the Eagles’ late play-off run, it was only natural that the Eagles address the receiver position in this draft.
Step forward TCU’s Jalen Reagor. Reagor brings an array of talents to Philadelphia, acceleration, speed and versatility being the three that immediately jump to mind. He offers a different style of play to established veterans Alshon Jeffrey and Deshaun Jackson, and has every chance of quickly making a fantasy splash immediately due to the injury prone nature of the aforementioned players.
With a current ADP of around 1.12 in SF, 12 team leagues, it seems like the new Eagle is the least being overlooked by those who are looking for the flashier names of the Jeudys and Jeffersons of the world, let’s keep it that way as Reagor looks to be a bargain.
- Isaiah Coulter – Houston Texans
There’s already a limited buy now window on Coulter, with lockdown Twitter sharing and re-sharing the Rhode Island star’s highlight reel. It’s not hard to see why, and it’s easy to imagine that in a normal year he may have gone a lot earlier than the 26th pick of the 5th round.
As it stands, it looks like the Texans got a bargain. Coulter is a true wideout in the conventional sense of the word, he’s a prototype X receiver with the ability to get up above his opponents, he has fantastic catch radius and the speed to turn short catches into chunk plays.
If those attributes sound familiar, it’s because the Texans just flipped a player that checked all those boxes as well. Now, Coulter isn’t Hopkins, but he is a receiver with a lot of NFL potential on a team that hasn’t got a natural WR1 on their roster. Grab him whilst you can.
- KJ Hamler – Denver Broncos
A quick reminder that this article is looking at best fantasy fits for wideouts, so whilst it doesn’t include Jerry Jeudy, I’m not saying his new teammate is better than him.
KJ Hamler is set to become the AFC West’s latest explosive slot receiver, along with Tyreek Hill and Henry Ruggs, he’s the definition of the NFL’s new need for speed. A natural field stretcher with the speed to separate from his corner, Hamler is also set to benefit from the talent of those around him as he lines up next to Courtland Sutton and fellow rookie Jeudy.
With the two bigger names drawing the opposition’s A & B corners, it feels inevitable that Pat Schurmur will scheme Hamler open time and again, allowing Drew Lock to let rip and showcase his big arm talent. If that isn’t attractive to you as a fantasy owner, then Hamler’s early landing spot as an early 3rd rounder in rookie fantasy drafts should be.
- Tyler Johnson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Is there any doubt that Tampa’s offense is loaded ahead of the 2020 season? Fantasy legends Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been joined by the best QB to ever play the game and one of the targets that allowed him to achieve that status.
If there is one question left after one of the most exciting off-season’s in team history, and I’m not sure there is, it is who takes over from Breshad Perriman as WR3.
Vying for that spot, is 5th round pick, Tyler Johnson, who comes off the back of a 1318yrd, 13td season for the Minnesota Gophers. In my eyes, Johnson isn’t competing for the traditional slot role that is associated with the third receiver on the roster, Chris Godwin was electrifying in that role last year. Instead, Johnson is competing for the position opposite Mike Evans, as a traditional touchline receiver who can beat opponents with his route running ability and strength.
Good news fantasy fans, he can do both. Add to that the likelihood that he’s going to be working against lesser coverage AND Tom Brady is throwing him the ball, and you’ve got a potential steal on your hands.
- Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings
Stefon Diggs was targeted 94 times as a Minnesota Viking last season, now he’s freezing in the tundra of Buffalo. The man who the Vikings drafted as Diggs’ successor comes with Championship pedigree, and four touchdowns against the Sooners’ in the playoff semi-final last year.
A pure route runner, with great hands and a ridiculous catch radius, Jefferson is one of the best players in this draft. And, in Minnesota he’s a fantasy addition made in heaven. With no real threat added since their playoff defeat (unless you’re a Tajae Sharpe fan), the LSU standout seems likely to slot right into the target share left by Diggs. And, with Adam Thielan not getting any younger, it feels like he won’t have long to take over as the unquestioned WR1.
- Bryan Edwards – Las Vegas Raiders
I know, I know, Henry Ruggs was the first receiver drafted in the class, but is he honestly what you’d consider a WR1? For me he’s not. But I tell you who does fit the bill, South Carolina standout, Bryan Edwards.
I’ve been raving about Edwards for a few months now, not least because of his 2018 tape against Alabama, where he was arguably the best receiver on a field that contained Ruggs, Jeudy and more of the Alabama production line. A tough, resilient player, Edwards finds space easily with his natural route running ability, before adding significant yards after the catch with his fast acceleration and strong frame.
For fantasy players, it might seem a weird decision to have a 3rd round pick this high, but when his competition for the X-receiver role is Tyrell Williams, it’s not hard to envisage Edwards moving swiftly to WR1/2 on this Raiders team. Grab him in the middle of the 2nd round now, before his value creeps even further up the board.
- Denzel Mims – New York Jets
I can almost see the disgust on your face as you’ve spent a few mins scrolling through this to see a New York Jets receiver sat here smiling at you. Well, turn that frown upside down, as Denzel is set to make a splash in the Big Apple.
The Jets had a very good draft, bolstering their offensive line and adding a projected first round talent in Mims in the middle of the 2nd.
You don’t see players of Mims’ build running a 4.38 40 very often, and you see a player with that speed throwing up Randy Moss style catches in the end zone every week even less. Mims is an exciting prospect with all the tools to make it as a team’s lead pass catcher in the NFL, but that’s not what makes him the number one on this list.
He’s number one because of his landing sport, the New York Jets. Not many teams have less talent at wide receiver than the Jets this year, sure Jamison Crowder and Brashad Perriman are ok, but they’re not the sort of players that are going to help Sam Darnold showcase his potential as a QB1 in the league. Mims is that type of player. Go get him now and more importantly, feel good about getting yourself a future stud.