Top 5 Third Year Wide Receivers for 2020
By Angel Maldonado
The 2020 NFL Draft started last night and with it a new season of excitement. Plenty of talented players were selected, and Night Two should be just as exciting. In honor of the NFL Draft, I wanted to take a look back at the 2018 draft class. For those players who have yet to reach their full potential, year three is typically a make or break season. Those who have already made an impact tend to take the leap to fantasy football stardom and become household names. The class of 2018 has been successful, with multiple reliable starting options emerging. But who’s going to become a star in 2020? Below are the 5 receivers I feel are best positioned to make the leap to stardom in 2020.
- Michael Gallup
After a rookie year in which he flashed potential, Michael Gallup took the next step and soared to his first 1000 yard season in 2019. While Amari Cooper got most of the headlines, it was Gallup who was the most consistent offensive weapon in Dallas not named Dak Prescott. His big proved crucial to the Cowboys success and his 6 touchdowns have a chance to improve in 2020. Gallup is quite possibly the most talented wide out in this group, but is held back from the top 3 due to the abundance of wealth Dallas has on the offensive side of the ball. The addition of Ceedee Lamb last night is sure to take some targets away, but this is an offense that has the potential to be the most explosive in the NFC. While everyone else scoops up Amari Cooper and Ceedee Lamb entices dynasty aficionados, make sure to grab Michael Gallup and reap the rewards of a solid flex with the potential for much more should Cooper miss time.
- Calvin Ridley
One of two wide receivers selected in the first round of 2018, it is safe to say Ridley has met expectations. As a playmaker with elite route running, the former Alabama wideout fits perfectly next to future Hall of Famer Julio Jones. He will never be the focus of the defensive game plan which allows him to win one on one matchups all game long. Of course, Ridley’s ceiling is limited by the greatness of Julio Jones, but he has been exactly what Atlanta wanted from a WR2 and will continue to get his share of targets. He was well on his way to a 1000 yard campaign until a foot injury sidelined him in Week 14 and left him at 866 yards for the season. One factor working in Ridley’s favor is he has been a bigger touchdown threat than Julio Jones since his arrival in Atlanta and he should continue to receive opportunities in a prolific offense that just added Todd Gurley. Ridley is fourth on this list due to the presence of Julio Jones, but he is a safe WR2 in 2020 with the potential for more.
- D.J Chark
D.J Chark was phenomenal in 2019, catching 73 passes for 1008 yards in only 13 games. The man who inspired hundreds of “Baby Chark” team names benefitted from a lack of outside weapons in the passing game and the emergence of Gardner Minshew as a legit starting option at QB. While his late season fade can make investors weary, keep in mind that Chark was hampered by injuries late in the season, and another year of building rapport with Gardner Minshew should allow Chark to maintain, if not improve on, his 8 touchdowns in 2019. Chark was the biggest project coming out of the 2018 draft, with his limited route running ability and a tendency to struggle against press corners being a major concern. His innate physical ability made him an enticing pick though, and he has proven he is willing to put in the work to improve. He made significant strides in year 2, and has the potential to make a game breaking leap in year 3. Invest in Chark around the 4th round and you’ll have a rock solid WR2 for 2020.
- Courtland Sutton
When the 6’4” 216 pound Courtland Sutton was drafted in 2018, he was thought to be the future No.1 option in Denver. That future came much faster than anticipated when both Demaryius and Emmanuel Sanders were shipped out of town in back to back seasons. Now, Sutton enters 2020 as the undisputed No.1 option in a passing game that should be revitalized by the emergence of Drew Lock. Lock and Sutton showed great chemistry, with 25.7% of Lock’s targets going to former first round pick. Despite the addition of potentia superstar Jerry Jeudy, Sutton should still be the No.1 option in Denver and command the lion’s share of targets in the offense. The Broncos have the ingredients for an explosive offense and Courtland Sutton is going to be a big part of that. Lock in Sutton as a high WR2 for 2020.
- D.J Moore
D.J Moore had a fantastic 2019 and proved that he was worth the 1st round pick Carolina invested in him a year prior. He finished 2019 with a total of 1215 all purpose yards in an offense that was defined by the historic run of Christian McCaffrey. With McCaffrey due for regression in 2020, it is D.J Moore’s time to explode onto the scene. Moore passes the eye test, he’s a clear No.1 option in the passing game, and his yards of separation per target scream elite. Not to mention, Carolina’s quarterback carousel should end now with the reliable Teddy Bridgewater under center. Moore has WR1 potential and should be taken ahead of players like T.Y Hilton. If Moore is your WR2, you will win a lot of games in 2020.