by Alex Kurpeski
WR Hakeem Butler, Arizona Cardinals:
Butler is one of the most polarizing assets in fantasy football, as there are some who still value him as a future superstar, while others have given up on him following a rookie season that saw him parked on Arizona’s injured reserve. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, the path to targets in Arizona’s offense is not the clearest, even with the pass-happy scheme that saw them deploy four receiver sets on 33% of plays last season. While the Cardinals roster features names such as the aforementioned Hopkins, Christian Kirk (who performed admirably as the team’s WR1 last season), 2019 second-round pick Andy Isabella (a record-breaking receiver at UMass who flashed big play upside in his rookie campaign), living legend Larry Fitzgerald, and 2019 sixth-round pick Keesean Johnson (who started last season strong but eventually fell behind Isabella in the pecking order), Butler’s unique skill set could allow for him to have a very important role for this offense. At 6’6, 230 lbs, you may confuse Butler for one of the team’s tight ends if you happened to meet him in person. The former Iowa State playmaker made a name for himself in the 2018 college football season by absolutely dominating the Big 12, racking up 1318 receiving yards on just 60 receptions while accounting for 9 touchdowns. Despite his gargantuan size, Butler ran a 4.48 forty-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Draft Combine, athleticism that was best evidenced by Butler’s incredible work on deep throws in his final season with the Cyclones, with nearly a third of his catches (19/60) coming on deep looks as well as almost half of his total yardage (721 yards) and touchdowns (4/9), some really impressive numbers for a larger receiver. While Hopkins, Fitzgerald, and Kirk should be locked into their roles at the top of the team’s depth chart, Butler’s proficiency as a deep receiver, combined with his large frame (a great trait to draw red zone targets), could allow him to push ahead of Isabella and Johnson this season. Like D.K Metcalf last season, Butler is a unicorn who could truly develop into a one-of-a-kind superstar in the right situation, based on upside alone he should be stashed on your dynasty teams.
WR Steven Sims Jr., Washington Redskins:
As an undrafted rookie in 2019, Sims made his presence known for Washington last season, reeling in 34 passes while operating mostly out of the slot. Sims had a nose for the end zone, scoring four times in the final three games of the season. From weeks 15-17, Sims was a startable asset, scoring double-digit PPR points in each game while seeing 28 targets. Should his late season hot streak carry over into this season, Sims may very well find himself as the team’s WR2 on the depth chart, as his primary source of competition for work in the slot should come from a pair of very green rookies (fourth-round pick Antonio Gandy-Golden and potentially RB/WR hybrid Antonio Gibson). Due to the tangible chemistry he displayed with QB Dwayne Haskins, I have a good feeling about Sims’ potential to maintain a significant role in the offense.