2020 Rookie Wide Receiver- Breakout Candidates
By James Kreiss @FF_Chef
In Dynasty we always should have a ‘‘win now approach’’ while preparing our franchise for the future. We commonly get wrapped up in the idea receivers take two to three seasons to have breakout campaigns. However, after seeing 3 rookie receivers with at least 3rd round or better draft capital in 2019 post 900+ yards and 7+ touchdowns, it begs the question: out of the 35 drafted in 2020, who has the opportunity to do it this year? If you haven’t done your rookie draft yet or are planning your next dynasty startup, here are three 2020 rookies you seriously should consider not named Henry Ruggs II, Jerry Jeudy, or CeeDee Lamb.
Jalen Reagor, Wide Receiver Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles ran very thin at the WR position in 2019. Devastated by injuries to major contributors like DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles made sure to grab a difference maker with the 21st pick, selecting TCU star Jalen Reagor. Although Reagor ran just a 4.47 40yd at the combine ( T-15th ) he was clocked at 20.8 mph for game speed, second in his class only to Ruggs. Primarily a slot receiver, Reagor also possesses burst to go up and make those jump ball catches. He displayed this throughout his college career and again at the Combine, posting a 42 inch vertical leap and a 138 inch broad jump. With rumors of Jeffery starting the season on the PUP and Jackson being only a deep threat, Reagor may have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in Philadelphia and a chance to lead the rookie receiver class in fantasy points.
Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver Minnesota Vikings
It’s no wonder that the Minnesota Vikings didn’t hesitate to trade Stefon Diggs to Buffalo for numerous draft picks back in March 2020. With the amount of rookie talent coming out of the 2020 class, it wouldn’t be too hard to find a replacement for their leading pass catcher. They were definitely successful in doing so, taking Justin Jefferson with the 22nd pick they acquired from Buffalo. Jefferson’s talent for getting open in the flat - along with his awareness to recognize a breakdown in play and comeback ability to bail out his quarterback - earned him the most receptions (111) in the NCAA in 2019. He ranked third in touchdowns (18) in the SEC and has a similar build to Diggs, sizing up at 6’1’’ 202 lbs and posting a 4.44 40yd dash (Diggs ran a 4.46). With Adam Thielen being the primary receiver drawing the main coverage, look for Jefferson to get a bold share of targets and red zone looks from Kirk Cousins. With his pass-catching talent and blatant opportunity, Jefferson should produce early and often in his rookie season. He is a prime candidate to see similar numbers to the top rookies in 2019, if not more. Take Jefferson in your rookie drafts and startups with the confidence you’ll have an early breakout star on your roster to immediately contribute to your championship dynasty roster.
Denzel Mims, WR New York Jets
2019 saw the New York Jets finish 31st in offensive production. While most blame quarterback Sam Darnold for missing three games with mononucleosis and others blaming head coach Adam Gase’s poor coaching philosophy. It's fair to say the wide receiving corps didn’t do too much to help the situation with receiver Jamison Crowder producing the most yards (833) and touchdowns (8), Enter Denzel Mims. Mims weighs in at 6’3” 207 lbs, posted the fifth overall fastest 40 time (4.38) at this year’s NFL Combine, and came in second in contested catches (20). With his size, speed, and strong ability to hang on to the ball in contested situations he’s best comparable to 2019 PPR WR2 Chris Godwin (6’1” 209 lbs 4.42 40 time). Since coming into the league in 2018, Sam Darnold has been waiting for a player of this caliber to rely on with his knack for over the shoulder passes and corner posts. With Mims replacing the recently departed field stretcher Robby Anderson, it’s safe to say the Jets have done a fantastic job filling 78 vacated targets. If you’ve been searching for this year’s Terry McLaurin, search no further: It’s Mims. McLaurin turned an impressive Senior Bowl week into a high draft slot and the opportunity to produce right away on a team devoid of good receivers, and look for Mims to follow the same route. Stock up on Mims everywhere you can, before the secret gets out.
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