2020 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

by Bobby Shepherd
2020 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

Bust is a speculative term used loosely by fantasy football nerds such as myself. So for the purpose of this exercise, the players on the 2020 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts list aren't necessarily going to do poorly. They just likely won't live up to the expectations we're drafting them with.

It seems every year, that for every player who surprises us with an unexpectedly strong performance there is another that fails to live up to the hype. As much as we all would like to be the guy who took Terry McLaurin in the 17th round, it's equally important not to be the guy who takes Antonio Brown in the 2nd.

For the purpose of this article, I used Fantasy Pros average draft position data for PPR scoring, which you can find here.

2020 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

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Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Current ADP WR8)

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"Bust" feels harsh. The question here isn't at all related to Mike Evans' ability. The question is can Tom Brady support 2 top 10 receivers while having a plethora of tight ends to choose from?

I defend Tom Brady more passionately than anybody else I know. And there is no doubt that getting Brady will cause immediate real football success for the Bucs. But can the hyper-efficient Tom Brady style of offense really support two elite fantasy football performers? Or was the playing from behind, desperate deep passes, and throwing blindly into double coverage the fuel to this Fantasy fire?

I like Chris Godwin when it's all said and done. But Evans might find that with the downfield air-raid style of offense in question, his skill-set might not distinguish him from the talented TE core. And while I don't expect him to do poorly, inside the top 10 is asking a bit too much for me.

Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns (ADP WR12)

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While we can forgive a man for his injury-plagued seasons. My concern for Beckham is less about Beckham and more about the Browns as a whole.

It's just hard to watch overall team inefficiency and not get nervous. With a bizarre and severely limited offseason, there is reasonable doubt as to whether or not the chemistry of the offense will improve as much as we could normally expect. Offensive woes don't just disappear, no matter what we expect, there is no guarantee of improvement.

Last year Beckham had 133 targets for 74 catches 1035 yards and 4 TDs. For those of you counting at home, that's a 55.6% catch rate. On the other hand, 38 picks later at and ADP of WR29 Jarvis Landry had 138 targets for 83 receptions 1174 yards and 6 TDs. That's a 60.1% catch rate.

I'm not going as far as to say Beckham should be avoided at all costs. But with Jarvis Landry still lurking on the depth chart, ready to do what he does best, I'd rather have the cheaper of the two options.

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (ADP WR13)

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The Cowboys have arguably a top 3 receiving core. And similar to the Evans argument, Cooper could find himself coming up short on our lofty expectations.

The biggest negative weighing against Cooper in the short term is Ceedee Lamb. A genuine badass prospect that will eventually, almost certainly become the top option in Dallas. The biggest, and arguably only uncertainty is, how long will it take?

Starting in the "Randall Cobb Role", Lamb seems poised to inherit at least the vacated 5 targets per game that Cobb left behind. There is also the concern of Michael Gallup's potential big step forward. And with Blake Jarwin very capable of filling the vacated targets leftover from the departure of Jason Witten, there seems to be a potential issue of volume.

Last year Dak Prescott set a career-high with 596 passing attempts, compared to the league average of 522 attempts. That number may decline or plateau, but it isn't likely to increase. Let's not forget that having a top 3 running back in Zeke may also put a limit in passing volume.

So for a third-round pick, you can have Cooper and his 119 targets and hope there is no regression. Or for a seventh-round pick, you can have Michael Gallup and his 113 targets and hope there is no regression.

For reference, the players who are currently be selected immediately after Cooper are Melvin Gordon, Chris Carson, Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson. And while they're no sure bet for production that is a lot of potential points to be had. After Gallup is James White, Hunter Henry, Ke'Shawn Vaughn, and Tom Brady. That range of potential points seems a bit less impressive.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP WR 31)

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Last year Tyler Boyd had a solid season finishing 18th in PPR scoring. That was with an established veteran QB, no real competition for targets, and no pandemic related offseason obstructions.

Enter a rookie signal-caller, the ghost of A.J. Green, a healthy John Ross, and Tee Higgins and there is immense concern for Boyd's volume. Last season Boyd was targeted 148 times. That is on par with Deandre Hopkins (150), Keenan Allen (149), and Julio Jones, (157) all of whom were top 10 players at the position. Factoring in that inefficiency with the new uncertainty makes me very hesitant to take Boyd at his current price.

Boyd is currently being drafted around the same time as players like Marquise Brown, Julian Edelman and Michael Gallup, all of whom have more potential volume than Boyd. And without a Dan Marino-like rookie season from Joe Burrow, it's hard to believe Boyd can overcome the circumstances.

Click here to access the 2020 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

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