Fantasy Wide Receiver Regression 2020
We’ll dive into the Wide Receivers from 2019 and go through which ones the FFX believe are looking at regression in 2020, whether it’s positive or negative.
Robert Woods is coming off his second consecutive Top 15 finish in PPR which included over 130 targets and over 1100 yards in each of those two seasons. But what stands out is his two receiving touchdowns in 2019 vs. the six receiving TDs he had in 2018. Woods was one of the two wide receivers in the Top 16 that’s had under five receiving touchdowns in 2019 (the other you’ll find later in this article). Aside from sitting in Week 11, since the Rams’ week nine bye week, Woods saw at least nine targets in each of his last seven games of 2019. Woods should still be an integral part of the offense for the Rams going into 2020 and is due for positive touchdown regression. He should also be the cheaper Rams receiver between him and Kupp, making him easier to acquire.
DJ Moore had a quiet sophomore breakout in 2019. But why was it a “quiet” breakout? Christian McCaffrey took the spotlight of the Panthers offense and of the fantasy football community with his monstrous 2019 season as the RB1. When you think about the Panthers QB situation, I’m sure you can recall Kyle Allen’s inconsistent play and the few games where he was replaced or even benched. With poor quarterback play, you could assume that there hasn’t been productive fantasy play from the pass catchers of the offense – but that wasn’t the case with Moore. He ellipsed over 1100 yards on 135 targets but only four touchdowns. Aside from Woods, he was the only other receiver in the Top 16 with less than five touchdowns. Research shows that although CMC can maintain RB1 status, he’s due for some negative regression in his usage. This should open up more opportunities for Moore and the pass attack in the revamped Matt Rhule offense.
Odell Beckham Jr.
The target share for OBJ was there in 2019. The problem was consistency from Baker Mayfield and efficient play from the offense as a whole. Former Head Coach Freddie Kitchens and his play calling could be part of the blame. Beckham Jr. still saw over 130 targets but only caught 74, which is his lowest catch percentage of his career. He caught more balls and touchdowns in New York in 2018 in 12 games than he did in a full season with the Browns in 2019. New Head Coach Kevin Stefanski going from Kirk Cousins, Adam Theilen, and Stefon Diggs won’t skip a beat now that he gets to coach the young pass attack of Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., and Jarvis Landry. A healthy Beckham should be much more efficient in a new offense and with another offseason developing with young Mayfield.
Cooper Kupp might have finished as the PPR WR4, but how he got there wasn’t too pretty. Kupp started the 2019 season on fire. Of the eight games before the bye week, Kupp saw more than 10 targets in five of those games and received more than 100 yards in six of those games. After the bye week, he didn’t reach 100 receiving once and only say 10 targets twice in those eight games. After seeing less than eight targets only ONCE before the bye week, Kupp saw six or fewer targets in six of his final eight games. What saved his value and season was the 10 receiving touchdowns. He saw five before the bye and five after the bye. If you take away Kupp’s touchdowns entirely, he was still a reliable fantasy asset in the first half of the season just on volume, but the volume plummeted in the second half of the season. Kupp is someone I’m looking to sell in dynasty leagues while you can as the 2019 WR4 before he regresses in 2020.
Kenny Golladay’s output was almost identical from 2018 to 2019 except for his touchdown total. In both seasons he saw around 115 targets, 65-70 catches and over 1000 yards in each season. The outline of the two seasons though is the touchdowns. Golladay had five touchdowns in 2018 but lead the league with 11 in 2019. 11 touchdowns on 65 catches is not something I see retainable and should regress in 2020. With three different QBs starting for the Lions throughout the season, the goal was clearly to get the ball into the playmakers’ hands. Next year, whether it’s Matt Stafford or another young quarterback, with a healthy Kerryon Johnson, I foresee the Lions offense spreading the ball around which should naturally reduce Golladay’s touchdown total. He should still be a 100 target/1,000 yard player but 11 touchdowns doesn’t seem sustainable for 2020.
The breakout that the fantasy community has waited five years for has finally come to fruition. It took Fitzmagic’s fearlessness to make it happen. Parker saw 128 targets in 2019, his first season seeing over 100. He was the PPR WR11 with over 1200 yards and nine touchdowns. But what makes it easy to predict regression is his YPT (Yards Per Target) and his YPC (Yards Per Catch). His YPT and YPC both jumped at least an average of two yards from the last two seasons. This should change drastically with a new quarterback situation in Miami. Sure, there’s a chance that Fitzpatrick is the starter for Miami yet another season, so the choice is yours whether you think him and Parker can replicate their 2019 numbers, but in dynasty leagues, I’m looking to sell for the WR1 value.
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