2020 Fantasy Football Analysis: The Top WRs You Can't Afford to Miss

SI Fantasy high stakes analyst Shawn Childs provides a WR1 and WR2 scoring breakdown, and projects what point targets players need to hit to gain an edge.
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This is an article from our FFWC Target Points series. If you're a FullTime Fantasy subscriber, you can read this premium article here.

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I have to admit I have a weakness for the WR position. I like strength at wide receivers, which allows me to make fewer decisions when setting my starting lineup. Here’s a look at the top 12 wide receivers over the last four seasons:

Top 12 WR point totals (2016 – 2019)

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WR1: Last year the average top 12 WRs averaged 94 catches for 1,250 yards, and 9.4 TDs. Take a look at the numbers through 2013.

2018 – 104 catches for 1,381 yards and 9.4 TDs

2017 – 92 catches for 1,231 yards and seven TDs

2016 – 92 catches for 1,212 yards and 9.2 TDs

2015 – 103 catches for 1,396 yards and 10 TDs

2014 – 97 catches for 1,406 yards and 10 TDs 

2013 – 95 catches for 1,401 yards and 10 TDs. 

This translated to 268.43 fantasy points in full-point PPR leagues or 16.78 points per week. The WR1 position had its weakest output (16.19 FPPG) in 2017 over the past seven seasons.

2018 ended up being the return of the elite WR1 after showing similar stats in 2015. The average RB1 outscored the average WR1 by 1.44 fantasy points in 2019, which is the big reason running backs have been flying off the boards in the 2020 draft season.

The top 12 wide receivers lost value in 2017 (259.11 Fantasy points) while being outscored by the top 12 running backs (274.77) by 15-plus fantasy points per week.

FFWC Point Totals WR1 Observations

Overall, an elite three-down running back has an edge in almost every season. There will be an exception when a top receiver catches plus receptions or scores a high volume of TDs (Randy Moss 2007 – 98/1523/23, Calvin Johnson 2011 – 96/1681/16, Marvin Harrison 2004 -143/1722/11, and Wes Welker 2011 – 122/1569/9). 

One of my goals on draft day is to eliminate as many weekly lineup decisions as possible. The more decisions a fantasy owner has to make from week-to-week, the higher the chance of being wrong. The WR position is very volatile. If a fantasy owner has too many players that look the same, it is nearly impossible to maximize your success over a long football season.

A fantasy owner that decides to draft a WR strong team in a PPR league will eliminate much of the decision-making process for two possibly three WR positions. This owner MUST draft one strong running back as the core of his roster.

Expected Gains/Losses for the Top 12 2020 WRs

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These are based on our early projections here at FullTime Fantasy

To read the rest, along with the complete list of WR1 & WR2 rankings, scoring targets & projections, subscribe now using promo code TD30 for 30% off your first two months!