Fantasy Football WR Preview - Strength of Schedule
Adam Ronis breaks down which receivers have the easiest schedules in the upcoming 2020 NFL season.
Strength of schedule is only a small piece of analyzing wide receivers. Many things change during the season. Defenses expected to be bad often are better than projected and some defenses expected to be in the upper tier turn out to be bad.
Even during the season, a defense can change drastically. A team could be vulnerable against wide receivers in the first half and then turn it around in the second half and be a difficult matchup.
Looking at playoff schedules for Weeks 14-16 can be beneficial, but things can change so much. Did anyone see Breshad Perriman being a difference maker last season in the playoffs? The answer is an emphatic, no! The strength of schedule and playoff matchups can be used as a tiebreaker between two closely ranked players, but the time to look at playoff schedules is midway through the season when there is more data on the team.
With the schedule now out, here are some wide receivers with favorable schedules going into the season.
The only Panthers wide receiver going early is D.J. Moore . Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel are going in the final few rounds. Part of that is Teddy Bridgewater taking over at quarterback and a new offense under Joe Brady. Bridgewater tends to throw low-percentage passes and that bodes well for Moore, who is excellent after the catch. If the Panthers defense is as bad as it appears on paper, it could lead to a lot of passing playing from behind. Moore is better in PPR formats since he hasn't scored many touchdowns in his first two seasons, scoring six. Moore caught 87 passes for 1,175 yards and had 135 targets in 15 games. He should be a WR1. The Panthers play the Broncos, Packers and Redskins in Weeks 14-16.
I am already extremely high on Allen Robinson . He's still undervalued in some drafts. He was third in the NFL with 154 targets and has excelled when healthy, even with mediocre quarterback play. He had 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns last season despite erratic play from Mitchell Trubisky . It's also good news for Anthony Miller , who is also very undervalued and an excellent late-round pick. He has battled a shoulder injury the last two seasons, but has flashed big upside at times. Over the final seven games, he averaged 7.9 targets. He had a five-game stretch in which he had at least 13 points in PPR formats in each game. There's not much depth at the position for the Bears, who face the Texans, Vikings and Jaguars in Week 14-16.
A healthy Matthew Stafford means big things for Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones . Golladay led the NFL with 11 touchdowns despite only playing nine games with Stafford. Golladay averaged 7.8 targets when he played with Stafford last season. Jones is an excellent value. While he has missed some games due to injuries the last few seasons, he's been productive when on the field. Over the last three seasons, he ranks 18th in points per game among wide receivers. Jones has scored nine touchdowns in two of the last three seasons. The Lions do have difficult matchups with the Packers, Titans and Buccaneers in Weeks 14-16.
Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams is one of the first few receivers off the board. He missed four games with turf toe last season and played at less than 100 percent in a few games. He should be the second receiver drafted after Michael Thomas and he could finish as the top receiver overall. Adams has a great rapport with Aaron Rodgers and he will command a huge target share. Over the final nine weeks last season, Adams had a 31-percent target share. Only Michael Thomas had more fantasy points per game. Adams had three consecutive seasons of double-digit touchdowns before falling short last season. No one stands out from the rest of the receivers. Allen Lazard is the one to take a shot on late. The Packers play the Lions, Panthers and Titans in Weeks 14-16.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin is coming off a breakout season and should be a top receiver again with Tom Brady . Godwin will be in the slot and be targeted heavily. He had 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games on 121 targets. Mike Evans is more concerning. He has been reliant on volume and big plays and the addition of Rob Gronkowski and Brady's tendency to throw to the running backs could cut down on the volume for Evans, who has averaged 17.7 and 17.3 yards per reception the last two seasons. The playoff schedule in Weeks 14-16 is favorable with Vikings, Falcons and Lions.