2020 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Which Wide Receivers to Target in Rounds 6-7 - Roto Street Journal
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2020 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Which Wide Receivers to Target in Rounds 6-7

Welcome to Part II of our 2020 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy Series. In Part I of the series, Tailback Tino and I weighed in our favorite wide receiver picks for the fourth and fifth rounds, debating why we would or would not target a given player. In Part II, we are going to do the same, except we’re going to address players in the sixth and seventh rounds.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard how thin the running back class is this year, meaning you will need to deploy the early-round bell-cow strategy to snatch up as many as you can early on. If you follow that 2020 fantasy football draft strategy, you’ll be sitting pretty to take your shot on some promising receivers in the middle rounds.

Who to Target in Round 6 and Round 7

AJ Green, WR, CIN

ADP: 66th overall, WR27

Kendall’s Take:

What the hell should you do with AJ Green? This is a very difficult one for me. My heart is telling me to take a shot on Green because of the many elite seasons he’s had in his career and the upside that he currently possesses at his current ADP.

However, with that being said, my mind is telling me he’s 32 years old, on a young team led by a young, innovative coach who’s looking to move forward with his younger weapons.

So, what is making this such a difficult decision for me? It’s two things.

For starters, Joe Burrow is a LARGE reason why I keep flip-flopping on Green. Burrow very well might be the best QB that Green has ever played with, which could be scary if Green can stay healthy. The wideout has hall of fame talent and the numbers to back it up, posting over 1,000 yards receiving in six of his eight NFL seasons. The talent has never been his downfall, it’s his inability to stay healthy. Green has missed 23 games since 2018 and already missed parts of training camp due to a hamstring injury. 

Now, I understand people’s hesitancy when it comes to AJ Green (I’m a bit hesitant myself), but there’s also plenty of reasons to be excited.

We’ve seen what Green can be when he’s healthy and out on the field. When Green plays he is elite. It comes down to a simple question, can Green stay healthy in 2020? If AJ Green is healthy, you have a top 15 or 20 fantasy WR and one of the steals of your draft.

If Green is constantly battling injuries and struggling to get any momentum going, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed and debating cutting him from your roster by Week 8. Green’s injury history coupled with his hamstring strain early in training camp could lead him to fall outside of rounds six or seven in your drafts, which makes me all-in on Burrow’s potential No. 1 target.

Green is the ultimate boom-or-bust pick, but I’m going to take my chance on a boom.

Tino’s Take:

Keep AJ Green as far away from my fantasy team as possible.  

I don’t get the blind excitement some people have to draft him in such a critical part of the draft.  I firmly believe Tyler Boyd will be Joe Burrow’s No. 1 target and if healthy, Green will be more of a 1B or WR2 option for the rookie quarterback. 

Yes, he looked great the last time we saw him on an NFL field. However, Green has not played a snap of NFL football since Week 13 of the 2018 season and is entering into a much deeper WR room than the one he left. 

Boyd was peppered as the WR1, garnering 148 targets in 2019. Then there’s the emergence of Auden Tate, who has reportedly been shining in training camp with Green and John Ross on the shelf.  Oh yeah, Ross is still there. Also, don’t forget about their second round pick in this year’s draft, Clemson’s Tee Higgins

Furthermore, the team made Joe Mixon the focal point of the offense in the second half of the season and they become much more competitive on the offensive side of the ball. Zac Taylor and OC Brian Callahan will likely lean on their bell-cow back early in the season to let their new franchise QB adjust to NFL defenses.  

Don’t fall for the big name and expect him to immediately return to his Alpha WR1 role. He is a 32-year-old WR entering a crowded room of pass-catchers, who has not played in almost two full seasons.

In 2016? Yes.

In 2020? No.

Marquise Brown, WR, BAL

ADP: 78th overall, WR32

Kendall’s Take:

It didn’t take long for Hollywood to show off his absolute BOOM potential. In Week 1 last year, Brown caught four passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Brown only factored into 50 percent of the snaps last year due to a nagging ankle injury he picked up in Week 5, but still managed to burn defenses seven times for scores.

This season, Brown will be the team’s undisputed No.1  perimeter target on one of the best offenses in the NFL. Even if the offense is run-heavy, his week-winning ability makes him worth a shot in the seventh round. 

Tino’s Take:

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown showed just what he is capable of in the Ravens’ divisional-round matchup against the Titans, putting up seven receptions for 126 yards on 11 targets.  Hollywood looks amazing according to those at Ravens camp, and has reportedly put on 23 lbs to prepare for a larger role this season.

Receivers in their second year typically see an uptick in volume and I expect the same for Hollywood. If you take a look at last year’s top six “sophomore” receivers, they received an average increase of 37 targets in their second NFL season. While I don’t expect Hollywood to see 37 more targets, I think 25-to-30 more targets is completely reasonable.  

Their run heavy offense and the presence of Mark Andrews will limit Hollywood’s ceiling, but I fully expect him to bring WR2 value at his current ADP. Brown was drafted to be their WR1, and I expect him to take a massive step forward in 2020. 

Brandin Cooks, WR, HOU

ADP: 85th overall, WR36

Kendall’s Take:

Brandin Cooks gets yet another fresh start (for the fourth time in seven seasons) with the Houston Texans. Prior to last season, Cooks had four consecutive seasons as a top 15 fantasy WR, surpassing 1,000 yards and five touchdowns in each season. But Cooks set career lows last season in total yards per game (41.6) and yards per target (8.1).

Now in Houston, the departure of DeAndre Hopkins leaves the door open for someone to emerge as Deshaun Watson’s primary target. Cooks is certainly the most proven receiver of the bunch and should slot in ahead of Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, and Randall Cobb as the WR1 on the depth chart.

At his WR36 ADP, Cooks is absolutely worth the risk if he can stay healthy. That is a big if with his five documented concussions throughout his career, which led to missed games in 2019.

Cooks has been a great fantasy option for years now and although concussions are something to be concerned about, they are unpredictable and out of fantasy owners’ hands. The lid lifter has fallen out of the top 30 wide receivers and both Tino and I find it hard to imagine a scenario where a healthy Cooks does not outperform that ADP.

Take your shot on Cooks.

Tino’s Take:

The 27-year-old Cooks starts this year looking to become the second player in NFL history to record a 1,000-yard season with 4 different franchises — shoutout to Brandon Marshall for being the first. I think the versatile Cooks is a huge value at this stage of the draft.

Bill O’Brien selling Hopkins at 70 percent off retail price opened up a massive 150 target vacancy in Houston.  With one of the top five quarterbacks in the world at the helm, Houston is in desperate need of a versatile WR1, and I think Cooks is that WR1.

While he certainly is not the talent that “Nuk” is, Cooks enters the Texans roster as the clear-cut, most talented, and accomplished WR on the roster.  He slots in ahead of the oft-injured Fuller, Stills, Cobb, and Keke Coutee. Fuller will stretch the field during his healthy couple of games, but look for Cooks and Stills to get the majority of Watson’s looks.  

I like both of these players at their ADP’s, but Cooks undoubtedly has a higher upside and ability to be a game-changing asset when healthy. I cannot imagine a scenario where a healthy Brandon Cooks in Houston does not finish as a top 30 fantasy wide receiver, and I would not be surprised to see him finish inside WR20. 

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