Deebo Samuel exploded on the NFL scene as a rookie. Pretty much just like I said he would. Samuel was my number one ranked receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft. Time will tell if he’s the best from that class but there’s no denying Samuel proved he is special as a rookie. Will Deebo take that next step and become a fantasy star in 2020?
Samuel was WR 13 from Week 8 on last year. That was as a rookie just settling in and playing in a run heavy offense. Players usually take the biggest steps forwards in years 2, 3, and 4. Is it possible Samuel can become a top 10 WR in 2020? I wouldn’t count him out.
One thing that Deebo did as a rookie will continue to translate. Yards after the catch monster. Samuel averaged 8.4 yards after the catch ranking 2nd in the NFL in that category. I don’t see that skill deteriorating. That’s not something you get caught off guard by. It’s something you have or don’t. Samuel will only continue to make defenders miss.
With Emmanuel Sanders gone, Deebo Samuel is the guy. Who knows whether Brandon Aiyuk pans out. Dante Pettis looks like he is on the way out. The plan to implement Jalen Hurd in the offense is still nowhere to be found. My point is, there’s not a lot of competition for targets. The ball is coming for the South Carolina product.
Truthfully, the best thing for Samuel would be if they got in a few more shootouts. They were able to run ball a lot last year with early leads. If San Fran has a Super Bowl hangover, it probably helps Samuel. Jimmy G ranked 18th in the NFL in attempts. Only Josh Allen was lower on the list of quarterbacks to start 16 games.
What I’m trying to say is more than 81 targets are coming compared to his rookie season. Consider that pretty much a guarantee (barring injury) since he only made 11 starts which is basically just settling in as a rookie. Part of becoming a fantasy star is leading your team in targets. Samuel has a good chance to do just that.
Truthfully I see an Antonio Brown like jump coming for Deebo. Minus the attitude stuff, of course. Brown was just doing his thing as a 6th round pick playing behind some talented cats. Once he took over the lead role… BOOM. The skill set is there for the former South Carolina product. He’s a terrific route runner, with plus speed, explosion, and after the catch ability. All of the things a young AB did.
So… can Deebo Samuel become a fantasy superstar in 2020? There’s a damn good chance. If not this year, then next year. That leap is coming and coming fast.