David Berding/Associated Press

Second Year Receivers To Break Out In Fantasy

5. Henry Ruggs III

Henry Ruggs III had huge expectations coming into the 2020 season, as he was the first wide receiver off the board in the draft. The lighting fast Ruggs was compared to one of the best receivers in football, Tyreek Hill. Ruggs had nowhere near the impact of Hill, however, and finished the year with only 26 catches across 13 games played, providing absolutely zero fantasy value. Although Ruggs is capable of becoming a reliable wide receiver, most of the targets within the Raider offense were directed at Darren Waller and Nelson Agholor last season. With Agholor leaving for the Patriots in free agency, I expect Ruggs to get more targets and develop further in his first full offseason in the league. I would not draft him until the eighth round, but expect him to have a much better year.

Stats Prediction: 54 catches, 878 yards, 5 Touchdowns

4. Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool had an up and down 2020 season in his rookie campaign. Claypool got every fantasy owner’s attention in week five, racking up over 100 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Claypool finished the season with 11 touchdowns, and he has room to grow even further in his second year. At six-foot-four and 230 pounds, the big-bodied receiver must be utilized more in the red zone. His only two roadblocks: Ben Roethlisberger’s arm and trying to be a TikTok star.

Stats Prediction: 70 catches, 905 yards, 10 touchdowns

3. Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk had a very weird rookie season in the NFL. The wideout from Arizona State University dealt with adversity throughout the year, fighting through nagging injuries all year and dealing with a lack of stability at quarterback. With Jimmy Garappolo back under center and Trey Lance waiting in the wings, look for Aiyuk to make a huge leap in 2021. Quick passes in the 49er offense fit well with Aiyuk’s speed and open-field running ability, and he will have a fantastic second year in the NFL.

Stats Prediction: 82 catches, 1,048 yards, 9 touchdowns

2. CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb was my favorite wide receiver in the 2020 draft class. It was evident that he just had the skill to be a number one receiver at the next level between his ability to run after the catch and the smoothness of his routes. Lamb is a superstar in the making for the Cowboys, and despite his good numbers last year, he was nowhere near his full potential. Expect Lamb to have plenty of opportunities in his sophomore season, and I would draft him in round three or four.

Stats Prediction: 91 catches, 1,225 yards, 12 touchdowns

1. Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson was the fifth wideout taken in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jefferson had by far the best season of any receiver in his class, and he solidified himself as a true number one receiver. With Adam Thielen aging and dealing with injuries, Jefferson will have opposing defenses game-planning for him every week. The savvy route-runner is difficult for DBs to keep up with, and another huge year is in the works for Jefferson in 2021.

Stats Prediction: 102 catches, 1,496 yards, and 13 touchdowns

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