Inexpensive Third-Year Breakout Wide Receiver Candidates

by The “Mad Chatter” Ryan MK ·

Chris Godwin exploded onto the fantasy football scene last season after spending 2018 behind Adam Humphries on the Buccaneers depth chart. Those in the know expected the Godwin breakout in 2019. The third-year star finished as the number No. 2 wide receiver in fantasy football and, if not for a late season injury, had the potential to finish at No. 1. Today we’re using PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats and metrics to identify candidates for a Godwin-esque third-year breakout in 2020. Unlike Godwin last year, these players are all available in the double digit rounds of FFPC drafts.

Christian Kirk

Christian Kirk raised eyebrows during his sophomore season for the Cardinals, and looks to continue his ascent in 2020. With his 36.8-percent College Dominator Rating and 27.9-percent College Target Share ranking above the 70th-percentile among qualified wide receivers, Kirk produced throughout his collegiate career. He garnered a 98.5-percent Snap Share in 2019; good for No. 2 at the position.

Kirk’s name has gone cold in fantasy circles due to the addition of DeAndre Hopkins. There are reasons to believe the move won’t hurt the younger wideout, though. Opposing defenses are sure to key in on Hopkins, and Kirk is familiar with quarterback Kyler Murray. Keep in mind, Godwin wasn’t considered the No. 1 in Tampa Bay, but that didn’t stop him from a producing a stellar year. It won’t stop Kirk either.

Anthony Miller

A 5-11, 201-pound product out of Memphis, Anthony Miller was taken by Chicago in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. His Burst Score, Agility Score and Catch Radius all rank at or above the 75th-percentile. He ranked at or above the 80th-percentile in both College Dominator Rating and College Target Share. After showing promise during his rookie year, Miller didn’t take the second-year leap that many expected. However, the entirety of the Bears offense took a step back in 2019.

Check out Anthony Miller’s 2020 Projection on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:

In 2020, the Bears will have an upgrade under center in Nick Foles. With Allen Robinson locked in as the No. 1, the offense needs a boost from another pass catcher. Ted Ginn Jr. was added during the offseason, otherwise there is little competition in the way of Miller becoming the No. 2 on an improved offense this coming season. Foles will need another weapon in the passing game, and Miller is the answer.

Tre’Quan Smith

In New Orleans, Tre’Quan Smith faces a steeper road to snaps after the team signed Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. While Sanders can still help a team on the field, he is 33 years old and past his prime. An injury would open the door for the third year wideout. With upper-percentile marks in Speed Score, Burst Score and College Yards per Reception, Smith has the tools to be a dangerous weapon for this offense.

In 2019, Smith quietly had five touchdowns in nine games played, though he exceeded 50 yards only once. Quarterback Drew Brees has plenty of options at wide receiver, though none have the big play ability that Smith does. The youngster will continue to rise in 2020, and should an injury occur, Smith will be there to take full advantage.

In Conclusion

Chris Godwin is a great example of how a No. 2 receiver on the right offense can be just as productive, if not more, than his counterpart. Stefon Diggs and Eric Decker are two others who made waves despite their offenses already possessing a high-end producer. The third-year receivers discussed above possess the tools that make for ideal breakout targets in 2020. Don’t miss out on the next Godwin.