It’s time for some 2020 Playoff MVP Predictions, continuing with the WR position. Wide receiver is always the most volatile throughout the season with how many viable players are at the position. Unlike other positions where you only really look at the first or even second option (excluding any injury scenarios). Good offenses can have 3 viable options at wide receiver. Take the Buffalo Bills with Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley as an example. Alternatively, the Steelers with Juju Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool (you can also include James Washington here). Making my predictions has been extremely difficult due to that very reason.
Disclaimer: This article was written before week 14 and has been released to complete the 2020 Playoff MVP Predictions series. All stats are based on weeks 1-13 (12 games for each player). Also, picks have remained the same regardless of the week 14 results.
A quick breakdown on some stats I will be using:
- Hurries – the number of times the defense forces a quarterback to throw the ball quicker than intended.
- Pressure – defined as the sum of hurries, knockdowns (when a quarterback is knocked to the floor), and all sacks (when a quarterback is tackled, with the ball, behind the line of scrimmage without clear intent to run past the line of scrimmage).
If you did read my last article (I highly recommend you do so) you’ll already know this. I believe in giving you the stats to make your own decisions. I will give you both sides of the story. You’re running your dynasty team – you’re the decision-maker, not me. If you win a championship, that’s because you made the correct judgment calls. I’m here to provide you with stats for the decisions you may need to make. Now, let’s get into it.
2020 Playoff MVP WR Predictions: Allen Robinson (CHI)
It’s safe to say Allen Robinson is quarterback proof. He has excelled as the Bears’ first option at wide receiver with either Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky. If you read my previous article, you will know that I have Trubisky as one of my playoff MVP predictions for the quarterback position. I think Robinson will be a big part of that. Robinson is a target hog for the Bears. Having only dropped below 7 targets once this year – week 7 (4 targets, 4 receptions) against the Rams. Robinson is quietly the WR7 in PPR formats, whilst the WR11 in standard scoring. Even without the points per reception, he is a WR1 in 12 team leagues. This is great for a guy drafted somewhere in the WR12-24 range.
Regardless of his quarterback, Robinson has averaged 9 targets per game. He has only had 3 games with below 70 receiving yards. 33, 53, 43 in weeks 2, 6, 10 respectively and has had two over 100 (123, 101 in weeks 3 and 4). The Bears have not had a relatively threatening run offense.
Week 14 v HOU
It’s the first week of the fantasy playoffs for most leagues and the schedule-makers have blessed Robinson owners with one of the worst defences in the league. They are allowing the 3rd most points to running backs and the 12th most to wide receivers. To add to this, the Texans lost their top cornerback, Bradley Roby, for the rest of the season due to a suspension in week 13. Not only will a stable running game help the Bears’ passing attack by keeping the Texans defence guessing, but it will also help Trubisky by taking weight off his shoulders.
Week 15 @MIN
The Vikings have also been one of the worst defences this year, whether it has been the lack of pressure or the young secondary. I have already mentioned the stats for the Vikings in the matchup breakdown for Godwin.
Week 16 @JAX
Similar to the Texans, the Jaguars have been a poor defence this year, being a great matchup for both ground and air attacks. In the air specifically, they are allowing the 5th most points, 6th most yards and 7th most touchdowns to wide receivers this year. They’re also allowing the 10th most receptions to wide receivers for those of you who play in PPR formats. The Jaguars are also without their 1st round rookie cornerback CJ Henderson as he is currently on injured reserve. He is eligible to come back from week 14, meaning he could be back for this game. As they are not playing for the playoffs, I would be surprised to see Henderson back this year. Things could have an interesting twist should Trubisky lose the starter role, pathing the way for a Nick Foles revenge game. Either way, Robinson is a target magnet and should attract a lot in this game.
2020 Playoff MVP WR Predictions: Chris Godwin (TB)
After being taken as a top 12, often top 6 at the position this year, Chris Godwin has taken a value hit. He’s had a few injuries, missing 4 games in total this year. When he has played, Godwin has received a healthy dose of targets, not falling below 6. His catch percentage has only dropped below 70% once. The one game it did, he caught 3 of his 6 targets for 41 yards. A game that was actually Tampa Bay’s worst game this season.
Mike Evans could have very easily jumped in here rather than Godwin. However, when I dove into their stats further, exactly half of Evans’ 48 receptions during the 4 weeks Godwin did not play. Adding to this, Godwin has 1 more reception on the season. I did a little breakdown of Evans’ splits with and without Godwin:
As you can see, Evans has, on the most part, outproduced his 8 game split with Godwin, in just 4 games without him. Evans – the endzone machine – has 11 touchdowns in 12 games; this is possibly the only stat that has not dropped between the splits. Compare this to Godwin’s 3 touchdowns in 8 games, it’s clear the roles for these two players are very different.
Godwin’s target numbers have pretty steady averaging 7.5 targets a game. Keep note if you play in any PPR style format. Godwin’s lowest number of targets in any game has been 6. That is a great floor to have. Providing a level of consistency for your team.
Week 14 v MIN
Minnesota is a team that has been a great matchup for wide receivers all year long, allowing the 8th most points to the position. They are currently giving up an average of 180 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns to wide receivers. Granted, that is going to be split by 3 or more receivers. One thing that will help Tom Brady get the ball to his receivers. The Vikings are producing a 19.5% pressure rate against quarterbacks this year (7th worst), giving Brady a lot of time to throw the ball. The Vikings are also 11th worst in hurries – 41 in total, only creating a hurry on 8.5% of dropbacks. That’s not even 1 in every 10 dropbacks.
Week 15 @ATL
The Falcons have been a matchup that fantasy players get excited about when setting their lineups. They’re giving up the 2nd most points, and the 2nd most receiving yards. On top of that, they are giving up the 6th most targets and 5th most completions to wide receivers this year. However, they have only allowed a total of 11 wide receiver touchdowns. The Falcons are 9th in both pressures and hurries – creating pressure on 24.6%, and a hurry on 10.6%, of dropbacks. This could cause Brady some issues as it is widely known the way to affect Brady’s game is with pressure.
Week 16 @DET
The Lions are one of the worst defenses in the league right now. They’re allowing the 8th points to wide receivers this season and 4th most yards (2319 total). On the plus side for the Lions, they have only given up 10 touchdowns to the wide receiver position this year. Unfortunately, that’s probably the only good news I can give. The Lions are tied 14th in QB hurries at 9% of dropbacks (not bad really). But they’re the 5th worst in pressures per drop back. Combine these mediocre-at-best stats with the Lions missing both of their top cornerbacks:
- Jeffrey Okudah (out for the season) and
- Desmond Trufant (currently on injured reserve but eligible to return for this game)
This could be a winning formula for fantasy success.
2020 Playoff MVP WR Predictions: Keke Coutee (HOU)
Keke Coutee was only a waiver wire pick up a few weeks ago. With the Texans releasing Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb being placed on injured reserve and Will Fuller being suspended all in week 13, Coutee found himself jumping up the depth chart from the 5th option to the 2nd (behind Cooks). Talk about a promotion!
There are not many stats to go off with Coutee. He’s only played in 4 games this year – one of them being 5 snaps in week 2. Last week, however, he burst onto the scene with 8 catches on 9 targets and 141 yards. Even though I don’t expect that yardage every week, if he can sustain those targets, he would be a great waiver wire pickup for those playoff-bound teams.
Coutee’s playoff schedule isn’t the best. He faces two good defences, but this pick is more for the volume and surprising nature of him bursting onto the scene after a huge promotion.
Week 14 @CHI
Although the Bears are not an easy matchup for the Texans by any means, I think this game could be relatively close. The Bears have a great defence against the run and while David Johnson is on the COVID injured reserve does not help the Texans, it does help you. This should mean the Texans will need to throw more, giving Coutee more opportunities while Brandin Cooks takes the top corner away. The Bears are giving up the 4th least points in normal scoring, or the league’s least points in PPR, to wide receivers this year. If you are to start Coutee, keep this in mind.
Week 15 @IND
Another tough matchup for the Texans. The Colts are allowing the 11th least points to wide receivers, or the 7th least in PPR. Again, I think Coutee will be a great play for volume with upside. I’m not playing him as some of my top options unless I’m really struggling at the wide receiver position. He is tied to a great quarterback in Deshaun Watson who manages to raise the ceiling for any target he is throwing to.
Week 16 v CIN
This is finally where it gets interesting for Coutee. Although the Bengals are allowing the 15th most points, in both standard and PPR formats, to wide receivers, they are not generating much pressure at all, being dead last in pressure rate (17%) and tied 5th worst in hurries (7.4%). Trading Carlos Dunlap away has not helped with that at all. Giving Watson time in the pocket, allowing Coutee to run his route and get open could be the winning formula you need in week 16 to take home that championship.
That’s it for our 2020 Playoff MVP predictions for the WR position! Keep an eye out for the other positions dropping shortly. Remember, you can always reach out to us on social media with any questions we are on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. And don’t forget to check out our weekly rankings!
Image Credit: Mike DiNovo – USA TODAY Sports