We saw some breathtaking moves in the NFL this past offseason including the DeAndre Hopkins trade from Houston to Arizona, not to mention Tom Brady’s new club at Florida. Now, the top three wide receivers in football – Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins — are playing in the National Football League, and there’s no arguing about it.
Michael Thomas set the NFL record with 149 receptions in 2019. He also led the league in receiving yards (1725) while scoring nine touchdowns for the third time in his four-year-long career. Thomas is already a three-time Pro-Bowl and a two-time All-Pro.
Julio Jones is a seven-time Pro-Bowl and a two-time All-Pro. He led the league in receiving yards twice and tallied 12,125 receiving yards over nine years in the league. Julio is one of the most dominant NFL players I’ve ever watched.
DeAndre Hopkins posted 1100-plus yards in five of his seven NFL seasons. He’s a four-time Pro-Bowl and a three-time All-Pro.
So, who are the best wide receivers in the NFC if we exclude those three names? I want to show you my top seven wideouts in the National Football Conference to help you make the right choices at the 2020 NFL Fantasy Draft. Also, keep your eyes on these guys if you are betting on any of the player props available at NFL betting sites.
Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Chris Godwin went bonkers in 2019, recording 86 catches for the third-most receiving yards in the NFL (1333). He scored nine times, proving that a solid 2018 performance wasn’t a fluke. Two years ago, Godwin had 59 receptions for 842 yards and seven touchdowns.
Now, Chris Godwin enters his fourth NFL season, looking to continue playing at the highest level. He has a tall task to replicate a tremendous performance from 2019, but playing alongside Tom Brady can make him even better.
And when I say better, I don’t necessarily think on his stats. Godwin proved that he can play in the slot, and nobody throws the ball to slot receivers more than Tom Brady. Chris doesn’t possess a top-level speed, but he’s a solid route-runner with tremendous skills, and that’s exactly what Brady needs.
Allen Robinson (Chicago Bears)
Back in 2015, Allen Robinson had an outstanding sophomore season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He posted 80 catches for 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, Robinson missed almost the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL and decided to join the Chicago Bears in 2018.
In his first season with the heavy-running Bears team, Robinson had 55 catches for 754 yards and four touchdowns in 13 regular-season appearances. Last year, he led the way for the Bears with 98 receptions for 1147 yards and seven scores.
Robinson established himself as a true No. 1 wideout for Chicago. He’s not the fastest guy out there, but Allen is a smart player and loves to step up in the crunch time. Robinson earned 63 first downs for the Bears last season, and only four guys were better than him including Michael Thomas (91), Julio Jones (77), and DeAndre Hopkins (68).
Amari Cooper (Dallas Cowboys)
When he joined the Cowboys in 2018, Amari Cooper has already been considered as one of the brightest talents in the NFL. He was the fourth pick overall at the 2015 NFL Draft which tells you a lot about Amari’s talent.
Cooper has had 1000-plus yards in four of his five NFL seasons. Last year, Amari set career-high 1189 yards and eight touchdowns, but the Cowboys failed to reach the postseason. Cooper had four games with 100-plus yards including a ridiculous performance in the 34-24 loss to Green Bay in Week 5 when he tallied 11 catches for 226 yards and a TD.
The Cowboys enter the 2020 NFL season with a loaded receiving corps. They drafted CeeDee Lamb with the 17th pick overall, while Michael Gallup is another good option. Anyway, Amari remains the Cowboys’ No. 1 WR, and I think he will thrive under pressure this term.
Cooper is a four-time Pro-Bowl, but he still has a lot to prove in the NFL, so keep your eyes on him, as the Cowboys will look to mount a serious championship challenge.
Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Here’s another Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout, and Mike Evans would have been on this list even if I included Thomas, Julio, and DeAndre. With 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Mike Evans is a beast that every head coach in the NFL would love to have on the team.
Since joining the league in 2014, Evans has posted 1000-plus yards in each of his six seasons. As a rookie, Mike had 12 touchdowns, and he did it again in 2016. Back in 2018, Evans tallied a career-high 1524 yards on 86 receptions while scoring eight touchdowns.
Last year, Mike Evans had 67 receptions for 1157 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed three games, and that affected his already very good stat sheet.
However, if he wants to be remembered as one of the best wide receivers of his generation, Evans needs to do something in the postseason. And Mike is still looking for his first playoff appearance, while the Buccaneers haven’t been in the playoffs since 2007.
With Tom Brady under center, the Bucs are listed as the fifth-strongest favorites to win the Super Bowl LV with the odds at +1400. The Buccaneers have to improve defensively, but first of all, they need to avoid injury problems. With a healthy Mike Evans, everything is possible, and I cannot wait to see him playing alongside Tom Brady.
Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams)
After playing just eight games in 2018 due to injury, Cooper Kupp exploded in 2019, recording 94 receptions for 1161 yards and 10 touchdowns. His performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8 will be remembered as one of the finest in the last 10 years, as Kupp had seven catches for 220 yards and a TD.
Kupp was a monster during the first half of the 2019 season. I had him in my fantasy team, and it was completely ridiculous. However, since that game against the Bengals, Cooper hasn’t been the same, failing to surpass a 100-yard line in each of his last eight outings.
Cooper will look to bounce back in 2020, as well as the LA Rams who had a poor 2019 season and missed the playoffs. Kupp has been working hard over the last few months despite the lockdown, and he even played some catch with his wife.
“I played catch with my wife a little bit,” Kupp said.
“She’s got a pretty good arm, but she’s a lefty so the ball’s spinning in the opposite direction. Working on getting a JUGS machine and figuring out what we can do there to supplement that side of things.”
Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks)
Tyler Lockett had a breakthrough season in 2018, posting 57 receptions for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns. He created great chemistry with Russell Wilson that resulted in Tyler’s first 1000 receiving yards season in 2019.
Lockett struggled with minor injuries this past season but still tallied 82 receptions for 1057 yards and eight touchdowns. Tyler surpassed a 100-yard line on four occasions while torturing the Buccaneers in Week 9 for 13 receptions, 152 yards, and a couple of scores.
Although he’s only 5-foot-10, Lockett possesses terrific playmaking skills, and his ability to make big plays is something special. Tyler is an excellent route-runner and should continue to grow alongside one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Russell Wilson.
“When we watched him, we thought that he looked like the most experienced player in college football,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We thought he had the best route running ability, the best natural moves, and the best instinct. He just was a smaller guy. We weren’t sure how he’d translate his movement to the league.
Obviously, Lockett translated it very well and will continue to serve as the first option for the Seahawks who are well-known as a heavy-running team.
Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers)
The Green Bay Packers drafted Davante Adams in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, so they had high hopes for the former Fresno State wideout. Davante had a slow start, but he proved his worth over the last four years.
Adams scored in double figures in three of his previous four seasons. Back in 2018, he posted 111 receptions for career-high 1386 yards and 13 touchdowns. Last year, Davante missed four games due to a toe injury, tallying 83 catches for 997 yards and five touchdowns. Interestingly, his first TD of the season came in Week 12.
Davante is an exceptional route-runner with smooth catching skills. He knows how to create separation and his release in the of the finest in the NFL.
Finally, Adams plays alongside Aaron Rodgers which is a huge advantage, so I’m looking for more of the same in 2020.