The top WRs in the league are usually at the top of this list. Raw targets are an obvious great way of predicting future fantasy success, but yards/route run is actually right behind targets in predicting fantasy success the following year, specifically with WRs who play on the outside.
Michael Gallup is being drafted as the WR33 towards the end of the 7th round, and he should be a target despite the Cowboys drafting CeeDee Lamb. He averaged 79.1 receiving yards/game compared to Cooper’s 74.3, out-targeted and out-produced Cooper out of the gate in 2019 before he tore his meniscus, averaged more targets/game than Cooper, and had more 10+ target games than Cooper did in 2 less games played. If he didn’t tear his meniscus in Week 2, he might have had a more dominant 2019 than he did.
Just because Lamb comes into the picture doesn’t necessarily mean we should overlook Gallup; the Cowboys have the 2nd most vacated targets of any team in the NFL, so Lamb can get his as a rookie while Gallup continues to eat. With Cooper’s documented struggles against #1 corners, Gallup can continue to benefit.
The Cowboys will have to make a decision as to who their primary slot WR will be; whoever it is, they will gain an extra advantage. Keep your ears and eyes open for that when evaluating these three, but it makes the most sense that Lamb does to maximize productivity in his rookie year.
Moving on, Mike Evans’ consistency over the years while playing on the outside against man gives him the edge over Chris Godwin for me. I’ll have more details on an upcoming post, but Evans being slightly cheaper as the Bucs move to more base 12-personnel makes him more desirable. Godwin’s high yards/route run number is from him running 64% of his routes from the slot. While he did succeed on the outside in 2019 as well, his YPRR dropped significantly in man coverage, while Evans’ increased.
If you’re wondering where DeAndre Hopkins was, he was at 14 after being ranked at 5 in 2018. Kenny Golladay and DJ Moore were the next outside WRs on this list behind Courtland Sutton, so that should give you some confidence in their prices going into 2020.