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August 19, 2020

Fantasy football 2020 wide receiver sleepers: Take a chance and go young (Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Reagor)

Consistency is something fantasy football owners (and I suppose the NFL players themselves) are eternally searching for. Nothing is better than having a wide receiver who you can start every week, and from whom you can expect good production. 

Those players are few and far between. Last year, just four wide receivers posted weekly top 5 WR point totals four times or more during the regular season (Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Chris Godwin and Cooper Kupp). And even for those explosive players — well, aside from Thomas — their point totals from week-to-week still varied a great deal.

We've compiled a list of five wideouts we believe have a chance to not only produce this season, but also to emerge as a consistent pass catcher for their respective teams. Each of the below skill players we expect has a good chance to outplay their projected draft position. 

(You can read our full wide receiver rankings, here.)

Here are our wide receiver sleepers for 2020:

Dionte Johnson, Steelers (WR39*)

We are trying to be consistent. And if we think Ben Rothlisberger will be healthy and sling the ball around, it makes sense that we also think he'll have some breakout wide receivers. Such is our projection for Johnson, who led Pittsburgh receivers with 59 catches last year and scored five touchdowns. The third-round pick from a year ago could be a key contributor for the Steelers offense, which boasts JuJu Smith Schuster, who will command the attention of opposing secondaries. Johnson is the perfect No. 2 and should be targeted somewhere in the second half of fantasy drafts.

Anthony Miller, Bears (WR42)

Is Nick Foles a better quarterback than Mitch Trubisky? The non-Eagles track record for the one-time Super Bowl MVP is not great, which creates question marks once again for Chicago's offense in 2020. However, Foles has some exceptional talent at wide receiver, including Anthony Miller, who nearly broke out last season and will be No. 2 man to Allen Robinson at Soldier Field. Miller, entering his third season, has nine touchdowns and just over 1,000 yards combined in his career thus far. He could benefit the same way Johnson may from playing alongside Smith-Schuster in Pittsburgh. Follow the QB competition in the Windy City closely, but a Foles to Miller connection could fuel some good fantasy numbers.

MeCole Hardman, Chiefs (WR48)

How do you stay under the radar playing in the Chiefs' high-powered offense? That low-key period for Hardman may end, as many have discovered his speed and potential in Madden this past offseason. Fantasy owners will drool over his perfect fit for Patrick Mahomes' down-the-field eye, and as the second of three speedsters (Tyreek Hill is still the top threat) in KC, Hardman could have a positively monster year. He may not be a super consistent contributor, but he could post some gargantuan numbers every few games with playing in Andy Reid's big play offense.

Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (WR60)

And now to a couple of rookies. The Niners aerial attack isn't particularly exciting — aside from George Kittle — as Deebo Samuel led all wideouts with 802 yards and two touchdowns in their NFC title-winning year. Samuel could miss up to least six games as he rehabs from a foot injury. Many in 49ers camp are already saying rookie Aiyuk is more talented than Samuel and the other ragtag group of wideouts they have (like Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis and others) slated to catch balls from Jimmy Garoppolo in 2020. Aiyuk looks poised to emerge not only as the No. 1 in SF, but also as a reliable fantasy option. He should be a late round target for everyone.

Jalen Reagor, Eagles (WR47)

The Eagles knew they had a big problem at wide receiver, and they addressed it (or tried to) this offseason drafting three and trading for a fourth. The best of these is Reagor, who will start alongside Desean Jackson and potentially JJ Arcega-Whiteside or Greg Ward. Jackson is in his 30s and had one healthy game last year. The rest of Philly's wideouts are either rookies or unproven (along with the still rehabbing Alshon Jeffery). Reagor, if his impressive play in training camp translates to the regular season, could be the Eagles top receiver and a breakout down the field star. He'll likely get his share of targets and should be targeted by fantasy owners in their drafts.

Also keep an eye one for: James Washington, Steelers; Hunter Renfrow, Raiders; Allen Lazard, Packers

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