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Fantasy Football Rankings: Awesemo’s Most Downgraded WRs for 2020 Based on Playoff Strength of Schedule

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Yahoo cheatsheet featuring some of Alex 'Awesemo' Baker's top NFL DFS picks for Week 2 of the season, including Michael Gallup + more

Being knowledgeable about the NFL schedule can give you a significant edge in your fantasy football league. At Awesemo, we’ve developed a strength of schedule tool that provides projections throughout the season, including for the fantasy playoffs in Weeks 15 and 16. Let’s take a look at three wide receivers who have particularly tough schedules during that span and discuss how that could impact their production. All projections are based on half point per reception scoring. Let’s get into some fantasy football rankings downgrades from our strength-of-schedule tool.


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Fantasy Football Rankings: Strength-of-Schedule Playoff Downgrades

D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars

After being selected in the second round of the 2018 Draft, Chark wasn’t very active during his rookie season. He played in only 11 games, catching 14 passes on 32 targets. However, he broke out in a big way last season, catching 73 of 118 targets for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s now set up to be their number one wide receiver moving forward, although a healthy Dede Westbrook should also at least approach 100 targets this season, as well.

With quarterback Gardner Minshew set to start from the onset and the potential for him to develop further during his second year in the league, Chark is Awesemo’s 62nd-ranked player overall, with a projected 10.89 fantasy points per game for the season. However, a difficult stretch of games during the fantasy playoffs drops his projection by 6.19% to 10.21 per contest. Week 15 presents his biggest hurdle since the Jaguars will have to face the Ravens on the road. Last year, the Ravens allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards per game in the league. Chark is Awesemo’s No. 1 wide receiver downgrade from his fantasy football rankings strength-of-schedule tool.

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott had a fantastic season at quarterback for the Cowboys in 2019, which helped Gallup emerge as a valuable fantasy asset. He received a whopping 113 targets, catching 66 of them for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns. He was also on the field for 85.4% of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps, which was the second-highest percentage on the team behind only Prescott.

Heading into this season, the Cowboys added another young talented wide receiver in CeeDee Lamb. However, he will basically be replacing Randall Cobb, who received 83 targets last year, so don’t expect his addition to have a significantly negative impact on Gallup. Gallup’s projected average of 11.68 fantasy points per game ranks him 46th in Awesemo’s overall rankings, but that projection drops by 5.55% to 11.04 points per contest during the fantasy playoffs. That’s, in large part, because of a matchup with the 49ers in Week 15, who allowed the fewest passing yards per game in the league last season. It’s also worth noting that Amari Cooper and Lamb both see their projected fantasy points per game average drop by 5.5% during Weeks 15 and 16 compared to their overall projections. Gallup is Awesemo’s No. 2 wide receiver downgrade from his fantasy football rankings strength-of-schedule tool.

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are not wasting any time building up their offense around quarterback Kyler Murray. With Kenyan Drake emerging at running back last season, they decided to trade David Johnson to the Texans in a deal that netted them Hopkins, who is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league. He’s finished with at least 1,100 receiving yards in five of the last six seasons and has had three seasons with at least 11 touchdown receptions.

One of the main reasons for Hopkins’ success is that he was a target monster with the Texans, registering at least 150 of them in each of the last five seasons. It might be difficult for him to hit that threshold again this season with Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald in the fold, but at least he’s going to a team that doesn’t throw many passes to their tight ends. He’s projected to average 12.4 fantasy points per game for the season, which ranks him 39th in Awesemo’s overall rankings. However, that projection drops by 4.8% to 11.8 points per contest in Weeks 15 and 16. The main reason is a matchup in Week 16 against the aforementioned stingy 49ers defense. Hopkins is Awesemo’s No. 3 wide receiver downgrade from his fantasy football rankings strength-of-schedule tool.


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I’ve been covering fantasy sports since 2007. Along my journey, I’ve contributed to companies including SportsLine, RotoWire, Sports Illustrated and DraftKings. My passion for fantasy sports began by playing in traditional season-long leagues and has expanded into DFS and sports handicapping. In 2018, I was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. You can contact me by e-mailing support@awesemo.com.

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