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Top fantasy football storylines to watch this offseason
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Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Jan 30, 2020
  • Eric KarabellESPN Senior Writer

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    • ESPN contributor on TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, Magazine
    • Charter member of FSWA Hall of Fame
    • Author of “The Best Philadelphia Sports Arguments”

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown finished his rookie season with a flourish, eclipsing 100 receiving yards in four of the final six weeks, scoring six of his nine touchdowns in that span and surpassing 1,000 receiving yards for the season. Brown, a second-round pick from Ole Miss, was not supposed to be an immediate fantasy star because of the construction of the Tennessee offense, its limited quarterback and the presumed game plan. Things changed later in the season; Brown soared, and a mere 20 wide receivers outscored him in PPR formats.

What could the 2020 season bring for first-year receivers? Well, fantasy football managers tend to love the first-year running backs — perhaps too much — due to some combination of intriguing opportunity and them having not yet failed at the NFL level, but wide receivers generally do not get the same attention or treatment. This could change in the summer of 2020, as a loaded crew of enticing choices enters the NFL draft looking like potentially instant contributors. The latest Mel Kiper mock draft shows six wide receivers going in Round 1. If that does occur, it would hardly guarantee statistical success, but it should pique our collective interest.

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