Metcalf Surprised in 2019
D.K. Metcalf was not a fantasy favorite coming into his rookie season. He had a handful of receivers drafted ahead of him, was harshly criticized for his route running skills, and even had a knee scope during the preseason. Despite all odds, Metcalf would finish the year as one of the top rookie receivers. Metcalf’s success came from his big-play ability as he posted 15.5 receiving yards per catch. Metcalf caught 58 passes on 100 targets, 900 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. Metcalf showed growth every week in 2019, he seemed more and more comfortable as the year moved on. I’m excited to see him play in 2020; however, his value has grown too high for me in the 4th and 5th rounds of fantasy drafts. He’s was my WR28, but I’m backing down that value.
Metcalf has an incredible presence on the field and always commands the defense’s attention. The Seahawks are a run-heavy team and that should lead to more opportunities for Metcalf to stay on the field for blocking assignments. Metcalf’s size and athleticism are essential to the Seahawks run game. While Metcalf was on the field 84% of the time in 2019, Tyler Lockett scored just as high with 90%.
Metcalf has a ton of upside with his big-play ability and size, but 2020 may not be as bright as 2019. I see him making strides this year, but the offense looks a lot different. The Seahawks added TE Greg Olsen, WR Phillip Dorsett, and RB Carlos Hyde. There are more mouths to feed in the passing game, and the Seahawks coaching staff has also doubled down on hammering the run this year. In addition to adding RB Carlos Hyde, the Seahawks also drafted RB Deejay Dallas, whose churning a lot of positive camp talk, it would appear he’s closing in on 3rd down work. An injury or two would propel Metcalf’s value for sure.
Lockett is the Safer Play
The Seahawks only ranked 23rd in passing attempts in 2019. If they toe this line in 2020, we can’t expect a considerable ceiling for Metcalf. Lockett and Metcalf each had around 100 targets. Metcalf, while an athletic freak, seems like he may need more volume in 2020. I would instead go the safer route in Tyler Lockett, while #16 doesn’t pop off the screen like a video game character, he’s the most reliable receiver in this offense. He’s coming off a career season but is still significantly undervalued in fantasy football.
Tyler Lockett finished 2019 with 82 catches, 1057 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns; he was WR15. He recorded at least 50+ receiving yards or a touchdown in 11 out of his 16 appearances last year. Lockett is clearly still the lead dog in the wide receiver room, recording a 74% catch percentage last year and 81% the season before. Despite his efficiency, he’s still a receiver being drafted in the 4th and 5th rounds only a handful of spots away from Metcalf. Lockett is the better value here and should be pursued well in advance of Metcalf.
If you’re drafting Metcalf, it should be two to three rounds after Lockett. If I have to bet who the WR1 on this team will be, I’m going with Lockett. His route tree is more consistent with getting hit open on passes, whereas with Metcalf, he’s making plays at the point of contact and getting more physical with defenders. I like them both at value, but Lockett is the guy to prioritize. When I’m drafting Tyler Lockett, I’m asking myself if I want him or get risky with a guy like AJ Green. DK Metcalf, despite all the hype, doesn’t come off as a dark horse WR1. I like him at value as my WR3 or flex, but WR2 is too rich for me. Target Lockett!!