October 12, 2020 | 7:07pm
Unless you’re talking about a generational talent, making the jump from college football to the NFL is not an easy transition. The NFL game moves significantly faster, and most top players who come from top programs are recruited to bring together some of the best of the best. NFL teams build through drafts, and even with parity as prevalent as it is now, teams who have top draft picks have a tough time surrounding them with more players at their level.
So when Week 5 rolled around and we witnessed Chase Claypool’s four-touchdown game and Henry Ruggs III’s first touchdown of the year, it reminded us of just how great this year’s rookie wide receiver class will be. CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Tee Higgins and Justin Jefferson already have established themselves as top targets for their respective teams. Claypool and Ruggs seem primed to take the next step. Now the question is: Which of these youngsters should you have on your fantasy team?
Lamb and Jeudy should already be rostered in your league. If Higgins and Jefferson aren’t, they should be, too. Now that Ruggs is healthy, he should definitely be a target of yours this week, if available. His game-breaking speed will continue to stretch the field, elude coverage and provide big-play moments. He may be a little boom-or-bust to start, but Derek Carr is going to lock onto him throughout games.
Claypool is a fantastic talent. However, don’t get suckered in by his Robert Tonyan-esque performance. Pittsburgh still has JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson leading in targets. Eric Ebron and James Washington fall in line next. Claypool’s success was tied to a colossal mismatch in coverage as well as a Johnson injury, which was not deemed to be serious. If you have room, grab him, but keep the expectations in check.
And if you miss out, don’t worry. More are coming. Just ask Jalen Reagor and Devin Duvernay.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Fantasy-Alarm.com Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.