In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow has been the center of attention through the first three weeks for the Cincinnati Bengals, and rightfully so. He’s looked poised under pressure and has thrown for over 600 yards and five touchdowns in his last two games. More quietly, another talented rookie had a breakout performance in Week 3 and appeared ready to take on a larger workload.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins compiled 40 yards and two touchdowns on five catches during the Week 3 tie with the Philadelphia Eagles. After John Ross III (DNP-coach’s decision) wasn’t in the lineup, the rookie took advantage by posting the best performance of his young career. While Higgins will likely have a few more productive outings over the team’s next 13 games, he shouldn’t be relied on for consistent production, at least not at the moment. Still, in deeper formats, fantasy managers should take notice and pick him up off of waivers before it’s too late.
A Star In The Making
The first pick of the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Higgins might have been a first-round selection in another year. A deep wide receiver class and a lack of a combine performance may have played a role in him “slipping” to the top of the second round, but the Bengals may have landed a future star to pair with their franchise quarterback.
The raw metrics are fun to look at, but I have to admit, it gets even more exciting when you start to toss some comparisons in there of past and current players. Now, these comps aren’t just thrown around; they’re based on college production and draft capital. You will be hard-pressed to find a more impressive list of pro comps for a collegiate player.
Even after the draft, Higgins felt a bit like the forgotten man of the wide receiver class. So much depth, especially in Round 1, allowed fantasy drafters to snag Higgins as late as the mid-second round in their rookie drafts. A solid dynasty stash, Higgins could pay off even sooner than anticipated.
Higgins has gradually increased his involvement and workload through the first three weeks of the season. He capped off the weekend by quietly seeing the team’s second-most targets after Ross was a healthy scratch before kickoff. The Bengals’ wide receiver room has some depth, but not a lot of elite talent. A.J. Green is seeing volume but has lost a step. Tyler Boyd remains the de facto WR1. After that, Higgins is likely the most talented wide receiver.
Through two weeks, the Bengals were top-five in terms of passing frequency, and that trend continued in their Week 3 tie against the Philadelphia Eagles. Burrow attempted 44 passes (36 in Week 1 and 61 in Week 2) and topped 300 yards for the second consecutive week. Joe Mixon and the running game have been atrocious, leading to continued reliance on the passing game.
Higgins falls into the same category as his fellow rookie wide receivers with strong draft capital: he’s owned in every dynasty league. Still, he is someone I am willing to target, especially if owners are frustrated by the up-and-down nature of an offense led by a rookie quarterback. Higgins is unlikely to remain the forgotten receiver in this class; get him before everyone remembers his name.