Wide Receiver stat predictions
Tyler Boyd: 96 receptions, 1,148 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns
Many readers may be surprised to see Tyler Boyd projected as the Bengals’ top wide receiver over A.J. Green in 2020, but it actually is the likely outcome. Boyd has been the team leader in receiving yards the past two years, but that was with Green injured. Many expect Green to come back and immediately be the top receiver again, but I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that.
Boyd is a perfect fit for new quarterback Joe Burrow. In college, slot receiver Justin Jefferson thrived with the Athens kid at quarterback. As a slot receiver himself, I expect Boyd should immediately be Burrow’s favorite receiver. Because of that, I project that Boyd will have the best season of his career in 2020.
A.J. Green: 62 receptions, 801 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns
The return of A.J. Green is simultaneously one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of the Bengals’ 2020 offense. It all depends on his health and whether or not he can play at the same level he was at last time he was healthy. While I expect the Bengals to get good production out of A.J., he likely won’t be at the level he previously was and he may be used less in order to maintain his health.
Tee Higgins: 44 receptions, 541 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns
Newly drafted Tee Higgins models his game after his new teammate A.J. Green. Ironically, he may be the one who benefits the most from Green’s decline/injuries. If Green cannot see the field often or just isn’t up to the level he used to be, Higgins can fill that role very well. If Green stays healthy and plays at a high level, he can be a great third option for Burrow. Regardless, Higgins should have a solid rookie year.
John Ross: 36 receptions, 521 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns
John Ross is one of the most divisive players on the Bengals’ roster. Actually, he’s the MOST divisive player on the Bengals’ roster. Some have been calling him a bust seemingly since the moment he was drafted, while others still believe he’s a valuable piece to the offense. I still believe he’s a solid piece who offers great value when healthy.
The problem for him in 2020 is the loaded wide receiver group. Even if Ross is healthy in the upcoming season, there are just too many others competing for targets. While this could hurt Ross’s chances of putting up big-time numbers, it could actually help him stay healthy and allow him to become a great rotational piece.
Auden Tate: 19 receptions, 201 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
After a breakout year for Auden Tate in 2019, it is disappointing to project that he likely will take a step back in 2020. While his talent for making ridiculous catches isn’t going anywhere, he is just too far down on the depth chart to put up big numbers. Unless there are injuries, don’t expect Tate to improve upon his 2019 season.