D.K. Metcalf had a pretty good rookie season, but how high is fantasy football ceiling in 2020 and beyond?
Questions about his ability to convert high-end physical tools into NFL production dropped D.K. Metcalf to the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, where the Seattle Seahawks nabbed him with the 64th overall pick. Looking back now, those questions look shortsighted.
Metcalf finished with 58 receptions (on an even 100 targets) for 900 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie. In Seahawks’ franchise history, only Joey Galloway had more receptions (67) and yards (1,039) as a rookie than Metcalf, and Daryl Turner (10) and Brian Blades (eight) are the only ones with more touchdowns in a debut season. In two playoff games, Metcalf had 11 catches for 219 yards and a touchdown, including a rookie playoff-record 160 yards against the Eagles in the Wild Card Round.
But Metcalf does have room for improvement. His seven drops were tied for 11th-most in the league, and his three fumbles were all lost by the Seahawks.
Speaking to NBC Sports Northwest on radio row during Super Bowl week, Metcalf cited ball security as the main flaw he needs to work on.
“Mainly my drops,” Metcalf said. “I had way too many drops in my opinion. Some of those drops could have changed the outcome of the game. I’m just working on those drops, man.”
A run-oriented offense naturally limits the ceiling for Seattle’s passing game, but Tyler Lockett and Metcalf were both top-30 fantasy wide receivers in standard scoring leagues last year. The two combined to account for a 42.5 percent target share.
Take away the three lost fumbles, assuming two points lost per, and Metcalf would have gone all the way up to WR23 in standard scoring leagues last year. Based on his average of 1.85 fantasy points per target, seven drops left 12.95 fantasy points on the table. In one particular case, Metcalf dropped what would have been a 38-yard touchdown, so that points per target projection is automatically an inaccurate estimate of how many fantasy points Metcalf did not get due purely to drops.
Accounting for everything, including the second-year improvement wide receivers tend to experience, Metcalf is easily in line to push into WR2 (top-24) territory next season. A jump a little further, into the top-20 in standard scoring leagues, is well within reach too. In dynasty leagues, 2020 looks like the time to get in on the ground floor here.