With the 2019 season in the books, we can start prepping for the 2020 fantasy season. Christian McCaffrey, Lamary Jackson, and Michael Thomas are coming off historic seasons, Joe Burrow and a very good rookie class are coming into play, and there are a lot of free agents up in the air as well. The NFL Draft is on the horizon and there are going to be plenty offseason moves that shift around projections and changes over the next few months. Stay tuned throughout the summer for future changes, especially as draft season ramps up. The Lineups.com Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet features all positions with fantasy football rankings within position, Average Draft Position (ADP) and Auction Values for PPR fantasy football leagues. It’s completely free and updated throughout the year.
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Starting with the quarterback position, there are a few guys I feel very safe drafting. However, a few of them are going to see a big spike in ADP. Lamar Jackson is going to go from a double-digit round draft pick, to likely going in the first two rounds. Jackson is a legitimate game changer on a weekly basis, where his rushing numbers gives you a strong floor. Patrick Mahomes missed a few games last season, and still finished as QB10. Expect Mahomes to jump back into posting strong fantasy numbers. We know the upside, and touchdown premium leagues he is worth that top pick. Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson continue to just be fantasy studs. Watson can certainly surpass what he did last season, where he threw for under 30 touchdowns and 4,000 yards, but finished as QB5. Wilson’s fantasy season was somewhat front-loaded, where he didn’t hit those big numbers in the second half. Once again, Wilson was a top five fantasy quarterback.
Christian McCaffrey has finished first and second in PPR scoring among running backs in back to back seasons since entering the league. McCaffrey should be your unanimous first overall pick over the next few seasons. He saw 143 targets last season, and his weekly floor is unmatched. With over 250 rushing attempts, he is also an established workhorse back. We saw a hiccup in Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara‘s season, but even with somewhat disappointing seasons by their standards, Barkley and Kamara still finished as top ten backs. They also missed a combined seven games. Kamara is due for some positive touchdown regression in 2020. Ezekiel Elliott was just a rock, and I feel was somewhat underrated. Not by his ADP, he just was never a fantasy talking point throughout the season. He saw 72 targets, and had 301 rushing attempts. He trailed Derrick Henry by two attempts for the league lead.
No surprise to see Michael Thomas as the elite name. His run since coming into the league is just insane. Over 100 targets in every season, eight or more touchdowns in all but one season, and of course over 1,000 yards in each. In PPR formats, Thomas is just a lock for 15+ points each week. He is far and above the WR1 this season, and in a tier of his own. DeAndre Hopkins posted another top five season, and there is still another level he can go. Davante Adams about five games last year, and still saw 127 targets, posting an 83-997-5 line. A full season, and Adams is back in the top ten. The volume is there and the touchdown production is consistent.
Travis Kelce has finished as TE1 in four straight seasons. Kelce is your first tight end off the board, and worth taking. Him and just a few others have a clear edge over the rest of the field here. Kelce is consistently over 100 targets, and his always hovering around 100 receptions each season. Also being a part of the Chiefs electric offense is going to help. George Kittle is your TE2 for this season, another high volume guy who continues to be reliable.
Late Round Values
Matthew Stafford was on pace for nearly 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns before going down with a back injury in Week 18. He was averaging over 20 fantasy points per game, and his ADP shouldn’t be too high again. The Lions have a nice core around him, and I expect T.J. Hockenson to provide a bump in his second year. Kenny Golladay has blossomed into a terrific wideout, and Marvin Jones is still useful on the outside. At the moment, Derrius Guice is going to be a name to keep an eye on. I would assume his ADP rises closer to the fall, but during the summer and early fall, Guice is a name that could be a steal. The injury history is there, but we got a glimpse of his play last season. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry and showed potential in the passing game as well. He won’t have a monster workload, but 15 touches a game, he can make a difference.
The Dolphins will see DeVante Parker and Preston Williams back leading the receiving core. Parker will be higher than Williams in ADP, as Williams is a lesser name but also coming off an ACL injury. Williams had 60 targets in eight games, and had over 400 yards and three touchdowns. Pittsburgh have James Washington and Diontae Johnson with Big Ben under center, which is quite the upgrade from what was going on in Pittsburgh last season. Johnson finished as WR40, and Washington was at WR52. Both of them saw solid value in 2018, and both have top 40 potential again.
There are going to be quite a few tight ends up for grabs in the late round, but Noah Fant and Hockenson are heading into year two. Hockenson was banged up a lot of 2019, while Fant was hit and miss. 2020 sets up a year where they can bring a bit more consistency. These two are the next tight end greats. Drew Lock under center is a big plus for for Fant, as I expect Denver to open things up slightly more. There are still not a ton of targets up for grabs, although the Broncos will likely add another weapon. Hockenson has the advantage of playing with Stafford, but does have more weapons around him.
Big Upside Names
Jared Goff took a lot of heat with the rest of the Rams offense, and his ADP is going to be mid to late rounds at best. Goff has 4,500 and 30 touchdown type upside, where he can finish inside the top eight among quarterbacks. I have him over 4,500 yards again, and with 25 touchdowns, but the 30 mark isn’t out of the question. Kyler Murray is making a leap in year two for me. He had 20 passing touchdowns, and that is where I have him growing. Murray projects for 27, and factoring in his rushing potential, which came on late in the year. Expect to see Murray’s hype driven up over the summer. Murray finished as QB7 in 2019. Staying in Arizona, Kenyan Drake has a chance to return to the desert, and his volume took off towards the end of the year. Drake has always had the talent, and his chance is finally coming along.
Second year backs all have a chance to surpass their 2018 fantasy numbers, but Devin Singletary is the name I am keeping an eye on the most. Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders have found their role, and will be slightly higher in ADP. David Montgomery will also be up there. Singletary is ready for a big role with Buffalo, and I have him as a top 25 back. He finished as RB33 playing just 12 games and even with Frank Gore still getting touches. Singletary had 42 targets, and 50-60 range is projected for 202, and we are looking at a 1,000+ all purpose yard back with the potential for 5-8 touchdowns.
Calvin Ridley has been a strong fantasy name since coming into the league, but year three I am ready for a top 20 season. He finished as WR27 in 13 games last year, and had 93 targets. The volume is there even with Julio Jones and Austin Hooper getting plenty of looks as well. Ridley was WR20 with ten touchdowns in his rookie season. We can do the Will Fuller dance again, where the upside is there if healthy, but the health never has been. Overall the Texans offense is way better with him on the field. I am still taking shots on this guy, who projects for monster years if he can get 13+ games in a season.
Which 2019 Busts Can Bounce Back?
Le’Veon Bell is likely going to see his ADP lowered after the 2019 performance. He was drafted as a top seven back, and finished RB16 in PPR leagues, and way worse in standard formats. He rushed for 789 yards on 245 carries behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines. While the Jets should upgrade that position, Bell is still far behind the top 15 backs, and could finish outside the top 20. There are better options than Bell right now. James Conner really struggled in the games that he was healthy. I am giving the Steelers a pass, Conner especially. This was a tough offense to get anything going in and the offensive line play was hit or miss. Conner could end up being a decent draft day value now with his ADP lowered. David Johnson went from being drafted as a top 5-6 back to finished as RB36. Drake took away his role later in the year, and now we should see Johnson out of Arizona. His landing spot will decide his fantasy value.
We did not have Odell Beckham at a WR25 ADP last season, as he struggled to produce. It was Jarvis Landry who had more of a role in the offense. The targets were still there for OBJ, but it was an inefficient passing game and the touchdowns were not there. His ADP will determine my overall interest, but I like buying back in a few shares with the ADP likely being slightly lower. I’m nervous for T.Y. Hilton‘s rest of career outlook. He is aging quickly, and injuries continue to haunt him over the last year and a half. I also do not like the Colts passing attack with Jacoby Brissett under center. It is nothing against him, but he just doesn’t unlock the fantasy appeal compared to some other quarterbacks. Hilton’s overall production is likely to never return.
Brandin Cooks had just 72 targets this season, and finished as WR61 in PPR leagues. Tyler Higbee and the rest of the Rams wideouts got theirs, but Cooks was hardly looked at in the second half of the season. This could be a bit of an outlier, but there is some concern here. I have a hard time drafting a deep ball threat who has a concussion history as well and has to fight for targets with four other viable receiving options. As mentioned above Smith-Schuster struggled with Big Ben going down early in the season. We can chalk things up to the poor quarterback play, and I still believe he can operate as a WR1, especially with Johnson/Washington showing their worth.
2020 Fantasy Rookies
We have a really good rookie class coming in on the offensive side. At the moment, Joe Burrow is the only one we truly know where they will land. Cincinnati is not a bad spot for him with Joe Mixon, John Ross, Auden Tate, Tyler Eifert, and Tyler Boyd. The weapons are there, and Jonah Williams will be back. Another offensive lineman in the mix, and the Bengals offense is going to be fun. The rest of the skill position players are going to need a landing spot before projections come in.
There is a great chance 2-3 rookie wideouts have big fantasy potential early. There are also a few that could go to some teams with strong quarterback play already. The Packers, Saints, Cardinals, Ravens, and the Patriots are in need of some wideouts. There are also three backs in this class that will have a chance at making an impact right away. Swift, Dobbins, and Taylor are the names to keep an eye out for. Miami, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Kansas City are all going to be looking at these names to fill a need of theirs. Dobbins I believe has the best chance of being fantasy viable in year one.
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