Wayy Too Early Fantasy Football Love List For 2020
I know, I know, it isn’t even March yet. The 2020 NFL Draft is still another couple months away and the free agency still hasn’t taken place. A lot is certain to change between now and the summer, but it is never too early to start thinking about the next fantasy football season right?
I try to constantly be thinking about which players I’m going to be going after and which players I’m going to be passing on for the upcoming season. With at least another six months until fantasy drafts are underway, I’m almost sure to change my mind several times. As ADP’s begin to take shape and settle into place, I’ll make adjustments here and there, but it is always good to get a head start on everything. So here are some of the players I love right now for the upcoming 2020 fantasy season.
- Davante Adams
2019 ADP – 1.06
2020 ADP (My prediction) – 1.11
My early feeling on Adams, is that his ADP will drop just low enough to be a great value pick for the first round. 2019 was a weird year for Adams. He played the fewest games in his entire career (12) due to injury and finished with his lowest TD total since 2015 (5). He got off to an incredibly slow start and didn’t catch his first TD until week 12. The other factor that played into Adams lackluster TD total was a breakout season from Aaron Jones in which he finished with 16 rushing touchdowns (19 total). It is hard to imagine Jones will be able to repeat this in 2020.
With that being said, there are several positives to take away from what by Adams standards was an off-year. For starters, even with missing four games due to injury, Adams was still able to finish with his second-highest targets total of his career (127) and second-highest yardage total (997). The other promising sign was how he played when he came back from the injury and how he finished the season. For his final ten games, including the two playoff games, Adams finished with 75 receptions, 917 yards and 7 TD’s. In other words, Adams reminded us that he is still a complete stud and no one should be sleeping on him this upcoming season. He’s still only 27 years old, he still has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him, he’s still the focal point of the offense and should continue to receive a high volume of targets moving forward. My guess is you can get him at the end of the first round in your draft this upcoming season, and assuming he can stay healthy and play a full season, he will get back to producing big numbers.
- David Montgomery
2019 ADP – 3.07
2020 ADP (my prediction) – 4th round
2019 was an incredibly boring, disappointing season for Montgomery and Montgomery owners. In fact, it was a disappointing year for the Chicago Bears and all of Chicago. The Bears boasted had a bottom-five offensive in 2019 and scored the fourth-fewest points in the NFL. Mitch Trubisky had a nightmare season throwing the football and the magic of second-year head coach Matt Nagy had completely worn off. Montgomery entered his rookie season as a promising back out of Iowa St, that the Bears took in the third round to serve as the every-down back. Montgomery finished with under 1,000 rushing yards (889) and only 6 rushing TD’s. For all of the excitement about him being able to catch the ball, he finished with only 25 catches.
You would think it would be hard to take a lot of positives away from Montgomery’s 2019 season, but I’m taking the ‘glass is half full’ approach. Although I don’t see the Bears offense turning into a powerhouse overnight, I find it very hard to believe they will be as bad as they were this past season. I think that with a moderate uptick in offensive production, and an increase in carries, Montgomery should be able to rush for between 8-10 touchdowns. Montgomery also finished with the 6th most carries inside the 5 yard line in 2019 (14), so I expect him to have better luck in his second season converting on some of those opportunities. I also am predicting that he will be given more responsibility in the passing game and see a major jump in his receiving totals. Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliot each finished with 36 catches or fewer their first two seasons before finishing with over 70 catches in their third season. Obviously, Montgomery doesn’t project to be the every-down bruiser both of them are, but he can certainly be a guy that catches 50-70 balls a year. Overall, I just expect the ADP to be appealing for a starting RB, entering his second season who is capable of rushing for 1,000 yards, 8-10 TD’s and chipping in 40+ catches.
- Zach Ertz
2019 ADP – 3.09
2020 ADP (My prediction) – Early 5th round
Ertz is coming off a somewhat pedestrian season compared to his standout 2018 season. Ertz was another player who suffered from a slow start to the season, which affected his overall totals and disappointed fantasy owners who invested serious draft capital to get him. I think this year will be a lot different. First of all, the ADP for Ertz will be far more in line with realistic expectations. He may never catch 116 balls again as he did in 2018, but can he top 90 catches, 1,000 yards and 8 TD’s? absolutely. In fact, despite the slow start to the season in 2019, Ertz caught fire over the last seven games with an impressive 51/492/5. For a full 16 game pace, that would put him at an impressive 116/1124/11. All I’m saying is that I think he is still capable of being a stud TE and the Ertz your draft in 2020 will more closely resemble the 2018 Ertz than the 2019 one. Overall, I feel like he is the same player and the best part is, you are going to be able to get him at a discount.
- Darius Slayton
2019 ADP – Undrafted
2020 ADP (My prediction) – 8th round
I’m predicting that Slayton will be a player that becomes a trendy sleeper pick as we get closer to the start of the season. I want to get out in front of it! The Giants drafted the rookie WR in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL draft and Slayton went on to lead the team in yards and TD’s. It was an impressive season for Slayton, especially when you consider they had a rookie QB in Daniel Jones finding his way, and a slew of other options to compete with for targets (Tate, Shepard, Barkley, Engram). While he absolutely did benefit from the injuries to Shepard, Engram, and Barkley, Slayton also proved to provide the big-play element in the passing game that Golden Tate and Sterling Sheppard were unable to offer. Looking ahead to the 2020 season, I think the opportunities will increase for Slayton. Tate turns 32 in August and Shepard has battled concussions which constantly puts his week to week availability into question. It is very possible that Slayton enters the season as the number two WR on an improved offense with a healthy Barkley and a second-year QB ready to make a big leap forward. On top of all that, Pat Shurmer will no longer be in the picture. That most certainly cannot hurt.
Slayton’s ADP will most likely be in the 7th-9th round range, which I think will be an awesome value for a second-year WR will big-play capability. A lot of other second-year WR’s like Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, and AJ Brown will garner all the hype and attention, but I don’t think Slayton is too far behind them. Would it be the worst thing in the world to draft Slayton 2-3 rounds later than those guys? I think not.
- Adam Thielen
2019 ADP – 2.11
2020 ADP (My prediction) – Early 4th round
Thielen is another player who had a horrendous 2019 season. Let’s face it, it was basically a disaster from start to finish. He got off to a slow start (does this sound familiar), missed six games and only cracked a hundred receiving yards in one game all year. It also didn’t help that teammate Dalvin Cook was remarkably healthy (by his standards), playing in 14 games and having a career season. Cook played in only 15 games combined in his previous two seasons. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that it does not happen again in 2020.
I believe Thielen, who turns 30 in August, has at least one more very good season left in him for fantasy owners. I’m chalking up the 2019 debacle to the mirage, and I’m going to enjoy buying low on him this season. We are talking about a pass-catching machine who played in all 16 games in each of the prior two seasons before last season. Thielen also posted back to back seasons with 90+ catches, 1,200 receiving yards and 5+ touchdowns in the prior two seasons before the perfect storm of misfortune hit him last season. I’m expecting him to back to where he was in those 2017 and 2018 seasons. I don’t care about 2019. If he’s able to find his way back to that level of fantasy production, he will be putting up similar, if not betting numbers than other WR’s that will be going a round or two ahead of him (Kenny Golladay, Courtland Sutton). Something tells me I will have multiple shares of Adam Theilen this year, and I’m not hating it.