9. Carson Wentz QB – PHI (9)
Wentz has bulked up this offseason in an attempt to continue to stave off injuries. He’s listed at 237 pounds, but entered camp at a swole 250 pounds. I’d say we maybe won’t see him running much in 2020, not with his injury history. And who knows who actually lines up at wide receiver for the Eagles, but you can’t argue there’s a plethora of talent in the room–even with Marquise Goodwin opting out. Veterans Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are question marks due to recent injuries, but the entire corps got a shot in the arm with the Eagles drafting three rookie wide receivers: Jalen Reagor (R1), John Hightower (R5), and Quez Watkins (R6). There’s also last year’s second-round pick, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and veteran Greg Ward. Add in Wentz’s pair of stud tight ends and full breakout candidate Miles Sanders at running back…it’s a heck of an arsenal given that Wentz produced 4,039 yards and 27 scores last year with Nelson Agholor as his de facto WR1. This arrow is trending upward, and the only negative is Wentz’s injury history.
Stafford is annually underrated, and he’s calling the shots for a team that features big-time receiving weapons in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. There’s also second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson, whose rookie year was cut short by an ankle injury. Hockenson is reported to be 100%, though it sounds like he’s still learning to trust the ankle fully. The Lions also spent a second-round pick on running back D’Andre Swift, so that versatility should positively impact the run and the pass game. Stafford will come at a discount in 2020, I’m sure. I say take it.
The Saints seem to have mended fences after Brees’ controversial stance on NFL players and kneeling. And while Brees was his usual self when on the field last year–27 scores, four INTs–he only played 11 games due to a thumb injury. Maybe that was just a random thing, and now he’ll return to playing full seasons. Maybe not, since he’s been in the league since 2001 and is now 41 years old? He’s an uncomfortable fade given the presence of Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jared Cook. And if any of Tre’Quan Smith/Austin Carr/Josh Hill can surprise, it’s an even deadlier group of pass-catchers. It’s arguably the deepest group Brees has had in years.
You can’t draft him as more than a low-end QB1 anymore, not with only Davante Adams to throw to each week. The Packers lost Devin Funchess (opted out) so there’s a litany of inconsistent names that make up the rest of this grouping. Allen Lazard likely headlines the group apart from Adams. A-Rod let some people down last year–you know, everyone expecting him to be an elite fantasy QB again. Don’t be one of those people in 2020, and you should be happy with the low-end QB1 production.
13. Tom Brady QB – TB (13)
Brady has left the confines of New England and journeyed to an entirely different team context. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are studs. And maybe Rob Gronkowski has actually found the fountain of youth after his year-long layoff. Maybe I’m just being ageist, but for some reason it’s hard to trust Tom Terrific this year. That said, if anyone’s going to prove the doubters wrong for one more year, it’s Brady. Bruce Arians is going to take some shots with this offense. I guess how high you rank Brady depends on how well you think he can throw a deep ball.
14. Baker Mayfield QB – CLE (9)
A popular sleeper last year, now you can get Mayfield at a depressed price on draft day. It’s a nice shot to take in drafts given his stable of weapons. The Browns have tons of skill and depth. If Baker doesn’t get it done in 2020, we’re gonna have problems trusting him long-term.
15. Ryan Tannehill QB – TEN (7)
Last year’s upstart made his living based on efficiency, something I wouldn’t want to bet on as fully repeatable. That said, play action is likely to work pretty darn well when you let Derrick Henry pound the rock repeatedly. He’s a solid QB2 in my book.
16. Daniel Jones QB – NYG (11)
Jones is a popular upside play in 2020 after impressing in spurts in his rookie year. He had some explosions and some implosions. It wasn’t pretty from a consistency standpoint. He also opens the year with a tough string of defenses in the Steelers, Bears, and 49ers. In leagues that start one quarterback, it’s possible you can snag him from waivers sometime ahead of Week 6, when he draws the Washington football team twice in four weeks.
This is how you play best ball. If the Bengals were airing it out last year with Andy Dalton, surely head coach Zac Taylor won’t be shy about airing it out with this year’s No.1 pick in the NFL Draft. Burrow likely gets a healthy A.J. Green back, and besides the arm talent, he’s shown a willingness to run. That makes him very attractive for fantasy football. And aside from Green’s return, there’s still stud slot man Tyler Boyd, deep threat John Ross, and second-round wideout Tee Higgins out of Clemson. If Burrow flops in 2020, it won’t be for a lack of weaponry.
How healthy will he be? Based on the skill guys in New England, the Patriots could surely use a healthy Cam Newton in their running game. And honestly, is it really a terrible receiving group if it boasts Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu? N’Keal Harry has some upside heading into Year 2, and James White is an accomplished receiver in his own right out of the backfield. I can’t deny being overly excited about seeing what Wild Bill can do with a dual-threat like Cam Newton in 2020.
Goff lost the magic in 2019, but he still plays for an excellent coach and has a noteworthy stable of weapons in Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, and others. The infusion of 4.47 speedster Cam Akers shouldn’t hurt, either. From a pure volume standpoint, he’s an okay pick in fake football. Even in an underwhelming performance last year, he still finished as the QB13. This is a value pick in your two-QB leagues.
You know the drill. Big upside when he’s healthy, but we know he won’t stay healthy. When healthy, he’ll be a top 12 play, though. Eric Ebron is a find addition to the flashes shown by Vance McDonald, while JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are a deadly combo in the wideout group. Anything added by James Washington and second-round receiver Chase Claypool is icing on the cake. Claypool was the first selection by the Steelers in the 2020 NFL Draft, due to Pittsburgh not having a first-round pick. He’s drawn rave reviews and lofty comparisons in training camp, something we hear about nearly every rookie. This feels different though, especially when at least one comparison is a faster version of Brandon Marshall. Big Ben won’t be lacking for weapons in 2020. But can he stay healthy?
The Vikings want to run, and Stefon Diggs is no longer in town. He’s an uninspiring floor play in fantasy football given the very green nature of his receiving corps. That’s despite the addition of first-round receiver Justin Jefferson, who is admittedly drawing rave reviews thus far. If Cousins wasn’t setting the world afire with Diggs and Thielen, it’s tough to see him doing it with Thielen and a super-young group of guys.
22. Philip Rivers QB – IND (7)
A floor play in Indy, and that’s not without value in some formats. But Rivers isn’t a league-winner.
Jimmy G would be more appealing for fantasy football if his team wasn’t built to dominate on the ground. It doesn’t help that first-round wideout Brandon Aiyuk will miss the remainder of training camp with a hamstring strain. Aiyuk is described as “week to week,” which doesn’t bode well for the rookie heading into the season. He’ll miss out on some valuable reps. Deebo Samuel (foot) was injured in June, but is expected to be ready for Week 1. Jalen Hurd (torn ACL) is out for the year, but the Niners still have George Kittle in tow. It’s gonna get dicey for this passing game if there’s another injury and Garoppolo is having to rely on Dante Pettis to play meaningful snaps. Further cold water on this whole “fire” is that Garoppolo hasn’t looked great thus far in training camp. I know, I know, take it with a grain of salt. I just don’t like the overall picture from a passing game perspective. Give me all the Raheem Mostert, though.
Minshew’s Bud Light ad isn’t fooling me. Minshew has an underrated receiving group, but it’s a sum-of-all-the-parts kind of thing. Pass-catching maven Chris Thompson should help out of the backfield a bit, though. In general, I like how he is ranked here, as a lower-end QB2 choice.
25. Sam Darnold QB – NYJ (11)
One of my favorite buys in 2020. He’s the QB27 per FantasyPros consensus rankings, and so long as he plays a full season I think he’ll surpass that ranking. The cool thing is you don’t have to pay up to acquire his services, as I’ve routinely landed him as a rock-solid QB3 choice in multiple formats already. As one of the last surefire starters being drafted in his range, I’ll be owning a lot of Sam Darnold in 2020. Darnold should benefit from the return of Chris Herndon IV, which bolsters a thin receiving group.
Lock has a solid group of pass-catchers, headlined by Courtland Sutton and second-year breakout candidate at tight end, Noah Fant. Denver also drafted WR Jerry Jeudy in Round 1 of this year’s NFL Draft. Jeudy’s calling card is that he’s an established route runner already, Tim Patrick is a quality sleeper, and K.J. Hamler is a speed demon in the slot. Lock is a solid choice as a QB2 with upside.
I’m not sure how much value there is in game managing for Christian McCaffrey, but here we are.
The most boring pick in fantasy football? It doesn’t help that the underrated Tyrell Williams will attempt to play through a torn labrum in 2020. All of a sudden this receiving group looks a little thin.
How long will Ryan Fitzpatrick hold the starting gig?
30. Tyrod Taylor QB – LAC (10)
Another guy with a short leash, but “TyGod” does pack some per-game punch due to his rushing ability. You could use him early on in the right format.
He might be the starter over Mitchell Trubisky, which is an indictment all by itself.
32. Dwayne Haskins QB – WAS (8)
I’m low-key excited for his big arm in some best ball formats, and have drafted Haskins as a QB3 on occasion. Terry McLaurin is a STUD, while Antonio Gibson is the sleeper du jour among fantasy football draftniks. Haskins could have some big splashes in 2020–just don’t try to guess when they’ll come.
32. Jarrett Stidham QB – NE (6)
Do you believe in Cam Newton’s health?
He’s on the record as admitting that he is the “placeholder” for Tua. Not what you want to hear if you’re banking on him in some deep format.
35. Justin Herbert QB – LAC (10)
At what point will he surpass Tyrod Taylor?
36. Marcus Mariota QB – LV (6)
We’ve really hit rock bottom, haven’t we?
The best backup in fantasy football? Will Drew Brees keep the magic going for another year?
38. Mitch Trubisky QB – CHI (11)
Trubisky is a lesser passer than Nick Foles. The Bears QB situation is a mess, and anyone banking on a Bears pass-catcher is rooting for Foles to start. You do the math.
The backup to ironman Philip Rivers, Brissett has a great chance of not taking a meaningful snap in 2020.
40. Taysom Hill QB – NO (6)
I’m not quite sure how Hill fits into New Orleans’ plans, what with Brees and Winston also in the quarterback room. But we know he’ll factor in somehow, so he has to make the rankings.