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Aug 31, 2020
Throughout the summer time, I've run through a bunch of mock fantasy football drafts at ESPN. PPR, non-PPR, even 2-QB codecs. 10- and 12-team leagues too. And like each supervisor placing in combination a roster, I have my favorite objectives. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is one in every of them. Top-tier throwing traits in a Detroit offensive gadget that ends up in volume and vertical opportunities. And I will be able to get him later in drafts too. Value there.
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Today, I'm going to turn you the players on my draft checklist, in a couple of tiers, for the 2020 fantasy season -- from Stafford and the QBs to the working backs, broad receivers and a tight end with respectable breakout possible. Vets and inexperienced persons in here. Let's get into it.
Dak Prescott Current ADP: 57.9 (QB6)Mike Clay's 2020 projections: 4,287 yards, 27 TDs, Eleven INTs; 49 carries, 248 yards, 4 TDs
With the quarterback position, I usually wait it out in fantasy drafts -- and I'll give you two of my top targets below in accordance with that technique. However, if I am going to leap a little bit earlier, then give me Prescott in a Cowboys offense that led the NFL in yards according to play closing season at 6.5. In addition to score No. 1 in air yards in step with attempt (9.2), Prescott additionally produced an on-target fee of 84.7% in 2019.
Plus, we know the Cowboys are going to live in Eleven body of workers this season (1 RB, 1 TE, Three WRs) after drafting rookie extensive receiver CeeDee Lamb to enrich the smooth path working of Amari Cooper and the vertical talent of Michael Gallup.
The Cowboys ran 713 snaps out of eleven workforce in 2019, with a league-leading 50% a success play fee. And Prescott was dialed in with three wideouts on the field, averaging 8.47 yards in line with strive while tossing 23 touchdowns. Now let's upload in Prescott's second-reaction ability, plus the QB-designed run concepts in the tight crimson zone. Yep. For me, Prescott has more fantasy upside right here than each Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions Current ADP: 126.6 (QB13)Clay's 2020 projections: 4,217 yards, 27 TDs, 11 INTs; 33 carries, 123 yards, 1 TD
Through Week Nine final season -- ahead of he was shut down for the year with an damage -- Stafford was once instantly dealing from the pocket. In truth, at that point of the season, Stafford ranked No. 2 in landing throws (19) and No. Four in passing yards (2,499), whilst averaging 20.8 fantasy points in step with recreation.
The Lions were pushing the ball excessive of the secondary too, as Stafford's air yards in keeping with strive jumped to 10.8 in 2019. Yeah, take your shots here to Kenny Golladay -- a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver, individually -- and Marvin Jones Jr.
Does that continue? I believe it has to with a Detroit defense that may surrender some points now. Stafford may well be ready where he has to throw with volume (once more) to stay this membership in video games. And it is about time we recognize just how underrated Stafford is at the position. He has top-tier characteristics as a thrower, and he's going to play off schedule, given his movement skill/arm skill. At his present ADP, Stafford is a main have compatibility for my technique of drafting quarterbacks later.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals Current ADP: 152.0 (QB17)Clay's 2020 projections: 3,698 yards, 20 TDs, 13 INTs; 54 carries, 258 yards, 2 TDs
I'm in most cases not in reality massive on targeting rookie quarterbacks, but Burrow has some beautiful high-level traits. And the offensive carry-over from his LSU playbook should create a quicker transition to the NFL level. That will allow the Bengals to create more defined reads for Burrow off formation and alignment, use the play-action game and paintings the ball within the numbers.
Plus, if A.J. Green can stay in the mix, Burrow gets a proven No. 1. Back in 2018, Green noticed at least 10 objectives or scored in seven of his 9 video games. Even if Green's numbers start to fade some, he's still a veteran route runner who can mesh with productive slot guy Tyler Boyd and the upside of Tee Higgins as a crimson zone/contested-catch goal.
Remember, Burrow could also be taking over a unit that trailed on 70.1% of offensive snaps closing season. Bad ball there. But that also manner extra throwing quantity for the rookie in the second one part of games. That's why I drafted Burrow in our 10-team, 2QB, PPR mock final week. However, do not be surprised if Burrow's numbers elevate to the purpose the place he may also be streamed in deeper leagues later this season. I believe the rookie has the processing ability, and motion abilities, to compete now.
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings Current ADP: 6.7 (RB5)Clay's 2020 projections: 250 carries, 1,135 yards, Thirteen TDs; 53 receptions, 519 yards
I would not have an issue creating a case for Cook as the full RB2/Three given the volume he sees in Minnesota's run-heavy machine, plus the goal-line carries and the screen objectives. Last season, Cook saw 20 or more touches in 10 video games, and he led the league with 29 goal-to-go carries. That's real scoring upside for a working again with the traits to find the top zone when the ball is inside the 5-yard line. It's the play-speed here with Cook, the rapid burst to hit small slices of daylight when the sphere is lowered. He can cross.
While Cook is not used within the cross game schematically like a Christian McCaffrey or an Alvin Kamara, let's now not sleep on his ability to produce off monitors in the open area. Cook caught 53 passes in 2019 while averaging 11.Three yards after the catch, which was fourth absolute best among running backs.
Yeah, I understand the injury considerations right here, as Cook has but to play a complete season in the league. However, I passed at the Vikings running back final year as a result of those self same concerns in one in all my home leagues, and it cost me large. Not once more. Nope. I would like the quantity here with Cook in an offensive machine that caters specifically to his ability set.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders Current ADP: 24.2 (RB13)Clay's 2020 projections: 264 carries, 1,151 yards, 9 TDs; 36 receptions, 280 yards, 1 TD
Jacobs did not play like a rookie last season. Let's simply get that in the market, as a result of he finished runs like we would see from a longtime vet. In 2019, Jacobs checked in at 4.Seventy five yards per rush (on 242 makes an attempt), with a median of 2.25 yards after first contact, which ranked 3rd general in the NFL at the back of Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb. He can drop the hammer on the point of attack. Pair that together with his downhill velocity to the outlet? Yeah, that's a perfect have compatibility for what Jon Gruden wants in his run sport. And for fantasy managers, that translates to constant quantity at the flooring.
Now, do I feel Jacobs has more upside in non-PPR formats given his low utilization as a go recreation goal in Gruden's system? Sure. With best 27 overall goals final season (and 20 receptions), Jacobs is a perimeter RB1 in deeper PPR leagues. But if you play in non-PPR leagues, Jacobs ranks in my peak 10 given the run recreation volume and potential scoring upside here. And I really like the traits he brings to the sector as a runner.
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts Current ADP: 71.0 (RB23)Clay's 2020 projections: 198 carries, 877 yards, 4 TDs; 28 receptions, 238 yards receiving, 1 TD
Given Taylor's explosive play talent -- he had 94 rushes of 15 yards or extra right through his profession at Wisconsin -- directly line pace and overall are compatible in the Colts run game, I've been concentrated on the rookie in a couple of mock drafts this summer season. Yes, we know that veteran Marlon Mack is still in the mix with Indy. Nyheim Hines goes to peer touches too. However, you do not draft a again in the second around to present him eight carries a recreation. Too a lot upside with Taylor to move on the opportunity of the rookie growing quickly into a volume function, individually.
Last season, the Colts averaged 29.4 rushing attempts per sport (No. Five within the NFL), with a fee of 27.8% first downs according to rush (No. 2 in the back of Baltimore). Maybe the ones totals take a slight dip with Philip Rivers now at quarterback in Indianapolis. But the Colts function some of the league's absolute best offensive traces. Taylor has the traits to make a very easy transition as a downhill runner, with both the footwork and the imaginative and prescient to search out open lanes. And he has more ability than most think as a receiver (swings, screens, unders) to chip in as an option for Rivers. Really like the skill right here with Taylor. He's an RB2 goal for my leagues.
Anthony McFarland Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers Current ADP: 170.6Clay's 2020 projections: 89 carries, 366 yards, 2 TDs; Thirteen receptions, 102 yards receiving, 1 TD
Why McFarland? Because I want a late-round goal with some possible upside in a Steelers offense that are supposed to be anticipated to generate points with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back from harm. Plus, the Steelers should not have another player within the running back room with the juice that McFarland showed on his school tape. If we put in combination McFarland's closing two seasons at Maryland, he ripped off 30 rushes of 15 yards or more. He can get moving as that ball reaches the threshold or when he hits open grass coming downhill.
Yes, James Conner owns that feature role within the Steelers backfield. But Conner has additionally ignored a total of 11 games over the past two seasons with accidents. That's why I'm taking the insurance coverage of McFarland within the later rounds and also counting at the rookie to give a contribution in the cross sport. Get him unfastened on monitors, angles, extra. The skill is there.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers Current ADP: 10.8 (WR2)Clay's 2020 projections: Ninety one receptions (138 goals), 1,152 yards, 7 TDs
Despite lacking 4 games in 2019, Adams' 997 receiving yards no longer handiest led the team in Green Bay, it was more than their next two absolute best receiving targets combined. And coming off the NFL draft -- where the Packers strangely passed on the large receiver position -- Adams is in line to look a large goal percentage again this season. Plus, in his past 37 regular-season games, Adams has been held to fewer than Sixteen PPR fantasy issues just seven instances.
Given those numbers and the truth that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will cross outside of play design to create explosive play alternatives for Adams, I'm willing to target Adams as the next receiver off the board after Michael Thomas. Consistent production and quantity from an elite course runner who has mastered the art of winning on the line of scrimmage. I'm in.
AJ Brown, Tennessee Titans Current ADP: 47.9 (WR16)Clay's 2020 projections: 67 receptions (110 goals), 1,045 yards, 7 TDs; Four carries, 27 yards
To truly measure Brown, we have to take a look at his numbers from his rookie season after quarterback Ryan Tannehill was once passed the keys to the Titans' offense in Week 7. Tennessee went play-action-heavy right here with Tannehill to get Brown free on deep in-breakers and crossers. That's additionally why Brown led the NFL closing season with 543 receiving yards -- and 91.3 fantasy points -- on receptions off play-action throws. Catch and move. Use that play power and open-field imaginative and prescient to rack up numbers.
But don't sleep on Brown as just a play-action target. He can win outdoor on isolation routes as an X receiver to stretch the sphere or separate underneath on extra high-percentage throws from Tannehill. And with an expected spice up in overall goal quantity this season, Brown can produce high-end WR2 numbers given the large play talent he brings to the location.
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks Current ADP: 55.1 (WR21)Clay's 2020 projections: Sixty three receptions (103 goals), 913 yards, 8 TDs; 2 carries, Eleven yards
As a rookie, Metcalf ran a pretty scheme-specific path tree for the Seahawks as the X receiver. The deep overs off play-action, slants, hitches, fades, displays. Metcalf averaged 15.5 yards consistent with catch, and the big-play talent jumped too, with the rookie posting a reception of 35 yards or extra in six games. Metcalf additionally led the league in end zone targets closing season (19). Those are schemed throws to Metcalf, plus a made from Wilson taking part in out of doors of structure to shop for more time for receivers to find the ones open voids within the coverage.
But as Metcalf heads into his second season, he should see an increase in volume, and I also expect his position -- and course tree -- to make bigger. If Metcalf shows transparent indicators of development as a direction runner, with the ability to align in numerous spots, then Seattle can create extra matchups and scheme him open with the chance to run after the catch. Metcalf has the athletic profile to jump into the WR2 combine this season, in spite of playing in an offense that may lean too much on the run sport.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos Current ADP: 120.0 (TE11)Clay's 2020 projections: 54 receptions (80 goals), 615 yards, 4 TDs; 2 carries, 7 yards
L.A.'s Tyler Higbee is a tight finish I've targeted in contemporary mocks, and Tennessee's Jonnu Smith is one in all my favorite sleeper picks on the position. However, I tagged Fant as my breakout candidate early in the summertime as a result of his receiving traits in a Broncos' offense that has really upgraded the ability round quarterback Drew Lock. In 2019, 10 of Fant's Forty receptions went for 20 yards or more. He can stretch the seams with his 4.Five speed, and the Broncos can also set up to run in the open field on crossers/in-breakers off play-action throws. And given the brand new jolt of pace the Broncos added at broad receiver during the draft, there will have to be beneath zones for Fant to paintings in the course of the sector. He has the potential to post top-10 TE numbers this season.