Rejoice! The football season is almost upon us. With COVID19 and the impact of the pandemic across America, it was hard to imagine Football season coming to fruition, but it looks like we’re going to be having a season after all. More importantly, it means it looks like we’re going to be able to play some fantasy football again.
A lot of big time moves happened over the off-season: Brady left New England, some big name wide receivers made moves (Deandre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks), stud running backs found new homes (David Johnson, Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley), as well as some other big moves that will most likely spice this season up a bit.
With all that said, it might be difficult to try and predict how these changes will impact fantasy performances. Alas, have no fear because our Fantasy Football Handicapper Ryan Watson is here. I’m going to tell you 5 players I think will outperform their current projections, 5 players I think will underperform, and give you my top 200 rankings to help you dominate your season long Fantasy Football Draft.
5 Players That Will Overachieve This Year
- Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills
- Last year, Singletary was off to a quality start. He scored double digit points in the first two weeks for PPR scoring, but then an injury caused him to miss 4 straight games. He also had legendary running back Frank Gore on his team to take away carries from him. With Frank Gore gone, Singletary should see an increase in carries. Zack Moss was brought in, but I don’t see Moss competing for that starting role. The Bills general manager told reporters that Moss will be used primarily in goalline situations, and that Singletary will be used in a role similar to last season. Without injuries, Singletary was on pace for a top 15 running back campaign, so it should be expected that he can be a top RB2 for this season if he stays healthy. He’s currently going around the 4th round as the RB23, so if he’s there for you in round 4, I say take him.
- Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons
- Hurst was traded into an amazing situation. Being traded to the Falcons is a wonderful thing for any tight end’s career. The Falcons offensive coordinator is known to prioritize his tight end, and it showed last year with Austin Hooper and his performance. My thought process is this: if Hooper can do it, Hurst can too. Hayden Hurst is a skilled tight end, whose career didn’t get off to the start he was expecting due to injuries and the emergence of Mark Andrews in Baltimore. This is Hurst’s time to shine, and even if he only accomplishes three quarters of what Hooper managed to do last season, he will be a top 12 tight end. If you’re looking to wait on picking a tight end this year, Hurst should be in your sights. He is currently going in the 9th round, and I think that’s some crazy value for him as he could very well end up a top 5 TE at the end of the season.
- T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
- T.Y. Hilton is a stud. Plain and simple. However, last season just was not his year. Not only did he have to deal with the retirement of Andrew Luck and the last minute replacement Jacoby Brissett, he also had to deal with injuries throughout the season. With Brissett under center, T.Y.’s average yards per catch dropped significantly. Brissett also struggled at times to maintain drives down the field, which hurt T.Y.’s scoring opportunities. With Philip Rivers now under center, and an entire offseason to deal with injuries, Hilton should see an increase to his yards per catch as well as an increase to his touchdowns. I know Rivers isn’t necessarily the same gunslinger that he used to be, but he’s still an improvement from Brissett. T.Y. has potential to be a WR2 this season, and is currently going around the 6th-7th round. If T.Y. is available for you around that time, I think there’s some great value in picking him due to his new situation.
- Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
- Hollywood showed some serious signs last season of being an elite fantasy WR. Week 1 he popped off for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns, and followed it up with 86 yards on 8 catches week 2. Which is pretty crazy when you factor in that he didn’t have a full offseason last year due to injuries. He was also on a snap count during the season, which explains why he only managed to get 71 targets. This season, it is not unlikely that he will see around 100 targets, and it is not unlikely that he will use those targets to put up some serious numbers. With defenses having to focus on Lamar Jackson’s running game, Hollywood Brown should be able to be a serious downfield threat. Coach Harbaugh said they will make defenses pay for their 1-on-1 matchups with his WRs, and Harbaugh believes the next step for their offense is to maximize their passing game. With a full offseason, no snap count, and a focus on the passing game, Hollywood’s ceiling is being a WR1 in fantasy. He may have some consistency issues, but Hollywood could single-handedly win you a week. He’s currently going around the 6th round, but could be worth picking earlier in that due to his insane potential.
- Jordan Howard, RB, Miami Dolphins
- Jordan Howard is about to begin his first season as a Miami Dolphin. In his first 3 seasons with the Bears, he had 1,000+ yards from scrimmage, and in all 4 seasons he’s played in the NFL, he has managed to score at least 7 touchdowns. His season last year with the Eagles was tarnished by injuries, yet he still managed 7 touchdowns, and was on pace for another 1,000 yard season before his injury. The Dolphins upgraded their o-line, but they also brought in RB Matt Breida. Breida will most likely vulture some fantasy points form Howard, but Breida is expected to be more of a third down RB, where Howard will get the first two downs, as well as the goalline usage. Howard is going around the 9th round as of now, but has potential to be a fringe RB2 due to his experience and ability to score touchdowns.
5 Players To Avoid This Year
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
- Yes, Stefon Diggs is a very talented wide receiver. However, the Bills are not a very talented passing game. Don’t get me wrong, the Vikings weren’t the most elite passing game in the league either, but Josh Allen’s accuracy issues are something worth noting. Throughout Allen’s first 2 years, he has yet to eclipse a 60% completion rate. What also doesn’t help is that the Bills ranked 24th in pass attempts last season. So, with limited pass attempts and a poor completion rate, it is hard to expect Diggs to put up impressive numbers unless things change in Buffalo. John Brown is also still there to vulture targets, so it’s difficult to justify Stefon’s 6th round ADP, especially when you can most likely get a WR with more upside such as T.Y. Hilton or Hollywood Brown.
- Mark Ingram II, RB, Baltimore Ravens
- Ingram is coming off of a stellar 2019 season, which saw him score 15 touchdowns and over 1,250 yards from scrimmage. He was an RB1 and he scored over 20 fantasy points in PPR formats 5 times. However, coming into this season I believe fantasy team owners should be wary of picking him. Ingram is on the wrong side of 30, and most of the time that’s a red flag for an NFL running back. He also scored 15 touchdowns last season! The most he had ever scored during any season throughout his 9 year career. I’m struggling to see him put up those kinds of numbers again, especially since the Raven’s used a 2nd round pick on the talented JK Dobbins. Dobbins should be expected to get some usage and lower the volume of Ingram. So, with the arrival of Dobbins, and the expected touchdown regression, I expect Ingram to put up RB3 numbers this season. With his current ADP of the 6th round, I just can’t justify spending that much on him.
- Cooper Kupp, WR, LA Rams
- Cooper Kupp was a machine during the first half of the season, scoring double digit points (in PPR formats) all but 1 of those weeks. However, over the last 8 weeks Kupp was the WR21. What happened? McVay focused on using a 2 TE formation, that’s what happened. And 2 tight end formations don’t favor a slot receiver like Kupp. McVay seems committed to maintaining his focus on using 2 TEs, and with Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee expected to see a good amount of targets, it’s hard to imagine that Kupp repeats the 10 TD 2019 season he had. He is currently going in the 3rd round, and while I think Kupp can still put up WR2 numbers, I don’t think he’s worth the risk of a third round pick.
- Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Bucs
- Bringing in Brady to replace Jameis should benefit everyone, right? Not necessarily. Winston had his issues, for sure, but he was still a great factor in Mike Evans’ success. Winston was tied for first in pass attempts last season, and Evans was his most trusted target. Winston loved throwing the ball to Mike Evans. Will Brady? Who can say. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Tampa Bay (Godwin, Brate, Howard, Gronk), and you can’t assume he will be targeting Evans as much as Jameis did. At the very least, I have to assume that Evans will be targeted a little less in the red zone, as we all know Gronk is a monster in the red zone. And we know Brady and Gronk have a strong relationship. Of course I still expect Evans to be a fringe WR1/strong WR2 this season, I just struggle to justify his 2nd round ADP when there are other options with more upside.
- Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns
- Hooper is coming off of a stellar season last year in Atlanta. He signed a 4-year, $44 million contract with the Browns during the offseason. Good for him! Get your money, big boy. But, I don’t think he replicates anywhere close to the numbers on the Browns as he did last year with the Falcons. The Browns have a lot of different options for targets (Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, David Njoku), and most (if not all) of them are more athletic and talented than Austin Hooper. And with new Head Coach Stefanski having a history of not passing the ball a lot, it’s hard to imagine Hooper not being TD reliant from a fantasy football scoring perspective. Hooper is currently going around the 9th round, but there will be better options available around that time (i.e. Hayden Hurst). I say avoid Hooper.
I wish you the best of luck this season, and fingers crossed that COVID does not cause the season to end early.
Top 200 Rankings
|36||Odell Beckham Jr.||CLE||WR|
|54||Mark Ingram II||BAL||RB|
|80||Henry Ruggs III||LV||WR|
|87||Ronald Jones II||TB||RB|
|140||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT||RB|
|152||Laviska Shenault Jr.||JAC||WR|
|154||Chris Herndon IV||NYJ||TE|
|158||Irv Smith Jr.||MIN||TE|
|161||Anthony McFarland Jr.||PIT||RB|
|168||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||WR|
|189||Gardner Minshew II||JAX||QB|