104.5 The Team’s 2020 Fantasy Football Preview
104.5 The Team's fantasy football week officially wraps up today with the 104.5 The Team Staff's picks for the season. In the very 2020 form, this year's fantasy football had to be altered due to two New York Yankee doubleheaders being scheduled during the week. Despite the changes, you can both read the picks from the staff and listen to all the interviews from the past week below in hopes for you to bring home a fantasy title. Plus this Thursday Daniel "Secret Squirrel" Dopp joins the show at 5:15 pm to give his outlook on the season. Who is the biggest sleeper and bust for the season? Find out below.
Goz-Levack and Goz 3-7 pm
Fantasy Players I love this season and why:
QB-Cam Newton NE
I'm still even here in late August blown away by the lack of respect for Cam Newton in fantasy football in 2020. He had ONE BAD SEASON! That's it. Go look at his fantasy numbers since he entered the league in 2011 and stack them up against any other QB. You are looking at 3rd-5th rank QB over a decade. He can do it all, pass/run score touchdowns in both ends. In a Patriots offense that loves to run the ball in the endzone, it's amazing to think that Cam Newton in some league is not ranking as a top 12 QB. Cam Newton can win you a title this year especially if the AFC East is up for grabs late in the year.
RB-AJ Dillon Green Bay Packers
This is a DEEP sleeper but don't wait on drafting the rookie from Boston College. Dillon was considered one of the best running backs in the country heading into the 2019 college football season. Dillon had a good junior season and was a second-round pick by the Green Bay Packers. For whatever reason, the Packers have never truly let Aaron Jones be the guy in the backfield. Fantasy managers for years have been pleading with the Packers offense to give him more touches. I like Dillon to continue to take touches away from Jones especially at the goal line in 2020. Try your best to snag this rookie later in rounds.
One of the favorite fantasy football players of all time, Jarvis Landry is sliding on draft boards this year. Here's the thing with Landry. In the past, his value has depended on PPR/NON-PPR leagues. PPR leagues know that Landry's receptions numbers in Miami were on an NFL historic pace. We still may see Landry finish his career in the top 15-20 in all-time receptions list. However, in NON-PPR leagues, Landry has also floated around in a different area. Remember this, in NON-PPR leagues in 2019, Landry outscored BOTH Devante Adams and Tyreek Hill who many consider being 2 of the top 3 WR's this season in fantasy. Look for some value on Landry in mid rounds.
TE-Hayden Hurst Atlanta
One of my favorite fantasy football players in 2019 was then Falcons tight end Austin Hooper. Week in and week out Hooper was producing until an injury derailed his season. Hurst is poised to step up and continue to be a sleeper fantasy player in 2019. The Falcons offense ranked 8th when it came to tight end fantasy production in 2019 and that includes the time Hooper missed. Hurst may be on the fringe on the top 10 tight ends and you may be able to grab him in far later rounds.
Players I Hate in 2020:
Be easy on me Bills Mafia. I know Josh Allen is a huge reason as to why the Bills could be the AFC East champs this year. But is he going to be a fantasy star? I'm not convinced. Can you really have another season with 8 plus rushing touchdowns? That would be historic. Plus after Stefon Diggs, who is the best target Allen is throwing too? The Bills offense only put up only 30 points or more twice last year and that same offense didn't score over 20 points in the final five games they played including the playoffs.
I just don't get it here on Edwards-Helaire. Where did he rank on the LSU offense in 2019 in terms of players? Wouldn't it be fair to say he was AT LEAST fourth behind Joe Burrow Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase? So now fantasy experts are trying to tell him a guy who was the 4th best player on his college offense last year is the 6th-7th BEST OVERALL player in fantasy?! I just don't buy it. Yes, players like Zeke, Saquon, and even Leonard Fournette were high picks who proved to be productive. But Edwards-Helaire was nowhere close to being as good as those guys in the college ranks. I can't trust he will be the focal point of that offense like others do.
Help me with the Gallup thing, please! I haven't seen a player that managers have bragged about more this summer than Gallup. Amari Cooper signs a massive contract with Dallas. The Cowboys take a first-round pick on arguably the best WR in the class in CeeDee Lamb. Zeke Elliot is a top 3 back in fantasy. Yet Gallup's #s will be the ones that go up? I don't believe the hype here. Plus Blake Jarwin as tight end may actually be an upgrade over Jason Witten this season
The Ravens offense is truly remarkable. However, is Mark Andrews really the third-best tight end now in fantasy? Remember heading into 2019 many people were talking about Andrews as a potential bust in the league. A 2019 filled with production changed that narrative but remember the tight end position in fantasy is wild. Remember names like Dwyane Allen, Gary Barnidge, and Jordan Reed? Andrews' value is way too high in drafts this year.
Eric Hannmann Big Board Sports 10 am-1 pm, Sittin Sportside Sunday 10 am-11 am (starting September 13th)
Fantasy Players I love this season and why:
QB-Ryan Tannehill, TEN
Strictly by being ranked as the 19th QB off the board with an ADP of 158.3 intrigues me here. Tannehill had the 3rd most points among QB's from Week 7 on when he took over for Marcus Mariota as the starter in Tennessee. Regression is expected but if we expect the Titans to maintain success after an AFC Title Game run, even with the offense still revolving around Derek Henry, Tannehill is a bargain late as your second QB.
RB-Cam Akers, LAR
There are a lot of interesting RB options this year with upside but none better than Cam Akers. A hidden talent on an awful Florida State team last season, Akers should have a great workload as a rookie as the RB competition for the Rams is wide open. However, to me, he is the clear choice for the lion share of touches on a team that wants to run the football. His 83.9 ADP doesn't suggest others feel the same so jump on Akers as your 2nd or 3rd RB around Round 5 or 6.
WR-Justin Jefferson, MIN
If you remember the 2014 fantasy football season, the plethora of impact rookie WR's made this position extremely deep. I fully expect that to be the case this season as well. I was tempted to go, CeeDee Lamb, as he is currently going lower than I would take him. But Jefferson may be the steal of the draft currently at 141.1 ADP. It is probably too much to say he should just fit into Stefon Diggs' shoes but he was an extremely polished receiver in LSU's pro-style offense and with 18 TD's and a catch rate of 83% last season for the Tigers, he is a no brainer to me in round 9 or 10.
TE-Chris Herndon, NYJ
The Jets really do not have many options on offense to catch the football and Herndon has looked fantastic at Jets camp according to reports. Factor that with being Darnold's favorite target in their rookie season and we have a player with a true chance at top 10 TE fantasy value currently being drafted as the number 17 TE. Health can be a concern after missing all of last season but if you end up with Jared Cook or Noah Fant, Herndon is a great selection soon after as security at the position.
Fantasy Players I hate this season and why:
QB-Carson Wentz, PHI
I can tell you off the top here that this may be biased based on having him in a dynasty league where either he or his top weapons were injured but that’s just the thing. Year after year we continue to say the sky’s the limit for Wentz but why does it feel like his head has hit a ceiling? No doubt the WR’s have been addressed in the offseason and if healthy there is a ton of speed for the deep threat which is what the salivation was all about. I just won’t be rushing to get him in redraft leagues.
RB-Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC
This may be a surprise especially given my LSU fan-ship, but this is a rookie RB being taken as the 7th RB and roughly 10th overall. There is no doubt his upside is fantastic with Reid and Mahomes in Kansas City but this is still a rookie. Do you want your first-round pick to be a guy who hasn’t proven himself? This isn’t Zeke or Saquon either taken in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. Andy Reid has proven to mix and match RB’s at times. All I’m saying is know the risk. Meanwhile, I’ll be investing in Aaron Jones who’s 2019 was phenomenal, who currently has a head coach that wants to run the football, and currently being taken 6 picks later.
WR-Mike Evans, TB
The acquisition of Tom Brady has propelled the Buccaneers skill players up in drafts but why exactly? Jameis Winston threw for the most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns in the NFL last season and honestly I’m not sure we can expect that from a 43-year-old Brady. Factor in Brady’s propensity to throw to RB’s and the addition of Gronk, I think I’ll chalk up last season as what to expect which favors Godwin from the Bucs, and based on ADP I’ll go with Keenan Allen a few rounds later. One last thing to note, Evans could end up the better WR from TB if he clicks with Brady better.
TE-Evan Engram, NYG
Every year he seems like a popular pick thanks to a top 5 finish among TEs in his rookie season. However, he has gotten worse in overall results in each of the last two seasons mainly due to injuries but that’s been a problem of other popular TE’s in the past like Jordan Reed. I will most likely eat my words on this selection if he plays all 16 games however I will continue to avoid him in drafts and will probably take Gronk over him if given the opportunity.
The spot you hope you pick in the draft: With the depth at WR this season, I want a top pick to snag one of the elite RB’s. However, that is for Run CMC and Barkley. I’ll be okay with 3-5 but if not 1 or 2 I’ll be okay with my usual or 9 or 10 which is perfect for 2 picks of solid RB’s.
Any other sleepers/busts: Last note I’d throw out there is about J.K. Dobbins. Mark Ingram had a rookie RB outshine him in a solid season before. That was Alvin Kamara. I am not calling Dobbins Kamara, and Lamar Jackson will demand play calls for his talents on the ground but the thought is tantalizing.
Taylor Lattimore- Fill-In Host/Producer 104.5 The Team
Fantasy Player you love this season and why:
QB- Carson Wentz
Wentz is being drafted as the 10-12th best QB in fantasy. Honestly, it’s absurd. Last season Wentz finished as the 10th best fantasy QB with you, me, Goz, and Levack catching the football. This offseason, the Eagles made it clear they were going to surround Wentz with speed and talent. Not only do I think he’s a steal based on his ADP, I think he has the potential to reclaim his spot as a top 5 fantasy QB like he was in 2017.
RB- Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The worst kept secret in all of fantasy. CEH is an easy top-5 pick for me this season. This year’s Dalvin Cook if you will. We all know how potent the Chiefs offense is. Andy Reid has talked all offseason how he views CEH as the next Brian Westbrook. That’s not to be taken lightly. With the absence of Damien Williams (COVID opt out), CEH is set to be a three-down back right out of the gates. I don’t usually want to take a rookie this high. CEH is the exception. This pick can win you the league.
WR- Kenny Golladay
Golladay is a rising star for the Lions. He’s coming off back-to-back 60+ catches, 1,000+ receiving yards, and 200+ fantasy points. Last year, he did it without Matthew Stafford for the majority of the season. The Lions will be throwing the football a lot and Golladay will be the top benefiter of it. Golladay will be a top 10 receiver with top 5 upside. Yeah. He’s that good.
TE- Noah Fant
I’m a fan of the young Broncos offense in general this season. Year 2 for Fant is expected to be a big one after a solid rookie campaign. Last year, Fant finished second on the team in yardage and receiving TD’s behind Courtland Sutton. With Drew Lock under center, Fant is expected to remain a focal point in an offense that all of a sudden seems loaded. Fant was the second highest scoring tight end twice last season, both when Lock was QB.
Fantasy Player you hate this season and why
QB- Aaron Rodgers
I don’t hate Rodgers. I hate where he’s being drafted. Rodgers’ ADP is 7.03, meaning he’s going in the 7th round and has been around the 7-9th QB off the board. This is coming off a season where he was QB20 or lower 13 times, finished with 15 points or less 10 times, and averaged 1.3 TD’s and 209.8 passing yards the final 8 weeks of 2019. Rodgers needed more than Davante Adams this year and instead of helping him out this offseason Green Bay drafted his replacement in Jordan Love. The Packers are a running team now. Davante Adams will be an absolute monster because he’s the only guy Rodgers can trust. But when it comes to drafting a QB, you can certainly look elsewhere and let someone else reach.
RB- Le’Veon Bell
It’s never a good sign when reports out of camp are calling Frank Gore the most productive back. Bell had career lows with the Jets in 2019, finishing as the 21st ranked RB in fantasy. If there is a silver lining, the Jets O-Line should be better in 2020. However, everything we’ve been hearing is the Bell-Gore carries are being split 60-40. Gase has been on record saying they want to keep Bell fresh. Gase also is a big fan of Gore, going back to his days in Miami. Leveon is no more than a low-rb2/flex.
WR- Juju Smith-Schuster
Some people think Juju’s struggles last season were because of the loss of Ben Roethlisberger. That certainly was a contributing factor, but not the full story. Juju was asked to be the WR1 in Pittsburgh for the first time after the departure of Antonio Brown and it was about as ugly as could get. I love Juju’s talent. I think if the Steelers use him in the slot where he belongs he could have a nice season. But nice isn’t what you’re looking for in the early third round, which is where you’ll have to take Juju more than not (3.12 ADP). In that range you can likely get OBJ, Amari Cooper, Cooper Kupp, or Courtland Sutton instead.
TE- Hunter Henry
There’s a whole lot of things going against Henry having a productive 2020. He’s missed 22 games in his three-year career for starters. Second, you have the departure of Phillip Rivers. While Tyrod Taylor is serviceable, Taylor doesn’t target TE’s like Rivers did. And on top of that, expect Austin Ekeler to grab a lot of the underneath stuff while Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are your big bodies for the red zone. There just doesn’t seem to be enough there for me to rely on Henry has a starting TE this season, especially in a season where the TE position seems to be the deepest it’s been in quite some time.
Spot you hope you pick in the draft- Top 6
This isn’t a specific spot, but a preferred range. Be happy if you land in the top half of your draft. In my opinion, there is a clear top 6 that separates itself from the rest of the pack (CMC, Saquon, Kamara, Zeke, CEH, and Thomas). If you get one of those players to start your draft you’re set up for success.
Sleeper- Cam Akers, RB
The Todd Gurley replacement. The Rams backfield is wide open with Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr, and Malcolm Brown all battling for carries. Let’s get to the point. This is Akers’ backfield. Henderson is already dealing with hamstring issues so Akers has been taking most first team reps this summer. The Rams love this kid and by mid-season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Akers getting 20+ carries and becoming a top 10 back.
Listen to these fantasy football insider interviews from earlier in the week including
WTF Fantasy Podcast Talks Round 1 and Round 2 Mock Draft
ESPN's Mike Clay
Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer
Yahoo Sports' Liz Loza