2020 Fantasy Football Fades
How’s it going everyone, Joe Colonna back with another article for you. In this article, we will be discussing my 2020 fantasy football fades. These are players I plan on getting very little to no exposure to at all in fantasy this season. We will be using BestBall10’s ADP for the purposes of this article. I hope you enjoy!
1. Lamar Jackson
My number one fade of the 2020 season is last year’s MVP, Lamar Jackson. I’m going to list three reasons why I’m fading him. The biggest reason is I very rarely draft QBs early in fantasy. Most of the time I wait a good seven rounds before taking a QB, and Jackson typically is being drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round of drafts this season. The next reason I’m not interested in Jackson is because the 9.0% touchdown rate he had last season was the highest of any quarterback since Aaron Rodgers back in 2011. For reference, Jackson’s 2018 TD Rate was only 3.0%. Jackson simply will have touchdown regression in 2020. I expect him to be somewhere in between 2018 and 2019 numbers. Let’s take a look at his numbers strictly as a passer. Jackson only threw for 3,127 yards last year and has a career 63.7% passer rating. Those yardage numbers were on par or worse than Gardner Minshew and Mitchell Trubisky. I know fantasy points don’t always come from passing yards and TDs. The one thing Jackson does have going for him is his rushing upside, and I will give you that argument. No QB has more rushing upside than Jackson. However, what if his rushing volume or production decreases, and gets closer to his 2018 season?
2. Josh Allen
Josh Allen simply is not an accurate quarterback. In his two-year career, Allen has a 56.3% completion percentage and averages double digit interceptions each year. Allen did show improvement in his sophomore season, jumping from 2,074 passing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019, to 3,089 yards and 20 Touchdowns, so there may be some hope he can improve, though I’m just not buying it. In order for Josh Allen to succeed at the NFL Level, he needs real talent around him, and Buffalo is certainly aware of this. In each of Allen’s first two seasons, Buffalo has added weapons to their roster. However, I’m not sure that Stefon Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley and Dawson Knox are enough for Josh Allen. Allen does bring rushing upside, and while that can help in fantasy, I prefer to have a quarterback on my roster that has more to offer than just rushing upside. Allen is being drafted in the 8th round of fantasy drafts this season. I’d personally rather draft Matt Ryan or Carson Wentz a round or two later.
3. Kirk Cousins
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Kirk Cousins is just an average quarterback at best. There is not a whole lot of upside with Cousins, he is what he is. That’s a bye week fill in at QB who could have a big game in the right match-up here and there. That’s it. Minnesota is a run-first team and does not have a lot of talent on offense with the departure of Stefon Diggs. Rookie Justin Jefferson will try and replace Diggs, but it remains to be seen if the rookie can
make Cousins fantasy relevant again. No thanks.
1. Le’Veon Bell
Le’Veon Bell is one of the more over-rated fantasy assets and has been for years now. First of all, Bell has some character concerns off the field, has missed a handful of games because of his actions, whether it was a DUI, holding out for a contract, his rap career, or being injured, there’s always something negative going on with Bell. It’s tough to count on him for a full season. Bell’s first season with the Jets did not go well, as he averaged just 3.2 yards per rushing attempt and scored only two touchdowns all year. I’ll give Bell the benefit of the doubt, it was his first year on a new team after missing all of 2018. Bell will look to build on his 245 rushing attempts and get closer to his career high 321 attempts back in 2017. The Jets greatly improved their offensive line this off season, which should help Bell increase his overall rushing numbers, but by how much? Bell also will be productive as a receiver, but honestly I’m not interested in spending an early 3rd round pick on a 28-year-old running back we hope will improve as he gets towards the later stages of his career.
2. David Johnson
After David Johnson’s historic 2016 season, many expected a new consistent RB1 to emerge on the scene for years to come, and have been vastly disappointed. In 2017, Johnson only played in one game. In 2018, Johnson did play in all 16 games, but was a shell of his former self, gaining 940 yards, 7 TDs, 50 receptions and 446 yards. These were not bad numbers, but not the high-end numbers fantasy owners expected. 2019 was a disaster for David Johnson as he only played in 13 games, had 345 rushing yards, 370 receiving yards, and was out produced by Kenyan Drake in Arizona. During the off-season, David Johnson was traded to the Houston Texans. Johnson is in a better situation to succeed in Houston, will receive volume, but can the 28-year-old can turn back the clock this season? I’m not spending a late 6th or early 7th round draft pick to find out.
3. Kerryon Johnson
Kerryon Johnson was a highly touted running back out of Auburn back in 2018 for the Lions, but has been disappointing to start of his career. In each of his two seasons, Kerryon has failed to play in more than 10 games. Johnson totaled 118 rushing attempts, 641 yards and 3 TDs, along with 32 receptions, 213 yards, and one receiving touchdown in 2018. In 2019, Kerryon finished with 113 rushing attempts, 403 yards, 3 touchdowns and averaged 3.6 yards per carry. Very uninspiring numbers at the position. The Lions noticed this and spent a second-round draft choice on rookie running back D’Andre Swift to their backfield this off-season, making this Lions backfield a tough one for fantasy. I’ll let someone else handle the headache of the Johnson and Swift committee at their current prices.
1. D.J. Chark
I’m going to be honest with this one. There’s not too many receivers I’m going out of my way to avoid at all costs this season like I am at QB, RB and TE. I will say, I’m a little concerned with D.J. Chark’s upside. To me, I’d rather take a chance on other wide receivers at a similar ADP, like D.K. Metcalf, Courtland Sutton, or DeVante Parker, than risk it with Chark. Nothing wrong with Chark as a player, I just prefer other players around him.
2. Deebo Samuel
An off-season foot injury has Samuel questionable to start the season, and he might start the year on the PUP list. San Francisco is already a run-first team, drafted a wide receiver in the first round of this year’s draft, and has an all-pro tight end in George Kittle on their team. I’d rather take a shot on a healthier wide receiver at a similar price range, like Jarvis Landry or Tyler Boyd.
3. Christian Kirk
Christian Kirk could be as low as the number three receiver on the Cardinals this season, as the team brought in DeAndre Hopkins to be their new number one wideout. Arizona did run the most 11 personnel (3 Wide Receivers, 1 RB, 1 TE) in the league under Cliff Kingsbury, so Kirk’s position on the depth chart might not actually matter, but I would proceed with caution here. Kirk is a talented receiver, I am just worried if his volume will be consistent enough to be anything more than a flex option in fantasy. With an ADP of 126.46, I’d much rather take a chance on Brandin Cooks, Jamison Crowder, Mecole Hardman who could at least have upside to be a number two fantasy wide out if things go their way.
1. Darren Waller
Darren Waller was one of the great stories of the last two years, but now is the time to jump off in fantasy football, before it is too late. Not only did Las Vegas bring in Jason Witten to mentor Waller and backup TE Foster Moreau, they significantly invested in their wide receivers this off-season. The Raiders added Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards to play along with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow. Derek Carr hasn’t shown the ability to be an elite quarterback in the NFL, and I am not convinced that there will be enough volume to go around. Waller should be able to be a top 12 TE, but I’m not spending a 5th round draft pick on him at all. I’d much rather take Mark Andrews a round earlier or load up at the RB or WR positions.
2. Austin Hooper
Austin Hooper is a player who deserves significantly more respect. The 25-year-old TE has acquired over 70 catches each of the last two seasons and produced over 650 yards. When you sort by fantasy points per game over the last three seasons, Hooper finished as the TE5 in 2019, which is a remarkable year. However, in 2018, Hooper slipped to the TE15 in FPPG, and TE18 FPPG. All of those numbers were when he was on a pass happy Falcons team that consistently targeted him as the third receiving option most of those years. Hooper left Atlanta for Cleveland, and the situation is much different. Cleveland is likely going to be a run first team, and has elite receivers in Odell Beckham Jr, and Jarvis Landry. Running Backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt also contribute in the passing game as well. Don’t forget about David Njoku, the Browns other tight end as well. The point I’m trying to make is, we should be expecting closer to 2018 levels of production for Austin Hooper in his new role out in Cleveland. He’s being drafted much higher than that, as the 9th tight end off the board, with people expecting closer to 2019 numbers. I’m fading at that price.
3. Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen is currently being drafted at the tail end of fantasy drafts this season, and I advise staying away. The 35-year-old tight end is now going to be playing in Seattle, after spending his career in Chicago and Carolina. Expecting any sort of production from Olsen at this stage of his career is not something I would advise doing. Instead, draft your backup tight end a few rounds earlier and take someone who has real upside like Jonnu Smith, Blake Jarwin, Eric Ebron, or another running back wide receiver at the tail end of your draft.
(Cover: Design by Ryan Waldis, Photos via Getty Images)