2020 PRESEASON PRO
Corey Parson | Dr. Roto | Ben Heisler | Matt Bayley | Shawn Childs | Bill Enright | Ian Ritchie | Kimra Schleicher | Scott Atkins | Darren Summer | Mark Deming | John Rozek | Chad Schroeder | Frankie Taddeo | Roy Larking
SLEEPER: WRDARIUS SLAYTON, NYG
At 6’2″ and 194 lbs, Darius Slayton provides more size than either Sterling Shepard or Golden Tate. While his teammates operate in the intermediate portion of the field and eat into each other’s target share, Slayton brings deep speed to win downfield. His role as a deep threat should only improve in 2020 because the Giants invested further in their offensive line, and Daniel Jones will start his second season at QB, a time when most players at his position make their largest leap. Lastly, while the Giants continue to improve on defense, that unit remains a liability in 2020, which means more passing volume towards Slayton.
BUST: RB LEONARD FOURNETTE, JAX
It seems odd to list a workhorse RB who produced top 10 PPR numbers in 2019 as a bust candidate, but no early-round player in fantasy drafts possesses more red flags than Leonard Fournette. First, the front office openly dangled Fournette during free agency and in the weeks leading up to the draft but found no takers. Next, Jacksonville hired a new offensive coordinator with a history of using a running-back-by-committee approach. Jacksonville signed Chris Thompson, the specialized pass-catching RB that Jay Gruden employed in Washington–that’s a troubling chain of events for Fournette. Is it piling on to mention that the Jags’ defense suffered massive attrition on every level, ensuring the team will finish last in a very tough division? Game flow is unlikely to work in Fournette’s favor in 2020.
BREAKOUT: RB KENYON DRAKE, ARI
End-of-year stats won’t capture the enticing upside that Kenyon Drake presents to fantasy owners in 2020, but don’t let that dissuade you from drafting him. Traded mid-season, Drake caught fire for the Cardinals during the fantasy playoffs last year; he didn’t generate the total cumulative points that excite fantasy owners, but when you search on a per-game basis, Drake has the look of a breakout player. First, the team traded David Johnson to Houston for DeAndre Hopkins, so now Drake faces less competition at his position in a more explosive offense. Then the team tendered him at $8 million, indicating how much they value him. Arizona did not select a runner over the first two days of the NFL Draft. If you need more convincing, Drake plays with Kyler Murray, an ascending young QB in one of the fastest, most explosive offenses. Giddy up!
COMEBACK: WR A.J. GREEN, CIN
One of the only advantages of getting older is memory. For many fantasy players, A.J. Green is simply a disappointing, oft-injured wide receiver playing for a bad franchise. For those whose memories extend further back, Green represents an immense talent who excelled despite the (lack of) talent around him. Whatever you think of the past, 2020 brings optimism to the Bengals offense in the form of 1 st overall pick, Joe Burrow, the guy who threw sixty (60!) touchdowns last year en route to a national championship. Cincinnati franchised Green, giving fantasy owners 16 million ($) reasons to believe that the Bengals offensive-minded head coach has big plans for his veteran stud. Helpful to the passing cause, the Bengals defense is worst in the division, ensuring Green will be peppered with targets.
STASH: WR JALEN REAGOR, PHI
Last year, the Eagles offense could best be described by what it lacked: speed. Philly’s tight ends and running backs produced at high levels because Wentz had nowhere else to go with the ball. In the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected Reagor to provide that speed to the offense. Eagles’ veteran wide receivers Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey have struggled with injuries in the latter portions of their careers, and second-year pro J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was a bust last season, so the opportunity is there for Reagor. Talent and draft capital are reasons to be excited for the rookie, but early chatter of better health for the veterans may push Reagor down the draft board. You should bide your time and stash him for a fantasy playoff run.
READ MORE ABOUT BAYLEY’S 2019 RUN TO A DOMINATING, CASH-WINNING SEASON