You might be surprised to see Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes all the way down in this tier in our 2020 Fantasy football rankings, and it's safe to say they won't go that late in the majority of leagues this season. Jackson may end up a first-rounder in many of your leagues, and neither he nor Mahomes will last beyond the third in more than a handful.
So, why are they that low in our rankings?
Well, for one, we don't expect a repeat of 2019 this season for Jackson. Jackson put together a historic performance in 2019, but as we saw with Patrick Mahomes last season, it's hard to follow up history with something similar. For as good as these two are, their best seasons came when they were late-round picks, and the return on investment isn't quite as obvious when they are early-rounders.
Why else shouldn't you reach on them? Well, you'll have to read on, as we continue our series breaking down the 100 best players in Fantasy for 2020. As you get ready for the 2020 Fantasy season, the best place to start is by getting the positive and negative spin on every player. Heath Cummings is making the case for and against each player, so that when you get ready to pick, you can make up your own mind.
Read about No. 41 through 50 below, and find the rest of the top 50 here:
- No. 1-10 - Christian McCaffrey through Miles Sanders
- No. 11-20 - Travis Kelce through D.J. Moore
- No. 21-30 - Cooper Kupp through Aaron Jones
- No. 31-40 - Melvin Gordon through James Conner
The Case For: Beckham is still one of the most talented receivers in the game and still possesses top-five upside in the right circumstances. Jarvis Landry is recovering from offseason hip surgery and may not be 100% at the start of the season, which would figure to boost Beckham's target share. Even if the targets don't go up, however, he's almost certainly going to find the end zone more than he did in 2019, which will make Beckham a borderline No. 1 receiver at worst if he stays healthy.
The Case Against: He has really struggled to stay healthy and this is a very crowded group of pass catchers. The Browns add Austin Hooper to a returning group that already included Landry, David Njoku, Kareem Hunt, and Nick Chubb. They also added Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, who ran one of the most run-heavy attacks in the NFL last year. The target share may go down and the number of targets available may go down. That's a scary mix.
KC Kansas City • #15
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
The Case For: Patrick Mahomes dislocated his knee cap, played on a bum ankle, and played half of the year with Tyreek Hill banged up in one way or another, and still threw for 4,856 yards and 35 touchdowns, while rushing for another 351 yards and four scores in 16 games, including the playoffs. While that's not as good as 2018, it's a pretty spectacular season. Mahomes should be the first quarterback drafted in standard CBS leagues as early as the third round.
The Case Against: The only case against Mahomes is the case against taking any quarterback before Round 3. Every year we see late-round quarterbacks deliver elite results. Mahomes did it in 2018; Lamar Jackson did it last year; Ryan Tannehill did it off and the waiver wire. No quarterback, including Mahomes, should be drafted in the first two rounds of your one-quarterback league.
Keenan Allen WR
LAC L.A. Chargers • #13
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
The Case For: Each of the last three seasons Keenan Allen has caught at least 97 passes for 1,196 yards. He's scored exactly six touchdowns all three seasons. And somehow, he's often available in the fourth round. Allen is the clear No. 1 pass catcher in Los Angeles and replacing Philip Rivers shouldn't be that hard; he wasn't very good last year. If Tyrod Taylor can't do it, Justin Herbert should be able to.
The Case Against: The Chargers have the making of an elite defense, which could keep Taylor in the starting role for most of the season. This should be a more run-heavy attack, and Taylor will scramble far more often than Rivers did. This may not be a big drop off for Hunter Henry or Austin Ekeler, but it could be absolutely disastrous for the wide receivers. Unfortunately, Allen doesn't have the ceiling to make his unknown floor palatable.
The Case For: When a receiver takes a leap like Courtland Sutton did in Year 2 you can feel pretty confident they're going to be a Fantasy contributor for years to come. Sutton was the 20th receiver in the past 10 years to top 1,100 yards in one of his first two years in the league. The players to do it before him? Mike Wallace, Victor Cruz, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffery, Josh Gordon, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landy, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, Amari Cooper, Tyreek Hill, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. There's huge upside (Jones, Brown, Green), and if the downside is the likes of Landry, Jeffery, or Cooks, that's pretty good too.
The Case Against: The Broncos added Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler to the receiving corps in the NFL Draft and their new running back (Melvin Gordon) is much better in the passing game than their prior options. Jeudy is a better prospect coming out of college than Sutton was, and could challenge for the alpha role as soon as 2020. After the Broncos traded away Emmanuel Sanders there was almost no competition for Sutton's targets. That will not be the case in 2020.
The Case For: Carlos Hyde was a top-30 running back in this offense last year, and he only caught 10 passes. David Johnson may not be the same player he once was, but it's hard to believe he's worse than Hyde. With DeAndre Hopkins gone, there is a chance for the Texans to restructure their target priorities, and that could lead to more opportunities for Johnson in the passing game than we've seen from Texans backs in recent years.
The Case Against: Johnson hasn't averaged better than 3.7 yards per carry in a season since 2016. By most measurements, he has been even worse than Hyde as a runner. The one place he has excelled is in the passing game, but the Texans have not exactly peppered their running backs with targets. Plus, they still have Duke Johnson, a very good pass catcher himself. For Johnson to find success this season he'll need to stay healthy, turn back the clock three years and hope the Texans either change their offense or get rid of Duke Johnson.
The Case For: Tight ends aren't supposed to be this good this fast. At 23 years old, Andrews earned a 22% target share, averaged 8.7 yards per target, and scored 10 touchdowns. While there's certainly regression coming with the Ravens' offense and those touchdowns especially, Andrews should also see an increase in volume with the trade of Hayden Hurst. Plus, the Ravens probably won't have quite so many of the blowout victories that allowed them to take the air out of the ball late in games.
The Case Against: The touchdown regression could be significant, and there's always the possibility that Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and Devin Duvernay earn a larger share of the targets than the receivers did as a whole in 2019. Andrews isn't close to the level of Travis Kelce and George Kittle at the top of the position because of the low pass volume in Baltimore, and you can get burnt targeting second-tier tight ends as early as Round 4. Just ask the people who drafted O.J. Howard there last year.
The Case For: Everyone knew DK Metcalf had plenty of upside coming out of college, but no one expected him to find the immediate success he did. Metcalf caught four passes for 89 yards in his first game and didn't look back. He exploded in the postseason with 219 yards and a score in two playoff games, too. The Seahawks have talked about opening it up in 2020 and Metcalf could be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He may even be better than Tyler Lockett.
The Case Against: While Seattle has talked about playing a bit faster, it would still be surprising if they were even average in terms of pass attempts. And, while it's possible, it would be surprising if Metcalf were able to pass Tyler Lockett in the pecking order in 2019. Lockett was dominating target share before his Week 10 injury, and we'd expect more of the same to start 2020. Metcalf is a boom-or-bust flex who probably needs an injury to Tyler Lockett to crack the top 20 at the position.
The Case For: Hilton may not be quarterback-proof, but whenever he's had good quarterback play, he's been a Fantasy star. With Philip Rivers replacing Jacoby Brissett, Hilton should be in line for another 1,200-yard season. Eric Ebron is gone and so the biggest threats to Hilton's targets are Nyheim Hines, Jack Doyle, Michael Pittman, and Parris Campbell. It's hard to imagine how he's below 25% target share, which should mean 130-plus targets.
The Case Against: Hilton has been banged up each of the past two seasons, and now he's on the wrong side of 30. His new quarterback is even older and was flat out bad in 2019. This is a Colts offense that only attempted 513 passes last year, and they spent a second-round pick on Jonathan Taylor. Hilton will be a low-end No. 2 receiver unless Rivers has a major bounce back or the Colts defense falters.
The Case For: Um. Did you watch football last year? Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback ever to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards. He outscored the second-best quarterback in Fantasy by more than five points per game despite the fact that he left five blowout victories early. Jackson is a consensus top-two quarterback for good reason, and he should be the first quarterback drafted in leagues that reward four points per pass touchdown.
The Case Against: Jackson probably figures to lose 10 passing touchdowns and 300 rushing touchdowns off his 2019 production thanks to expected regression. That should be enough to keep you from drafting him in the first three rounds. While Jackson could still be the best quarterback in Fantasy in 2020, he's not going to lap the field like he did last year. Plus, running the ball 150 times a season makes him one of the biggest injury risks at quarterback.
The Case For: It was evident as soon as Week 1 that D.J. Chark's second season would not be like his first. He caught four passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 and didn't slow down until an injury tripped him up late in the season. Before that injury, he put up 67-956-8 in 13 games as the team's clear No. 1 receiver. He has great rapport with Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars are in the middle of a rebuild, so the volume should most certainly be there. Chark has top-12 upside every week and for the 2020 season.
The Case Against: In his last five games, Chark had just one game over 47 yards. While that may have been injury related, it may have also been that opposing defenses finally gave him the respect he earned. There's a lot we still don't know about Minshew's upside, and Laviska Shenault and Tyler Eifert will come for a piece of that target share.
Which players are poised for breakouts, which sleepers do you need to jump on, and which busts should you avoid at all costs in your Fantasy football league? Visit SportsLine now to get early rankings, plus see which WR is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.