Post-Hype Dynasty Fantasy Football Targets (2020)
With another exciting season of fantasy football in the books, it’s time to start looking at the 2020 season. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a dynasty football fan and know that there really is no off-season. Before the 2020 NFL Draft kicks off, now is a good time to look at some players to buy and sell on your dynasty teams. Whether you’re rebuilding a roster or you’re looking to win now, dynasty trades are crucial to championship runs, and every team always has room to improve. I’ll be looking at some players to target in trades now that the season has ended, and some of the overreactions have settled down a bit.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO)
This is the first guy I’m looking to actively buy. It’s a situation where you’d be paying up for someone whose value is currently too low. While his price is still high, it’s bound to be lower than it was before, thanks to his 2019 performance. Kamara finished the season as the RB16 in standard-scoring leagues and as the RB9 in PPR leagues. The biggest drop in production that he saw was his touchdowns, where he finished the season with five rushing scores and just one receiving touchdown. He isn’t exactly a “buy low” candidate, but anytime you can obtain an elite running back like Kamara for less than what his value should be, it’s worth taking a look at.
Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL)
Next up is another guy out of the NFC South, Calvin Ridley. In his second year in the NFL, we saw Ridley put up some impressive numbers, building off his first-year breakout very nicely. He finished as the WR27 in PPR and WR23 in standard, improving in almost every category across the board. In 13 games this year, he saw 93 targets and 63 receptions, compared to his 92 targets and 64 receptions in 16 games last year. He also had more receiving yards with 866, a higher YPR with 13.75, and was far more consistent on a week-to-week basis compared to 2018. Ridley also had three games with double-digit targets last season, but in the year before, he had just one game with double-digit targets. Julio Jones is going to be a stud until he stops playing football, but Ridley is clearly producing and improving, and I’m buying him where I can as someone who really isn’t getting a ton of hype at the moment.
Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET)
The next guy I’m looking to buy right now is Kerryon Johnson of the Detroit Lions. Entering his second season in the NFL, many fantasy owners were looking at Johnson as a potential breakout candidate. After he suffered a torn meniscus in Week 7 against the Vikings, Johnson was placed on IR and didn’t return until Week 16. In six games, including one against Minnesota where he saw just five carries and was injured early on, Johnson had four games with double-digit points in PPR scoring.
The main argument for buying Johnson is that he’s clearly the most talented running back in Detroit, has great PPR upside, and is fully capable of handling a large workload. We saw Detroit struggle to find a replacement for him, and by the time he returned, the Lions were out of playoff contention and playing for nothing. Johnson is just 22 years old and is a very talented running back with very good pass-catching skills, and I don’t expect the Lions to replace him in the NFL Draft. Unless the Lions somehow end up with one of the stud rookies like D’Andre Swift, J.K. Dobbins, or Jonathan Taylor, Johnson will absolutely lead this backfield in 2020.
Melvin Gordon (RB – LAC)
Melvin Gordon’s holdout was an absolute failure, that’s pretty clear at this point. After putting up some solid production over the second half of the season, especially with 122 scrimmage yards and a score in Week 17, now Gordon will head into free agency with some momentum. We saw Austin Ekeler step in and really produce as an elite fantasy option. Even after Gordon returned, Ekeler was putting up big numbers and still finished the season as the RB4 in PPR and as the RB7 in standard. With all of the hype around Ekeler, I’m using this as a time to buy low on Gordon where I can. Gordon is 26 years old and has finished as the RB8, RB5, and RB7 in three of his past four years, respectively. Somehow or another, and likely for much less than he’s hoping for, Gordon is going to end up getting paid, and he could very well end up as another team’s workhorse in 2020.
James Washington (WR – PIT) and Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
Right now, a popular guy to buy low on in dynasty leagues is JuJu Smith-Schuster. I’m going to go another route and target a couple of guys that have a far cheaper price tag, teammates James Washington and Diontae Johnson. Washington came on over the second half of the season and had four games with 83-plus receiving yards, and he scored three touchdowns after Week 10. The biggest improvement we saw with Washington was that he played on 76% or more of the offensive snaps in five of the last seven games of the season, and he had two games with 71% and 72% offensive snaps played. Pittsburgh is clearly getting him more involved, and he’ll cost you far less than Smith-Schuster.
Diontae Johnson is also much cheaper than Smith-Schuster, and he finished the season better than him, as did Washington. Johnson showed flashes in his rookie campaign and had four games with 60-plus yards and a touchdown. While many dynasty owners will be buying low on Smith-Schuster, I’d be more interested in buying either one of Washington or Johnson for much cheaper.
O.J. Howard (TE – TB)
The next name I’m looking at targeting is O.J. Howard of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I know, the Bucs clearly are going to heavily feature Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and Bruce Arians doesn’t like to use his tight ends. At this point, I’m buying Howard simply for his talent and youth. Personally, I was able to send a 2020 late-second round rookie draft pick for Howard and an early-fourth in a TE-Premium league, which I believe is a great return given the format. Howard isn’t just a good player, he was arguably one of the best tight end prospects we’ve seen in recent years, and his price tag has gotten too cheap to pass up. It’ll just be a bonus at this point if the Bucs end up moving on from him.
The Rams’ Wide Receivers
I started off with just listing Brandin Cooks here, but the more dynasty trades I see, the more I’m interested in buying all three of the Rams wide receivers. For Cooks, the price has simply gotten far too cheap. Yes, the concussions are very concerning, that’s not breaking news to anyone. Recently, I’ve seen multiple leagues where Cooks has been sold for a 2020 3rd round rookie draft pick. At this point, the upside far outweighs the price tag on Cooks. Cooks has finished no worse than the WR15 in PPR scoring in four of his last five seasons and has recorded 1,000-plus yard seasons with three different teams in the NFL, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at. He may not be the most reliable week-in and week-out option, but when this Rams offense is clicking, he’s likely at least in your WR3 or flex spot every week.
Cooper Kupp started off the season absolutely on fire, and if you avoided drafting him thanks to his ACL injury, you missed out. Kupp’s production definitely slowed down a bit over the second half, but that’s expected given the way the Rams offense was playing. He still finished as the WR4 in both PPR and standard. Kupp is a borderline WR1 when he’s on the field, and if you’ve got some fantasy owners who are selling, it’s a good time to invest in Kupp.
Robert Woods gets a bit overlooked at times in this offense, but he has been very solid for the last two years. In 2018, he was the WR11 in PPR, and in 2019, he finished as the WR14. Woods caught just two touchdowns this year, which hurt his numbers some. Woods also quietly saw a career-high in targets with 139 and a career-high with 90 receptions. As long as he is with the Rams, he’s going to be a solid WR2. After this disappointing season out of the Rams’ offense, there’s a good chance you might be able to acquire Woods for a reasonable price.