Super Early Mock Fantasy Draft (2020 Fantasy Football)
Welcome to the never too early, way-too-early 2020 mock draft. For fantasy football enthusiasts, it’is never too early to start looking toward the 2020 season. Most managers are preparing for the dynasty off-season, but not all partake in dynasty leagues, or they only want that type of content at this time of the year. Redraft managers are already eagerly looking towards the 2020 season, some in hopes of fine-tuning their process and coming out on top next season, while others are looking to start early in hopes of fending off their league mates for their second title in a row.
With no 2020 ADP data available for redraft leagues, these picks will be made via my personal 2020 rankings. The fifth overall pick was the randomly generated pick assigned to me via my first dynasty mock on FantasyPros’ Draft Wizard, so we will be using the same pick here. Future installments of this series will be able to make use of ADP and ECR data as well as our Draft Wizard tool. This is a half PPR draft with just 15 rounds. We will be making just 13 picks as the 14th and 15th round will be where we select players we intend to drop in favor of a kicker and D/ST if we cannot swing a trade before the season starts. Let’s dig in.
1.05 — Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
With the big four running backs off the board, my selection came down to Cook, Joe Mixon, or Michael Thomas. I would lean Mixon, and perhaps even Thomas in dynasty, but with this being a redraft, Cook is the selection here. Cook was seventh in the league with 81.1 rushing yards per game this season, and his 13 rushing touchdowns ranked fourth in the league. He was the RB2 in fantasy points per game this season but is likely to be available at fifth overall in most early redraft leagues. Cook should have another tremendous season in store for us in 2020, and he is worth strong consideration at a five-spot that will likely be hotly debated all throughout the offseason.
2.08 — Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)
With most of the true fantasy WR1s off the board, my selection here comes down to Allen, Chris Godwin, Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, Amari Cooper, or Kenny Golladay. At this point in the offseason, we do not know who free agents A.J. Green and Amari Cooper will be catching passes from in 2020. Beckham is arguably the top talent, but without knowing the specifics of his offseason surgery, coupled with Baker Mayfield’s obvious regression, Allen is the safer choice. Chris Godwin’s stock is also in limbo as the Bucs could move on from Jameis Winston, and as turnover prone as he is, a change would most likely limit his fantasy upside. Golladay is currently the safest of the other options, but he does not merit a second-round pick due to the likelihood of the Lions taking a more balanced attack next season with Kerryon Johnson healthy — and with the Lions heavily linked to an upgrade at their number two and three receiver spots.
Allen was the WR12 in total fantasy points this past season, and he has become a consistent WR1 now that he has been able to stay healthy. Depending on where you pick, Allen may fall to the third round in some drafts where he would be an absolute steal. I strongly considered a running back here, but as we are looking for balance and a potential league-winning roster, we’ll take one of the remaining WR1 options.
3.05 — Mark Ingram (RB – BAL)
Ingram in the third is sure to raise some eyebrows, but he was sensational this past season. He was the RB9 in fantasy points per game, and the RB8 overall on the season. Teammate Gus Edwards is a free agent, which leaves some hope that Ingram will see an expanded role if Edwards chases a payday elsewhere this offseason. Justice Hill is a very different back, and while he may be a better complement to Ingram’s style, Edwards, who is more similar to Ingram in size and running style, could open up more short-yardage, goal-line and clock-killing work for Ingram if he bolts in free agency. At 67.8 rushing yards per game, Ingram averaged more yards on the ground per contest than Aaron Jones, Carlos Hyde, Phillip Lindsay, and Todd Gurley. Ingram was one of only four running backs with double-digit touchdowns (10), and six or more 20 yard runs. There may be sexier picks at 3.05 once the rookie and free-agent classes are set in stone, but at this point in the offseason, Ingram is a steal here.
4.08 — A.J. Brown (WR – TEN)
A.J. Brown is the shiny new toy that everyone is talking about. Brown has started to realize his potential in Tennessee earlier than many had expected. He was the WR2 in fantasy points per game from Week 11 to Week 16 (WR1 if you include Week 17 in the fantasy season). He finished as the WR28 overall in points per game, and that’s despite inconsistent target volume and questionable play under center before Ryan Tannehill took over. Brown became the only receiver in NFL history to record over 1,000 receiving yards on 84 or fewer targets, and he placed first among receivers with at least 50 targets in yards per target, yards after the catch per reception, and yards after contact. He also ranked second in missed tackles forced per reception and passer rating when targeted, and he finished third in yards per route run. Brown has WR1 upside if he receives more volume. He is going to be fun to own once again in 2020.
5.05 — Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)
Devin Singletary should break out in 2020. He was forced to share carries with Frank Gore this past season, but he should be unleashed in 2020 if the Bills do not add a big-time talent in free agency or during the 2020 NFL Draft. Despite splitting snaps and touches this past season, Singletary found his way to an RB25 finish in fantasy points per game ahead of names like Damien Williams, Kerryon Johnson, Carlos Hyde, David Montgomery, and Sony Michel. With the Bills likely to make a heavy investment in their wide receiver room, Singletary should see the most open lanes he has seen since high school. He played in just 12 games this season, but he was able to compile 29 receptions off 41 targets, both numbers that should at least double next season. His 5.1 yards per carry may be more unsustainable when everyone knows he is the lead back, but his ability to make people miss, combined with his contact balance, should keep him among the qualified leaders in rushing efficiency. I am thrilled to land him as my RB3.
6.08 — Michael Gallup (WR – DAL)
Michael Gallup could very well wind up as the Dallas Cowboys’ number one receiver in 2020. Amari Cooper is a free agent, and it was Gallup who looked like the number one after Cooper started dealing with injury issues. Gallup was a borderline WR2 this season, coming in as the WR27 in fantasy points per game on the season as a whole. As mentioned, he came on strong late in the year, and he ranked as the WR11 overall between Week 11 and Week 17 (WR18 on a fantasy points per game basis). Over that same span. he led the Cowboys in target share, receptions, receiving yards, air yards, and touchdowns. It would be preferable if Cooper returned, as Gallup has thrived against number two corners. He may actually see his fantasy floor take a dive if Cooper doesn’t return, and he is forced into the number one receiver role. Gallup is an elite number two, but he might be one of the least talented number ones. Regardless, Gallup appears to possess a WR2 level floor for 2020.
7.05 — Preston Williams (WR – MIA)
While DeVante Parker is likely to be drafted too high to make any of my redraft fantasy squads in 2020, Preston Williams in the seventh round represents quite a bargain. I considered Marquise Brown here, but he is more boom-or-bust, and he could be welcoming some new additions to the wide receiver room this offseason. Williams was only the WR46 in fantasy points per game, but he led the Miami Dolphins in fantasy points, target share, receptions, receiving yards, and air yards for the first nine weeks of the season. Parker broke out when Williams went down, and he was afforded double the attention from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had no other starter worthy receiver on the roster. Williams may be available in the seventh round in early drafts, but if he proves to be healthy in the summer, and if the Dolphins fail to add a receiver capable of competing for one of the top two receiver roles, the Williams hype machine may spike him to a sixth-round pick by August.
8.08 — Kareem Hunt (RB – FA)
Amazingly, Kareem Hunt was the RB26 in fantasy points per game this season despite seeing just 43 carries. He actually saw more targets than carries this season (44 to 43), and seems to have stayed out of trouble, and in turn, rehabbed his value enough to warrant landing a starting job this offseason. He may take a shorter, incentive-laden, conduct-regulating contract, but there is no doubt that multiple teams will at least kick the tires on Hunt, especially since free agency in the NFL takes place before the rookie entry draft. Hunt is an RB1 talent who can be stolen late in early drafts, especially ones that take place before free agency. Hunt could be a fourth or fifth-round pick in 2020 drafts if he lands a starting job as a free agent.
9.05 — Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
At this point in the draft, I am looking for upside. Diontae Johnson seems to have emerged as the Steelers’ number two wide receiver, and he should see a huge value boost with Ben Roethlisberger back under center. The Steelers may look to add some depth via the draft or free agency, so waiting until the ninth round to draft a talent like Johnson minimizes the risk. Johnson has looked like the Steelers best outside receiver and runs crisp enough routes to become a 100 target wideout with Big Ben at the helm. Johnson ranked 14th in the league in his average cushion, according to PlayerProfiler, and he is number one in the league in target separation, a stat that measures receiver separation at the moment a target arrives. Johnson should explode in 2020.
10.08 — Vance McDonald (TE – PIT)
With most of the top tight ends off the board at this point in the draft, this selection came down to Vance McDonald or Noah Fant. As much as I love Noah Fant’s upside, he will likely not see the volume that McDonald will with Ben Roethlisberger back under center. The Broncos may very well make an impact draft or free agent addition to the wide receiver corps, which will, in turn, reduce Fant’s potential target share. Compounding matters is the fact that he saw fewer than 60 percent of the snaps in each of his last four contests of the season. McDonald will likely not play an every-down role, but he will see volume in a passing attack that led the league with 44.6 pass attempts per game with Big Ben under center in 2018.
11.05 — Matthew Stafford (QB – DET)
I’m expecting Matthew Stafford to be a forgotten man in early 2020 redrafts. He had his season cut short, but finished the season as the QB4 in fantasy points per game. The Lions finally have a respectable running game when Kerryon Johnson is healthy, and they appear to have found a quality backup in Bo Scarbrough. Stafford should see an upgrade to the weapons in the passing attack this offseason. Marvin Jones will likely be retained, but the Lions should be looking for a route running number one type in free agency or the draft to take some pressure off of Kenny Golladay. Jones as the number three receiver would make the Lions aerial attack one to fear, especially if tight end T.J. Hockenson can make a second-year leap. Stafford may be someone to stream out of your lineup when they face New Orleans at home, or Green Bay on the road, but their 2020 opponents only help increase his appeal for the upcoming season.
12.08 — Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)
Mecole Hardman could, and very well should, take over as the Chiefs’ number two receiver in 2020. Hardman had 538 receiving yards and six touchdowns off 40 targets, and 26 receptions since Week 2 of the 2019 season. Actual number two receiver Sammy Watkins had 475 receiving yards and zero touchdowns off 79 targets and 43 receptions over the same timeframe. Watkins just has not been the fit everyone had hoped in Kansas City, and with only a $7 million dead cap hit if he gets released this offseason, the ex-Bill could be looking for a new home this offseason if the Chiefs are unable to unload him in a trade. According to PlayerProfiler, Mecole Hardman was first in fantasy points per target, first with 12.7 yards per target, and second with 20.3 yards per reception. Hardman is destined for a breakout if he sees an increased role in 2020.
13.05 — Daniel Jones (QB – NYG)
While this roster spot will likely function as a waiver wire flex, Daniel Jones offers considerable upside as a streaming option and bye week filler for Matthew Stafford. Jones was actually the QB14 in fantasy points per game this season, and this is despite Saquon Barkley missing time with an injury, and Jones playing without a number one receiver to speak of. He had to lean on rookies Darius Slayton and Kaden Smith this season, and he should have a healthy Evan Engram to add to his arsenal in 2020. It would be surprising if the Giants’ new management failed to add a receiver this offseason, especially with Sterling Shepard likely a concussion or two away from calling it quits on his football career. Jones is a solid end of the bench stash, especially if Stafford has an early-season bye. Jones also functions as a potential trade chip that should see a value spike as the 2020 season draws closer.