Way-Too-Early 2020 Fantasy Football Mock Draft
Super Bowl LIV is in the books, and the Kansas City Chiefs are your world champions, but what does that mean for fantasy football nerds like us?
While Patrick Mahomes will likely reclaim his position as the first quarterback selected in future fantasy football drafts, I have different ideas for the position in 2020, which brings us to this way-too-early fantasy football mock draft.
To complete this mock draft, I dialed into the Fantasy Pros NFL Draft Wizard, entered my league settings (12-man, PPR, 14-round snake draft), and randomized my draft position. With the eighth overall pick in the draft, I took a deep breath, cracked my knuckles, and let the games begin. Here’s what happened.
In Round 1, five of the first seven selections were spent on running backs, which meant I had the first crack at some big-time wide receivers. DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams seemed like no-brainer picks, but there were still too many tasty running backs available. After taking hard looks at Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, and Nick Chubb, I found myself passing them over for the elusive Alvin Kamara.
Although knee and ankle issues prevented Kamara from delivering the sensational season many had hoped for in 2019, he still finished as a top-10 PPR running back (in only 14 games played). And with the NFC South putting up the second-most points in 2019, Kamara is just too explosive a player to ignore in such an offense-friendly division. I expect a nice “bounce back” season from Kamara in 2020.
Early in Round 2, I was surprised to see Austin Ekeler fly off the board — but why? A top-four fantasy RB in 2019, Ekeler is probably more of a steal at 2.02 than he is a surprise. To compensate for my embarrassing lack of respect for Ekeler, I felt the need to grab another top-tier running back, so I selected the next best available rusher by a wide margin: Josh Jacobs. Even though I used to drive a crappy Kia Rio that constantly let me down, I’ll let the new Kia spokesperson take the wheel as my RB2 all damn day.
I entered Round 3 feeling pretty thrilled with my backfield, but now it was time to lock up some pass-catchers. Keenan Allen fell to me here, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Why not? I’m willing to bet that Philip Rivers’ impending departure won’t bode too well for Allen in San Diego, er, I mean, Los Angeles, or wherever it is the Chargers play these days. So I reluctantly drafted Allen Robinson, who quietly finished as the eighth-most productive PPR fantasy wideout in 2019. Who knows, maybe Mitch Trubisky can find a way to get his game going in 2020?
I wasn’t crazy about the pick, so I quickly targeted another wide receiver in Round 4. This time around, I found a guy I absolutely love: my boy Cooper Kupp. Entering a contract year in 2020, Kupp should continue to develop his chemistry with Ryan Gosling –– uh, I mean Jared Goff — in 2020. In the meantime, I’ll be relentlessly tweeting at Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane to make a move for Kupp as soon as possible.
I was hoping to leave this mock draft with Devin Singletary as a rock-solid flex, but he got scooped up on the turn in Round 5. I was bummed, but hey — the Bills are very much in the mix to draft another running back in the upcoming NFL Draft, so maybe this was a blessing in disguise?
I licked my wounds, swallowed my pride, and took, oh man, oh no, I am going to puke… Julian Edelman at 5.08. I hate this pick with every ounce of my #BillsMafia being, but sometimes, in fantasy football, you’ve got to turn to the dark side to win championships. Like him or not, Edelman is going to catch a million footballs again in 2020, and that’s with or without Tom Brady at the helm. It felt gross, but I drafted him anyway — he’ll be a lights-out WR3 on my squadron.
I felt pretty good entering Round 6, which is where I usually consider going for a quarterback or tight end. This year, though, I’m deciding to wait on a signal-caller because there are just too many quality point producers at the position. So I checked out the tight ends. Evan Engram? Meh. Hunter Henry? Maybe. I didn’t love the situation, so I decided to filter all remaining players by “best available.“
All of a sudden, I found myself debating Phillip Lindsay versus David Montgomery –– a coin-flip decision that had me searching for stats. I discovered that in the final four games of the 2019 regular season, Montgomery had 70 carries to Lindsay’s 60, a 2.5-touch per game differential (which is a substantial difference in fantasy football). Now, my gut likes Montgomery more, but then I remembered that I already drafted Allen Robinson, and I don’t usually like having a running back and wide receiver from the same team on my fantasy squad. So I drafted Lindsay with the hope that his pass targets continue to outnumber Montgomery’s in 2020. In this mock draft, quarterbacks and tight ends will have to wait.
In Round 7, David Montgomery was still just sitting there, so I took him right away and then swore off running backs for the rest of this mock draft.
With half of the mock draft now complete, my team looked like this:
Not too bad, I thought.
And then I struck gold.
When Round 8 came around, I was swooning. The gigantic toddler athlete machine Josh Allen was the best remaining player available, and I pounced on the pick without a second’s hesitation. It didn’t look like I missed out on any spectacular players after taking him, either. I liked Allen better than all of the other players who were drafted after him, and before I knew it, I was grinning like an idiot. Yes, I am a Bills fan, but Allen’s rocket arm and centaur legs are the stuff that fantasy football dreams are made of, whether you’re crashing through tables at tailgates or not. Josh Allen in Round 8? Please.
As I entered Round 9, I knew I needed to add depth to my wide receiver corps. Curtis Samuel topped the list of best receivers available, and I wasn’t too intrigued by any of the others in his range. Diontae Johnson, John Ross, Sammy Watkins? Not for me. So I pulled the trigger on Samuel and strutted my stuff into Round 10.
Uh oh. My strut turned into a bit of a stumble when I realized it was Round 10, and I still didn’t have a tight end. Tyler Higbee and Noah Fant were both on the board (not terrible), but I have this weird, inexplicable affinity for T.J. Hockenson, who was ranked a little lower than those other guys but was also available. “Hell,” I thought. “I’m going to need a player to pull for when the Lions play on Thanksgiving!“ So I took Hockenson, but if this were a real fantasy draft, I would be sure to keep an eye on the waiver wire and free agency market throughout the season.
In Rounds 11 and 12, I grabbed Matthew Stafford and Royce Freeman, respectively. A fine QB2 and a reliable handcuff to Phillip Lindsay, these players seemed like safe and logical selections. (So much for swearing off running backs).
Harrison Butker was chilling there in Round 13, but so was Justin Tucker, who is widely regarded as the best placekicker in all of football. I happen to like Tucker more, anyway (don’t ask me why), so I felt lucky to take him there.
Finally, in Round 14, I drafted the Denver Broncos defense. They’re good, right? Eh, it doesn’t really matter. In this situation, I adopted a “draft now, stream later” mentality. (When drafting a defense this late in future fantasy drafts, I’ll be sure to consider all the Week 1 match-ups before selecting my D).
Aaand that’s a wrap!
Sure, the 2020 fantasy football season is a long way away, but it’s never too soon to be thinking about the best ways to win right now. Until then, good luck preparing in the offseason!
To view the final draft board and other mock draft results, click here or view below.