Best Ball Late Round Targets (2020 Fantasy Football)
If you haven’t played the best-ball format before, you’re missing out. It’s your chance to enjoy all the best parts of fantasy football without a lot of the responsibility that comes with it. You draft your team, then you don’t have to worry about it again. Your lineup is automatically set based on the best lineup your team could possibly generate.
Because of that, boom-or-bust players are perfectly fine, especially late in drafts. You don’t want players who are going to consistently post WR4/5-type numbers. You want guys who will have spikes in their production, giving you a massive week-to-week ceiling. Because of that, we are here to talk about some players who can be found outside the top 100 in early ADP (average draft position) who’ll help take your team from the middle of the pack to the top of the leaderboard.
As a side note, we’re going to be excluding all rookies from this, as the ADP hasn’t caught up just yet. Tip: Don’t shy away from rookie running backs.
Daniel Jones (QB – NYG) Current ADP: 114
Here’s a fun fact: Jones had two top-10 single performances by a quarterback in 2019. The only other quarterbacks who can say that are Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson. He hit the “boom” mark in 30.8 percent of his starts in 2019, the third-highest mark in the league. He’s great for best-ball formats.
Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE) Current ADP: 121
Do you remember this time last year? Mayfield was being drafted as the No. 4 quarterback in fantasy football. Crazy what a year can do, eh? I’m not saying he should go that high, but with Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Austin Hooper, and David Njoku at his disposal, as well as having two new offensive tackles, Mayfield should outperform this ADP with ease.
Teddy Bridgewater (QB – CAR) Current ADP: 161
Any time you have a quarterback who essentially can’t lose the starting job, it’s a great thing in best-ball formats. You add in a defense that’s going to have trouble stopping anyone, and you might have a goldmine. Bridgewater checks both boxes. He may not be mobile anymore, but he now has D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, Ian Thomas, and Christian McCaffrey at his disposal. He could be the 2020 version of Jameis Winston.
Tarik Cohen (RB – CHI) Current ADP: 106
We knew big play regression was coming for Cohen in 2019, though it hit him more than anyone thought possible. Did you know that Cohen posted RB1-type numbers in 31.3 percent of his games in 2018? That ranked 12th among running backs. His lack of big plays crushed his hopes in 2019, as he went down to just 6.3 percent. Still, his floor stayed intact, highlighting he’s still the same player. There’s an in-between 2018 and 2019 outcome that’s likely in 2020. He’s going to crush this ADP.
Latavius Murray (RB – NO) Current ADP: 116
Did everyone forget what happened when Alvin Kamara had to miss time last year? It was only two weeks, but in those two games, Murray destroyed the Bears and Cardinals to the tune of 307 total yards and four total touchdowns. He’s legitimately a league-winner if Kamara misses time. This is what best-ball dreams are made of.
Tony Pollard (RB – DAL) Current ADP: 135
We saw flash out of Pollard last year, as he posted three games with 17-plus PPR points, and that was with Ezekiel Elliott on the field. Now a year older, the Cowboys may decide to dial back the veteran’s workload, which would provide Pollard with a bigger role. If Elliott were to miss time, Pollard would immediately jump into the RB1 conversation.
Matt Breida (RB – MIA) Current ADP: 173
There are a lot of fantasy owners expecting Jordan Howard to be the lead back in Miami, though if I’m being honest, Breida may be the better best-ball option, and he’s much cheaper. While health has been an issue for Breida, he’s performed when given opportunity and will get most of the passing-down work in 2020.
Damien Harris (RB – NE) Current ADP: 238
The 2019 usage, or lack thereof, for Harris was puzzling to say the least. When you draft a running back in the third round, you typically use him in some sort of role. Of the 22 running backs who’ve been drafted in the third round over the last seven years, Harris’ four touches were the fewest. He’s the clear-cut handcuff to Sony Michel who’s been extremely inefficient. If that continues in 2020, we could see the Patriots activate Harris (who doesn’t contribute on special teams) and use him as their early-down back.
Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU) Current ADP: 104
In best-ball formats, you cannot be very concerned with injuries. There is little-to-no prize for second place, so you have to go for it. If Cooks stays on the field in 2020, he’ll crush his draft position. Over the course of his career, Cooks has performed as a WR1 in 25.6 percent of his games. That ranks 25th among all wide receivers who’ve played since 2000.
Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT) Current ADP: 120
He could be one of the biggest steals in fantasy football, period. Despite being thrown to by Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph, Johnson was able to post WR2 or better numbers in 31.3 percent of his games as a rookie in 2019. Now getting Ben Roethlisberger back under center, he might just explode. Don’t forget that there were room for two top-tier receivers with Roethlisberger under center.
Anthony Miller (WR – CHI) Current ADP: 145
We can’t guarantee that Matt Nagy will properly use Miller on a consistent basis in 2020, but in best-ball, we don’t have to guess when those weeks he will. Miller saw more than three targets in just seven games in 2019. His numbers in those seven games: 42 receptions for 547 yards and two touchdowns. With Taylor Gabriel out of town, it seems he should have a clearer path to targets.
DeSean Jackson (WR – PHI) Current ADP: 179
We only got to see Jackson in Doug Pederson’s offense for one full game before the wheels fell off and Jackson needed to be shut down. In that game, he caught 8-of-9 targets for 154 yards and two touchdowns. If he gives you exactly one of those games at his 179 overall ADP, he’ll be worth it. The Eagles drafted a lot of speed, but Jackson will be there to mentor them and will be starting in 2WR sets.
John Ross (WR – CIN) Current ADP: 183
We saw flashes of what could be a great player in 2019 with Ross, as he racked up 270 yards and three touchdowns over the first two weeks of the season in Zac Taylor’s offense. Sure, A.J. Green is back to take a lot of targets but adding Joe Burrow‘s arm to the offense will help deliver the ball down the field to the speedy Ross. He’s not going to be consistent, but we aren’t looking for consistency in this range.
Parris Campbell (WR – IND) Current ADP: 199
He didn’t make a big impact during his rookie season, but now that Chester Rogers is gone, Campbell should have the starting slot role all to himself. Not only will he be a starter this year, but he’ll also get a quarterback upgrade with Philip Rivers in town. Campbell has big-play upside, and at this cost, you only need a few of them.
Hayden Hurst (TE – ATL) Current ADP: 108
I’ve been all over Hurst as someone to target in 2020, as the landing spot with the Falcons makes too much sense. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Hurst is a better football player than Austin Hooper, and clearly the Falcons thought so, too. The Falcons didn’t replace Mohamed Sanu, so Hurst could approach 100 targets in this offense. Heck, Hooper saw 97 last year while missing three games.
Blake Jarwin (TE – DAL) Current ADP: 152
Not many realize this (I wouldn’t have myself if I didn’t do this for a living), but Jarwin and Jason Witten combined for a massive 124 targets last season. Witten is gone and the only competition Jarwin has at tight end is Dalton Schultz, who has 19 career targets. Jarwin is a steal late in best-ball drafts.
Ian Thomas (TE – CAR) Current ADP: 154
The loss of Greg Olsen will free up the starting role for Thomas, who has done extremely well when asked to fill-in a larger role. Despite seeing just 79 targets over the last two years combined, Thomas has four games with 14.8 or more PPR points. He might hit that target number in 2020 alone.