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Rookies to Avoid in Best Ball Leagues (2020 Fantasy Football)

Rookies to Avoid in Best Ball Leagues (2020 Fantasy Football)

Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Fantasy Football Draft or head to more advanced strategy – like When is it Okay to Reach on Draft Day? – to learn more.

Drafting best-ball teams is an art, as each roster spot becomes a precious commodity. With the NFL Draft completed, we can start drafting best ball teams knowing the rookie landing spots, and that helps eliminate the uncertainty that surrounds them. This helps us make better decisions for drafting and can guide us in allocating draft capital properly. Sometimes knowing who to avoid in a draft is more important than knowing who to target.

So with that, I give you five rookies I am avoiding in best-ball formats this year.

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Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA)
Outside of dynasty leagues, I am avoiding Tua everywhere this year, and you should avoid him too. For starters, there is a chance he doesn’t see a single snap in 2020, which would amount to a wasted roster spot in best ball. Despite his ample talents, there is no reason to expect him to produce anything better than low-end QB2 numbers. He has a lot working against him as the cancellation of rookie mini-camp and OTAs will limit his initial exposure to the Dolphins’ staff and playbook, leaving him behind the curve in learning the offense. At a position that features plenty of alternatives, there is no reason to take a chance here.

D’Andre Swift (RB – DET)
Swift is the easiest rookie fade in best ball drafts for me, and for good reason. Matt Patricia has yet to figure out how to get production from his running backs in his first two years in Detroit. Remember two years ago when the skeleton of LaGarrette Blount averaged just 2.7 YPC but out-touched Kerryon Johnson? Yeah, me too. Detroit already has Johnson, Bo Scarbrough, and Ty Johnson on the roster, making this look like a committee of mediocrity from the start. If you want more of a reason to be bearish, the last time the Lions had a 1000-yard rusher was in 2013 when Reggie Bush eclipsed the mark. This is a situation to avoid.

Zack Moss (RB – BUF)
I am not a big fan of Zack Moss in general, and I’m even less of one for best ball. Moss tested poorly at the combine, so despite a productive college career, I have some questions about his overall physical profile. While he landed in a good spot from a scheme standpoint, he now finds himself behind Devin Singletary on the depth chart. This alone will make it difficult for him to see the field early in the season, limiting his ceiling in the process. Singletary looked like he had the makings of a legit RB1 late in the 2019 season, so Moss might be nothing more than a handcuff this year. Even if he does manage to get some snaps, look for it to be in low-leverage spots that won’t produce much from a fantasy perspective.

Jalen Reagor (WR – PHI)
The Eagles’ passing offense looks like a solid unit to bet on in best ball, but a deeper look at things suggests that their receivers aren’t the group to target. While Reagor is definitely an upgrade at the position from a sheer talent perspective, I don’t know if the opportunity will be there in 2020. Carson Wentz loves throwing to his tight ends (the Eagles led the NFL in tight end targets in 2019), which already puts a dent in Reagor’s ceiling. The presence of Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson doesn’t help matters either, as each one will be ahead of Reagor on the depth chart, at least initially. Add in the fact that Philadelphia is one of the most balanced teams in the NFL, and you have the makings of Reagor being more of a floor play this year.

Laviska Shenault (WR – JAC)
A multi-dimensional threat who rushed for 280 yards while playing receiver at Colorado, Shenault is a tough sell in best ball. He will start the season behind D.J. Chark and Chris Conley on the depth chart in an offense that struggled to throw the football last season. Add in the fact that Leonard Fournette racked up 100 targets, and you can see where Shenault will have trouble getting enough opportunities to be fantasy-relevant this year. If you want a silver lining, he may find himself the target of some gadget plays, as there have been whispers of Jacksonville running the Wildcat this year. Still, he is unlikely to produce enough to make him worthy of a roster spot in best ball, and he plays at the deepest position in fantasy.

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Jason Kamlowsky is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @JasonKamlowsky.

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