All Undrafted Team (2020 Fantasy Football)
Imagine if you had to build a team without drafting anyone. The 11 other teams in your league all get a full draft, but you have to build your team after they are done drafting theirs. While this would never actually happen, it’s a fun exercise to try building the best team possible using only players that are largely going undrafted. It helps give you an idea of some players to target at each position at the end of your draft/guys to keep an eye on after your draft is over and at the start of the season.
The goal is field a full starting lineup featuring one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, and a flex. Last year, my all undrafted team wasn’t particularly good, but I did hit big on Michael Gallup, and when it comes to undrafted players, even getting one correct feels like a win.
Gardner Minshew (JAC): ADP QB26
Is Gardner Minshew good at football? I’m not sure. What I do know is he was thrust into action unexpectedly as a sixth-round rookie and didn’t embarrass himself. Minshew posted at least 16 fantasy points in each of his first five games, including Week 1, when he took over for Nick Foles mid-game. Minshew was consistently on the QB1/2 borderline. He was a viable streaming option.
With a true alpha WR1 in D.J. Chark at his disposal and on a team that will frequently be trailing, resulting in more passing, Minshew has legitimate QB1 upside at no cost to you.
Carlos Hyde (SEA): ADP RB57
We know what Carlos Hyde is at this point. He’s never been special, and he wasn’t this amazing running back last season, but he still managed over 1,000 rushing yards at age 29. We know Pete Carroll. The Seahawks will run the ball regardless of who is back there. Chris Carson hasn’t exactly been the pinnacle of health, and he’s recovering from offseason hip surgery.
If Carson goes down, by all accounts, it will be Hyde that takes over the lead back role, as Rashaad Penny should start the season on the PUP list. With the most valuable handcuffs all being drafted, Hyde is a guy to watch that can give you a stable 8-10 point floor in the event Carson misses time. I would be surprised if Hyde didn’t have at least a couple of usable weeks this season.
Benny Snell (PIT): ADP RB77
If you’re familiar with my analysis of Benny Snell as a prospect, you’re rightfully surprised to see his name here. I described Snell as slow and incapable of playing in the NFL. I stand by those statements. However, Snell is reportedly leaner, quicker, and in better shape. He is also beloved by Mike Tomlin. On the flip side, other than Darrell Henderson, I’m not sure if there’s a team that hates their own running back more than the Steelers hate Jaylen Samuels. For whatever reason, Samuels is on the outs in Pittsburgh. Anthony McFarland is also around, but as a rookie, he doesn’t appear to have leaped Snell in the pecking order.
If and when James Conner, the most injury-prone running back in the NFL, gets hurt, Snell looks to be next in line. I’m not sure this reality is being embraced by the fantasy community enough. Conner is not a special player. He’s a replacement-level talent. If you give him the touches for Pittsburgh, he will produce because he’s competent. If Snell has improved to that same minimally competent threshold, there’s no reason that he can’t produce if he ends up taking over. That’s something worth monitoring.
Bryan Edwards (LV): ADP WR78
The Raiders may have drafted Henry Ruggs first, but it’s Bryan Edwards who profiles as the more traditional X receiver. Edwards was a third-round pick and stands at six-foot-three and 212 lbs. Edwards’ breakout at age seventeen broke the metric, and it’s indicative of a player who can produce immediately.
Reports from camp have been promising, and although Edwards may open the season behind Tyrell Williams, Edwards could easily end up starting alongside Ruggs with Hunter Renfrow in the slot. If anyone is this year’s Terry McLaurin, it’s Bryan Edwards.
Steven Sims (WAS): ADP WR85
The fantasy community is catching onto Steven Sims. I keep missing out on him in best-ball drafts because I underestimate when he will go. By all accounts, Sims should be terrible. He’s small (five-foot-nine), undersized (184 lbs), slow (4.61), and his burst and agility scores combined add up to the 18th percentile. But something happened late last season — Sims played his way into a starting role and produced fantasy totals of 15.5, 25.3, and 18.5. Athleticism isn’t as important at wide receiver as it is at running back, but Sims is so unathletic that he shouldn’t be able to succeed. Except he did. We saw it. We have tangible evidence of Sims’ ability. Now the question is the opportunity.
Terry McLaurin is entrenched as the WR1, but after that, the depth chart is wide open. Ron Rivera hasn’t openly declared Sims as the starter, but it’s hard to see anyone else beating him out. Trey Quinn? Antonio Gandy-Golden? Cam Sims? Dontrelle Inman? Steven Sims has legitimately WR3 upside at very little cost.
Devin Duvernay (BAL): ADP WR96
Admittedly, I considered making this Russell Gage, but that was too boring. We know Gage will have useful weeks here and there, but we don’t want singles, we want home runs. Devin Duvernay may not have home-run upside, but he can at least be a double.
We know Marquise Brown is the WR1 in Baltimore, but he’s not going to be used all over the field. He’s really a stretch Z miscast as an X. It appears as though the Ravens plan to start Miles Boykin at Z with Willie Snead in the slot. This is just completely irrational, and I’d be surprised if it lasted. Boykin was active for 12 games last season and caught a total of 13 passes. He was JJ Arcega-Whiteside levels of bad. Boykin has all the athleticism in the world, but he just doesn’t know how to play wide receiver. I have very little hopes for him.
Snead just brings nothing to the table. You throw him the ball, and he’ll catch it and fall down. He averaged just 2.8 yards after the catch per target and 7.5 yards per target.
Duvernay operated primarily out of the slot in college, but the Ravens have also been teaching him to play outside. Duvernay is immensely more talented than Boykin and Snead. The Ravens are not a high-volume passing offense, which caps Duvernay’s ceiling, but I see no reason why he shouldn’t be starting relatively early in the season. You absolutely do not even need to look at him in drafts. In fact, he typically goes undrafted in 18 round best balls. He’s just a name to watch, and a really good one at that.
Irv Smith (MIN): ADP TE22
It was a mostly quiet rookie year for Irv Smith, but 36 catches for 311 yards is nothing to scoff at. Tight end is the most difficult position for rookies transitioning to the NFL, and Smith displayed some of the skills that made him such a coveted prospect. Now entering his second season, it’s not hard to see him overtaking the plodding, unspectacular Kyle Rudolph as the primary tight end.
Most importantly, the opportunity is there for Smith. The Vikings have nothing behind Adam Thielen — no clear cut second target. In training camp, they’ve been experimenting with Smith all over the formation. While that could just be training camp noise, the fact remains there are targets available in Minnesota, and Smith has the talent to produce legitimate TE1 numbers if he gets them.
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