40 Fantasy Stocks You Should Sell (2020 Fantasy Football)
The NFL season is finally on the horizon, as Week 1 kicks off in just six short days. As we draw ever closer to actual, real-life football, it’s a good time to take stock of the season ahead. Today, I’ll be identifying fantasy stocks that I’m selling in 2020. Each of the numbered statements/outlooks below are ones that I’m out on for the upcoming campaign.
If you’re looking for some stocks to buy, be sure to check out Kyle Yates’s article, 40 Fantasy Stocks to Buy.
1. Ronald Jones‘ Fantasy Value
Just as things were beginning to look up for the oft-maligned Bucs second-year RB, the news broke. Leonard Fournette had agreed to a one-year deal with Tampa Bay and – much like the plundering scoundrels for whom the team is named – he essentially stole all of RoJo’s fantasy booty in the process. It’s unclear what Jones’ value in this offense is, but it’s clear that the Buccaneers want to surround Tom Brady with the best available talent to win now. I won’t touch Jones in fantasy drafts, and he’s little more than a back-end RB3 if he sees any sort of work out of the backfield.
2. Miles Sanders Finishes as an RB1
Sanders was electric last season, there’s no denying it. But this is still Philly after all, and I just can’t wrap my arms around Sanders getting a huge workload with Doug Pederson in charge. Sanders is already knicked up to begin the season and is no lock to even play Week 1. That opens the door for Boston Scott, who has a real chance to eat into Sanders’ workload.
3. Devin Singletary‘s Value
Yeah, I’ll pass on Singletary this season. He showed off dynamic speed and agility as a rookie, but he still lost carries to… Frank Gore? Singletary remained in a virtually even timeshare with the ageless wonder all year, and truthers breathed a sigh of relief when Gore wasn’t on the Bills’ 2020 roster. Then the team went and drafted Zack Moss, shedding more light on the coaching staff’s view of Singletary. He’s a great add in best ball formats because of his big-play abilities, but I’m having no shares in redraft.
4. Lions Backfield
Remember the Kerryon Johnson hype last season? How did that play out? Lions running backs have under-performed significantly in recent memory, and in fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 2015 for the last time a Lions RB was as high as an RB2 for the season in half-PPR scoring (Theo Riddick, RB24). D’Andre Swift has missed time in training camp due to injury, and Kerryon Johnson looks like the favorite to be the starter in Week 1. There’s no telling how touches will be distributed, but I’m staying away.
5. Jaguars Backfield
With Leonard Fournette headed to Tampa Bay, Jacksonville will likely turn to second-year man Ryquell Armstead to lead the backfield in carries. With that said, there’s been some rumblings that Devin Ozigbo could get some work, and Chris Thompson will surely be the team’s third-down and hurry-up back. Armstead should see plenty of negative gamescript, and Thompson is a decent add in competitive or deeper PPR leagues. Either way, I wouldn’t be thrilled to have either guy on my fantasy roster this season.
6. Rams Backfield
Lions, and Jags, and Rams – oh my! I’m fading this backfield, too. Darrell Henderson was disappointing in 2019 in limited action, and the team opted to cut Todd Gurley and draft Cam Akers rather than rely on Henderson to carry the load in 2020. Akers should wrestle the lead role away from Henderson as the season goes on, but for now, it sounds like Henderson has the advantage, with Akers getting in some work, too. There’s plenty of uncertainty here, and I’m not willing to invest in either guy.
7. Michael Thomas Repeats as the Overall WR1
Thomas is coming off an incredible, record-setting season that saw him post a 149/1,725/9 receiving line, but those numbers should regress in 2020. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders provides Drew Brees with a reliable one-two punch at the receiver position – something he hasn’t had since Thomas was a rookie and Brandin Cooks was in his final year in the Big Easy. Jared Cook is reportedly building his chemistry further with Brees, and if Alvin Kamara could see a bump in reception after catching 80 in 2019 with an MCL tear. Thomas is still a top-two guy at his position, but volume is king, and Davante Adams should reign supreme in that regard and finish as fantasy’s overall WR1 this season.
Godwin broke out last season, but that doesn’t mean Mike Evans is suddenly going to take a backseat. Evans has been a huge fantasy contributor throughout his NFL career and the focal point of the Buccaneers offense since entering the league. Evans has averaged eight touchdowns per season while topping 1,000 yards in six straight campaigns. The idea that Tom Brady will focus exclusively on targeting the slot and working the short and intermediate game while ignoring deeper throws where Evans excels is unfounded. Now that Brady isn’t confined to New England’s scheme and has some receiver s that can stretch the field and go up and get the ball, I think he’ll let it rip. I’m fading the Godwin over Evans narrative for this season and think Evans has a better fantasy season than his teammate. He’s the more talented of the two, despite Godwin’s 2019 breakout.
9. D.J. Moore Finishes as a WR1
How much will Teddy Bridgewater throw the ball in 2020? In his only full season (2016), he threw the ball just 447 times. Carolina threw the ball 633 times in 2019, second most in the league. I don’t think the Panthers will be as bad as they were last season, and I do think Bridgewater will get more opportunities to throw the ball. If we split the difference here, we can project Bridgewater to throw the ball somewhere in the 540 range. That’s nearly 100 fewer targets to go around, and the team also added Robby Anderson in the offseason. Christian McCaffrey should be good for 100 catches, and Ian Thomas may be ready to take the next step forward in the receiving game. Moore should be the top receiver (aside from CMC) in this offense, but his opportunity will take a hit, keeping him in the WR15 range and out of the top-12.
10. Courtland Sutton Finishes as a WR2
Sutton broke out with a 72/1,112/6 line in 2019 as a second-year receiver. Fast forward to 2020, and the Broncos drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler to add to the receiving corps. The addition of Melvin Gordon (nearly four receptions per game over the last four seasons) and the development of Noah Fant add even more competition to Sutton’s target share, and it would be a big ask for him to see the 124 targets he drew in 2019. I expect him to see fewer looks in 2020 and finish in the 25-30 range as a high-end WR3.
11. Keenan Allen Will See a Significant Decline
The move from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor will mean a likely decrease in passing attempts, but it won’t necessarily be a massive downgrade in quarterback play. Taylor led Buffalo to the playoffs not so long ago and supported Sammy Watkins for the receiver’s only thousand-yard season. With Mike Williams dealing with injury, Allen should comfortably lead this team in targets, and while he won’t see 150+ targets, he should still be in the 120-130 range.
12. A.J. Green Returning Legitimate Fantasy Value
Color me surprised when it was reported Green is dealing with a sore hammy in training camp already. He’s played a total of eight games of football since 2017, and it’s highly likely he misses time in 2020. Tyler Boyd has reportedly developed a strong rapport with rookie Joe Burrow, and he may be the top receiver on this team regardless of Green’s health. After two seasons away from football and concerning injuries, I don’t trust AJG this season. I’m hopping off the hype train that I was on just a month ago.
13. Will Fuller > Brandin Cooks
Both of these guys have some lingering concerns over health, but I’m much more comfortable taking a chance on Cooks (concussions) than Fuller (lower body). Fuller has missed 20 games over the last three seasons, and he hasn’t played a full season in his entire NFL career. Recency bias has us forgetting Cooks’ upside, as he had to share targets with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp last year and missed some time due to injury. From 2015-18, Cooks went for at least 1,000 yards and five scores every season. He’s the receiver to own in Houston.
14. Travis Kelce Repeats as the Overall TE1
Kelce has been fantasy’s top tight end for two years in a row, but I think that streak comes to an end in 2020. While Kansas City has a healthy stable of receiving options other than Kelce, the same cannot be said of the 49ers or Eagles. A slew of injuries to both teams’ receiving corps should mean more work for George Kittle and Zach Ertz, respectively. I think one of those guys usurps the TE1 crown in 2020 based on sheer volume.
15. Zach Ertz will Fall Off
As mentioned above, the Eagles will start the season without Alshon Jeffery (PUP) and probably without Jalen Reagor. DeSean Jackson is an unreliable option due to health concerns, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside was largely disappointing as a rookie last season. Ertz will return as a familiar – and consistently productive – tight end for Carson Wentz to target in the passing game. He’s not going to fall off and even has a chance to be the highest-scoring fantasy option at his position.
16. Evan Engram will be a Top-6 TE
Engram returns in 2020 after starting just six contests last season. His dynamic abilities and athleticism are well-known, but will he have the same opportunity that he’s had in the past? The team has five viable pass-catchers in Engram, Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, and Sterling Shepard, so Engram’s spot in the pecking order is unclear. Even if he’s a favorite target of Daniel Jones, there’s only one football to go around. Add in health concerns (13 missed games over the last two seasons) and lack of touchdown upside, and Engram is wholly unappealing as the TE6 ranking given by our ECR.
17. Austin Hooper will be a TE1
Hooper comes to Cleveland by way of a big offseason contract, but he won’t live up to it this season. Hooper finished as a TE1 in 2019 thanks to a 75/787/6 receiving line. He managed that line on 97 targets, which is a number he can’t count on in 2020. Hooper played for the Falcons in 2019, on a team that comfortably led the NFL in pass attempts at 684. Baker Mayfield threw the ball 534 times in 2019, and with new coach Kevin Stefanski in control, that number could easily come down. He’ll likely try to run an offense similar to what he did in Minnesota – a run-heavy approach with a focus on quarterback efficiency. Hooper’s targets are sure to come down, and he’ll face competition in targets from Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Kareem Hunt among others. A TE1 finish is not in the cards.
18. Jonnu Smith will Breakout
The opportunity is certainly there for Smith to breakout, but wasn’t that opportunity there in 2019, too? The only major loss for Tennessee in the passing game is Tajae Sharpe, but otherwise, the Titans will bring back the same receiving group it had last season. Ryan Tannehill is due for some regression after his hot finish to the season, and if Smith wasn’t able to provide strong fantasy contributions then, why should we expect him to do so in 2020?
19. O.J. Howard will have no Fantasy Value
Howard is going undrafted in most fantasy leagues after a dud in 2019 and the arrival of Rob Gronkowski. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Tampa Bay, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team employ two tight ends, which is something Brady has had success with in New England in the past. Howard won’t be a TE1, but could he have some streaming appeal? Sure. I don’t buy that he’ll be irrelevant in 2020.
20. Melvin Gordon is Significantly More Valuable than Phillip Lindsay
Gordon is currently ranked RB18 in ECR, with Lindsay way back at RB34. Lindsay has had plenty of success in Denver over the last two seasons (ninth in rushing yards in the NFL in that span), and the team has certainly found success using two talented backs in tandem. I think Gordon ends up the most valuable fantasy back by season’s end, but I don’t think he’ll blow Lindsay out of the water, either. Reports from training camp indicate a potential timeshare could be in the cards, and I believe it.
21. Drew Brees will be a QB1
Brees’ efficiency is second-to-none in NFL history, and he’s more than capable of providing another 25 TD/5 INT season. The problem is, the upside just isn’t there any more. Brees has seen his passing attempts decline over the last three seasons due to the team leaning on the run game and defense more than relying on Brees to chuck it up at will and play hero ball. That formula has led New Orleans to quite a few wins in that span, and there’s no reason to change things now. This might be the final ride for Brees, and he should do everything in his power to get the team in the best position possible for a title run. He’s a high-end QB2, but there are plenty of better options, knocking him out of the top-12.
Mariota has largely been a bust to this point in his career, and Carr was an MVP candidate in 2016. Carr is playing for respect this season and said as much himself. The three-time Pro Bowler might not light the world on fire as a QB1, but he’s more than capable of strong streamer production in 2020. Mariota will be watching from the bench.
23. Ryan Tannehill’s Heater Continues
Tannehill was absolutely sizzling last season, leading the league with a historically-great passer rating (117.5) and a healthy 9.6 yards per attempt while producing a 22/6 TD/INT ratio with a 70.3 completion percentage in 10 starts. That ain’t bad. It’s also not representative of Tannehill’s total body of work. Through his first six years in the league, Tannehill averaged an 87.0 passer rating, 7.0 yards per attempt, a 20.5/12.5 TD/INT ratio, and a 62.8 completion percentage.
Mostert was absolutely dominant in postseason play last season, and he should be in line for a starter’s workload in 2020. McKinnon hasn’t played in two years and has consistently dealt with injuries, and Coleman is talented but did not play as well as Mostert throughout the season and has dealt with injuries himself. Coleman’s and McKinnon’s presences are worth monitoring, but Mostert’s job should be secure, and he is being undervalued this season.
25. Chris Carson Finishes as a Top-15 RB
Carson has been a reliable fantasy option and thousand-yard rusher for each of the last two seasons, but I think he finishes outside the top-15 in 2020. Coming off a hip fracture, he claims to be at 100 percent, but that remains to be seen. He was beginning to cede touches to Rashad Penny as the year wore on, but Penny’s torn ACL paved the way for Carson to finish 2019 as the unquestioned lead back before his own injury. The team drafted DeeJay Dallas and signed Carlos Hyde in the offseason, and I think Hyde is more involved in the offense than people expect. He went for over 1,000 yards rushing in 2019 with Houston, and Carson’s health and history of fumble issues could open the door for a timeshare or benching.
26. Adrian Peterson Logs 150 Carries
Peterson surprisingly saw 211 carries in 2019, though he couldn’t even muster 900 rushing yards with that workload. Early reports are that AP will be Washington Football Team’s early-down back, but Antonio Gibson should quickly put an end to that, if Peterson’s health and/or uninspired play don’t do that first.
27. Any Colts RB Rushes 200 Times
There are plenty of carries to go around in Indy, as the team will look to continue pounding the rock as it did in 2019 (fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts). Even with so much opportunity, rookie Jonathan Taylor and incumbent Marlon Mack should find themselves in a timeshare situation rather than Taylor running away with the starting gig. Mack has totaled 1,999 rushing yards and 17 rushing scores over the last two seasons, and he won’t go away quietly. Both backs should be heavily involved in the gameplan, but neither will rush 200 times in 2020.
28. DeVante Parker Finishes as a WR2
Parker finished as a WR1 in his 2019 breakout campaign, but he had a lot going for him. The Dolphins had a horrendous running game, plenty of negative game script due to a generous defense, the absence of Preston Williams for half the season, and gunslinger extraordinaire Ryan Fitzpatrick heaving it up to him at will. FitzMagic will be back for another go, but ultimately, we expect Tua Tagovailoa to come into the picture, which would likely hurt Parker’s upside. Williams is back and healthy, Jordan Howard and Matt Breida will be major upgrades to the run game, and the defense added some pieces. All of those factors point to a more competitive Dolphins squad and some Parker regression. He’s great in the 25-30 range, but I have a tough time buying him as more than that.
29. Any Patriots RB Other than James White is Fantasy Relevant
The Damien Harris hype train was quickly derailed by a recent hand injury, and Sony Michel‘s health is still a major question mark. Lamar Miller was recently activated off the PUP list and is dealing with the lingering effects of last season’s torn ACL LINK. Rex Burkhead should garner a few touches per game, making this Pats’ backfield about as clear as mud. White is the only back whose pass-catching skillset really sets him apart from the rest, and his consistency in that department in recent years makes him a viable PPR flex. I’ll happily fade any other New England back without giving it a second thought.
30. Darius Slayton Breaks Out
Slayton was a waiver wire hero and late-season stud for many fantasy teams in 2019, posting a 30/473/7 receiving line from Weeks 8-15. While impressive, it’s certainly reasonable to expect some regression in 2020. Slayton benefited from injuries to the Giants’ receiving corps, and all of Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley are expected to be at full strength for the upcoming season. It’s hard to get behind any of the receiving options in this crowded group, let alone predict a breakout.
When Dillon was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft, many in the fantasy community began to downgrade Jones’ fantasy value for the 2020 season. Dillon may mix in similarly to what Jamaal Williams did last season, but he’s not going to push for the lead-back role over Jones. I don’t believe Jones will lead the league in total touchdowns again, so some regression is on the way, but the back is the second option in the passing game (sorry Allen Lazard stans) and should provide another RB1 season as long as he remains healthy.
32. Frank Gore Significantly Hurts Le’Veon Bell’s Fantasy Value
Reports from Jets camp indicate Gore has been the most impressive back, but Bell is the most talented back on the roster today, and his huge contract will keep him on the field despite any rift with Adam Gase. Gore went to high school with my grandfather, so I’m not convinced he has enough left in the tank to be more than a guy the Jets bring in to give Bell an occasional breather. Bell is undervalued this season.
33. Austin Ekeler Gets a Starter’s Workload All Season
Ekeler broke out in a huge way in 2019, but there’s reason to believe he doesn’t see a full workload for the entire 2020 season. Justin Jackson should get some touches, and rookie Joshua Kelley should also be in line for some work of his own. Ekeler won’t see a full-blown timeshare, but he’ll cede some work to Jackson and Kelley.
34. Any Packers Receiver Not Named Davante Adams
Apparently it’s Allen Lazard season, as the presumed second option in Green Bay is steadily developing into a much-hyped fantasy option. Reports that Aaron Rodgers has “lauded” Lazard and “gone to bat for him” are just pleasantries and lip service, and I’m not buying into a fantasy-relevant wideout in this offense other than target monster Adams. At this point last season, Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling were receiving the same kind of attention from the fantasy community before revealing themselves to be waiver fodder in nearly all formats. You’d have to go back to 2016 for the last time Green Bay had two fantasy-relevant options when Jordy Nelson and Adams did it. Rodgers has locked onto Adams as his favorite target, and it’s not close. I don’t see Lazard or any other Packers wideout being viable in 2020.
35. Philip Rivers Will Throw 20 INTs
Rivers had a disappointing season in 2019, but he’s far from washed up. In fact, the interceptions weren’t even a career high. He’s been a gunslinger his entire career, but he’ll likely have a more conservative approach in 2020. Playing on a Colts team with one of the best offensive lines in the league, a reliable run game, and an emerging defense, the veteran signal-caller should regress positively in the interception department.
While the Foles signing certainly sent shockwaves through the fantasy world, I don’t think he makes the immediate impact that many believed he would when the news was announced. This could be Trubisky’s final year in Chicago, and rather than move on from him now, the coaching staff may want to see if he’s still got it in 2020, with Foles pushing him in training camp to be a better quarterback. Foles is a quality backup, but Trubisky should get one more ride this season. The fact that Matt Nagy has yet to name a starter indicates Trubisky has the edge in the quarterback competition.
37. Derrick Henry will Catch Fewer than 20 Passes
Henry’s lack of involvement in the passing game has limited his upside in PPR formats, and his 18 receptions in 2019 were a career high. He’s reportedly been working on his receiving skills in the offseason, and he has a great chance to set new career highs in 2020. With pass-catching back Dion Lewis gone and rookie Darrynton Evans still acclimating to the NFL, Henry should see his involvement in the passing game increase significantly.
38. Alvin Kamara is Traded
Josina Anderson’s report that the Saints are open to trading Kamara came out at a convenient time earlier in the week. When it was revealed that Kamara’s three straight absences from practice were contract-related, the Saints called his bluff and floated the trade rumor. Unsurprisingly, Kamara was back at practice the next day. Negotiations have been ongoing between Kamara and the team, and the two sides should work something out rather than face a trade or holdout. Kamara should still be drafted as a top-four back.
39. Julian Edelman Returns WR3 Value
The stars are not aligned for Edelman to finish as more than a WR4/5 in 2020. The team’s passing attempts will likely see a tumble with Cam Newton under center, and fewer opportunities mean a lot less production for a guy who relies on volume for value. Despite his top atop the depth chart, the aging and oft-injured Edelman is not a receiver I’m comfortable drafting as more than a late-round flier.
40. Seattle DST
Ok, so I had to include one non-skill player mention here. Without the noise of the infamous 12th Man, Seattle’s already expectedly-middling defense (DST16 based on ECR) should be worse than advertised. I wasn’t super enthused about this DST to begin with, but the absence of fans due to COVID-19 will certainly cut deep.
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