The Fantasy Football 2020 MUST HAVE List

by Christopher Buonagura · Draft Strategy

The NFL preseason is among us, even if we aren’t getting any games. With that, casual fantasy players return and seasonal league fantasy drafts are in full swing. Utilizing the advanced metrics available on PlayerProfiler to find breakout players at value, we have put together a MUST HAVE list of players to make sure you leave fantasy drafts with.

No. 10) Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz is the ideal late round QB to target in redraft. Considering his upside, his FFPC ADP of 95.97 is too low. Wentz was top 10 in many considerable passing categories in 2019, including Pass Attempts, Red Zone Attempts, Deep Ball Attempts, Passing Yards, Completed Air Yards, and Money Throws. He was also the first QB in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards without a single wide receiver eclipsing 500 receiving yards.

Wentz is a previous MVP candidate and a genuine STUD. He plays behind a top 5 offensive line and his skill position group is the strongest it’s ever been. The loss of Jordan Howard and ascension of Miles Sanders can lead to even more RB receiving touchdowns and less rushing touchdowns. Wentz offers true overall QB1 upside with a top 12 floor in 2020.

No. 9) D.J. Chark

D.J. Chark averaged 14.9 (No. 19 among qualified wide receivers) Fantasy Points per Game last year on the strength of 1,008 (No. 24) receiving yards and eight (No. 8) receiving touchdowns. He accomplished this on a bottom 5 offense with a confused quarterback room. The Jaguars did not get better, but his role will grow and his QB room is now stabilized.

Chark has a strong opportunity to finish among the top 12 fantasy receivers and presents a WR2 floor. With a 60.13 FFPC ADP, he’s currently drafted at WR22 on average. He’s the perfect WR2 for fantasy squads and an adequate WR1 for Robust RB zealots. He comes with some risk due to the overall quality of the offense, but is a slam dunk at his cost.

No. 8) N’Keal Harry

N’Keal Harry is the ideal late round wide receiver to target. He is available in the double digit rounds and has WR2 upside. He is primed for a 1,000 yard season with over five touchdowns as Cam Newton‘s top receiver. Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu will certainly have roles, but Harry is a stud.

N’Keal Harry Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Fantasy gamers forget Harry was touted as the rookie WR1 last season. Injuries were to blame for his subpar rookie year, not lack of skill. He’s now catching passes from an absolute stud in Newton and is the easiest low-risk. high-reward late round receiver to target.

No. 7) Antonio Brown

Everyone knows that Antonio Brown is a clown, but he is also the best receiver in the NFL over the last five seasons. The news of Brown’s eight-game suspension is good for his fantasy value. He is now guaranteed to sign with a team in 2020. He will likely sign with a contender, and therefore end up with a good quarterback. His ADP is outside the top 200 players, making him the perfect stash. Brown will be a WR1 during the games he does play, and he will carry teams to fantasy championships. Most players drafted that late are busts or dropped by Week 2 anyway.

No. 6) Jonnu Smith

Jonnu Smith is one of two tight ends on this list with league-winning upside. He can ascend to top 5 status similarly to Darren Waller and Mark Andrews last season. Smith will be the No. 2 passing option in Tennessee behind A.J. Brown. Corey Davis lost favor with the coaches and there are no pass-catchers of consequence out of the backfield.

Smith has upper-tier athleticism across the board and his 277 yards after the catch ranked No. 8 among tight ends in 2019. His FFPC ADP lands him at the end of the single-digit rounds and outside of the top 15 tight ends. Wait on the position in 2020 and draft Jonnu Smith.

No. 5) Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders is costly in drafts this season and deserves to be. He can go No. 5 overall after the big four running backs and still be a value. Sanders presents overall RB1 upside with a top 12 floor. He proved last season that he is a workhorse, and the coaching staff has said multiple times that they plan on using him as such in 2020. The Eagles committed no draft capital or significant money to indicate otherwise.

Yes, Doug Peterson will utilize his other backs, most notably Boston Scott. However, Sanders will dominate the high-value touches. In the case of a committee, he will be an RB1 the same way Alvin Kamara has been in New Orleans for years. The Eagles are a top offense in the league with a top offensive line. Sanders is a winning pick in the first round.

No. 4) D.J. Moore

D.J. Moore is a ‘can’t miss’ pick in the same manner as Miles Sanders. His floor is top 12 and his ceiling is top 3 at his position. He has upper-level athleticism, size, and first-round draft capital: all indicative traits of a true alpha. He finished top 10 in receiving yards and YAC last season while catching passes from Kyle Allen. His production came despite Christian McCaffrey breaking every running back receiving record last season.

The Panthers already averaged the second-most team pass plays per game last year. Their defense became worse while their offense, and division as a whole, became better. Teddy Bridgewater proved that he can successfully feed an alpha receiver in 2019. With Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel drawing extra attention from safeties, Moore will finally see plenty of single coverage.

No. 3) Mike Gesicki

Mike Gesicki is the second breakout tight end to target, and his case is similar to the case for Jonnu Smith. He has the requisite size and speed to excel in an expanded role, and proved to be a productive fantasy asset in the latter stages of the 2019 season. His Best Comparable Player? Only the most athletic TE in the entire PlayerProfiler database by SPARQ-x score in Vernon Davis. Though Gesicki actually boasts a superior Athleticism Score, the best in the database at that.

Mike Gesicki Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

With Preston Williams recovering from a midseason ACL tear, and with both Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson opting out, Gesicki is primed to be the No. 2 receiver on an ascending offense. The tiebreaker working in Gesicki’s favor over Smith is the Dolphins projecting to have more overall passing volume than the Titans in 2020.

No. 2) Kendrick Bourne

Kendrick Bourne is the ideal dart to throw with the final pick in your seasonal league draft this year. Successful dart throws tend to be receivers who perform well in the early weeks. Deebo Samuel is hurt and Emmanuel Sanders is gone. The only notable pass-catcher behind George Kittle is rookie Brandon Aiyuk. With the shortened COVID offseason, its not crazy to think Aiyuk won’t be a stud out of the gate.

Check out Kendrick Bourne’s 2020 Projection on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:

The 49ers are misconceived as a run-first team after seeing a plethora of positive Game Script last season secondary to a dominant defense. This year’s team will throw more and Jimmy Garoppolo is perceived to be good. Bourne had an 88.2-percent (No. 15) True Catch Rate last season and caught five (No. 37) touchdowns as a depth receiver; he is now potentially the top receiver in San Francisco right out of the gate.

No. 1) D’Andre Swift

D’Andre Swift has the same amount of league-winning upside as Jonathan Taylor, but comes at half the cost in drafts. He is set to follow a similar path as 2019 Miles Sanders. The committee approach we have seen in the Lions backfield over the last few years has suppressed his ADP to the fifth round of FFPC drafts.

Swift will take over this backfield the same way Sanders dominated in Philadelphia. Build a team that can get you to the playoffs and let Swift carry you to a championship. For a deeper dive check, out my earlier piece on The Podfather’s Top 5 Hot Takes.