Mike’s Ultimate Value Fantasy Football HitSquad for 2020
My annual Hitman-themed article is comprised of an elite group of men with a special skill set to take down your fantasy opponents. These are my favorite players per round based solely on my projections in the UDK and value that I see at their current average draft position (ADP).
Last year’s article had some major hits including Miles Sanders in the 5th round and Michael Gallup in the 12th round! Maybe the Cowboys’ WR1 will make an appearance once again as a member of this exclusive crew.
Here is my list for 2020.
Round 1- Dalvin Cook, RB
I’ve routinely been deciding between Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Dalvin Cook in the middle part of the first round in drafts. Cook presents such a value as I’ve seen him slide all the way to the 1.09 or 1.10 and we forget how good he was last year for fantasy. Through 15 weeks, he was the RB2 as the Mr. “I’m the Entire Minnesota Offense” do-it-all running back. You might’ve been scared off by contract negotiations and the news earlier this offseason that he might hold out. He’s been in camp and his workload seems secure for a back who’s averaged 19.3 touches per game in his career. If you can pair him with another high-end RB in the second round, your team is an absolute wrecking ball that no-one is going to want to face this year.
Round 2- Travis Kelce, TE
If I don’t select a running back in the second round of drafts, I’m mostly looking Zeus’ way as one of the surest things in fantasy. He’s been the TE1 four seasons in a row and I don’t see that changing in 2020 apart from a George Kittle stiff arm of death. Kelce is tied to the best QB in the league as a true positional advantage. If drafting a TE early still gives you the spooks, just realize that Kelce has essentially been a top-10 WR each year. You get the opportunity to set-it and forget-it so you don’t have to play that dirty game of TE Russian Roulette each week hoping you lucked into a TD. As you’ll see, I love the WR value in the middle rounds this year so when I get the chance to lockdown Kelce in the second, I call upon the god of lightning.
Round 3- Kenny Golladay, WR
Soooo smoooth… Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Marvin Jones Jr. later in drafts but it’s clear that Kenny G has ascended into a new stratosphere of fantasy WRs. The dude is elite and if I can get a bonafide WR1 in the third round to start my drafts with either RB-RB or RB and one of the two top TEs, I am a happy man. A happy Mike is a happy life. Golladay was the WR6 last season and he did it on just 119 targets. I’m projecting him to get a bit more volume but keep a lot of the same efficiency in terms of being a TD monster. He gets the type of high percentage fantasy targets deep downfield and in the end zone that set him apart from many other WRs going in this part of drafts. Plus, if you draft him, start uploading endless Kenny G GIFs to troll your leaguemates.
Round 4- D.J. Moore, WR
I am all-in on D.J. Moore in 2020. Round 4 is a highway robbery for a WR I currently have ranked as the WR5. The targets are coming in bunches and he has the YAC-ability to take those five-yard slants to the house. I trust Teddy Bridgewater to get him the ball consistently and accurately, the latter of which Panther QBs had an issue with in 2019. Before getting injured early in Week 16 and missing the final game of the season, he was the WR10 for the first 15 weeks of the season! Moore was drafted to be a great NFL WR and I believe in his talent and opportunity for fantasy.
Round 5- D.J. Chark Jr. & Terry McLaurin, WRs
Don’t get me started here. Whew… I’m all hot and bothered just thinking about two of “My Guys” and the possibility of getting just one of them on my teams. They are basically auto-drafts in Round 5 with the type of target share you just can’t find this late. They are elite athletes and separators. Chark Jr. and my man Gardner Minshew showed they have a connection last year especially on deep balls where Minshew had the highest passer rating in the league. I have Chark down for over 1,100 yards and nine TDs which makes him a WR1 in my book. I’ve been bubbling over with pure joy for McLaurin all off-season as the alpha in the Washington offense. He could command 130+ targets and we’ve seen that if you hit that threshold in fantasy, chances are you’ve got a WR1. I want McLaurin and Chark on all my teams and tattooed on my heart for 2020.
Round 6- Michael Gallup, WR
You probably know about the particular sour taste in my mouth when it comes to drafting Amari Cooper… especially in the third round?!? I’d much rather wait and get his WR teammate who outplayed Cooper last year and was special on a per-game basis. Jason highlighted Gallup recently on the Busts + Values show noting that despite finishing as the WR22 in 14 games last year, he’s being drafted as the WR31. That, my friends, is pure tomfoolery. It’s a downright travesty that the WR1 for a high-octane Dallas Cowboys offense is being disrespected like that. I’ll gladly smash that draft button for Gallup as I dive into the pool of fantasy gold bullions, Scrooge McDuck-style.
Round 7- Will Fuller V, WR
As my son hath dubbed him, the “Flying V” is the WR to roster from the Houston Texans in 2020. He has the continuity with Deshaun Watson and when these two are on the field together, it is an absolute explosion for fantasy. Yes, he will have games where he disappoints but every single WR is prone to the ups-and-downs of volatility. At WR36, Fuller V has the chance to return major value especially if he’s able to finally put together a somewhat healthy season. Our own injury expert, Matthew Betz, has testified Fuller V is not “injury-prone” by any means. If you want to shoot for the moon with major upside in Round 7, he is the one Gordon Bombay and myself give our stamp of approval on.
Round 8- Deebo Samuel, WR
Buying the injury dip is hard for a lot of people especially Jason. But I’m not most people! If I want “a man” on my team who has the potential to finish as a top-15 WR in points per game despite starting slow, I’ll take that chance in the eighth round. You’re not asking for Deebo to be your starter where you’re drafting him and we all saw how much of a difference-maker he was for the 49ers last year and for fantasy down the stretch. Over the final eight weeks, Deebo was the WR8 in 0.5-point leagues and that was on the back of just two receiving TDs. When he returns, he will be the 49ers go-to WR and I love that they manufacture touches for him on the ground as well.
Round 9- Tyler Higbee, TE
Listen this round is a bit gross. There isn’t a ton of value sitting there but Tyler Higbee is one of the few TEs with a legitimate ceiling to go, as I like to say, “B-nanas”. We saw him put up four consecutive 100-yard games in the last month of the season and basically win people fantasy championships. If the Rams continue to run 12-personnel in the way they did, Higbee is a surefire top-5 when you consider the type of target share he was receiving. I love Jared Goff as a late-round guy and I think he will be able to force-feed Higbee as a PPR weapon. Take the shot on a player you’ve seen go ballistic for fantasy. His draft cost is not near what I thought it would be after the end of the 2019 season and ninth round is where you start calling your shots on breakout TEs.
Round 10- Jamison Crowder, WR
Point! Crowder is a PPR point waiting to happen and if you can get a plug-and-play FLEX in the double-digit rounds, I’m all about that life. We forget this dude had 122 targets last year, more than Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, and Amari Cooper. He also caught a respectable six TDs. Now, granted his aDOT will never be elite but you can’t find that kind of volume this late in the draft anywhere else. I’m projecting Crowder to once again lead the Jets in targets as Sam Darnold‘s go-to short-area guy. I have him ranked highest among the three of us at WR26, a fringe WR2 but you don’t have to draft him there! Say it with me: Crow-dahhhhhh!
Round 11- Desean Jackson, WR
Jackson stands alone as the rest of the Eagles receiving corps just can’t seem to stay healthy. Granted, Jackson hasn’t played a full season since 2013! Regardless, you know the type of big-play weapon he is, and reports from training camp say he hasn’t lost a step. Jackson is startable in Week 1 and we saw what he can do with Carson Wentz last year… albeit in just one game. But boy was it a magnificent Week 1 game! I’ll take the shot on a player who has a week-winning upside and the opportunity for more volume while rookie Jalen Reagor and Alshon Jeffrey walk the sidelines.
Round 12- Golden Tate, WR
Let’s not mail in Golden Tate‘s AARP card just yet… Yes he’s 32 years old but I believe Tate is the Giants top-WR but he’s being drafted like he’s already out of the league. He averaged 7.7 targets per game last year with Daniel Jones and represents a safe depth piece that you could start any week. My comrades have him buried in their rankings but Tate is all the way up at WR33 for me. Once he returned from his suspension last year, he was the WR28 and a useable FLEX play. I’ll follow the volume and a chance to jump on board Daniel Jones‘ fantasy breakout in Year Two of leading the Giants at a discount cost.
Round 13- Chris Thompson, RB
We were urging fantasy GMs to snag Thompson at the end of their drafts for the last month as he was featured in the Sleepers section of our Ultimate Draft Kit and Leonard Fournette was boldly declared in our Busts. As things have changed in Jacksonville, so will Thompson’s draft cost. He’s been really good for fantasy… when he’s on the field. For PPR leagues, all you want is a shot at a player you’re able to start with a relatively safe weekly floor. Over the last four years in Washington, Thompson has averaged a target every four routes run, a top-15 number in the league. It points to the fact that when he’s on the field, he’s valuable for fantasy. He’s also received some buzz lately that he’s going to be used heavily in the red zone so count me in.
Round 14- Blake Jarwin, TE
Ohhhh man…. You thought you were going to read this article without a sniff or mention of the Blakeout?!? Jarwin has been my guy all off-season so there’s not much I have to say here. If I’m punting TE in my draft, I smile and bide my time to take a player who should more than replace Jason Witten‘s ineffective 80+ targets. Jarwin has shown monster upside including a three-TD game last year where he blew up. I want pieces of this Dallas offense as they led the league in yards per play in 2019 and I expect much of the same in 2020. He’s one of “My Guys” and the player I get tagged with the most on Twitter. Whether by life or death, or defeat or victory, I confidently declare this to be the year of the Blakeout! It’s Jarwin SZN. Let’s go!!!