The Fantasy Footballers “My Guy” Episode Recap
A tradition like no other…except last year, when Andy broke tradition and jettisoned a “My Guy” just before the season started. On Thursday, Andy, Mike, and Jason chose three players that they are planting their flag for in 2020. You can listen to the full episode, and I highly recommend it, but I’ll recap each of their choices in this article. Naming a player “My Guy” doesn’t mean you are going to take them in the 1st Round of your fantasy draft, it means you recognize their value and you are willing to draft them every time you get the chance, maybe even a little ahead of their ADP. If you’re new to the #FootClan, every year, each of the three hosts gives us three players that they will be targetting in every draft they enter. If you’re smart (and you’re reading this, so you are), you will follow suit, because these players tend to perform well and represent a tremendous value in your drafts right now.
Note: The Fantasy Footballers’ Writing Staff gets into the fun every year too, and you can read all about our “My Guys” in this article!
Mike– DJ Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
The draft value on Chark is absolutely incredible and he should play to his 5th Round ADP at his floor. Chark is big and fast and was left for dead when he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a disappointing rookie season, he bounced back big in 2019, finishing as the WR16. Before his Week 14 ankle injury, he was the WR8. He’s already being drafted behind where he finished last season and we should see better play with an improved Gardner Minshew in 2020. Minshew has the highest passer rating on deep passes last year and Chark is the deep ball guy in this offense. On 13 catchable deep targets last year and caught all 13 of them. As his rapport with Minshew builds, it’s all systems go in Jacksonville. His ADP is being dragged down by his rough end to 2019 but he has a top-10 ceiling in 2020.
Andy– Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Andy starts his speech on Jacobs with a guarantee “Jacobs is going to take the next step in fantasy” He was a 2nd tier guy and is ready to be a top-5 guy in 2020. He is this year’s Dalvin Cook. Jacobs was Pro Football Focus’ #2 graded RB last year, behind Nick Chubb, and ahead of everyone else, including Christian McCaffrey. He was great last year with a busted shoulder and not being used in the passing game. He was 2nd in red-zone touches and Gruden trusts him, those touches aren’t going away. Gruden already said that he needs to get him more involved in the passing game and that they expect more from him in 2020. If Jacobs is healthy, the sky is the limit.
Jason– Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Drake’s career has been rough up to 2019. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and Adam Gase, the “B-Hole” of the NFL. He was barely used his rookie year, despite being the 3rd RB drafted in 2016. In his 2nd year, it took two RB injuries before he saw the field, but he dominated when he did. He paced for over 1100 yards and seven TDs. So in his 3rd year…they add the ageless Frank Gore and make Drake his backup. Gase is not going to the right thing…ever. Then in 2019, he was traded to the Cardinals in Week 9 and was the RB3 in fantasy football from that point forward. This is his 1st offseason with Kliff Kingsbury and is now starting to understand the offense. This entire offense is going to take a big step forward and Drake is a big part of that. He’s being drafted as the RB11 with a top-5 ceiling.
Mike– Blake Jarwin, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Jarwin Szn is upon us! It’s time for Blake Out! Take your pick of your favorite Jarwin hyperbole…just make sure you draft him. The opportunity in Dallas for TEs is tremendous. Even as Jason Witten was a shadow of his former self, Witten averaged 88 targets per season with Dak at QB. His average fantasy finish was the TE11. Now, no one is excited about the TE11, Jarwin should be able to do more with the targets than Witten could at this point in his career. There are more than 160 vacated targets in Dallas this year and Jarwin should be a primary benefactor. Jarwin can make the plays when he catches the ball, he was highly ranked in yards/target and yards/route run. Only eight TEs in NFL history have had a game with over 100 yards and three TDs: Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe, Julius Thomas, Alge Crumpler, and Jarwin. That is the kind of company you want your fantasy TE to keep. You can land him at the end of any draft that doesn’t include Mike Wright. Jarwin will be startable every week and will finish the season as a top-10 TE.
Andy– Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Last year’s WR4 is being drafted as this year’s WR15…why have you forgotten Cooper Kupp? Kupp had over 1100 yards and ten TDs last year and is the favorite red-zone target on this team. The apparent change to 12-personnel has scored fantasy managers away from Kupp but if you listen to Sean McVay, he knew exactly what he was doing last year. The team uses their TEs and WRs as fullbacks on run plays, why not let Johnny Mundt take the punishment instead of Cooper Kupp? Snap counts do not reflect Kupp’s production, Kupp’s biggest bust games were 98% snap count games. His best games were between 60-70%. In 2018, Kupp paced for 80 receptions, 1100 yards, and 12 TDs. Last year, he finished with 94 receptions, 1164 yards, and ten TDs. He is as close to a lock for 1100 yards and 10+ TDs as anyone in the NFL in 2020.
Jason– Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
HOT LOCKETT! Lockett was the WR15 in 2018 and the WR14 in 2019…and is being drafted as the WR21 in 2020? That’s two spots behind DK Metcalf. This is not an anti-Metcalf take…this is a pro-Lockett take. Draft him higher. Don’t forget about how the season played out when you draft a guy. Lockett had a horrific injury in Week 10 that caused him to need to be hospitalized for a leg bruise. He missed no games and still finished as the WR14. Over the next two weeks after the receptions, he only caught one pass. So in essence, he missed two games…and was still the WR14. Before that injury, he was the WR4 in fantasy football. During that same span, Metcalf was the WR16. They can both be WR1s. If you add Lockett’s two playoff games to his 14 regular-season games, played 16 games last year. He was targeted 123 times in those games and finished with 94 receptions, 1200 yards, and nine TDs. That would be the WR5 on the season. Tyler Lockett is a superstar.
Mike– Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team
As a rookie, McLaurin had 93 targets that he turned into over 900 yards and seven TDs. His rookie year lines up with Julio Jones, Juju Smith-Schuster, and DeSean Jackson, great WRs. He played two fewer games and outscored DK Metcalf last year…and DK is being drafted ahead of him. Terry McLaurin is the unquestioned WR1 on this football team and this is a team that should be throwing a lot more in 2020. Washington was ranked 28th in pass attempts last year, while new coaches Ron Rivera and Scott Turner ranked 4th in passing attempts. There is a huge opportunity here. COACH SPEAK WARNING: Rivera has already compared McLaurin to D.J. Moore. Moore added 50 targets from his rookie to 2nd year. If you’re afraid of Dwayne Haskins, Moore was the WR16 in Rivera’s offense last year with poor QB play.
Andy– Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon had to run behind the worst run-blocking offensive line in football last year and still finished as the RB13. The line and QB play will improve in 2020. You want to see top-5 potential from a player before you call them a top-5 player. Over the last eight weeks of 2019, behind the worst line in football, Mixon was the RB4. Head coach Zac Taylor realized as the season progressed that Moxon gets better the more he touches the ball and his end of the year reflects that. Joe Burrow is used to throwing to RBs and that was a big part of Mixon’s game that was missing last year. The Bengals want to get him the ball a lot and that volume is going unlock Joe Mixon in 2020.
Jason– Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Do you remember scouting Baker Mayfield coming out of college? Marquise Brown was the little guy DESTROYING everyone. Fast forward one year later and Brown is the first WR selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. In his first game as a pro, he went for 147 yards and two TDs…playing just 18% of the snaps. He was hurt early in the season and was never utilized properly once he came back. Curtis Patrick put out a great article on Hollywood and his findings should have you excited to draft Brown. First-round rookie WRs, that were targeted at least five times per game, and scored positive points over expectation, go on to score over 200 fantasy points in their 2nd year. Brown meets those standards and that would equate to a top-15 WR in fantasy football. He was drafted to be great and is a part of great offense, you want that on your fantasy roster.