The Fantasy Footballers Writing Staff “My Guy” Picks for 2020

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🎵 It’s the most wonderful time…. of the year! 🎵

Yes, it’s late August and according to the Fantasy Footballers’ calendar, it’s time to declare who your #MyGuy is for the 2020 fantasy season. Andy, Mike, and Jason let their love be known on Thursday’s “My Guy Show” podcast. It’s now a chance for our Writing Staff to each give one name they are putting their stamp of approval on.

Let us know if you agree on Twitter using the hashtag #MyGuy.

Terry McLaurin– WR, Washington Football Team

Over the past decade, here is the list of WRs to post at least 900 receiving yards and at least 9.0 yards per target: in their rookie season: Odell Beckham, Michael Thomas, A.J. Green, A.J. Brown, Keenan Allen, Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, D.K. Metcalf…and Terry McLaurin. Yes, the Washington Football Team has concerns as to how good this offense can be but there is nobody else on the depth chart to push McLaurin for targets in 2020. McLaurin could legitimately push for 130+ targets in 2020, and with that volume and talent, McLaurin has an excellent opportunity to crush his ADP. How he’s going at WR25 in current ADP is beyond me, and I’ll continue to smash the draft button with McLaurin available in the 5th or 6th round. –Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT)

Calvin Ridley– WR, Atlanta Falcons

The stars are aligned for Calvin Ridley to have a breakout season. I know, I know…this is a common opinion, but it doesn’t make it less true! Do you want consistency? Ridley scored 11+ fantasy points in 11 of his last 15 games. Do you want upside? Ridley was the WR2 overall from Weeks 11-14 last season. He’s currently being drafted at WR16 (ADP 4.05) which is exactly where he finished in 2019 on a points-per-game basis. You can draft Ridley at his floor, and he has the upside to become truly elite. Draft Ridley with confidence this season! –Jeff Greenwood (@TheFantasyEng)

Jonathan Taylor– RB, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor checks all the boxes. His athletic profile rivals Saquon Barkley’s and Ezekiel Elliot’s. He’s arguably the most productive running back in college football history. He was drafted by a team with an elite offensive line that prides itself on running the ball. His quarterback Philip Rivers, is known for targeting running backs and completed an average of 45 passes per season to Melvin Gordon, a back that had fewer receptions in his entire college career at Wisconsin (22) than Taylor had in his final season there (26). The only thing standing between Taylor and an RB1 season is Marlon Mack, a serviceable NFL running back who’s missed eight games over his first three seasons. If you let the specter of Mack scare you off of drafting Taylor, you’ll find yourself disappointed sooner than later this fantasy season. Still not convinced? Allow me to direct you to my article declaring Taylor a league-winner.Aaron Larson (@aalarson)

A.J. Brown– WR, Tennessee Titans

A.J. Brown lit the world on fire with a historic rookie season in 2019. While he is an obvious regression candidate based on his efficiency, I expect some of that to be offset with an increase in volume. Per Rotoworld, the Titans have 103 vacated targets; and while a majority of those will likely go to Jonnu Smith and Darrynton Evans, I do expect a portion of those targets to go Brown’s way. From a statistical perspective, Brown also excelled in several metrics that correlate to future fantasy success, such as Yards Per Pass Route (2nd among WRs) and Yards per Team Pass Attempt (3rd among WRs). And considering there is little competition at WR, I expect A.J. Brown to once again be the focal point of this Titans offense! –Marvin Elequin (@FF_MarvinE)

Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Melvin Gordon III– RB, Denver Broncos

I feel like I’m the lone passenger on the Melvin Gordon hype train, but I’ll gladly commandeer my way to the conductor seat – “Snowpiercer” style. There’s a reason why Denver made him the 7th highest paid RB: because they were terrible at scoring last year, ranking 28th in both offensive yards gained and points scored. Hometown favorite Phillip Lindsay may have surpassed 1K rushing yards again, but he only produced five TDs from 27 rushing attempts in the red zone AND failed to score with five red-zone passes. Although Gordon struggled last year in a limited/holdout season, he still outscored Lindsay in fantasy points per game (13.3 FPPG vs. 11.3 in half PPR) and TD rate (0.75 vs. 0.44). Keep in mind that the Chargers had one of the worst offensive lines throughout Gordon’s career, ranking 32nd, 31st, 24th, 30th, and 29th from 2015 to 2019 per PFF. The Broncos? 12th last year and predicted to be 14th in 2020 thanks to returning o-line guru Mike Munchak. His new OC Pat Shurmur loves multifaceted, workhorse backs like Gordon. He’s better at pass protection than Lindsay, which is pertinent for a green QB like Drew Lock. Lindsay will demand his share of carries, but believe you me – this is Gordon’s backfield and he will have ample opportunities to score as the goal-line back. Gordon is a “Lock” (sorry) this year to finish as a fringe RB1. -Peter Chung (@FF_Hypeman)

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Tom Brady– QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In 2019, everybody loved the weapons in Tampa Bay, but nobody wanted the QB. Jameis Winston threw 33 TDs and finished as the QB5, despite throwing 30 INTs. The weapons have gotten better and Tom Brady ain’t throwing 30 INTs. The 2019 Buccaneers ranked 2nd in red-zone scoring % but 11th in attempts. The 2019 Patriots ranked 2nd in attempts but 26th in scoring %. I believe this is a reflection of the weapons each team had and Brady is going to flourish with Evans, Godwin, and Gronk. His ADP has started to climb but he has top-5 potential and you can land him as the QB9 right now. -Ryan Weisse (@TheFantasyFive)

Jamison Crowder- WR, New York Jets

Crowder tends to be a sleeper pick each season because he has a safe floor and gets the targets needed to be impactful in fantasy.  For the 2020 season, I am high on Crowder because he will be the only wide receiver in the New York Jets offense that has a rapport with quarterback Sam Darnold. Wideout Robby Anderson is now in Carolina, leaving the Jets to draft rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims in the second round of the 2020 draft.  Also joining the team is wide receiver Breshad Perriman.  Crowder has already played for the Jets for a season, so he has that connection with his quarterback.  With COVID-19 causing a lot of shake-ups in the NFL including canceling the preseason games, Mims and Perriman will not have that opportunity to mesh with Darnold.  Darnold is not the most accurate quarterback coming in with an accuracy rating of 61.9-percent last season.  The one bright side when it comes to Darnold is the fact that he makes use of his slot wide receiver.  Crowder plays mainly out of the slot, and he led the team in targets, catches, touchdowns, and yards in 2019.  Head coach Adam Gase may not always make the fans happy, but he does enjoy using his slot receivers.  Look for Crowder to have a big 2020 season, becoming a viable flex option every week.  He is being drafted later than many of the WR1s on other teams, so the value is constantly there in fantasy football drafts. –Kacey Kasem (@thekaceykasem)

Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Matthew Stafford– QB, Detroit Lions

There are a few late-round QBs I wanted to go with here, among a cornucopia of RBs, WRs, and TEs, but Stafford is going be crowned “My Guy” for the 2020 season. Last year, Stafford was lighting the fantasy world on fire, finishing as the QB6 or better in five out of the eight weeks he played. His 16-game pace was set to blow Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson‘s passing stats out of the water. It took breaking his back to keep him off the field for the first time since 2011. Now that Stafford is healthy with weapons like Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, he will look rekindle the chemistry between his WRs the passing game. With new pieces on the offensive line, he should also have better protection and more time in the pocket. TE T.J. Hockenson looks to make a step forward in his sophomore year and rookie RB De’Andre Swift will add a dynamic, pass-catching piece to the RB corps. Stafford has a real shot flourishing as a top-10 QB and you get him criminally late in drafts in 2020. -Lauren Carpenter (@stepmomlauren)

Curtis Samuel– WR, Carolina Panthers

I staked my claim on Samuel way back in March and honestly, I wavered a bit when Teddy Bridgewater and Robby Anderson signed with the team. It was staggering to see that he led the league in routes run, saw the 8th most deep targets, and had the 11th most Air Yards. Dude was running around but had arguably the worst QBs in the league, the infamous trio of Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinecke, and Will Grier. I wrote earlier this offseason that he can be 2020’s Devante Parker. This Panthers offense ranked top-5 in terms of the pace of play in 2019 and I expect similar results in 2020. New OC Joe Brady excelled at using Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson out of the slot last year at LSU and Samuel will be that guy in this up-tempo offense. He’s the fastest guy on the team and will be given a chance to make plays in space. He’s the perfect post-hype sleeper sitting at WR52 in drafts. You can get him as your WR5(!) and I think by the end of the season he can end up as a top-24 WR. I’ll finish by putting my money where my mouth is: in five industry drafts (including the Scott Fish Bowl) and all of my Best Ball drafts, I am rostering Samuel in 100% of those leagues. He’s my guy and I’m ready to roll! –Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)

I’d like to start out by giving mad props to my guy Kyle Borgognoni, who has been driving the Curtis Samuel train for months. I’ve recently hopped on as a passenger, but I’m okay with that because I think this train offers a golden ticket like the Polar Express. Samuel is an electric athlete who ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (100th-percentile) and also has a 91st-percentile Speed Score. Samuel started to come on strong late in his rookie year before a nasty ankle injury cut it short. He’s bounced back admirably, posting 494 receiving yards in 2018 and 627 last season. And as a sign of things to come, Samuel turned 19 carries into 130 rushing yards and a TD in 2019. That rushing production wasn’t an accident. Samuel posted 1,249 receiving yards in his three years at Ohio State and actually racked up 1,286 total yards on the ground as well. Samuel can win on the ground, near the line of scrimmage, running intermediate routes, and going deep. New Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady is just the man to get the most out of Samuel’s all-around electric skillset, he’s receiving a significant upgrade at QB in Teddy Bridgewater, and Carolina’s defense projects to be historically awful. While playing in favorable passing game scripts constantly and in a solid offensive environment, Samuel will blast off this season as the next fourth-year WR breakout. Because he’s ridiculously affordable in all formats, I’m staying above market and taking Samuel in the ninth round of literally every draft, whether it’s best ball, redraft, or otherwise. Samuel is “My Guy.” –Ben Cummins (@BenCumminsFF)

Devante Parker– WR, Miami Dolphins

Apparently a full-on breakout season wasn’t enough to drive Parker’s ADP to where it should be, but I’m not complaining. Only DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas had more weeks as a WR1 or WR2, his target volume was elite, and he finished as the WR7 overall. Breakouts and season-long finishes can be deceptive without consistency, but Parker was a model of consistency in 2019 in ways that only the best of the best get mimicked. There will be discussions about Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki, but Parker lined up alongside them for more than half the season in 2019. Even if WR1 numbers aren’t likely for Parker, assuming a full season from Williams, he only needs to produce WR2 numbers to outpace his ADP with ease. He’s going off the board as the WR29 despite a top ten finish with dynamite consistency in 2019. Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to start the season again, Tua would be an accuracy upgrade, and the change at OC shouldn’t have much of an impact on the passing game. Parker will draw more single coverage if Gesicki and Williams take the next step, which should allow for some efficiency where volume takes a dip. His ADP is disrespectful, and simply a result of being burned out from his first four predicted breakouts. Draft Parker as a WR3 and you will have a massive leg up in every league. Robert Wilson (@TheFFGator)

Comments

CG Hubbard says:

My guys are the rookie wide receivers. Two or three of them will finish top 36, thus allowing me to focus on Kelce or Kittle in round 2 and/or 3 running backs in the first three rounds.

Msbrock says:

You guys have always done a great job with the show. It’s always been a great combination of funny/informative and “clean.” I know everyone is trying to change these days but please don’t change if the mob tries to come after you for words that you never use hatefully.

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