Fantasy Football Owners MUST Monitor these 10 Offseason Questions for 2020 Domination - Roto Street Journal
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Fantasy Football Owners MUST Monitor these 10 Offseason Questions for 2020 Domination

Empty. Dark. Hollow. A plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again. So, so paper thin.

This is the feeling that true Fantasy Football Wolves (addicts) are feeling these days. Sure, the 2020 NFL Playoffs have already begun with shocking bangs (Patriots and Saints gone?!) But this action is really just a bandaid over the hole that OUR teams, OUR little slices of heaven (and hell) are now gone for 35 more Sundays.

Still, a true Fantasy Wolf knows there’s no such thing as “the offseason,” but instead chances to get ahead while all your sheep leaguemates are sleeping. Whether it is the Coaching Carousel, Free Agency, the NFL Draft, OTAs or Training Camp, the Fantasy Stock Market never sleeps. We’ll capture every swing and shake in more detail with our Fantasy Stock Watch (cleanest in our brand new iPhone app).

Still, here is your Cheat Sheet of all the offseason stories you MUST monitor for 2020 Fantasy Football Domination.

Running Backs

The running back position ALWAYS experiences the greatest fantasy value turnover every year.. Among free agents and rookies, no position experiences immediate success quite like RBs. Below are the crucial Free Agents and job openings to monitor in 2020.

1) Where will Free Agent Stud RBs Derrick Henry & Melvin Gordon Land?

Ideal Answer: Henry returns to TEN, MGIII lands in KC or TB

Derrick Henry was finally unleashed in 2019, and the result was the NFL Rushing Crown in attempts (303), yards (1540), and TDs (16). Ideally, he returns to the Titans, where OC Arthur Smith will continue riding him behind one of the league’s top-lines. Even if not, Henry will undoubtedly be the centerpiece for whoever lands him.

Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon offers one of the NFL’s top three-down skillsets. He’s a monster after contact, runs smooth routes with soft hands, and can hammer in scores at the stripe. After last years contract fiasco, MGIII is expected to be donning a new uniform in 2020. We’d love to see him in the Chiefs, Bucs, or Cardinals red.

2) Will stud Restricted Free Agent RBs Austin Ekeler & Kareem Hunt get featured roles?

Ideal Answer: Ekeler gets LAC featured role, while Hunt secures a featured role elsewhere (TB?!), unlocking his and Chubb’s elite ceilings.

Austin Ekeler finished 2019 as fantasy’s Half-PPR RB6 and PPR RB4. This is incredible, considering he was locked into a timeshare with MGIII for 2/3 of the season; Ekeler didn’t top 59% of the snaps following Week 5. Imagine what he could do as the featured back all year?

Without Gordon in Weeks 1-4, Ekeler trailed only McCaffrey in fantasy points (95 total FPs, 23.8 Half PPG). He’s a dynamite receiver and underrated runner, capable of Christian McCaffrey -lite numbers if he gets the work. No one threw to their RBs more than Anthony Lynn‘s Chargers (182 tgts, 31.6% share), and Ekeler would be worth a Top-12 pick in a return here… or anywhere new that promised the right volume.

Meanwhile, Kareem Hunt flashed his patented tackle-breaking and receiving abilities throughout 2019. Unfortunately, he’s currently trapped behind the 2019’s second-leading rusher and a fellow beast in Nick Chubb. Thus, Hunt’s ultimate spot is hugely crucial for both  Ideally, Hunt gets lured elsewhere to lead a backfield, uncapping both his and Chubb’s limitless ceilings.

3) Will Kenyan Drake return to the Arizona Air Raid?

Kliff Kingsbury‘s “Air Raid” produced monstrous RB1 performance throughout all of 2019. None were more impressive than midseason acquisition Kenyan Drake. From his Week 9 arrival on, Drake was fantasy’s RB3 in PPR PPG (19.9), trailing only CMac and Henry. An impending Free Agent, Drake was clearly an ideal fit. Unsurprisingly, GM Steve Keim said the team would “love” to re-sign Drake, who would again be an RB1 if he returns.

4) Who will be the lead RBs in the following JUICY “Value Holes”?

Whether one of those five stud FAs, a rookie from this loaded class, or even an underwhelming FA or inner promotion, the following teams lack a clear top-back. Depending on the talent infusion, fantasy RB1s could emerge at any of the following eight homes:

    1. Chiefs 
    2. Chargers (if not MGIII or Ekeler)
    3. Bucs
    4. Cardinals (if not Drake)
    5. Steelers (if they move on from injury-prone Conner)
    6. Titans (if not Henry)
    7. 49ers (Raheem Mostert high-end RB2 if they commit) 
    8. Texans (Lamar Miller & Carlos Hyde both UFAs… could it finally be the Duke Show)


The Right QB can turn around the fantasy fortunes of an entire offense. Given the position’s real-life importance, serious talent rarely enters the open-market. However, 2020 offers a larger list of potential offense-changers than ever before.

5) Will any of the following offense-changing QBs land in new homes in 2020?

Tier 1

  1. Dak Prescott – Almost a 0% chance of leaving Dallas. Still, Prescott has flashed franchise-caliber traits. His ultimate home is hugely important for all the pieces around him, and he should thrive under QB-guru Mike McCarthy if he remains in Dallas.

Tier 2

  1. Jameis Winston – The ultimate gun-slinger, Winston’s ideal spot remains TB inside Bruce Arians‘ “No Risk It, No Biscuit” attack. His departure would undoubtedly be a negative on Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
  2. Drew Brees – Can’t imagine a world with Brees anywhere but the Superdome…. if he indeed plays in 2020. Brees was noncommittal about his status after the Saints devastating upset to the Vikings. Michael Thomas showed he could get it done with just about anyone in 2019… but Bridgewater is also a free agent.
  3. Tom Brady – The speculation across NE is Brady has played his last snap here after two decades of dominance. If so, the values of Edelman and all of NE, and all players in Brady’s new home, would be hugely impacted.
  4. Ryan Tannehill – The QB3 in fantasy after he took over, Tannehill’s ideal fantasy home remains the Titans. Similarly, AJ Brown and Derrick Henry (if in TEN) would greatly benefit from Tannehill’s return. Henry went from the RB14 to the RB2 in fantasy scoring with greater offensive efficiency, while Brown skyrocketed from WR41 to WR3 after the switch.

Tier 3

  1. Philip Rivers – Rivers looked washed up for much of 2019… and yet he still finished 4th in the league with 4,615 yards.
  2. Marcus Mariota – Severely outplayed by Tannehill… but still could spark under the right coach.
  3. Teddy Bridgewater – Went 5-0 as a starter. High-percentage, low-risk, low-upside passer.

Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

6) Will Amari Cooper return to DAL, or anchor another team’s passing attack?

Ideal Answer: A Return to DAL is our top spot… but NE, AZ, and SF all drip in appeal

Despite playing through injury for much of 2019, Amari Cooper set career highs in yardage (1189) and TDs (8) en route to the best fantasy season of his five year career. He can run the entire route tree, and proved fully capable of shouldering a team’s passing attack as an Alpha-X weapon.

The question is: will he remain this for the Cowboys? With Dak Prescott commanding $30M or more a season, and Zeke now the highest-paid RB in the league, Dallas might not have the cap for a Cooper return. The Cowboys and Mike McCarthy’s Aerial Circus would be the ideal home, but Cooper could up WR1 numbers in plenty of other homes. The Cardinals, Patriots, and 49ers all profile as explosive offenses that could use a true No.1 Injection.

7) Is AJ Green still capable of being a true No.1, and where will we find out that answer?

Ideal Answer: Yes, and either back in Cincy with Joe Burrow (if he’s the real deal) or as the new No.1 for NE or AZ. 

AJ Green missed the entire 2019 season… and who could blame him for avoiding the dumpster fire that was Cincy?

Still, brighter times are ahead for the Bengals with Joe Burrow on the horizon. He could certainly use the Alpha-X upside of Green. Granted, we haven’t seen him on a field for 23 games now — who knows if he still has “it” after two injury-marred years.

But when last out there, Green was just as dominant as ever, pacing for 82 catches, 1233 yards, and 11 TDs. If Burrow is as real as he looks, Green would be the unquestioned top option for the next big thing. He reportedly prefers returning to the only team he’s known, insisting: “If something should get done, then I’m here. I want to be here.”

If not, Arizona, Philadelphia, or New England could certainly use a 6’4, 210 smooth route runner, as could Dallas if Cooper departs.

8) Will Emmanuel Sanders and Robby Anderson find top-target volume in the free agency market?

Ideal Answer: Again… AZ, NE, or PHI all offer quality QB play and a heavy WR need.

Even at 32 and recovering from a torn Achilles, Emmanuel Sanders looked as explosive as ever for much of 2019. A run-heavy 49ers attack and ribs injury led to some serious inconsistency down the stretch (under 10 FPs in 7 of 10 games w/ SF). Still, Sanders flashed genuine upside with 112 and 157 yard efforts across his 10 games with the team. He could return to WR2-3 relevance in the right home, and the continuity of a full offseason in SF might just be perfect.

Meanwhile, Robby Anderson is easily the deep-ball jewel of this class. Unwilling to offer the Jets a hometown discount, Anderson is likely to don a new uniform in 2020. He has flashed No.1 traits for stretches in each season, but never consistently enough for 1,000 yards ever. He’s also lacked QB-stability his entire career, and could resurface as an upside WR2 in the right home. Philadelphia expressed trade interest earlier this year, and could be a strong home with a strong-armed QB in dire need of weaponry.

9) Will Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper, or even Eric Ebron switch teams in 2020?

Ideal Answer: The Falcons and Chargers are among the friendlier TE schemes… but Ebron would be set up for greater success, especially in New England. No one needs a TE as badly. 

All three of Henry, Hooper, and Ebron drip in the size/speed mismatch potential offensive coordinators dream of. Hooper was a revelation this season, posting the most points at the position in Weeks 1-10 (14.1 PPG) before going down. This was largely due to Dirk Koetter’s TE-obsessed attack, and Hooper or either other impending FA would be Top-Five options in Atlanta.

After years of Rob Gronkowski serving as fantasy’s top TE, New England was completely devoid of any type of talent at the position. Landing one of these three would help Josh McDaniels (and ideally Tom Brady) immensely, as this offense operates at its peak with a high-end seam stretcher. The Texans and Steelers would also present excellent spots for any of these three to use their massive frames in the Red Zone.

10) Where will the Coaching Carousel Spin, and who’ll be calling plays for some of the fantasy elite?

From Dalvin Cook under Gary Kubiak last year… to Christian McCaffrey  under Norv Turner in 2018… to Todd Gurley under Sean McVay in 2017… high-end talents are fully unlocked by the right coach. In 2020, plenty of explosive offenses and elite fantasy talents will be under new playcalling. The most intriguing options:

  1. Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott + Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper (if they return) + Michael Gallup
  2. Cleveland Browns: Nick Chubb, Baker Mayfield, OBJ, Jarvis Landry, and Kareem Hunt (if he returns)
  3. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey , DJ Moore, Cam Newton, maybe Curtis Samuel
  4. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Evan Engram + intriguing WRs corps of Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton
  5. Washington Redskins: Intriguing young core of Derrius Guice (if he can stay healthy) and Terry McLaurin

Updates: Mike McCarthy will bring his aerial circus to Dallas. Meanwhile, Matt Rhule and Joe Judge have been named HCs of the Panthers and Giants respectively, though neither has named a play-caller yet. Scott Turner will be Ron Rivera‘s OC in Washington, and is an intriguing hire for this young corps after manufacturing touches well for McCaffrey and Moore in Carolina.

Fantasy Football is a stock market that never sleeps! Be sure to track the answers to these questions all offseason with our Fantasy Stock Watch — presented best through our RSJ APP!

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