WILL FULLER WILL BE A TOP 5 FANTASY WR
BuT wIlL fUlLeR hAs NeVeR fInIsHeD a SeAsOn YeT! Look, I understand the risk in drafting Will Fuller as he has only played in 41 games of a potential 64 in his career thus far. He has missed games for fractured ribs(2017), a torn ACL(2018), plus a hamstring and core muscle tear(2019). According to player profiler Fuller has a reinjury risk of 63%. So yes, there is undeniable risk when drafting and relying on Will Fuller, but his current ADP according to 4for4.com is in the 7th round and I’ve even seen him drafted in the 8th and 9th in leagues this offseason as well. At that price, his risk is essentially baked in.
The upside? There is a DeAndre Hopkins size hole in the top of the Texan’s WR depth chart and while Houston did trade for Brandin Cooks this offseason, they have also been limiting his reps while Fuller continues to build on his special chemistry with Deshaun Watson. And speaking of that chemistry, it is important to highlight just how effective these two have been together. In the 26 games that Fuller and Watson have played together, Fuller has scored an eye-popping 14 times. In those 26 games over the last 3 seasons, Fuller has only amassed more than 10 targets in 3 games. With Hopkins’ exit, a massive 32% market share of targets have been vacated from the Houston offense. We already know that with Fuller’s style of play his targets are extremely valuable. Imagine if Fuller can garner, 3, 4, 5 more targets per game in 2020 and gives us just a 14 game season in 2020. Call me crazy but I say it happens this year and Fuller pays off in a BIG way for Fantasy GMs.
RONALD JONES WILL KEEP THE JOB AND OUTSCORE LEONARD FOURNETTE
This take defies all logic. It makes no sense. I should not be saying it. But what the hell, this is a bold-takes column! Ronald Jones has had quite the roller coaster offseason. Tampa Bay moved on from Peyton Barber who Jones split time with all of last season before signing the greatest QB of all time in Tom Brady. What a gift for Jones: he would be the unquestioned starter and have the 6 time Super Bowl champ Brady to lead him to more promising defensive looks and only the best offensive opportunities. Then came the NFL draft and the free agency period which saw the Bucs draft Ke’Shawn Vaughn in the 3rd round out of Vanderbilt and then sign LeSean McCoy in late July. But nevertheless, Jones has persisted and his coach Bruce Arians has had nothing but glowing reviews of him as their “guy.” But last week BA, Brady, and the gang added the recently cut former 1st round draft pick Leonard Fournette to the mix. Fournette is bigger, stronger, faster, and more talented than Ronald Jones. He is likely a better pass catcher and pass blocker. Every analyst under the sun will tell you that by the midseason mark, Fournette should take this job over and profit from the efficiency of Brady in an Arian’s offense. Call it bold, call it a gut-feeling, call it me being a USC homer, but I think there is a world where Jones keeps this job and relegates Fournette to the change of pace back for most if not all of 2020. Maybe Jones takes all these moves as a slight and lets them motivate him, maybe his offseason work with Brady pays off, maybe he just has a full breakout. Something has me rooting for Jones.
GARDNER MINSHEW WILL BE A TOP 10 FANTASY QB
Is there a cooler player in the NFL than Gardner Minshew? The guy rocks a mustache, headband, and jorts! He is the epitome of cool and while his play on the field hasn’t been the world beater status of say a Pat Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, he did show some incredible signs of promise in his 2019 rookie campaign. Last year, Minshew threw for 21 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. He had 6 games in which he threw for over 250 yards and he rushed for 25 yards per game on average. His 344 rushing yards was good for 5th most amongst QBs in the NFL last year. These are positive signs in their own right but you have to remember that the Jaguars also benched Minshew for 2 games last year. When you are drafting late round QBs or in Minshew’s case, undrafted QBs you want a fantasy QB with rushing upside. Minshew fits that bill and could be encouraged to run even more after the Jags have cut ties with Leonard Fournette. It’s beneficial to target QBs you feel like can be among the league leaders in pass attempts and with Jacksonville having a 2020 win total of 5 according to Las Vegas, the amount of garbage time needed to have this team compete each week could really lend to a robust fantasy season for Minshew. He’s a popular player but not a popular fantasy option and I have the chance to change that. Let’s do it.
LAMAR JACKSON WILL NOT BE A TOP 5 FANTASY QB
Last year in my league of record, I drafted Lamar Jackson in the 13th. Like almost everyone I have spoken with in the fantasy football world who had Lamar Jackson in 2019, I won our league’s championship belt. Lamar’s 2019 season was one of the best we have ever seen from the QB position in fantasy football history. He was electric behind a strong offensive line, powered by a top tier rushing attack, and coached by a Super Bowl winning head coach. All of the aforementioned pillars of his game are intact for 2020, so why would I think there is a world for Lamar to fail as a top option in fantasy this year? Let me start with the fact that this team was a juggernaut last year. They were leading on nearly 20% of their plays last year. There is simply no way they can duplicate that kind of efficiency. His 9% touchdown rate last year was the highest by far and no QB in NFL history has posted a 9% TD rate in back to back seasons. Lamar did all this on the fewest dropbacks in the NFL last year. I am a huge fan of Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown as weapons and they should have big weeks but when your biggest weapons in a passing game are a TE and a likely one trick deep ball WR, things could go awry in a hurry. Lamar is a fantasy football cheat code and will likely obliterate this take but there is an alternate universe where Lamar slips from the top 5.
ZACK MOSS WILL BE A TOP 15 FANTASY RB
If you have been following the show since our rookie episode this offseason then you know me and Johnny Game Time Hicks started this offseason beefing over Zack Moss vs. Devin Singletary. Devin Singletary had a pretty impressive rookie season with the Bills last season. The undersized back finished as the RB31 in only 12 games last year behind 775 rushing yards, 4 total touchdowns, and 29 catches out of the backfield. My take on his newly drafted teammate Zack Moss is not an anti-Singletary take as much as it is a pro-Moss take. According to PFF, Zack Moss is similar in style of play and physique to that of Kareem Hunt. He was a better receiver in college than Singletary and Moss is a bigger and more well rounded running back. We know this Buffalo team wants to run the ball and play defense and word out of camp is they want QB Josh Allen to run less. Additional storylines from Buffalo indicate that Moss has been everything he put on tape at Utah in college and that Singletary has been struggling with fumbles. Now, this is a COVID offseason and rookies could be at quite a disadvantage as they cram the playbook with no preseason games to brush up on their knowledge, but I am all in on Moss to end up taking over this backfield and being a valuable, multi-talented asset in fantasy football this year.