Fantasy Football Rankings 2020
Joseph Robert: Welcome to the show, everybody. Joseph Robert, the Fantasy Football Counselor. Welcome to this #1 fantasy football podcast. We are talking about Fantasy Football rankings, and I’ve got a special guest, he’s coming on a little bit more. I wouldn’t say he’s special, he’s more of a frequent guest. Walter, what is going on?
Walter: Not much. Ready to talk fantasy rankings. The drafts are five months away, but you can never start too early.
Joseph Robert: Yes. Five months, that actually sounds shorter than I thought. You think that it’s almost six months, but yeah, it’s creeping up on us, five months, never too early, and we are doing a Fantasy Football 2020 rankings overview episode here. I’m excited. What I am going to do is I’m going to go over my top 10 in each position, kind of rapid-fire, and then Walter’s going to go over his top 10. We’re going to briefly talk about each position, what we think. Again, it’s super early. We still got free agency, Walter, to go through. We’ve got the NFL draft, off-season moves, people getting arrested, people getting shot. All the crazy stuff that happens between now and when the season starts. Things are going to change, but why not have some fun now, right?
Walter: Yeah. I was going to say, free agency is going to change a lot but you never know how many people are going to get shot in the next month or so. There’s definitely a lot of news to come.
Joseph Robert: Right. Let’s get right to it. I’m going to go over my positional rankings at quarterback, let’s rapid-fire through my top 10. I’m just going to rapid-fire them right now, then I want to hear your top 10 and then let’s just discuss briefly on how we came up with it and talk about some key players. I’m going to go first, I know the guest should go first, but I’m being greedy here. Let’s rip through it.
Top 10 Fantasy Football QB’s 2020 – Fantasy Football Counselor
- Patrick Mahomes
- Lamar Jackson
- Russell Wilson
- Dak Prescott
- Josh Allen
- Kyler Murray
- Aaron Rodgers
- Deshaun Watson
- Matt Ryan
- Jared Goff
Walter’s Top Tight Ends
- Patrick Mahomes
- Lamar Jackson
- Russell Wilson
- Deshaun Watson
- Carson Wentz
- Dak Prescott
- Aaron Rodgers
- Kyler Murray
- Daniel Jones
- Jameis Winston
Joseph Robert: Very interesting. I had Ross Tucker on the show, we were talking about O-lines. He rated the O-line of the Giants at around two to three. He says if they make the right moves with the draft, they could be up to a five, six O-line. That’s why I’m high on Saquon Barkley. You’ve got Daniel Jones in the top 10. I mean that thing popped out to me. Can you elaborate on why you feel that’s going to happen?
Walter: Well, we saw him play very well at times when he was a rookie. That first Tampa game stands out, the last game against the Redskins. He’s played very well when they’ve gone up against defenses that aren’t very good and he was only a rookie. If you recall, during the middle of the season they lost Saquon Barkley, he came back a bit prematurely, and Barkley wasn’t quite himself. The Giants struggled when Barkley wasn’t 100%, like he was in the final few games of the year. I think with a healthy Barkley, and as you mentioned, you have to figure they’re going to upgrade the offensive line. I think the Giants are going to take a big leap next year, and I think Daniel Jones, with more experience, could have a great second season, especially with the weapons he has. You have Slayton, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and then Barkley, of course. I think this Giants offensive could be explosive this year, and I definitely want Daniel Jones, especially with this rushing outside.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, I love it. I love the outside-of-the-box thinking as well, and totally justifiable. Now he finished 24th amongst quarterbacks, he could definitely slide up. I’m seeing here, based on my stats, 13 games, that’s going to go up. Then he’s going to finally get into the groove. They get him a good wide receiver, whether they pick one up on free agency, whatever happens, they draft a top receiver, whatever it may be. He’s going to be in the groove, they beef up the O-line. The upside is there.
He’s young, he’s hungry, I like him, and I definitely see him cracking the top 10. I think a lot of people will sleep on him. This is where I like to get myself a solid quarterback. I would say, the fourth, fifth round. I still get myself a top-five guy, a guy that’s been proven, and I back him up with a guy with upside like Daniel Jones later in the draft, because I think he’s going to be of value. That’s really interesting. I had to mention that, because you had him there. It’s definitely outside-the-box, non-sheep mentality. Very well done.
Walter: Thanks, and yeah, the Giants have the fourth pick in the draft, so they can get the best tackle in the draft. That’s going to improve their offensive line a lot.
Joseph Robert: Nice. Now you did have Carson Wentz there, I like it. He definitely could finish in the top 10. You may call me a little biased, and I am a little bit biased, I’m just not a fan. He is good, he’s one of those guys, I got angry because he got paid before he really, really performed on an optimum level. He’s been injured, gets injured before the playoffs this past season. What’s your thought process with him, especially with the suspect receivers? I know he’s got the tight ends, but why Carson Wentz top 10, I’m curious on your thoughts?
Walter: Well, I thought Wentz played very well last year, considering that he didn’t have most of his top receivers for most of the year. You have Alshon Jeffery, he was in and out of the lineup, Deshaun Jackson played just one game. Then you had Zac Ertz getting banged up late in the year. Carson Wentz would produce at times, that Miami game stands out when he had Alshon Jeffery or Dallas Goedert on the field.
The Eagles, they’re going to address the receiver position this off-season for sure. They’re going to add at least one play-maker for him, maybe two. There’s talks that might sign Demarcus Robinson as a deep threat. Replace Deshaun Jackson. I just think Wentz has a lot of upside if he can stay healthy. That’s been his problem is that he’s been banged up. I think that means he carries a negative signal with him and people are not going to draft Wentz because they’re afraid of him getting injured. I just think the upside is there if the Eagles address the receiving corps.
Joseph Robert: Right, I definitely think so and I think he finishes in the top 10 this year. I definitely see that. I’ve got your rankings pulled up here. Who else do we got here? Now these are actually older rankings, I think, I’m looking at. Are they all updated on your site? Guys, by the way, check out walterfootball.com. How do we find your rankings there? Are they all up to date?
Walter: Yeah, they should be. On the homepage, if you scroll down a little bit, it’s in the top menu as well. If you scroll down to the third picture on the homepage, it should be… You should see Saquon Barkley.
Joseph Robert: I see it.
Walter: You know what? It says 2019 Fantasy Football rankings. Right beneath that, it says 2020 Fantasy Football rankings, I think it’s the fifth link, but I’m going to change that link as soon as we get off the phone.
Joseph Robert: Oh I see it now. Okay. I’ve got it, I’ve got it. We’ve got Aaron Rodgers there. Kyler Murray, both of us agree on him. What are your thoughts on him? I see now, you’ve got him at eight, I believe. I like that. I have him very similar right now. I’ve actually got him I believe at six. Yeah, Kyler Murray, tons of upset, tons of ceiling. What are your thoughts on him? I mean, you study the draft a lot. The NFL draft. What do they need to improve on that offense? What’s their primary focus? Is it going to help Kyler Murray?
Walter: Last year, you might have noticed that Murray had some great games and he had some huge duds. The duds came against teams that have great defensive lines. Arizona’s offensive line just couldn’t hold up against the teams that could pressure him a lot. Arizona really needs to focus on the offensive line.
They have the draft, so they can probably get the second or third best tackles in the draft picks. There are four who really stand out as guys that can go in the top 12. They’ll be able to improve their offensive line. Something they really need to do, I think I talked about that the last time I was on your show is people don’t focus enough on the offensive line. If Arizona makes a couple of upgrades upfront, I think that’s really going to help Murray, so I’m going to like him a lot if they do that.
Joseph Robert: Right, yeah anybody else you want to talk about with your rankings? That quarterback that you want to brush up on or any mentions or any highlights from your list that you want to mention?
Walter: Well I got them from your list. I heard Josh Allen. It’s kind of interesting. I didn’t have him in the top 10. I think he’s 12 on my list. Let me see, yeah, he’s 12. I think that’s an interesting name. I probably should have him higher because of his rushing upside and I think they’re going to get a receiver this offseason, so if that happens, I might move him up. I’m curious why you have Allen in the top 10 because I’m thinking about moving him here.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, 100%. I mean look how well he finished. He finished sixth amongst quarterbacks, definitely. You basically said everything I wanted to say with the rushing, and they’re going to find him a receiver. Those are the reasons why I like him. I think he’s totally under the radar.
I think part of that stigma of him being under the radar is that he’s on Buffalo. It just doesn’t seem like an exciting team. I think they’ve got that stigma to them, I go, “It’s Buffalo, right?” I guess some people feel the same way about other teams, right? I like them. I think he’s talented, I think he’s going to be a franchise guy. I like him ahead of other quarterbacks, not just in Fantasy but in reality.
There are so many other quarterbacks that are graded above him from, just from a, I guess social standpoint, from I, would say a popularity standpoint is kind of the word I was looking for there. Guys like Baker Mayfield, guys like Sam Donald, because he’s on the Jets. That’s kind of a big market there. Names like that, that aren’t as good as him but get that kind of recognition.
Joseph Robert: I know Baker’s not in a huge market, but when you tack him on with O’Dell and guys like that, then you’ve got yourself a winning combination. Potentially, that’s what people thought. Yeah, I love Josh Allen. I don’t want to elaborate too much more on that.
Walter: Yeah, I like him a lot. I think he’s going to take a big step in his third year, so yeah, definitely a fan of having him in the conference.
Joseph Robert: We want people to stay at the end of the show because we’re going to save the best for last. Let’s move on to tight-ends, and we’re going to save running backs for the last. Now with tight-ends, it’s literally a bit of a crapshoot. I’ve still got to readjust these rankings a little bit. I threw them up to the best of my ability, I took a couple of hours on it, but I think this definitely could vary.
Top 10 Fantasy Football Tight Ends 2020 – Fantasy Football Counselor
- Travis Kelce
- George Kittle
- Darren Waller
- Zach Ertz
- Austin Hooper
- Mark Andrews
- Jason Witten
- Tyler Higbee
- Noah Fant
- Tj Hockenson
Again, this is a very kind of rough copy, I would say.
Tight-end, as long as I get my 10 points out of my tight-end, I’m good. I tend to wait and draft for tight-end. What are your top 10 tight-ends? Let’s hear them and then we’ll go over some notes and things that pop out.
Walter: Well, first of all, I agree with your strategy of trying to get to 10 points with tight-ends. I think you can play a match-up with tight-ends. I tend to draft them late unless one of the top guys falls to me and I get a great value.
Walter’s Top Tight Ends
- Travis Kelce
- George Kittle
- Zach Ertz
- Mark Andrews
- Darren Waller
- Tyler Higbee
- Will Dissly
- Jared Cook
- Dallas Goedert
- Austin Hooper
Joseph Robert: I like it. Now the only thing I always kind of question this, and it doesn’t make me feel good. When you have two tight-ends from the same team in the top 10, that’s a concern. Will there be enough value? I think you did say you have Goddard. Yeah, you have Goddard there at nine. Will there be enough volume for both of those to eat on a top 10 level again? They did it this past season, will it happen again? I’m going to say I doubt it. I look at probabilities, as well. How do you debate that?
Walter: The Eagles play a lot of two tight-end formations, so they’re always on the field together. It’s basically, I feel like one of these guys is basically a receiver and the other is a tight-end. I look at it that way.
The Eagles are kind of unusual in that because they just lump into the tight-end, especially in the end zone. I’m fine putting both in the top 10. I understand the trepidation, because for example, if [Ertz 00:12:30] is out, Goddard’s targets are going to increase, for sure.
Walter: Still, Goddard is still going to get high volume and I think he could finish in the top 10.
Joseph Robert: Definitely. When you’re looking at the tight-end position, I definitely see this more of a viable situation. We have two in the top 10 I would say, from the same team. Whereas, other teams, I think people tried it before. I just find it very rare that it happened.
I think it was the year where Ingraham and Kamara did it, and then the year after, like come on guys, it’s not really going to happen again. I think the year after that kind of hindered that.
Originally, they had them both again, going in the top 10. I didn’t see that happening again, so yeah. I mean that could definitely happen. Is there anything that popped out from my rankings that you want to discuss, from my tight-end rankings?
Walter: Yeah, no, Noah’s in the top 10. I gave him 16, but I don’t really have him that far behind some of these top guys. My number 10 guy, Austin Hooper, I have him projected for 111 points. I have Stan projected for 104, so they’re only seven points apart. I definitely see the upside with Stan. I’m curious about your thoughts on this.
Joseph Robert: I love him, and again, I think a big part of that is Drew Locke. He hopefully gets a start, I think Flacco’s done. I mean give Drew Locke the start. Let him get integrated, let him get that comfort level really going as a starter. I think they got him as a franchise guy.
I remember meeting Drew Lock at the NFL draft. I know his agent is his agent, but he was really promoting him as a good quarterback. Obviously, that’s his agent saying that that’s a little biased. Then I watched tape on him. He looks really good, good release, looks really smooth in the pocket. I could be wrong, that’s a tape, right? We need to see him in the NFL.
The upside is there with Noah Fant. I mean 66 targets, 40 receptions, that can only go up. Only three touchdowns. High ceiling there, the talent is there, he was a top prospect going into the draft last year. I like him. I love the ceiling there. I think you’re going to get him for value. I think people will sleep on him in drafts.
Walter: Yeah, I think that’s fair. He had a couple of good games late in the year, but for the most part, he’s kind of mostly underwhelming in his rookie year, but yeah, I mean the potential’s there, for sure.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, I’m going on ceiling here. All right. Let’s move on to the wide receivers. Then my favorite, the running backs again, we’ll save that to the end. I’m going to rip through my wide receivers here. Again, this is very early, this is definitely going to change and you guys may think I’m crazy, but I’m just going to go ahead and do this.
I’ve left Mike Evans out of this because I just want to see what the quarterback situation is there and what happens. There are so many things going on, I just left him out right now. Trust me, Evans could be in the top 10. Before everybody loses their crap, relax. All right? This is just totally out there, but I feel that the upside is here.
Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings 2020 – Fantasy Football Counselor
- Michael Thomas
- Deandre Hopkins
- Devante Adams
- Tyreek Hill
- Julio Jones
- Kenny Golladay
- Chris Godwin
- Amari Cooper
- Allen Robinson
- Deebo Samuel
Walter: I like Samuel. I made my rankings before the playoffs, where he kind of went off. I think in my next update he’s going to be a lot higher. My top 10 is, it’s funny you say you voted two players from the same team. I have two players, I had that happen twice.
Walter’s Wr Rankings
- Michael Thomas
- Tyreek Hill
- Devante Adams
- Mike Evans
- Deandre Hopkins
- Julio Jones
- Chris Godwin
- Kenny Golladay
- Amari Cooper
- Micheal Gallup
Joseph Robert: Wow, again, I love Gallup, the talent is there. He could be the wide receiver one. That’s why I’m thinking like why pay Cooper when you’ve got a stud in Gallup. I mean yeah. I definitely see this being a long shot, that both sets of wide receivers finish in the top 10. Again, you know, the talent is there. I think one of each pair is going to make it. I don’t know who. Could be Evans, could be Godwin, so you could be half right here.
Walter: Yeah, I think so. Last year, if people recall, it was pretty frustrating that Tampa’s choice, in one week, Evans will go off, and then it would be Godwin, and then it would be Godwin a couple of times, and then Evans will go off three weeks. It was pretty frustrating.
Both finished with great numbers. The problem was that they were very inconsistent, so that’s something you have to deal with if you have two [prop 00:17:00] receivers on the same team.
Joseph Robert: What justifies Gallup in a top 10, 112 targets last year, Amari had 119. I don’t know if there’s enough volume to go around. This goes back to the situation where people thought O’Dell would be a top 10, but Landry Max had 149 targets, this is going last year.
I’m like okay if Landry finished top 10 and he’s 149 targets, how is there going to be another 149 targets for O’Dell to finish there? I don’t know if the target count is going to be there to justify both these guys finishing top 10. How do you debate that?
Walter: I think that’s fair. I think with Michael Galop, I love his potential. I think he’s a great receiver. You look at what he did late in the year, he was just amazing. He actually, he sort of became the number one receiver for Dallas.
I know Amari Cooper dealt with some injuries, but Michael Gallup he kind of took over as the main guy late in the year. I think that with Amari’s Cooper injury history, I think that plays a factor, as well. I feel like Amari Cooper will miss a couple of games, and when that happens, Michael Galop is just going to go off.
I think you could put Deekins into the top 10. I’m not crazy about having two receivers from the same team, especially a team that can run the ball as well as Dallas. I think that’s what separates it from Tampa. Tampa doesn’t run the ball as well.
I think that Evan’s in the top 10 is way more likely than Cooper and Gallup. I guess that’s why I have them at nine and 10 instead of four and seven. I think it could happen. I mean Dallas, their offense is going to be close if everyone’s healthy. I guess we’ll see. I think kind of factoring in Cooper missing a couple of games.
Joseph Robert: I’m not going to judge you yet. It is early rankings, so no. That’s pretty good. Pretty good explanation. The only room to move here, I think they could both get more touchdowns, there’s some room there.
The yardage was pretty good for both of them. We had Amari Cooper, 1,189 yards, Michael Galop, 1,107. I think there’s more touchdowns to be had and more targets and receptions. Yeah, the ceiling is there, but again, Adams is going to be there.
There’s going to be other guys that could be emerging. Cortland Sutton’s of the world could be cracking the top 10s. AJ Browns could be cracking the top 10s. Calvin Ridleys of the world can be, DK Metcalfs. There’s a ton of guys that could crack it with a lot of ceiling going into next season. Do you agree with some of those names I mentioned?
Walter: Yeah, absolutely. AJ Brown really stands out. He was amazing. You had Alan Robinson in the top 10. I guess that’s contingent on what happens with the quarterback. I hate Mitchell Trubisky being a quarterback for the Bears in regards to Michael Robinson because Trubisky tends to scramble a lot in some games. When that happens, obviously he’s not throwing the ball. If the Bears get a more pocket passer who is better than Trubisky, which might not be this fall, I think Alan Robinson could have a great year.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, I think the targets were there, 154, he is the prime target. Yeah, we’re going to have to see what they’re going to do with Trubisky. I don’t know if I trust the guy. I call him a true biscuit, Mitch Trubisky. All right, so that’s wide receiver. Is there anything else you want to talk about for wide receivers from your guys, my guys, or anything?
Walter: No. I think we nailed it. You know DJ Chark finished one point behind Gallup, so he’s going to be in the top 10. Again, it’s kind of the same thing with Minshew. Minshew scrambles a lot. If Nick Foles plays quarterback, I would like DJ Chark a little bit more because Foles isn’t going to run around and take targets away from Chark.
Joseph Robert: I’ve got a question here, and I tend to ask questions when I’m uncertain about a thing. I’m still in my mind, I just had an NFL agent on, Tom Santinelli, comes on the show regularly, he’s represented a lot of athletes. He’s very knowledgeable about football.
I had this debate going in my mind. Is Gardner Minshew elite, elite? Is he an elite quarterback, period? Is he up there potentially, can he be up there potentially with the Russell Wilson’s of the world? I think he’s better than the Darnold’s of the world, but is he elite?
What are your thoughts on Minshew, because that’s really going to predicate a lot of things in regards to wide receivers and how that’s going to reflect in their wide receiver numbers. Is he elite, in your opinion?
Walter: Not elite, but I think he can be a decent starter. He has limitations with his arm strength. He makes up for it with mobility. He’s kind of a gamer, but he made a lot of mistakes last year. He was only a rookie, so he’s going to get better. I don’t think he’s elite, though. Definitely not as a passer.
Joseph Robert: Rapid-fire question. Gardner Minshew, better or worse than Derek Carr?
Walter: I think he’s better, but not crazy about either.
Joseph Robert: Better than Tannehill?
Walter: I would say, Tannehill
Joseph Robert: Really? Okay, that’s interesting. I think Tana Hill’s got more year’s experience. I’m putting you on the spot here. Better than Sam Darnold?
Walter: No, I like Darnold a lot.
Joseph Robert: Better than Mayfield?
Walter: I like Mayfield more.
Joseph Robert: Fair enough, and I can definitely see all those arguments. I think Minshew’s got a lot to prove to you. You’re not on the Minshew train completely yet.
No, I’m not. I need to see more from him. I mean he definitely has potential.
Joseph Robert: All right, fair enough. I put you on the spot there. All right, let’s move on to my favorite, we need a drum roll here, there you go, got some music. I haven’t played this sound for a while. We have to put it on the YouTube channel. All right, let’s go.
Running backs, all right, running back rankings, I’m going to roll here.
Top 10 Fantasy Football Running Backs 2020 – Fantasy Football Counselor
- Saquon Barkley
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Christian McCaffery
- Derrick Henry
- Leonard Fournette
- Josh Jacobs
- Alvin Kamara
- Aaron Jones
- Todd Gurley
- Miles Sanders
Before you get into your list, I’ve got to tell you, trust me, this is definitely going to change the offseason. Todd Gurley could fall out. Miles Sanders is a bit of a reach. I mean Leonard Fournette, I kind of like Jacobs maybe a little bit more because he’s young, dynamic, got to see what they do in the draft. Do you want to talk, let’s go over your list first, then we’ll dive into this.
Walter’s Rb Rankings
- Christian McCaffery
- Saquon Barkley
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Alvin Kamara
- Dalvin Cook
- Melvin Gordon
- Joe Mixon
- Aaron Jones
- Josh Jacobs
- Leonard Fournette
Joseph Robert: If he gets that volume if he becomes the primary back. I’m concerned about their running back by committee there in Philly. That’s my concern. I do like, who do I like here? I like Melvin Gordon if he lands on the right team.
I do really like Joe Mixon. He’s out of my top 10 now. The o-line is a concern. I know since he’s got to address the quarterback, then you told me, I think you mentioned they can swing back around and get a good o-line man, right? They should improve that o-line because Mixon still did well considering he had a terrible o-line. That’s why I like him in the top 10, but as of right now I don’t trust it. What are your thoughts there with the o-line and Joe Mixon, can we start off there?
Walter: Yeah, so late in the year, if people recall, Joe Mixon had some of his better games. He struggled in the middle in the early part of the season, and then he got better as the year went on. It’s like all right, look, what happened, exactly?
I think a big part of his production late in the year, you know he had three 100-yard games in the last final four games, was Gordy Glenda, left tackle. He was out for most of the season. He was dealing with concussions and he couldn’t play. Then he came back late in the year, and that’s when Joe Mixon started going off.
Walter: Gordy Glen’s a very good left tackle, so I’m assuming that Glen is going to play more than a few games in 2020. Then as you said, yeah. Cincinnati can get a pretty solid offensive lineman at number 33 in the draft. If they do that, I think Mixon’s blocking will be there. He’s so talented, he’s one of the more talented running backs in the NFL. If he has the blocking, he could have a huge season, like 1,400 yards or something. I like Mixon a lot.
Joseph Robert: All right, I like him too. I’m not going to argue. I totally see why he’s there. I can see Aron Jones, and I’ve got him in the top 10 here, too. With Aron Jones, I definitely possibly see a decline if they go to the pass more. I don’t think they went to the pass enough.
We had Davante Adams injured a lot last season. Let’s talk about Aaron Jones real quick. The year prior to this past one, his attempts weren’t that high. I think he maxed out at 17 attempts a game, didn’t look as good as he did in 2019. I mean in 2018 he didn’t look as good as he did in 2019. Arron Jones, do you see a decline with him? Incline? What do you see with him?
Walter: Yeah, assuming he stays healthy, I think he can have a big year. It really depends on Aaron Rogers. If Aron Rogers is out, that means that teams are playing closer to the line of scrimmage and he’s not going to have as much running room.
If Aaron Rogers stays healthy and he stays healthy, I don’t see why he would have a decline. I think he’s very talented and he has… Jamal Williams is there, but if you’ve kind of paid attention to what happened in the playoffs, Jamal Williams didn’t really touch the ball at all. They like Aron Jones a lot more. They were just giving Williams work to give Aron Jones rest. Jones is clearly their number one guy and yeah, I don’t see why he would fall off. I like him a lot.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, he’s a solid guy, as long as he stays healthy he’ll put up those solid, mid-range RB1 points. I’m not going to get the exciting points I would possibly out of a Saquon, I don’t see his high a ceiling, but definitely going to be a solid guy you could plug in every week if he stays healthy.
I’m going to commend you on something and then I’m going to come at you for two things. Number one, let’s commend you first. Number one is Nick Chubb. A lot of people are going to have him in their top 10. I think the mainstream can [inaudible 00:26:50] this. The Fantasy Football consensus rankings are going to have Nick Chubb in the top 10.
Joseph Robert: I saw an even split workload in regard to Fantasy point production, I would say the last six to seven weeks of the season, six-ish weeks when Kareem Hunt came back. Is that why you don’t have Nick Chubb in the top 10?
Walter: Yeah, that’s exactly why. If a scenario happens where Kareem Hunt is not on the tea, if he gets suspended or if they trade him or something or he moves on, then Chubb will definitely be in my top 10. As long as Kareem Hunt’s there, I can’ put him there.
Joseph Robert: hen you’ve got to imagine that Odell’s going to demand the ball a lot more if he stays there and everything happens like everything continues the same way it was. He’s going to want the ball more, period.
Walter: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. Then Landry is going to get a lot of targets, as well. They have a lot of mouths to feed and that’s why it’s so important what Kareem Hunt’s status is with that team.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, Nick Chubb will not finish top 10, I don’t see it. I’m also going to come to you now, two things. I can’t even come at you, you’re not wrong. I mean what you did is right. It’s the right thing to do, but let’s be honest. Delvin Cook, five, there’s no way in hell he’s going to finish the season. I mean he was on his last legs at the end of the season, again, with his shoulder. He didn’t make the Fantasy playoffs there, and we’ve seen years before always getting injured and then again, three years in a row, he was getting injured.
I know he had a great year during the regular season, can’t take that away from him, but every time he runs I just feel he’s running safe, running to the outside, I don’t know. I just think he’s playing it super safe and he just had to do what he had to do, and I think he did that to get paid. I think Delvin Cook blew his load. Do you think that he’s going to get injured again, and do you see him having another top five year again?
Walter: I think he has the potential to have a top-five years, but you’re right. I mean late in the year he had the decline. His last 100 rushing-yard game was week seven. I mean he was close. In the playoffs, I guess he had 94 years, and then 97 against Dallas in week 10.
Yeah, he definitely had a decline, for sure. I just wonder if there’s some talk that Stefan Davis could be traded. If Davis were traded, I think it’s going to give the ball more to Delvin Cook. I think the potential’s there but I think you’re right in being scared to draft him because of his injury history.
Joseph Robert: I talked to, again, Ross Tucker a couple of days ago. He was saying running back is a major product of the o-line, because he was an o-line man. I agree. We made a comparison, said would you rather have an o-line that’s a nine out of 10 out of how good they are, and a Carlos Hyde, or would you have an o-line that’s a one or two in a Saquon Barclay? He said, “Oh 100%, the o-line with a crappier running back.”
Do you think that Cook is a big part of his success is more talent or that o-line with the Vikings? What do you think plays more a factor in Dalvin Cook, because I’m seeing good production in Madison and Boon when they’re playing. I’m suspect in regards to how good Delvin Cook is as a player. Do you feel the same way, or do you think Delvin Cook is really ultra-elite?
Walter: I don’t think he’s ultra-elite, but I think he’s a very good running back. I liked him a lot coming out of Florida State. I know he tested poorly at the combine, but I always thought he was a very talented runner. I do like him a lot and in regards to their other offensive line, they drafted a center, that Guy Bradbury last year in the first round. He had just a mediocre year. You have to think with more experience, he can be better.
Walter: Yeah, it really depends on what happens upfront because they have… Minnesota has a tough contract situation because they have to pay Kurt Cousins, even more, this year. That might mean they might have to let go of Riley Reese, their left tackle. If that happens, I would definitely be more bearish on Delvin Cook.
Joseph Robert: Nice. Is there anybody on my list that caught your attention or any other running backs you want to talk about specifically? We can dive a little bit deeper about it?
Walter: Yeah, I think the Derek Henry discussion is definitely worth having because you have in the top 10, I’m sure most people will have him in the top 10. I do not. I have him at number 14. I think Derek Henry’s going to have a decline this year. He had the most carries in the NFL last year and then he had a huge workload in the playoffs. Those three games, he just ran the ball a lot.
I think he could be fatigued heading into 2020. Usually, you see running backs have the most carries in the NFL. They suffer a decline, and Henry doesn’t catch the ball that much. If Tennessee’s defense is worse next year and they’re trailing, Henry is not going to have as many opportunities. They might lose their right tackle, Jack Conklin, who is one of the better right tackles in the NFL. I’m very concerned about Henry, coMing into 2020.
I agree. The nice thing about Henry was this past year is that I got to benefit from him. Now the nice thing about Fantasy and how I do well is I know when to hold them, I know when to fold them. I want an industry expert’s league the year that Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt went off that year, and I had drafted Kareem Hunt before I think it was Spencer. Where [inaudible 00:31:53], this is going back like three years now, whatever, but I know when to ride players when they’re hot, and I think there’s definitely going to be a decline with Derek Henry.
Out of the top 10, probably not if he stays healthy and he keeps going. I can only imagine defenses are going to plan around him a little bit more, depending on if he stays with Tennessee or not, whether they get a better receiver, whether they get a better quarterback, who knows. Yeah. I mean I don’t see him having this same type of year.
Derrick Henry’s elite talent. I think if he gets paid big dollars, I think he’s going to lose that incentive, as well. He was really hungry. As I said, I’ve talked about this before. Probably one of the main reasons I was so high on him was because it was a contract year, he had to get paid, and he talked to Eddie George, and Eddie George said, “Hey, you’ve got to impose your will on the players.”
I watched this whole video on him basically saying that it’s do or die for me. It’s not going to be do or die if he gets paid, so that’s a big reason why I see a decline there, Walter.
Walter: Yeah, for sure, and he said he wants more than six years, 90 million which is like Ezekiel Elliot got. If he gets that, yeah, he could definitely be fat and happy, but yeah. Last year he had almost 400 carries, including the playoffs, which is just an insane number.
I remember Larry Johnson, that one year he had to get 410 carries or so. Then the year after he was just done. He couldn’t run anymore. I fear the same decline with Henry, especially if he gets paid like you said.
Joseph Robert: What’s your favorite food, Walter? I’m going off on a tangent here, but what’s your favorite food?
Walter: Oh, I love lots of food, but being a Philly guy, I have to go with the Philly cheesesteak.
Joseph Robert: Okay, you really like Philly cheesesteak, okay, so if I fed you three pizzas, would you be hungry for that Philly cheesesteak? Probably not. That’s how I feel about Derek Henry right now. The guy is going to get fed money, he’s going to lose the incentive, the hunger is going to go down. I could be wrong, but again, this is what makes Fantasy Football so much fun, because we’re analyzing and projecting things.
Another guy here, Christian McCaffrey, we’ve talked about this, it’s very rare that plays have finished on top one year, finish on top again. That’s why just on that reason alone, he’s going to not be my first overall pick. What goes up must come down.
Had this amazing, I would say what, top five, top 10, probably one of the top fantasy seasons of all time. Like I mean 471 PPR Fantasy points. I mean that is almost impossible to replicate a big factor that is the receptions. I mean picture perfect Cinderella year, I can only imagine that they’re going to get some wide receivers, they’re going to do some things with the quarterback.
Who’s going to be the quarterback this year? Are they going to throw the ball more? Is he going to stay durable? So many things that are going to potentially work against him to knock him out of that first overall pick. Why is he first again, knowing, based on the history of players rarely repeating first overall status back to back? Why is the first overall to you, after all the points I made?
Walter: Yeah, I think that’s definitely fair to drop him to two. Actually, I see podcast last night where we were talking about 2020 MVP candidates to bet on. One of my favorite picks was Dequan Barkley at 80 to one. I thought that was a great number. I really like Barclay this year.
I like the Giants in general. I think that the Giants could go kind of six, 11, and five. That would mean that Barclay could go off, but McCaffrey is such a big part of that offense. The offense completely runs through him. He’s going to keep doing everything.
Last year, except for that weak pre-game against Tampa, I mean his score was so high. Even if he declines, which I think is definitely possible, even if he declines, he could still be the number one player just given how far ahead he is of everyone else. He catches so many passes.
He’s basically their number one receiver, so I think as long as that happens, I would imagine that McCaffrey is just basically aloft in the top three unless he gets hurt again, which could definitely happen after his big workload last year, but I think considering that he’s basically… He’s almost [inaudible 00:36:04] to get 90 catches, right?
As long as that happens, you have to love him because the value is there.
Durability is there. I mean he fits my cutting system, consistency, upside, durability, depth, and use. He’s got it all. He’s got the volume. I don’t see them running by a committee at all. Solid workload, I can’t debate that.
I’ve got two questions in parts to the Christian McCaffrey debate here and discussion. Number one, what is the main need that the Panthers need? Number two, Christian McCaffrey predicated on if they get a top ace wide receiver, whatever position they fill that could be fed targets, will that change your tune and bump him out of the first overall pick for you, for running back, anyway?
Yeah, I’d say if they get a top receiver like Jerry Julius from Alabama, yeah. That would definitely drop him from number one. The problem is that the Panthers need so much right now, especially with Luke [Heekley 00:37:02] retiring. I think with Heekley retiring, the linebacker, the middle linebacker is their number one need, for sure.
They also need a defensive line, they could use a safety, they’re off the line to use several players. Then you have to look at quarterbacks. Can Cam Newton stay healthy? No one really knows. I don’t think the Panthers even know what to do with him right now, so the quarterback has to be addressed, as well.
The Panthers just have so many needs. I would be surprised if they address the receiver. Maybe they get a better number three receiver this off-season, that could happen, but I think they’re going to go into the year with DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel as their top two receivers.
Those guys don’t excite me. I mean DJ Moore a little bit more, but Samuel, I’m just not excited about their receivers. They don’t excite me. That’s all I got to say about them. Maybe they address that, but yeah. Christian McCaffrey, definitely going to be the focal point of that offense
Are there any other running backs you want to talk about or highlight? We’ve got some more time here, might as well go through one or two more.
Walter: Yeah, I think we should I guess talk about Todd Gurley. I think that’s interesting. You said, I forgot what you said about him, but maybe moving him out as the top end? I don’t know if you wanted to expand on that.
Joseph Robert: I got him at nine, now. My concern, obviously arthritis, but my concern here is are they sold? Are the Rams sold on him, what’s going on? What are they going to do? If they keep him, if he stays there, is he going to get the volume? That’s the big question because I felt that there was a preservation of time during the first I would say eight weeks. Hey, let’s preserve him. We’re going, by default, make the playoffs and then we’ll light him up near the playoffs.
I think he started coming alive near the end of the season. If he stays on the Rams, is he going to be the focal point, or is he going to be in preservation mode, and that’s going to dictate whether I want to keep him in the top 10. I don’t feel comfortable with him unless I know he’s going to get that volume, and he’s going to come back to Todd Gurley form. He’s been incentivized, he’s been paid already, it’s preservation and the fact that he’s already eaten three pizzas, is why I’m concerned about him.
Yeah, I think there’s a lot to be concerned about with him. The arthritic knees, that’s why I kind of refused to draft him last year. He’s still going to have that problem. It’s not going to be something that’s fixed. I think the Rams are in a position where they just don’t want to give him more than 20 carries a game.
He really doesn’t have much upside. He has a very low four, those knees could just flare-up. The Rams, I saw a report saying that they were considering cutting him but they really can’t because of the contract. The only reason he’s still going to be on the team is because of his contract.
Then you have the problem with the offensive line. That offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL last year. The Rams, went to the Super Bowl that year and the year before. They had a great off-line, but they lost their center, they lost one of their top guards, and then their left tackle, Andrew Wentworth had a decline and I think he’s going to be 39 this year. He’s going to keep getting worse.
If the Rams can find a way to upgrade their offensive line, I would like Gurley more. The problem is that they don’t have much money to spend. They basically don’t have any money to spend for agency, and they don’t have a first found pick, so I’m wondering how they’re going to upgrade the blocking. I really don’t see it with Gurley. I have him at number 17.
Nice, yeah, I mean I definitely see a decline. I get it. He’s going to probably pop out of my top 10. This is very early, definitely see a decline there. Last running back here, I absolutely love him, you’ve got him at nine, I absolutely love him, I’ve got him at six. Again, you do the draft analysis a little bit more than me. You study into the draft and you look at the needs more. What do the Raiders need to make Josh Jacobs better? I love him. I think the talent is there. I think they believe in him. He’s going to be the guy. He’s going to get the volume. There’s a tone of upside and a ton of ceiling out of Josh Jacobs.
I don’t know how the mock drafts are going to look like this year, or the drafts for 2020 Fantasy Football, but I could see myself getting a workhorse running back in let’s say a Zeke, swing him back around, maybe getting Jacobs in two, and coming back around three and getting another ace round. I like the robust RB strategy. All right, so my question with Josh Jacobs is, what is the number one need for the Raiders, and how much of a ceiling do you see for Josh Jacobs, going into the season?
Walter: I would say the number one need is just defense. Their defense was so bad last year, specifically linebackers. If you had to point to one area on the defense, it would have to be linebackers. Their linebackers have been weak for years.
If they can get someone like Kenneth Murray with one of their draft picks or maybe even Isaiah Simmons, if he’s lucky enough to drop for them, so they can really upgrade their defense. They have two first round picks. If they spend both on defense, or maybe one on a receiver and then one defense, and then in the second round they go defense, that’s a big thing for me.
If the Raiders operate their defense, that means they won’t be trailing a lot. That’s the problem with Jacobs. The one issue with him is that he’s not a big factor in the passing game, so if the Raiders are ahead more in 2020, that’s really going to help out Jacobs just get more volume. I really want to see the Raiders upgrade their defense, and if they do, I’ll tend to move him up from nine. I like where you have him at six. He could maybe even get to number five if they really upgrade their defense.
Joseph Robert: I love him. Josh Jacobs is a guy I will be targeting all my drafts, the way it sits as of right now, mid-February, 2020. Yeah, that wraps it up.
Is there anything else you want to talk about on any position or any other notes you want to make in regards to these rankings, Fantasy Football rankings 2020. Anything else?
Walter: I’m surprised we didn’t talk about top-end kickers. No, I’m just kidding. No, it was a good discussion. As you said, it’s early. A lot can change with free agency and guys getting shot. Definitely looking forward to seeing how we have these guys in the top 10 in a couple of months from now. It’ll be interesting to see how things change.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, we’re going to do specific episodes on each position. I wanted to do a big overview, massive early episodes, mega episode that we just did. I’m going to lay it all out for your guys here so you guys could see, and things are going to change.
You’re going to see, as I said, there’s going to be arrests, there’s going to be shootings, there’s going to be other different things that are going to happen. Girlfriends are going to get angry at boyfriends, boyfriends are going to get angry at girlfriends, people are going to get arrested. You know how it works in the offseason. That’s what you’ve got to take into factor, all the changes that happen, and you’re going to base your decision on that. Of course, I feel more warm and fuzzy with my rankings, I would say a week or so after the NFL draft, I feel warmer. Right now it’s very cold, I would say.
Walter: Oh yeah, absolutely. So much is going to change in free agency, and then the draft. I tend to update my rankings by 10 days or so after the draft, so yeah. I mean you guys check that out on-site, it’ll be updated by the middle of May. Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing how things shake out after seeing the draft.
Joseph Robert: Definitely. As usual, Walter, thanks for coming on. Make sure you get check him out, @walterfootball.com, tons of content, tons of information for everything football. Check him out also on social media. What are you on Twitter and Instagram, please, Walter football, as well?
Walter: Yeah, @walterfootball on Twitter. I assume it’s Walter football on Instagram. I haven’t logged into my Instagram because I got a new phone, I haven’t downloaded it yet, so I kind of forget what my handle is, but I’m definitely on Instagram somewhere.
Joseph Robert: Yeah, just Google Walter football. You can’t miss it. It’s a green WF, I think it is, as his profile picture. You’ve got to get on more on the Insta, that’s what you’ve got to do.
Walter: I know. I always say I want to get more on Instagram, and then I kind of forget. I do a lot on Twitter and Facebook. On Facebook you can search my name and then add me as a friend. I tend to interact way more on Facebook than anywhere else, so if you want to have a discussion about Fantasy or the draft or anything else, I’m on Facebook, so just send me an invite.
Joseph Robert: Always keeping it real. Thanks for coming on. I appreciate it. Guys, make sure you guys click subscribe and we’re bringing YouTube back in March. Can’t wait to come back to that. I’m super excited about that.
Stay tuned, tons of other episodes coming up as we work through the off season, heading up to that NFL draft, and stay tuned to this podcast, we go year ’round. Thanks guys, and we are out.
Early Fantasy Football Rankings 2020 at each position with special guest Walter from Walterfootball.com.
The Counselor and Walter discuss early rankings and highlight some players at each position that really stand out.
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