RB Fantasy Committee Battles 2020May 20, 2020
Saquon Fantasy Impact – Fantasy Football Counselor PodcastMay 21, 2020
Here is a list of the top 20 fantasy football sleepers for 2020. Landing the right fantasy football sleepers on your roster can make or break your season, and I carefully handpicked and researched the best guys for you to consider drafting this upcoming season. I have listed all the various sleepers from different positions on this list and they are in no particular order. I have also included some rookies that could really break out this season, and are ranked really low. You can pick and research which players you like from this list and when you want to draft them. Make sure when you are in your fantasy football draft, that you do not overpay and reach for these players. The mainstream and the other analysts will be sleeping on the talent in this article, so make sure you get the edge in your leagues by considering these guys. To know exactly where to draft these sleepers, make sure you grab my 16 Rounds Draft Solution. Here is the list of the sleepers I love below:
1. David Johnson
The first fantasy football sleeper I have on here is David Johnson and the mainstream RB consensus fantasy rankings are definitely sleeping on him. This is a top tier running back that has had some bad luck over the past few years, including a coach in 2019 that didn’t believe in him and wanted to revamp the Cardinals offense. I have been doing a ton of fantasy football mock drafts and Johnson’s average ADP is in and around the 4th round. When I look at draft any player, I look at volume and opportunity. Johnson is slated to be the full and true workhorse in Houston this upcoming 2020 NFL season and will get a ton of volume. He is a superior athlete who is much better than Carlos Hyde. Even Hyde had 1070 rushing yards, 245 attempts, and 6 touchdowns on the ground with the Texans last year. With Carlos Hyde no longer in Houston, David Johnson should smash these numbers and be more involved in the passing game. There is already talk about him potentially surpassing his historic 2016 season and I believe that is possible with the volume he will get with the Texans. I believe he is an absolute steal this upcoming season, and make sure you consider drafting his as part of a robust RB strategy.
2. David Montgomery
Another solid fantasy football sleeper at the running back position is David Montgomery. Last year in his rookie season, David finished 24th in PPR amongst running backs with 889 yards on the ground, and 6 rushing touchdowns. He only averaged 3.7 yards per carry on 242 attempts. This man has not scratched the surface on what he can do, and what he is capable of. He was limited to the terrible coaching of Matt Nagy. Nagy, now being on a short leash with his job on the line has to run the ball if the Bears want to succeed and win a Superbowl. I found that every time Montgomery got momentum with running the ball, Nagy would pull David off the field and throw off his rhythm. Montgomery never got a true shot to really succeed and I believe this will change this year. Making some tweaks to the o-line and bring in Nick Foles could really help the run game. We know Montgomery is the workhorse there and Cohen will be used in special passing plays. I feel it’s ridiculous that Cohen is even on the field at all as Montgomery is a better pass catcher and Cohen lead the Bears in dropped passes in 2019. The upside with David is really exciting and the value in your fantasy football drafts in 2020 is even better. Montgomery is coming off in rounds 5-6 in 12 person leagues. You’re getting an RB1 with TOP 10 potential for basically free in your drafts. I project a 1100 yard, 12 TD’s on the ground, and over 4.2 yards per carry season. Make sure you target him as your 3rd or 4th running back on your roster and part of your robust RB strategy in your draft.
3. Kareem Hunt
I can’t believe the entire planet is sleeping on the 2017 NFL lead rushing leader. This guy is coming off the board in fantasy football mock drafts in rounds 5-6. Now I may not draft him because I don’t like split backfield, but he is amazing value in the 6th round. What you have to understand is that Kareem Hunt outscored Nick Chubb in 6 out of the 8 games they played together in PPR numbers. It was basically fantasy points split right down the middle. I am not surprised that the mainstream consensus rankings currently have Chubb coming off in the 1st round. This is a trend you have to see and not invest in a 1st round pick on Nick Chubb, with Kareem Hunt being there. Hunt may even get the starting job and with that thought in my head, why would I or anyone in their right mind draft Chubb in round 1? Don’t do it. If you really like the Browns and feel that you need to draft an RB from this 50/50 committee, you have to consider Kareem Hunt after rd 5. I am personally suggesting you stay away from everything Cleveland Browns. Based on what have seen with Chubb and Hunt playing together, you will see Chubb get a bulk of the carries and Hunt come in on all passing downs. If Hunt performs better in training camp (and he probably will) he can take the starting job. When you are looking at drafting anyone in the 1st round of your fantasy football draft, don’t draft a player that has Kareem Hunt behind them!
4. Alexander Mattison
Let’s keep rolling with the 2020 fantasy football running backs. Why do I love Alexander Mattison so much? The answer is clear and easy to answer. I love Mattison a lot because he will be the starter with the Vikings at some point in 2020, and I can get him after the 10th round in my fantasy draft. I am beyond excited about the value of Alexander in 2020 fantasy football. Dalvin Cook will get hurt again and when he does, I will have his handcuff. The secret here is not to draft Dalvin Cook at all, and get a solid and secure RB in your draft in the 1st round and cuff him with Mattison later on. This will then give you 2 RB ones instead of just one if you were owning Cook when he goes down. I know what your thinking, you’re saying how can you predict Cook will get hurt? Again, the answer here is very simple. Cook will get hurt, I assure you. Dalvin Cook has not finished a season in three years and he literally had the year of his life. There is no way Cook duplicates the numbers from 2019. He ran gingerly most of the time and gravitated to the sidelines just to preserve his body and get a mega-contract. Nevermind that fact that has already said he will hold out if he is not paid. Just draft Mattison later in your draft as your RB5 and you will thank me as soon as Cook gets hurt again.
5. Cam Akers
Let’s throw a rookie RB into the mix here with the sleepers. Cam Akers is typically coming off in the 4th-5th rounds in fantasy football mock drafts. I think the ceiling is high here for this young man and could be an RB 1 in LA right off the bat. He is actually in the best position to succeed amongst rookie running backs because Gurley is no longer with the Rams, and Cam can be a direct plug and play. I consider his a sleeper because his fellow rookie Rb’s Jonathan Taylor and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are coming off in rounds 2 and 3 in fantasy drafts. Akers offers the best value and a lot of upside. Darrell Henderson didn’t really step up in 2019, and the fact that the Rams even drafted Cam proves they don’t believe in Henderson. I love the upside and ceiling here for Akers, and I am all over him in the 4th round of fantasy football 2020.
6. Ryan Tannehill
Let’s dive into quarterbacks now. I was never a fan of Tannehill and he was never really fantasy relevant until now. The mainstream is sleeping on him because they haven’t looked into the upside and the potential fantasy success he can have in 2020. Last year Ryan finished with 224 fantasy points and 22nd amongst Qb’s in points while only playing 16 games. He was averaging approximately 20 points a game. Tannehill would have played the 6 games he missed, he could have easily finished as a top 5 fantasy QB. Now I am not telling you to draft Ryan Tannehill as you QB 1. What I am saying however is to consider drafting him as a backup quarterback with massive upside! I love him as a late QB sleeper. The Titans have a solid o-line and have made improvements on it. I also think AJ Brown takes a step up as well this season while being Tannehill’s prime target. You can get this guy super late in your draft in a single QB league, and I usually see him go undrafted. I love the ceiling and the consistent production I will be getting from him in 2020 fantasy.
7. Drew Lock
Drew Lock is going undrafted in fantasy football drafts and he has one of the largest ceilings. When we look at quarterbacks I look to draft players that have consistent production. We haven’t seen enough from Drew lock to know if he will boom or not. Why I love him so much is because there is so much uncertainty and I love the potential ceiling. The other appealing factor with Drew is that he is “Locked and loaded” with offensive weapons. The Broncos are not holding back in regards to getting key stud players to boost the offense. The have Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant coming back from last year. The acquired a stud RB in Melvin Gordon in the off-season, and they drafted the top rookie WR prospect Jerry Jeudy. The Rookie KJ Hamer was also a nice addition to the offense. Lock is another QB you can get as a backup and has a super high ceiling. I love the upside and I literally pay nothing to draft him. Sign me up!
8. Phillip Rivers
Completely off everyone’s radar, I had to put Phillip Rivers in here with my list of sleepers. This guy is not even talked about at all in 2020 fantasy football. It blows my mind because Rivers is Mr. Safe when it comes to producing fantasy football points. Listen, I am not high on him at all, but what I am saying is that he can be a solid backup you can start every single week if you had to. The upside is there this 2020 NFL season in Indianapolis, with a solid o-line and decent receiving targets. The wide receivers are not the best with the Colts, but TY Hilton and rookie Michael Pittman will get it done. Rivers finished 18th amongst QB’s in 2019 and 11th in 2018. This is a man that can get it done and will produce to cover your bye weeks as a backup or cover your starting QB if he goes down with an injury. You will also want to note that last year he was 7th in passing attempts with 591, which means this is plus for his wide receivers and his fantasy production. Grab him for free later in your draft as a backup and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the safe numbers.
9. Ben Roethlisberger
Ok so let me remind you that Big Ben finished 3rd in fantasy points amongst QB’s in 2018 and now no one is talking about him. Ben also led in passing yards (5129) and was #1 in passing attempts with 675. I understand that he got hurt in 2019, but that does not excuse the mainstream to forget about him for fantasy football. You can literally get this guy in the 14 rd of your fantasy football draft. This is the problem with the mainstream, and all they do is ride the recency bias and will draft and suggest players that are coming off a good previous year. This is why I am here to change the game, I am sick of good players being left in the back burner because of an off-year. Another bias the mainstream sheep have is that they like popular names like Odell, and that is why Odell is constantly placed in the top 10 even when he busts every single year. Going back to Ben, I would consider drafting him later in my draft as a back up with a high ceiling. He isn’t the most attractive fantasy pick but he throws the ball a lot. This is why I love the rookie Chase Claypool and Dioante Johnson as sleepers as well. Draft Big Ben as you back up with confidence, no one else will.
10. Tom Brady
Tom Brady is primed for an amazing year for fantasy football 2020. Talk about the picture-perfect opportunity for this man to put up some serious fantasy points on the board. He has the talent all around him in Tampa Bay with stud receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Then you bring back Rob Gronkowski out of retirement and you have a winning formula. I love Tom Brady this season, but his ADP is around 7th round. At this point in the draft, you can grab a Josh Allen, Matt Ryan, or even Russell Wilson and I like them a little more. I still feel based on the ceiling of Brady, the mainstream are sleeping on him. Now I won’t be looking at any of his targets as he will be spreading the ball around and we are unsure which wide receiver he will gravitate to. Don’t forget that Ronald Jones and rookie De’Shawn Vaughn will see their fair share of targets as well. At the end of the day, Tom Brady is in a winning situation in fantasy and reality. I feel he will win another Superbowl before he retires.
11. Stefon Diggs
Now I am not one to draft a player coming off a mediocre year and heading to a new team. In 2020 I am intrigued by Stefon Diggs in fantasy football for many reasons. First of all, he is heading to Buffalo and became the clear cut #1 wide receiver target. Yes, Josh Allen has that rapport with John Brown and Cole Beasley but the most talented WR on the Bills is Diggs. Also, I like Josh Allen and the ceiling could be high for both Allen and Diggs if they find their groove and connect throughout the season. Finally and most importantly the value of where you get Diggs is incredible. Based on most of the mock drafts I have been doing Diggs is coming off the board on or after the 5th round and sometimes in the 6th round. You can load up on your running backs and get Diggs who is a WR1 in the mid-rounds. I see the massive upside here but as I always say, with upside comes risk. I am hoping Diggs gets back to his form a few years ago where he finished top 10 amongst WR’s with over 150 targets, 102 receptions, and 9 TDs. For the 6th round fantasy football value, I am willing to pay to find out.
12. TY Hilton
Fantasy Football 2020 could be very good for TY Hilton who is entering his 9th season in the NFL. Only playing 10 games last season and having a mediocre QB in Jacoby Brissett throwing him the ball depreciated his fantasy football value. 2020 will be different and if Hilton stays healthy we could be looking at a boom year. Hilton thrived off the talent of Andrew Luck years ago and Rivers could revive Hiltons’ career. What I like about Rivers is that he like to throw the ball a lot and has made guys like Keenan Allen successful in the past. Rivers was 7th in attempts in 2019 throwing the ball 591 times. Hilton maxed out with 155 targets back in 2016, and while I don’t see him getting this much volume he will still get a lot of work being the Colts WR1. I love the 5th round fantasy football draft value you get with Hilton this season and he is still technically the WR 1 on the Colts. If you want to feel comfortable in getting all the best talent in Indianapolis, you could grab Hilton in round 5-6 and then grab Michael Pittman later on.
13. Brandin Cooks
Brandin Cooks is off of everyone’s radar going into 2020 fantasy football and I love it. The recency bias says that Cooks is not a safe pick up for 2020, but you have to dive into the situation he is in. He is teaming up with DeShaun Watson who has previously made Hopkins a WR1 and a massive fantasy football stud. The good news is that Hopkins is no longer with the Texans and that frees up 150 targets. If Cook stays healthy he could be a primary target for Watson and the ceiling could be high. The only guy that could be a threat to get the target share in Houston is Will Fuller, but he is not as good as Cooks and can’t stay on the field. I like the upside here and the value. You can get Cooks after round 6 in your draft and your potentially getting a top 10 wide receiver without paying the big 1st or 2nd round price. Be sure to target this massive upside fantasy football sleeper. You also want to note that Deshaun Watson finished 4th amongst QB’s and he favored Hopkins. Cooks could really fill in the void that Hopkins left.
14. Diontae Johnson
Another great opportunity for this young man in 2020. Diontae Johnson is one of my favorite sleepers for 2020 fantasy football and I’ll tell you why. His quarterback Big Ben throws the ball a lot and will continue to do so this upcoming NFL season. Johnson closed out the 2019 season with 92 targets, 58 receptions, 680 receiving yards, and 5 Td’s. This is nothing to get excited about but he didn’t have Ben under center and that ended up hurting everyone’s fantasy value including Juju’s. 2020 will be different and there will be a ton of targets to go around. You can get Diontae after the 8th round in your draft and he has top 10 fantasy points potential amongst wide receivers. The Steelers also acquired Chase Claypool which I will talk about as well later who I like as a sleeper super late in your draft. There is a good chance that Johnson lines up on the outside with Claypool and Juju plays the slot. This can possibly make Johnson Big Ben’s #1 target and give him significant fantasy football value. Target him and pay literally nothing to get him.
15. Mecole Hardman
Here is a little deeper sleeper for you this season, Mecole Hardman. He is coming off the boards in drafts super late and sometimes people are not even drafting him. It was clear to me talent-wise that he should be the WR 2 on the Chiefs. I find that all Chiefs wide receivers are volatile and have boom-bust type games and personally I don’t feel comfortable drafting any of them. The reason I am suggesting Hardman late is that I would rather have him and pay nothing than draft Tyreek Hill in rounds 1-2 and have him bust in certain games. Also, Hill has also shown that he can’t stay healthy and he has off-field issues. Mecole Hardman is one injury or off-field issue away from getting the volume and the starting job. The upside for such little risk is very appealing to be as a late-round bench stash. Don’t Sleep!
16. Darius Slayton
The receiving yards leader (780 yards) for the Giants in 2019 is not being talked about at all, and the Giants didn’t even address the WR position. Daniel Jones was just coming into his own last year, and Sterling Shepard was banged up and Slayton led the team in receiving yards, along with 83 targets, 48 receptions, and 8 touchdowns. Also leading in touchdowns ahead of Tate. The Giants improved their o-line in the NFL draft and Daniel Jones should be a little more settled into that offense. If the trends of last year are a sign of what is to come in 2020 Darius Slayton could be in for a big year and is considered a major sleeper. You can literally draft Darius after round 12 and pay nothing. Consider him a bench stash with massive WR2 upside on your roster.
17. Chase Claypool
Another deeper sleeper who is 6’4″ and 238lbs with massive upside, is Chase Claypool. The rookie receiver has drawn comparisons to Calvin Johnson with size and combine times. He is also being compared to Martavis Bryant when Bryant was actually connecting and going off with Big Ben throwing him the ball. There are some knocks against Claypool’s route running and people are saying that he is a little raw. I rarely take the scouting reports that seriously. I see him in a situation where he could emerge as a prime target to the QB that throws the most in the NFL. We are not totally bought in that JuJu is an can be the WR 1 in Pittsburgh, so Chase can really emerge here. This guy is a deep sleeper that most people aren’t even aware of unless they are a die-hard Steelers fan. Like I said, even Diontae Johnson is a sleeper so you can get Claypool super late in your draft. I love the upside and ceiling and he could have some serious boom-type games.
18. TJ Hockenson
I am all over this tight end pick later in the drafts. Hockenson was drafted in the 1st round by the Lions back in 2019 and wasn’t fully utilized that year. The main reason being that Matthew Stafford went down with an injury and the backup Qb’s had no idea that they have a stud target to throw the ball to. TJ Hockenson ended up with two touchdowns in the first 4 games when Stafford was playing and he was getting targeted frequently in the RedZone. The mainstream sheep are sleeping on Hockenson because he didn’t have a good year and the copy and paste recency bias has taken over. I love the value and upside in Hockenson for 2020 fantasy football and I will ensure he will be on my rosters this year. I always wait on TE and get two guys later that have boom potential. Secure RB’s early and wait on tight end and make Hockenson a prime target in your fantasy football draft 2020.
19. Noah Fant
Similar to my other top TE sleeper, Noah Fant was an early 2019 draft pick for the Broncos. He showed us some flashes of upside last season and he was really beginning to find his groove. The upside and opportunity are there for the young TE to succeed. Yes, there is a lot of targets in Denver, but Drew Lock could gravitate to Fant and have him become his prime target. The uncertainty of exactly how Lock will perform is what is so fascinating about Noah Fant. We know the physical talent is there, and the big question is how much volume will Fant get in 2020? I believe enough volume to get my fantasy team a safe 10 points a game I come to expect from my tight ends. This is the only position I like to play it safe with. I like upside and secure production from QB’s, RB’s and WR’s, but wait on a TE later in the draft that can secure me safe and solid points but has a high ceiling. Noah Fant is a fantasy football sleeper I can get super later and has a super high ceiling and a safe 10 point a game floor. I am all over this pick late in my draft. Remember to use my fantasy football draft strategy and back your late-round tight end up.
20. Mike Gesicki
89 targets, 51 receptions, 570 receiving yards, and 5 TD’s in 2019 on one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Mike Gesicki is now going into a season with some experience under his belt an improved o-line and potentially starting with an upside rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa. I love the ceiling and the potential here with Mike as he could find himself being the prime target of whoever is throwing the ball. The mainstream consensus currently has Gesicki ranked 13th amongst TE’s which ironically is where he finished last year. He is definitely a sleeper going into 2020 fantasy football with a massive ceiling. I project over 8 touchdowns, 700 receiving yards, and 75 receptions as a floor. Not bad for a tight end you can get after round 8.
There you have it, a solid list of fantasy football sleepers to target in your 2020 draft. I want to make it clear that how to win fantasy football involves thinking outside the box. Don’t just look at fantasy football rankings and cheat sheets as things change every single year and you have to look at the current situations of each player and the opportunity for success for that player. This is why my 16 Rounds draft solution is the game changer and the most practical way to get the edge in your year-long league. Make sure you are subscribed to my #1 fantasy football podcast so you are up to date on all the latest fantasy and football news. Go out there and dominate your leagues with all the tools I am providing!
–The Counselor, Joseph Robert