Player Spotlights

Mike Evans

The guy is a top 5-7WR to me in 2020, but he banged up this week. Look, it's not ideal, but it's also not a massive issue yet. He is being talked about as questionable for Week 1, but I'm also hearing a few reports suggest it's nothing major. Coaches are deceptive either way. My advice is buy-low on the guy off this knee-jerk reaction many are having, don't even think about selling the guy because you're worried about Week 1. It's a marathon. And, he could still be good to go for Week 1. Stand by for updates, as you can bet I'll update this here if he is a go or a no go.

Hollywood Brown

Hollywood Brown should AT LEAST be everyone's WR3, but the truth is, every league is different and I see so many rosters each and every day through my Email Advice feature here on SleeperU, and my HeySmitty.com phone call feature, I can tell you for a fact that more than half of all Hollywood owners, that cross my path via AskSmitty questions, do have an actual line-up dilemma on their hands that involves Hollywood. Depending on your options of course, I'm going to say that Hollywood has no business being on anyone's bench in Week 1 of the 2020 fantasy football season (unless your league only allows for 2 starting WRs, then I could see it). Hollywood is healthy and showed last year, as a rookie in Week 1, that he can be 100+/1-2TD capable. Buy-low in leagues where you don't have the guy, and do it before Week 1.

Raheem Mostert

I know some of you stole Raheem Mostert away from fantasy worlds on draft day, as leagues not so in the know might have undervalued the guy to the tune of a flex-like value. And, if that's the case, it is very likely you have some receiver you also love on your roster that doesn't fit into your WR1 or WR2 plans, so you're sitting there mulling over who to start at flex... said WR, or Mostert. Now, of course my answer would depend on the WR we are talking about... I love Hollywood Brown, I love DJ Chark, so if it's one of these guys, I'm leaning toward the WR. However, keep in mind Mostert is a good bet for 80 total yards and a decent shot at a score. That makes him a fine RB3 and even sneaky RB2 in Week 1 against the Cards.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

I know you aren't considering benching Clyde Edwards-Helaire... right? Even if he is called the 'second' up rusher in Thursday night's opening season battle against the Texans, CEH is a top 5RB play. Anytime he is playing in that Chiefs high powered attack, he is a potential top 5RB play. He is a match-up proof type talent, where he'd excel in the passing game if the rushing defense was bringing it, and the Chiefs will feed, feed, feed him in the 3rd and 4th if forced to deploy the ground attack. Could he get 9 carries and 3 catches? Sure, but he can also get a TD in that kinda of workload. Plus, there is a chance he breaks off a long run anytime he gets a touch, so don't focus on what kind of projected touches he's going to get. No one knows. All we know is the kid is electric, and I cannot wait to see him unleashed on Thursday night.

Leonard Fournette

He's now in Tampa... what does this mean? Honestly, all of the same red flags are still present with this guy, the same red flags that had him landing on my Top 10 Bold Predictions (one of the earlier additions) as my only "bust" bold prediction. Sure, he gets a fresh start in one sense, but he is injury prone, aggressive in style (which often leads to injury), and his decision making on and off the field had the Jaguars release him, and a release after a HUGE season is a clear indication he is a big-time locker room problem. Don't be shocked if he has a slow integration into that Bucs offense, as Fournette has little time to absorb the playbook, and Ronald Jones will have the keys, even if temporary, to the line-up for the first couple games. Now, if Rojo falters, there is no doubt that we could be looking at a solid shot to start for Fournette, but this guy should NOT be getting drafted (or valued) at the same value ranges as a Raheem Mostert, Kareem Hunt, Mark Ingram range... no way. I see some calling for a top 5-10 running back season out of Fournette now that he has a new home; I see others saying he's a bust in Tampa. The opinions clearly vary on this one and only time will tell. My advice here on September 4th is to choose safer players where you can, trade or draft, and only take a shot on this disappointment-prone player if the price is truly right and low-risk. That means well past the Mostert and Ingram rushers.

Terry McLaurin

I really think "Scary" Terry McLaurin could have secret WR1 value in 2020. Even if he ends up finishing outside the top 12WRs at Week 16's conclusion, I think he dances in the 8-12 range all year long. The dude has Steve Smith talent and he's the #1 target in his offense. Yes, there are some concerns about having a consistent passing attack led by Haskins, but there is something to be said about being the #1 in shaky offense. Being behind and throwing can often lead to good receiving numbers (lots of 4th quarter passing from behind). McLaurin had 58/919/7TDs in 2019, which is a phenomenal rookie campaign. I can envision 1,100 yards on 70 receptions and 8-10TDs in 2020.

Joe Mixon

I know many will suggest that Joe Mixon is ultra talented, and that Joe Burrow is a huge upgrade in that CIN offense. The truth is, though, Burrow will likely have some big ups and big downs, and that is if he is the real deal, something that is not yet guaranteed. CIN isn't exactly the most smooth situation. There is talent there, sure but I think it's safe to say it's a situation that needs some TLC, and things won't just change over night. Defenses will do to Mixon in 2020 what defenses did to him in the entire first half of 2019... stack the box against him. Defenses will surely make the rookie QB, with a short and modified COVID offseason, beat them. Mixon will, just like last year, have touch matchups and unfair box stacking. Add in his usually injury concern, that some disagree with me on, then add in his character, which I am still not over... I see too many red flags to warrant his current going rate, which is 11-15 overall. With Mahomes there at 14-18 on most occasions... with Hopkins falling to 14-16 overall more and more... with Ekeler often sitting in that range... no thanks on Mixon. There is a line in the sand where I do take him, but this is not it. This isn't even close.

Dalvin Cook & Mattison

Dalvin Cook made news again this week relating to his lack of a new contract. Adam Schefter of ESPN created this buzz, and while I love Schefter and trust him strongly, this was his opinion and a speculation, nothing more. The thinking here is that Cook will try to earn his accrued season and then sit out later one during the year. Look, is there risk that any unhappy player could do this? Sure, but if you start trying to chase that kind of logic, you're going to end up drafting lesser players on 'what if' scenarios... there is a simple solution. Draft Alexander Mattison. Now, with this news, the price could go up on Mattison again, so be sure to keep tabs on that trending ADP data, and also reach a tad for Mattison if you end up drafting Cook. No one, I mean no one, should be walking out of a draft without Mattison if they draft Cook. I love Cook, and with Mattison, he is a top 6 overall lock to me... with ease! Ignore that noise and draft Cook with his cuff and you will have yourself one of the most secure 16 starts you can find in 2020.

Antonio Gibson

There is a lot to like about Antonio Gibson heading into 2020, his rookie season. For starters, his coaching staff believes in him. This isn't one of those cases where a coach drafts a guy then frustratingly suggest that the player has a long way to go and even hints that the player's climb isn't any kind of guarantee. It's the tough kind of love fantasy owners hate. Well, this is not that situation. This WAS staff loves this kid, and they talk him up at every turn. According to a report on Tuesday, Washington RB Antonio Gibson received "a fair amount of first-team reps." With Guice released, and Adrian Peterson no spring chicken, the stage is quietly set for Gibson to eventually get his shot. Watch the footage below, the dude is equal parts WR and RB, and if used right, he could thrive in WAS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU8dfjXf9QE

Austin Ekeler

I've written on Austin Ekeler a ton this off-season, but it's time for a reminder that this guy is the real deal. I love that people doubt Ekeler. I love that people suggest he cannot be the full-time between-the-tackles rusher. Why? Because he hasn't been asked to yet? And, I love when people say, "well, without Rivers, he will see a huge hit in PPR work!" The thing is, what he might lose in receptions (and I don't think it will be a massive downtick), he will more than make up for in his newfound rushing work. Look, he is a workout machine and he looks in the best shape of his life. I think it's riskier to doubt him as a full-time rusher than to trust him as a full-time rusher. I know many say he can't rush for 1,000 yards and be that 80-90 reception back, but I see 1,000+ yards in the cards for 2020. I really do. And, give him 10+TDs. Easy. If healthy, Ekeler will, in hindsight, be one of the safest players to take in that 1.09-2.04 range in 2020 fantasy football drafts. His floor is top 12-14 overall. That's his floor. His upside is top 5.