The first batch of 2020 fantasy football projections are coming soon here at PFF, but I’m going to give you a sneak peek at the projections for some of the biggest names to move in this year’s first wave of free agency. For each player, I also included his post free agency ranking as well. For all of the rankings updates, you can head over to our 2020 fantasy football rankings tool.
His knees are shot. We get it. But, really, Gurley’s lackluster 2019 fantasy campaign likely had as much to do with the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive line as it did with his health. Gurley moves into a slightly better situation with the Atlanta Falcons’ line, but he also has major opportunity in Atlanta. With Devonta Freeman out of the mix, that leaves a healthy 59% of running back carries and 68% of running back catches vacated. Sure, we’re unlikely to see 2017 Todd Gurley ever again, but he can still be a productive RB2-plus in 2020.
2020 projection: 215 carries, 895 yards, 10 TDs, 46 catches, 400 yards, 1.6 TDs, 244.3 PPR Pts (RB14)
Yards before first contact per attempt by each offensive line on running back runs in 2019. pic.twitter.com/7CYd6w63xU
— Jeff Ratcliffe (@JeffRatcliffe) March 23, 2020
Unlike Gurley, Gordon steps into a situation with very few vacated touches. If we count Devontae Booker, we’re essentially talking just 1% of carries and 7% of catches are vacated from the 2019 Denver Broncos backfield. Of course, Gordon isn’t taking Booker’s role in the offense. Instead, both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman figure to move down in the pecking order and take major hits to their volume. But it isn’t just those two. Gordon also loses out in this three-headed backfield. He’s essentially been a top-10 fantasy back anytime he’s been on the field over the last four years, but it’ll be hard for Gordon to replicate those numbers in the current Denver backfield.
2020 projection: 227 carries, 957 yards, 7 TDs, 39 catches, 347 yards, 1.6 TDs, 220.4 PPR Pts (RB19)
Last season wasn’t pretty for Johnson. Despite the Arizona Cardinals offensive line creating the most space before contact in the league, Johnson hovered around a lowly 2.00 yards after contact per attempt. But he gets a chance for fantasy redemption with the Houston Texans. Carlos Hyde‘s departure leaves 68% of Houston’s carries on the table from last season. While Hyde wasn’t very involved in the passing game, we do expect David Johnson to eat into Duke Johnson’s target share. With all of this said, we still need to proceed with caution here, as David Johnson is entering his age-28 season.
2020 projection: 229 carries, 951 yards, 7 TDs, 42 catches, 422 yards, 2.2 TDs, 234.4 PPR Pts (RB17)
Hopkins steps into a situation without vacated targets in Arizona, but he’s still going to be a target monster. Better yet, he gets to play in an up-tempo offense and is paired up with an ascending Kyler Murray. While it’s fair to argue that Murray is a slight step down from the more established Deshaun Watson, we do expect Murray to take a big step forward in 2020. Hopkins’ projections and fantasy ranking had minimal movement as a result of this trade.
2020 projection: 105 catches, 1,358 yards, 9.5 TDs, 288.8 PPR Pts (WR4)
This is perhaps the most polarizing move on this list. Some view Diggs going to the Bills as a massive downgrade on his fantasy potential, while others see him getting paired up with Josh Allen as a good thing for his fantasy ceiling. On that side of the argument, we can look to Allen’s aDOT of 9.8 yards, which was 1.5 yards deeper on average than Kirk Cousins managed last season. A deeper average target depth means more upside from Diggs, though he’ll also have significantly more volatility due to Allen’s poor accuracy.
2020 projection: 71 catches, 1,075 yards, 5.2 TDs, 210.9 PPR Pts (WR21)
There’s no denying that fact that Brady has a much better surrounding cast in Tampa Bay, but we’re entering uncharted waters with a 43-year-old quarterback. We’ve never seen a player this old be a strong fantasy asset. But Brady did finish second at the position in fantasy scoring at 40 years old and was a respectable 12th-place last season. It’s tough to envision Brady performing much better than last year, but we also don’t expect a sizeable dropoff.
2020 projection: 4,270 yards, 25 TDs, 272.5 Pts (QB15)
With back-to-back sixth-place fantasy finishes, Hooper has been one of the better fantasy tight ends over the last two years. That being said, questions abound in Cleveland after a disappointing 2019 campaign for the Browns’ offense. The good news is that Freddie Kitchens is out. Kevin Stefanski’s regime should help right the ship for Baker Mayfield and company. Better yet, Stefanski comes from a tight end friendly offense in Minnesota.
2020 projection: 57 catches, 625 yards, 5.3 TDs, 150.9 PPR Pts (TE10)
He was a borderline elite fantasy option in 2018, but that has been the clear outlier season in Ebron’s career. However, Pittsburgh is a very appealing landing spot provided Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy. In his breakout 2018 season, Ebron saw a lofty 18 end zone targets. Even half of that amount, which is very achievable for Ebron in 2019, would have been more than all but four tight ends saw last season. So there’s very real touchdown upside from Ebron in a Steelers uniform, but Ebron also comes with significant week-to-week variance.
2020 projection: 45 catches, 483 yards, 5.4 TDs, 125.7 PPR Pts (TE16)