It’s been a long, rigorous fantasy football offseason, but the time has finally come to put the Andrew Erickson stamp of approval on my favorite players to target across all leagues.
I will be without a doubt trying to acquire as many of these players as possible — I'd even be willing to reach on these guys ever so slightly because I have the utmost confidence in them. Last season, I was a big advocate for Chris Godwin, and he paid off big time.
This group of “my guys” are set up to smash expectations and will find themselves on league-winning rosters when the dust finally settles. So, with the greatest pleasure, let me introduce my favorite fantasy football picks for the 2020 season. #GiddyUp
Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos | ADP WR23
Sutton is my highest-owned player across all Best Ball drafts this season. He's the clear No. 1 wide receiver in this offense, which was fully on display with Drew Lock under center during the final five games of the 2019 season.
During that stretch, Sutton was the WR13 overall while ranking 11th in the league in targets (39), seventh in target rate on routes run (24%) and, most notably, leading the league end-zone targets (six). I fully expect Lock to continue to pepper Sutton with money targets in 2020 and to unleash him as a downfield monster.
Last season, Sutton ranked sixth in yards from deep passes thrown (20 plus-yards) despite the quarterback carousel in Denver. With Lock entrenched as the starter and former New York Giants play-caller Pat Shurmur coming in, we are going to see Lock throw downfield more often than what we saw at the tail end of 2019 (11 attempts, 32nd among quarterbacks).
Shurmur’s 2019 Giants under rookie quarterback Daniel Jones ranked top-10 in deep ball passing attempts. Lock is also extremely capable of being an effective downfield passer — in his final season at Missouri, he ranked top-10 in adjusted deep ball completion percentage and deep ball touchdowns.
Sutton is going to thrive as a downfield target but won’t necessarily need to rely on the big play to be a consistent producer. He is great at shaking defenders with the ball in his hands. He owned the highest forced missed tackles per reception among wide receivers who saw at least 60 receptions in 2019 (0.22), along with forcing the fourth-most missed tackles (16) among wide receivers.
In a season that could see poor tackling performances from defenders due to limited padded practices, Sutton exemplifies the type of wide receiver you want to target.
Everything the Broncos have done since drafting Sutton back in 2018 — including moving on from veterans Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders — gives me the confidence they are ready for him to become an alpha is this league. It’s going to take some time for Lock to get comfortable with rookie wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler (currently sidelined with a hamstring). In the meantime, it truly is going to be #SuttonSzn.
This isn't even to mention that Sutton's yards per route run (2.08) in 2019 was the fourth-highest mark by a second-year wide receiver since 2016 among wide receivers that saw at least 100 targets — putting him in company with Michael Thomas (2.39), Tyreek Hill (2.35), Michael Gallup (2.16) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (2.08).
It’s all upside for Sutton in 2020 at his current ADP in the fourth/fifth round. I currently have Sutton ranked as WR7.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders | ADP RB11