We are just two short weeks away from actual NFL football being played on our televisions. Every year around this time we are usually criticizing preseason as an unwatchable product, even though it’s the last chance for young players to make their cases as rosterable players.
I thought we would be better off without preseason football, but I kinda miss it. It feels like the season is going to sneak up on the casual fans more than it has in years past. So if you read nothing else of mine this offseason, this is the best piece to land on — “my guys” for the 2020 fantasy football season. (You can still go back and read my work in the PFF Fantasy Draft Kit.)
The premise is simple: These are the guys I'm trying to get in as many fantasy drafts as I can this year. Cost is a consideration, though I try to not reach more than a round if possible.
Drake came out with a bang in Arizona after a midseason trade from the Dolphins. He dunked on a very stout 49ers front seven for 162 scrimmage yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion to boot. Some of his performances following his breaking-out party were slightly more… tepid, though not complete duds. Then Drake came alive in the final three games of the regular season, scoring a massive 96.3 fantasy points.
While his rushing stats were up and down, his receiving work could be his saving grace. From Weeks 9 to 17, Drake saw a respectable 4.4 targets per game, with David Johnson active for six of those seven games. With Johnson gone, Drake has no significant receiving threat in the backfield going forward.
One interesting point about Drake’s receiving role is that his aDOT was -2.1 yards during his stretch with the Cardinals — only Phillip Lindsay‘s was lower among backs with 10 targets. Drake earned the highest receiving grade among running backs with an aDOT less than zero. His receiving grade has improved each year in the NFL.
Drake's aDOT during his last three seasons with Miami was 1.6 yards. With a full offseason to learn Kliff Kingsbury’s playbook, we could see a huge bump in fantasy value in the passing game if Drake is targeted on deeper routes.
While Drake is a late-first, early-second running back right now, I think he easily lives up to that value.
In 2019, Boyd ended the season as the WR19 in PPR leagues but slightly lower in PPG at WR27. All things considered, this was a solid season in a year that Andy Dalton played poorly enough to get benched by the Bengals. Boyd has carved out a nice, high-floor role in the Bengals offense over the course of the last two seasons. Looking forward to 2020, I think the only concerns are upside and whether enough targets will be present for him to maintain his role. I'm confident that both of these concerns are overblown.