The build up to the 2020 NFL Draft was like waiting for Christmas morning as a child, the release of Game of Thrones Season 8 as an adult and the return of Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries as a stoner, all at once. But alas, the excitement of the draft has come and gone. Giants fans were left wondering what might have been if their GM figured out how to use a computer, Bears fans were left wondering what it feels like to make a good draft pick and fantasy football fans were left wondering when Donkey Teeth’s 2020 fantasy football rankings would be released. Sorry Giants and fellow Bears fans, I have no answers for you, but fantasy fans you’re in luck. It’s redraft rankings season! All of my 2020 dynasty football rankings have already been released, dissected and judged as terribly inadequate. Anyway, here’s my top 10 for 2020 fantasy football:
Just kidding! First, I’m contractually obligated to plug my wildly popular new YouTube show called Fantasy Football Malpractice with myself (Dr. Donkey Teeth) and The Boof. Episode two was released earlier this week where we discuss NFL in the COVID Era, drafting for upside and some of our worst takes from 2019. Watch, subscribe, comment and click that thumbs up dealie if you don’t hate us too much!
Alright, now here’s my top 10 for 2020 PPR fantasy football with projections:
1. Christian McCaffrey – I didn’t want to put McCaffrey in a solo tier. But once I ran my projections it was unavoidable, like coronavirus on a cruise ship. That reminds me, I saw an interview with the CEO of Carnival Cruises on CNBC this week. Talk about delusional, this guy thinks there’s going to be demand for cruises starting in July. Those promotional offers better be to die for! See what I did there? Back to McCaffrey though, don’t expect him to score 19 touchdowns again, but low teens seems like a decent bet—similar to the odds of catching COVID on a cruise. There’s some minor risk here with new head coach Matt Rhule coming in and changing things up, but you’d have to be a madman (see: Gase, Adam) to move the offense away from the White Panther.
2020 Projection: 1,200 rushing yards, 105 receptions, 850 receiving yards, 14 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 394 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 341.5 | Standard Pts: 289
2. Saquon Barkley – I bet Charles Barkley could’ve been a great tight end. Turrible running back, but great tight end. Did you know Antonio Gates played basketball in college? Probably not, no one ever talks about it. Chuck’s brother Saquon might be the most talented running back in the league. And the Giants took their offensive line seriously this offseason, spending an early first rounder and a third rounder on upgrades to the frontline. I won’t be at all surprised if Barkley’s the #1 overall player in every format in 2020.
2020 Projection: 1,200 rushing yards, 80 receptions, 640 receiving yards, 12 total touchdowns in 14 games
PPR Pts: 336 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 296 | Standard Pts: 256
3. Ezekiel Elliott – Shout out to u/weeknee over on Reddit who hates all of my rankings and also wants to know why Zeke gets a pass for beating up his girlfriend (allegedly) but Tyreek Hill gets crucified for beating his kid (allegedly). It’s a fair question, I mean who knows if either actually did it (they did). Anyway, I don’t draft my teams based on what quality human being these players are (it’s a fine tiebreaker) but rather how many fantasy points they’re likely to score. Elliot has piled up loads of carries in his young career, but isn’t showing any signs of physical battery yet. He’s in a great offense with the rare workhorse volume. But feel free to avoid if you don’t like players who may or may not have beaten up their ex-girlfriends (also cross 25% of the league off your draft sheet).
2020 Projection: 1,260 rushing yards, 50 receptions, 390 receiving yards, 12 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 287 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 262 | Standard Pts: 237
4. Alvin Kamara – AK-41 went off for 18 touchdowns in 2018, but the trigger got a little sticky in 2019 as he misfired for only 6 touchdowns. McCaffrey owners take note, the regression fairies can get to the best of em. Don’t expect another 18 touchdown season, but somewhere between 2018 and 2019 seems like a trigger lock. Kamara brings a high floor with his consistent receptions. And I mean consistent. He’s caught exactly 81 passes each of the last three seasons. The odds on that have to be similar to the odds of not catching COVID on a cruise.
2020 Projection: 780 rushing yards, 81 receptions, 600 receiving yards, 10 total touchdowns in 14 games
PPR Pts: 279 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 238.5 | Standard Pts: 198
5. Austin Ekeler – I know what you’re thinking, “It didn’t take long for crazy ole Donkey to get all crazy Donkey on us!” It’s true, I am crazy! But there’s so much Ekeler disrespect in the air this spring. It’s like Ekeler is the new ragweed. I tried to disrespect him myself with an original ranking in the teens, but once I ran the numbers I felt ashamed like the last time I had an accident out in the middle of the barn. Think about it, Dirty Eke was the #3 PPR RB last year and he only had four games without Melvin Gordon in the mix. If his usage mimics anything close to those first four games without Gordon last year (~72% of snaps vs ~55% of snaps the other 12 games) then these projections are actually conservative. I don’t expect bellcow usage, but I do expect a decent increase of work on the ground and continued peppering thru the air. Haters cite concerns for Ekeler’s receiving totals since captain checkdown Philip Rivers left town. Maybe those haters haven’t seen Tyrod Taylor play before.
2020 Projection: 620 rushing yards, 80 receptions, 840 receiving yards, 8 total touchdowns in 14 games
PPR Pts: 274 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 234 | Standard Pts: 194
6. Miles Sanders – Colonel Sanders is crisping up the wings over in Philly. It’s very encouraging that the Eagles haven’t felt the need to bring in another running back via the draft or free agency this Spring. They still may bring a veteran in but with Carlos Hyde just signing in Seattle, there’s only one real free agent bullet left to dodge (Devonta Freeman). Even if Freeman is an Eagle come week one, I’ll still be all over Sanders like gravy on The Colonel’s taters. Just as with Kamara and Ekeler, it’s all about the receptions with Sanders. I’m projecting the second year stud for 65 catches, which I’ll admit is aggressive, but there’s actually room for more. The kid caught 23 of 27 targets over the final five weeks in 2019 which prorates out to 69 catches over 15 games. Nice. Also, he’s an explosive gamebreaker who can take it to the kitchen anytime he touches the drumstick. Gimme dat chicken.
2020 Projection: 830 rushing yards, 65 receptions, 620 receiving yards, 9 total touchdowns in 14 games
PPR Pts: 264 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 231.5 | Standard Pts: 199
7. Kenyan Drake – Whoa, Donkey’s going off the deep end again! Did he confuse Kerryon and Kenyan? Wait, they aren’t brothers? Well it’s too late to change the rankings now. The Drake showed elite RB1 potential down the stretch back in 2017 going of for 120 yards on 23 carries and 114 yards on 25 carries in weeks 13 and 14. Then over the next 22 games (he didn’t miss a game) in Miami he reached 15 carries exactly zero times and 12 carries only four times before being shipped off to Arizona. Guess what, Drake saw 15 carries in his first game as a Cardinal, running for 110 yards and a touchdown. The Cards let the Kenyan run wild late in the year, giving him 22 carries in week 14 which he took for 137 yards and then 24 carries in week 15 which he took for 166 yards. Oh, and he scored 7 touchdowns over the final three weeks. Drake can run with the best of the Kenyans.
2020 Projection: 960 rushing yards, 50 receptions, 325 receiving yards, 11 total touchdowns in 14 games
PPR Pts: 244.5 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 219.5 | Standard Pts: 194.5
8. Michael Thomas – Yo Donkey, I know you’re stupid but you do realize 296.5 PPR fantasy points is more points than you projected for all the players in tier 3, right? Good observation Mr. Random Italicized Voice. But just wait til you see how many points I’m projecting for Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, should I move them to the top 4? Rhetorical question Mr. RIV! Everyone knows quarterbacks are devalued relative to running backs and wide receivers, but not many are talking about the premium value of elite running backs in modern fantasy football. Or maybe they are. I don’t read much. Alright you got me, I don’t know how to read. Point is, Michael Thomas is really good and he’s going to score boatloads of fantasy points in PPR leagues, but I can’t pass on the eight elite upside RBs above for a wide receiver. There’s tons of wide receivers. Nothing against Thomas, this is a philosophical ranking here. Call me DonkNietzsche. If you’re a die hard zeroRB’r, then feel free to move Thomas to the top of tier 3.
2020 Projection: 115 receptions, 1,335 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 296.5 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 239 | Standard Pts: 181.5
9. Nick Chubb – I’ve been having Chubb issues. Not like that! My junk works fine, I swear! But I wanted to insert this Chubb in a higher place. No, not there! A higher place in these rankings. Alas, these are PPR rankings and Nick Chubby won’t get much work in the pass game. I still want Chubb and don’t believe Kareem Hunt eats too much into his fantasy production on the ground, but the already minimal targets in the pass game will dip even more. But that was never what you were drafting him for anyway, it was just a little Chubb sweetener. Mmmm, Chubb sweetener.
2020 Projection: 1,250 rushing yards, 25 receptions, 190 receiving yards, 10 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 229 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 216.5 | Standard Pts: 204
10. Dalvin Cook – From Colonel Sanders to another great Cook. I know everyone wants to rank Cook ahead of Ekeler and Sanders. It makes sense, he had a #1 overall season stew on the stove last year until the shoulder injury ruined the recipe. Obviously the big knock on Dalvin is injury concern after missing 12 games to an ACL in 2017, five games to a hamstring in 2018 and two games to the shoulder last year. On the plus side, the direction of that trend is encouraging and we know he can cook up Michelin fantasy stats when on the field. Outside of the injuries, my other concern is the Vikings may lean a little more on Alexander Mattison in 2020 in an effort to keep Cook healthy and fresh for their playoff run. Something like how the Rams handled Gurley’s workload early last year. UPDATE 6/8/20: Cook has said he won’t be reporting to training camp or the team facilities until he has a reasonable contract extension offer from the Vikings. Here we go again. I seems unlikely that Cook will actually miss games, but then again, that’s what we thought about Le’Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon the last two summers. I’m moving Cook down three spots in my rankings from 7th to 10th overall, it’s just not worth the risk to me in the first half of the first round. Leaving his projections unchanged for now since I already had him down for 13 games.
2020 Projection: 1,035 rushing yards, 45 receptions, 360 receiving yards, 9 total touchdowns in 13 games
PPR Pts: 238.5 | 1/2 PPR Pts: 216 | Standard Pts: 193.5