Ladies and gents – we’re here. #DraftSZN is finally in full swing as we’re full steam ahead for the NFL season. Everyone is yelling about the players they have to draft and their favorite sleepers, but what about the players you should avoid in your 2020 fantasy football drafts? Kicking off this series of 2020 fantasy football busts, I’m going to lay out the case for quarterbacks I don’t believe will return value on their current draft costs. I’m not saying the three quarterbacks listed below are going to have awful seasons, there are just other players I’d rather draft at their current ADP.
The ADP given below is pulled from 4for4′s website which was updated on August 28th. Let’s get into it!
Deshaun Watson (QB5, 4.10)
This isn’t an indictment on Watson and his talent; the dude is obviously a baller and I’m not projecting him to fall out of QB1 range. There is way too much uncertainty in the Texans’ receiving group for me to even think about taking Watson in the fourth. First off, we’ve never seen Watson without DeAndre Hopkins which we don’t have to spend any time talking about what a massive missing piece Hopkins is for Houston. Second, who are we looking at as “yep, he’s the guy” for Watson? Obviously Will Fuller has the upper hand on the other receivers, but he’s never played a full 16-game season. I don’t think Fuller is “just” a speed guy, but it’s clearly a key part of his game and the mounting soft tissue injuries don’t exactly bode well for him to all of a sudden stay on the field for a full year. Brandin Cooks could legitimately hit the ground in an awkward manner and his career is caput. Kenny Stills is next in line after Fuller and Cooks, but we’ve already seen a limited sample of Stills without Fuller and his splits in this scenario aren’t great, Bob. If you were to project Stills’ production with Fuller playing to a 16-game pace, he would have finished as WR37. In the 4 games with Fuller sidelined? Stills somehow plummets to WR72. Then you have the tight end group which is the embodiment of a shrug emoji. As I said in the beginning, I’m not expecting Watson to crumble and have an awful season, but at 4.10? No thank you.
Josh Allen (QB7, 7.01)
I know there are a lot of analysts who are all aboard the Josh Allen train but I just can’t get there. I’m typically not a proponent of selecting a player at their ceiling and that’s exactly what fantasy players are doing with drafting Josh Allen at QB7. Can he finish as QB7? Of course. Last year Allen finished as QB6 in total points and QB9 in fantasy points per game. The addition of Stefon Diggs is clearly a huge boost to the Bills’ receiving group but I don’t think this is offense is all of a sudden going to be a high-flying, high passing volume offense. Where are all of these extra targets going to come from? Their top 4 pass catchers in terms of targets and receptions are still with the team. Since Allen’s rookie season, the Bills have been below league-average in pass attempts and have ranked 16th and 19th in total plays ran. Their pace of play doesn’t do Allen any favors either, as they ranked 12th in 2019 and 20th in 2018. During training camp, Allen has also stated he wants to run less in 2020. While this may potentially be better for his body as he would theoretically take fewer hits, this isn’t good news for his fantasy value. In 2019, Allen’s rushing output accounted for 35% of his fantasy points and 53.4% in 2018. Unless you’re expecting the Bills to just start chucking it on first, second, and third down and for Allen to take a giant leap with his accuracy, this price leaves little room for growth. (P.S. – our own Robby Jeffries put together season-long projections for 2020 and he has Allen finishing as QB8.)
Aaron Rodgers (QB12, 8.02)
Rodgers currently ranks as TFA’s consensus QB15 heading into 2020. Do I think Rodgers is washed? Absolutely not. Do I think LaFleur’s offensive philosophy and team-building has done a disservice to Rodgers? Absolutely. In a window where the Packers defense looks to be on the rise, a really nice backfield already in place, and basically nothing outside of Davante Adams, the Packers declined to give their future Hall of Famer any help in the passing game. Instead, they drafted a quarterback and a complimentary running back with their first two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Rodgers had the 8th-most passing attempts last year and finished as QB11 during the fantasy season (weeks 1-16). Is that same passing volume there this year? I have my doubts. Last year, the Packers were fifth-slowest in seconds per play and were right around league average for pass and run rates on offense. Something I was shocked by with Rodgers was his leading the NFL in percentage of poor throws (per Pro Football Reference) at 21.2%. I’m not sure of the year over year stickiness of this, but it’s not a statistic I’d ever expect Rodgers to lead in. I would love nothing more than to get an all-out, DGAF, vintage Rodgers season and be incredibly wrong about this analysis, but I think Rodgers finishes as a mid-QB2 instead of a QB1 where he’s being drafted.