Hot Takes for the 2020 Season: QBs & RBs

Fantasy Hot Read Writers


We got our writers together to give five of their hottest takes for the upcoming 2020 season. Let’s start with their QB & RB Hot Takes.

Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson Finishes Outside Top Five QBs

Probably not the most popular of takes, but I could see last year’s Fantasy Football sensation taking a significant step back. Lamar Jackson averaged a whopping 28.11 Fantasy points per game in 2019, easily finishing as the QB1 on the season. While his running ability is an undeniable strong suit both in the evolving NFL game and for Fantasy scoring purposes, his passing prowess still leaves a lot to be desired. We have seen him fail to perform in both of his playoff games, and I expect defenses to focus on forcing him to throw early and often. Jackson will still be a Fantasy QB1 and tremendous asset, but don’t be surprised if Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and others leap-frog his points output in 2020. – Henry John

Baker Mayfield Will Live Up to The Hype and Finish in the Top Eight

After a disappointing sophomore campaign, Baker is looking for redemption in 2020. The addition of Austin Hooper could prove beneficial as a security blanket, as he was for Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Not to mention a full season of Kareem Hunt will help as he is a reliable receiving option out of the backfield. This offense is loaded with weapons, and now Mayfield has a competent head coach to tutor him properly. If the former first overall pick can turn it around, he could be a First-Team All-Pro candidate. -Conlin Postma

Deshaun Watson Won’t Be in the Top 15

Bill O’Brien completely sunk this ship. Trading a once in a generation receiver like DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson and then signing both Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks is a stupid move. The Texans’ five starting receivers of Keke Coutee, Randall Cobb, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, and Brandin Cooks are all players you see on Sunday’s injury report. The resurgence of other signal-callers such as Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, and Drew Brees will make it even more difficult for Watson to finish inside the top 15. You have to factor in his offensive line as well. His line allowed him to be sacked a combined 55 times in the regular season and playoffs. There are so many negative factors surrounding Watson, and a regression is more than certain. – Conlin Postma

Kyler Murray finishes the 2020 season as QB1 overall

Yes, Pat Mahomes and Lamar Jackson still exist, but Kyler Murray has the most potential and overall fantasy upside out of any quarterback. Adding DeAndre Hopkins and keeping Kenyan Drake as the starting running back yields good results for Murray. He also has Larry Fitz and Christian Kirk to give him more looks, and he can pick up yards with his legs. As long as Coach Kingsbury makes the right calls, Arizona’s offense could finish near the top of the list in 2020 led behind Kyler Murray. – Hunter Skoczylas

Drew Brees will finish as a top-five QB

With all the talk surrounding Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, people forget about some of the older quarterbacks in the NFL. Brees was on pace to finish 2019 with 44 TD and only four Int. With Alvin Kamara back healthy and the addition of Emmanuel Sanders, the offense is set to improve in 2020. Kamara can be penciled in for 80 receptions, and Sanders will add a physical second receiver that the Saints have not had in a long time. The beneficiary of this talent will be the maestro Drew Brees. The most accurate and most prolific QB in NFL history will go out with a bang. Whether this is the final year or not, this could be the best year of his career. Maybe he can finally win his elusive MVP award. – Dominick Petrillo

 

Running Backs

David Johnson will be a top ten fantasy RB this season

Let the haters hate. Draft David Johnson at a discount this season and collect your fantasy title 16 weeks later. The Cardinals were holding Johnson back so they could get value for him in the offseason, but he’s healthy. We have seen what a healthy David Johnson can do in this league. – Lou Sherman

David Johnson and Todd Gurley will both be RB1’s

The analysis here is simple: Both players head to teams that love to utilize the running back. Both players head to organizations that have a massive hole at the running back position. And when healthy, both players have proven to be among the best at what they do. Bet on opportunity over all else. They each have the chance to be bell-cow running backs in high profile offenses supported by suspect defenses. – Adam Inman

James Conner will be a RB1

From an efficiency standpoint, Conner’s dip was not as steep as the masses would let you believe. He still averaged over 4 YPC and was still heavily involved in the passing game. Missing half of the season due to injury and the absence of Ben Roethlisberger was the real catalyst behind the fall in production. Remember when Todd Gurley was being drafted at the end of the second round and finished as the RB1? This smells a little like that. – Adam Inman

Le’ Veon Bell Returns to Elite RB Status

Critics are right to complain about the play calling of Adam Gase (been there, done that myself), but the bulk of Le’ Veon Bell’s 2019 struggles were due to atrocious offensive line play. The Jets’ line ranked 31st in adjusted run-blocking efficiency according to Football Outsiders, only managing 3.29 yards per RB carry. New York prioritized the line during free agency. They added guards Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten and center Connor McGovern on the interior. They also signed tackle George Fant and are expected to take a top tackle prospect in the NFL Draft. The dual-threat Bell will again be THE GUY in the Jets backfield. We will see much better rushing lanes thanks to the makeover upfront.  – Henry John

Justin Jackson Takes Over Chargers Backfield

Melvin Gordon is now in Denver, leaving Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson as the 1-2 punch in the Los Angeles backfield entering the season. While Ekeler may start as the lead back, the long-awaited Justin Jackson show will be upon us by mid-season. Ekeler is better suited to be a third and passing-down back. I simply don’t see him dominating the timeshare for an entire season. Jackson is the superior between-the-tackles rusher and is bound to earn more and more touches running behind a stout offensive line. -Henry John

Austin Ekeler Is a Top Four Back

Moving on from Melvin Gordon might be the best thing to happen to Ekeler. In Fantasy Pros Half-PPR scoring format, Ekeler was the sixth-best running back, just falling three points behind Dalvin Cook for the fifth spot. From Weeks One through Four, he was the second-highest scoring RB while Gordon was still holding out. Finishing last season with just 224 touches for 1,550 total yards is a floor for the 24-year-old back. Even with possibly splitting carries with Justin Jackson, Ekeler could finish the year with over 100 receptions, close to 1,100 receiving yards, over 650 rushing yards, and 13 total touchdowns. – Conlin Postma

Devin Singletary will be a top seven fantasy running back in 2020

In his rookie season last year with the Bills, Singletary averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 151 carries, but only ran it in twice all year. Also, the Bills made some moves to make their offense more potent. Sean McDermott plays a run-heavy based offense, so he’ll depend on Singletary and the run game. Last year, it seemed like the Bills didn’t utilize him enough. If the Bills were to give him workhorse responsibilities, Singletary would be a force to reckon with. -Hunter Skoczylas

Joe Mixon finishes 2020 as RB2

Over the second half of the 2019 season, Mixon finished as the RB4. With the Bengals likely drafting Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the draft and having AJ Green back, their offense should perform exceptionally well in 2020. Mixon’s back set of games last season is proof that he is legit and should be talked about. With the team around him, Mixon could be in store for the best season of his career in 2020. -Hunter Skoczylas

Rookie Johnathan Taylor finishes inside the top ten

Johnathan Taylor looks like he’s going to thrive wherever he goes due to his pure speed for the size he is. Taylor ran for 21 touchdowns in 2019 with Wisconsin and checked his 40 yard dash time in at 4.39 seconds. Regardless of the team, he gets drafted to; he’ll perform and, if put in the right system, can do some serious damage his rookie season. A running back that weighs 226 pounds and runs a 4.39 is bound to thrive in the NFL. If given the opportunity somewhere, Taylor will come out gunning. -Hunter Skoczylas

Kenyon Drake will finish top five

With Drake and Hopkins now in the fold, this is the floor heading into this season. Drake has never gotten a real chance in his career. The Dolphins did not want to use him at all. After coming to the Cardinals, Drake finished the rest of the season as RB four. He can do so again. If and when Arizona drafts an offensive tackle at number eight, this will only bolster his ability to continue his rampage through the NFC West. -Dominick Petrillo




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