Every year there are a handful of names that every fantasy owner keeps on their radar. Bounce-back guys, break-out candidates, and sleepers are just some of the labels that we apply to them. Here is an early look at five guys that should be considered this year as you look to win the fantasy title.
1. Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals
Drake languished in Miami. After being traded to Cardinals in Week 9 and suiting up for them on Halloween last year, he torched the vaunted San Francisco defense for 110 yards on the ground, 52 yards through the air, and a trip to the endzone delivering stunned fantasy owners 26.2 PPR points. He saw the century mark in rushing three more times over the second half of the season - good enough for third-most PPR points among all running backs during that time.
If we take his second half of the season numbers and extrapolate that out to a full season with the Cardinals, he would have finished second among all running backs behind Christian McCaffrey. With David Johnson traded to Houston this offseason, Kyler Murray's dual-threat nature, and the addition of stud-WR DeAndre Hopkins, the situation for Drake couldn't be better.
Here's a guy that you should be able to get in the second or later rounds depending upon scoring format and could easily flirt with a Top-10 finish this year.
2. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
Perhaps one of the most underappreciated guys in the game, Allen Robinson turned in a quiet, yet impressive season last year. Whether he's not getting the attention he deserves because of the Bears' record or the unpredictable performaces from Mitch Trubisky, don't let that sway you from targeting him in your drafts. His 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven scores was good enough to be a Top-5 wide receiver. In fact, he finished third in the league in targets, and without a serious threat to dent those targets, he could easily see a similar number in 2020.
Perhaps the biggest reason why we like Robinson so much this year deals with the QB situation. Robinson has produced for fantasy owners with guys like Trubisky and Blake Bortles under center. Chicago went out and got Nick Foles in the offseason, and Foles will certainly push Trubisky for the starting gig this year. Robinson will likely be a key contributor to the success of the passing game, and both QB's know it.
The fact that he's going in the 4th round of most drafts means there's plenty of value to be had there.
3. D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers
If you haven't seen Steve Smith trolling D.J. Moore during training camp last year, it's definitely worth a look here. He's asking Cam Newton whether Moore is even worth drafting much less starting. Moore suggests to Smith that he start him, and Smith responds back just as you would expect him to. Hopefully Steve Smith listended because fantasy owners who started Moore saw success all year.
After catching 55 passes for 788 yards in his rookie season, Moore came to life last year with 87 catches for 1,175 yards with the most of those coming from backup QB Kyle Allen. It's one thing to rack up yards, but a category that often gets overlooked is the YAC, and Moore delivered there. He finished the season inside the Top 10 for yards after the catch - the guy can make things happen after the catch.
Carolina said goodbye to Cam Newton and brought in Teddy Bridgewater for 2020. That may be a favorable move as Bridgewater has historically done well with those short-to-intermediate passes - exactly where Moore thrives. Assuming that Carolina struggles on the defensive side of the ball again in 2020, that means the potential for plenty of shootouts as the team will likely throw a lot (they finished 2019 with the second-most pass attempts in the league).
After last year, it seems a bit silly to say this, but 2020 should be a breakout year for Moore. We're hoping for a similar situation as to what we saw from Chris Godwin last year.
4. Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams
Sometimes it's difficult to predict what you'll get out of the TE position after the first few elite guys are off the board. If you didn't manage to snag a Kelce, Kittle, or Ertz, stock up on other positions for a few more rounds and then target Tyler Higbee.
Sean McVay retooled his offense last year making guys like Robert Woods and Higbee more of a focal point, and it paid off. During a five-game stretch last year, Higbee put up WR1-type numbers at the TE position. Bookended by the two Arizona games, Higbee averaged 8.6 catches for 104.4 yards. A month like that doesn't happen very often for tight ends not named Kelce or Gronk. The talent is there. The question is how it gets used. McVay knows this, and even with TE Gerald Everett still in the mix, Higbee's ceiling is higher.
For a guy that can be found in the middle rounds, he's a great value where he's currently being drafted.
5. Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
There's no need to reach for QB again this year. In fact, you can find guys like Carson Wentz late in your draft. Wentz finished last year as the 9th-best fantasy QB even after his receiving corp was pretty much decimated. Going large portions of the season without guys like Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor, Wentz managed to still throw for 4,039 yards and 27 touchdowns. He may not be Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray with his legs, but he still rushed 62 times for 243 yards and found his way into the endzone last year. That's an extra two points each week with his legs.
We'll be watching Alshon Jeffery's availability for Week 1, but the rest of his receivers are healthy and ready to go. He also has one of the best TE tandems in the league with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. That's in addition to the upward trajectory that we anticipate seeing Miles Sanders on in 2020.
Wentz should easily finish once again inside the Top 10 with the potential to flirt with Top 5 status.