My Guys – 2020

I know I’m a lone voice in the wilderness on this, but I really like the NFL pre-season. Yes, the quality of play is largely terrible, and you don’t see much of the star players who will define the subsequent seventeen weeks of the actual season but, for me the drama remains.

A flood of football after a long absence is normally welcome in any form but the preseason also contains the annual search for hidden gems that is a key part of the Dynasty season. Tonight, we should have been gearing up for week 2 but instead we must satisfy ourselves with by re-watching Superbowl 52, I assume everyone still watches that weekly, right?

Anyway, with no preseason to scour for that wonderful, elusive free agent all attention is turning to the start of the season. Thus far the NFL seem to have had some success in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in their locker rooms so now seems as good a time as any to share a few players who I’m bought into this year. What follows are a couple of players at each position that I’m strongly invested in for the season ahead. For 2020, these are My Guys:

Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger

Almost everyone sensible fantasy player will tell you to “wait on Quarterback”. This year the temptation to give yourself a positional advantage by grabbing Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson will be stronger than ever. This year, like every other, you should resist. I can waste any number of column inches explaining why the cost benefit ratio doesn’t add up; how the risk: reward is unlikely to fall in your favor, but you already know that.

If you stick to the plan at look to grab QB late then you should be looking to grab Big Ben as late as you possibly can. Recency bias is dropping him down rankings. His ADP has him in the same ballpark as Baker Mayfield. I’ve seen people take Teddy Bridgewater first.

There will be concern around the return from injury but the world seems to have forgotten that the last time we seen Ben (putting aside an awful performance in the season opener at New England last year) he threw for 5129 yards and 34 touchdowns. He’s almost a lock to throw for 4000 yards and at least 25 TDs – probably more if the Steelers offensive is functioning.

He’s in his swansong no doubt, but I’m expecting a big bounce back year from the Steelers QB.

Running Back

D’Andre Swift

A few things to get out the way right off the bat. The Lions are a fantasy wasteland. Matt Patricia is well on his way to being fired at the end of the season and the depth chart at running back is somewhat crowded. I get all that. Somehow though, I can’t shake the feeling that Swift is going to be the rookie of the year.

When he was taken by Detriot in the NFL draft he plunged down dynasty and redraft boards, however, in recent weeks we’ve started to see a recovery. He’s now hovering in the late 20s, early 30s of running back ranks.

With Matthew Stafford healthy again the Lions season will depend on the offense taking a leap forward. If he doesn’t Patricia and General Manager Bob Quin are very likely to be fired. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Swift will get a chance, he’s a superior back to Kerryon Johnson and will give the Lions a dual threat option that they’ve lacked for years. Maybe even decades. Getting Stafford going is critical to the team’s success and I think getting Swift going is critical for Stafford.

Wide Receiver

Marquise Brown

Anyone who plays in league with me knows that I’ve been a big Hollywood fan since his days at Oklahoma. At one-point last year I had him on 90% of my dynasty rosters. He had a respectable rookie season, despite missing two games and starting only eleven he had 46 catches for 584 yards and 7 touchdowns. Numbers that certainly point to a potential breakout second season.

Brown is helped by the limited competition he faces. The Ravens added two receivers in the draft but neither Devin Duvernay nor James Proche is likely to threaten his position. If those two make the roster Brown’s remaining challenge will come from Miles Boykin, Willie Snead and Chris Moore. A murderer’s row it is not.

The former Sooner’s speed coupled with an improving all round game is likely to make him Lamar’s number one target. He should edge towards 100 targets for the season and has every chance at more. As much as he was in dynasty last year, I think he’s a must own.

Tight End

Dallas Goedert

If you didn’t listen to the post #SRB pod then you’ll have totally missed the now legendary fact that after a stunning tight end run in the Delanie Walker division I ended up Eagles back-up tight end Dallas Goedert in the 5th round. I don’t know whether it’s worse that I had to do it, or worse that I was perfectly happy with it.

Goedert is no ordinary back up tight end. Despite only being listed with only 9 starts last year he was tight end 10 in normal scoring. Last season, his second year in the league, he seen 87 targets. I expect that will crack 100 this season. For all the excitement around Mike Gesicki, Goedert outscored him and played one fewer game. If Zach Ertz misses any time Goedert’s stock will explode.

The former South Dakota State Jackrabbit is hidden behind one the most underrated tight ends of all time in Zach Ertz and that will continue to deflate both his value and his price but if the Eagles can get their deep game sorted with a returning Desean Jackson and rookie Jalen Reagor, Goedert will be a big beneficiary of the newly created space in the short and intermediate game.

So, no, don’t take him in the 5th round but if he’s the 16th tight end off the board and people are grabbing Jonnu Smith first then he should be on every roster you have.

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