NFL
July 9, 2020
BY Calvin McAlee

Predicting the Fantasy Football League-Winners in 2020

There are a lot of different variables when it comes to putting together a team that is capable of winning a fantasy football championship. Each year, there are tons of takes on sleepers who should be drafted in the middle and late rounds. The internet is littered with articles that'll highlight who could be a big bust in the upcoming football season. You know the deal. 

Those things are certainly important when it comes to putting together a winning fantasy team

Another important thing you need for a winning team that isn’t talked about enough is finding those players who are capable of putting up those ridiculous high-scoring weeks that can almost single-handedly win a matchup.

Those players who are capable of putting up those big 50+ point weeks a couple of times a year are the players who can take your team to the promised land. Yes, finding the right sleepers and avoiding those overpriced busts is important. However, you can’t win your league without having some big scorers on your team.

The players on this list are the ones you should be going after at their respective position. Some of these are obvious highly-ranked guys that you should be looking to trade up for or be using your top picks on. Others are some second-tier players who can help managers hit the jackpot.

Regardless, these are all players who are capable of putting up big numbers any given week and will likely finish near the top of the fantasy scoring column at their position this year.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

When it comes to no-brainers in fantasy football, this one is king. The $500-million man himself, Patrick Mahomes is expected to be the top dog in fantasy football this season. Coming off of a Super Bowl win, Mahomes and the Chiefs are entering the 2020 season with the best offense in the NFL.

Mahomes, like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in the past, is the quarterback that every fantasy owner will be going for this year and rightfully so. He has elite weapons in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.

His offense is fast-paced and likes to run up the score. Add in the fact that he is the most talented quarterback in the game right now and you have a perfect recipe for the highest-scoring fantasy football player this season. 

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

So you didn’t land Mahomes in the early rounds? No worries. Kyler Murray should still be available after a few rounds if you are looking to lock up a top-scoring quarterback. He may not be as big of a name as Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, or Russell Wilson when it comes to fantasy quarterbacks this season but he should be.

The Arizona Cardinals are going to need to score a lot of points this season. And Kliff Kingsbury’s attack is the perfect offense for a fantasy quarterback.

With both Murray and Kingsbury having a year of NFL experience under their belts, we should see a big leap in Year Two for Murray and the Cardinals’ offense. After stealing DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans, the Cardinals now have a trio of receivers that should be able to execute Arizona's high-flying offense. 

Add in the fantasy points he will get with his legs and we could see a Lamar Jackson-esque season from Murray in 2020. 

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons haven’t performed well the last two seasons but the former MVP, Matt Ryan, isn’t to blame. He still had 9,390 passing yards and 61 passing touchdowns over the last two seasons (31 games). Not to mention, he still has one of the elite receivers in the league in Julio Jones and a very good young receiver in Calvin Ridley.

Ryan has the weapons and the talent to have another MVP-caliber season this year. If you're a fantasy player who likes to take a quarterback late, Matt Ryan is a great option this season.

The Falcons brought in a talented running back in Todd Gurley who can take some slack off of Ryan and help open up the field for him — assuming he stays healthy.

Expect another big statistical season out of Ryan this year and don’t be surprised to see him in the MVP talks at some point this season.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

Like Patrick Mahomes, this one is also a no-brainer. Christian McCaffrey is the best running back in the league and arguably the best fantasy football player since LaDainian Tomlinson.

McCaffrey does it all. His last two seasons have been historic and he continues to break his own statistical records. Coming off of a year in which he had over 1,300 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards, McCaffrey is looking for another 1,000/1,000 season.

The Panthers are expected to be one of the worst defensive teams in the league so they will need to score a lot this season. If you don’t have the first overall pick in your league, McCaffrey is pretty much out of the question, unfortunately. 

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

While he isn’t McCaffrey, Aaron Jones isn’t too far off. Jones was tied for the league lead in both rushing touchdowns (16) and total touchdowns (19). He also combined for over 1,500 total rushing and receiving yards.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur likes to operate a run-first offense with a conservative passing game that fits Jones perfectly. Coming off a 49-reception season, Jones will be in line for even more targets out of the backfield this season as Green Bay will be running a lot of play-action and screen plays.

Criminally underrated in the rankings this season, Jones should actually be in for an even better 2020 fantasy season than he had in 2019.

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs was a force for the Oakland Raiders last season. In just 13 games, he rushed for 1,150 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry during his rookie season. Although he didn’t have many touchdowns (seven) or receptions (20), Jacobs should see a major increase in both during his sophomore season.

Assuming he stays healthy, Jacobs could see 300+ carries this season as he is the clear bell cow for the Raiders. If that is the case, based on his average last season he could eclipse the 1,500-yard mark this season.

Expect Jacobs' touchdown numbers to go up this season as well as a result. If he can increase his production in the passing game, Jacobs could be a top-five running back in 2020.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

Coming off a career year, Michael Thomas is the top receiver for the 2020 season. You will likely have to use your first-round pick on Thomas but it will certainly be worth the investment. In his four years in the league, Thomas has been a target monster unlike any other in the NFL and that will likely continue into his fifth NFL season.

Thomas has 602 career targets in 63 games. With a catch percentage over 80% each of the last two seasons, that means we should expect around eight catches per game for Thomas this season (128 for the season). He has yet to hit double-digit touchdown catches in a single-season so you know that will certainly be a chip on his shoulder this season.

In what could be Drew Brees last season, Thomas will be looking to put up big numbers as they chase a Lombardi Trophy.

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

Aaron Jones is to Christian McCaffrey, what Kenny Golladay is to Michael Thomas. Golladay has gone over the 1,000 receiving yards mark in each of the last two seasons and he's coming off a career-best season where he scored 11 touchdowns to go along with his 1,190 receiving yards. Over the 31 games, Golladay has been targeted 235 times. However, he has only managed to catch 135 of them (57.4%).

With Matthew Stafford returning from back surgery, Golladay should be in for another big statistical season. If he can get improve his catch percentage, his numbers will be competing with the likes of Michael Thomas.

Golladay is an excellent selection at wide receiver when the handful of elites are already off the board.

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans

A.J. Brown was one of the most impressive rookie receivers in recent memory. His explosion onto the scene helped the Tennessee Titans surprise the world and make it to the AFC Championship Game. 

Brown had nine total touchdowns and 1,051 receiving yards last season. Now, he will be looking to build off of that success and put together an even bigger statistical season.

The Titans are a run-first team behind Derrick Henry but a lot of defensives will be looking to stop that. As a result, we could see some more passing in Tennessee this season. The Titans didn’t pay Ryan Tannehill $118 million if they didn’t plan on using him more.

Brown is the clear WR1 in Tennessee and should see plenty of targets this season. If he can come close to his 20.2 yards per reception that he had last season and raise that 61.9 catch percentage, then he will be among the league’s top wide receivers this season.

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