It’s that time of the year when love is in the air. The card stores are an explosion of red and pink hearts with little dudes in diapers shooting arrows. Flower bouquets are everywhere. I’m also guessing that dating website subscriptions go up around this time, as single folks are looking to find love. Well, I’ve been looking for love too. But I ain’t talkin’ ’bout that kind of “love.” Instead, I’m talking about the love of players who could help me win a championship in the world of fantasy football.
Yup, I’m already starting to crush on these players who could produce big-time stats in 2020. I won’t be labeling these players as “sleepers” or “breakout candidates,” they’re just guys who I believe could be great draft bargains, stat-sheet stuffers … or both. So sit back with a loved one and check out who you might be falling in love with yourself ahead of the next fantasy football season.
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Sanders showed some real flashes of superstar potential at the end of last season, posting 21-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games of the fantasy season. During that time, he averaged over 22 touches and nearly 4.7 yards per rush. Regardless of the status of Jordan Howard with the Eagles (he’s slated to be a free agent), I love Sanders in 2020.
D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia Bulldogs: I don’t now where Swift will land in the NFL draft, but there’s plenty of NFL teams in need of a true featured back. Swift reminds me of LeSean McCoy in terms of his skill set, and he’s not afraid to get physical in pass protection. If Swift lands in the right situation, I can see him being added to the long list of Georgia backs who have thrived at the next level.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos: Sutton finished 19th in fantasy points among wideouts a season ago, but I can see him making an even bigger leap in his third pro season. An athletic playmaker and the top option in the passing attack for Drew Lock, Sutton ranked fourth among wideouts in receiving yards after contact a season ago. He could end up pushing for WR1 totals from a fantasy standpoint.
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Metcalf was an absolute steal in fantasy drafts as a rookie, posted 60 receiving yards and/or a touchdown in 13 games. His WR33 finish might not stand out, but his play in the second half of the season did. A physical freak who ranked ninth among wide receivers in red-zone routes run per game, Metcalf’s rookie success is just the tip of his future statistical iceberg.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins: McLaurin showed the league that he has big upside as a rookie, posting 919 yards and seven touchdowns despite the fact that he missed two games. He flashed WR1 skills against some of the league’s best cornerbacks too, and his 111 receiving yards after the catch ranked 17th among wideouts. If Dwayne Haskins can take the next step, McLaurin could be a beast.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills: Singletary had a slow start to his rookie season due to injuries, but he had 20-plus touches four times in the second half and showed his skills as a top back. He also forced 22 broken tackles, which is pretty solid considering he missed four games. With Frank Gore slated to become a free agent, Singletary should have the top spot in Buffalo all to himself in 2020.
Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins: I get it, Guice is my dude, so I might be a little biased. But look at it this way … he’s already shown that he can be a playmaker at the NFL level (albeit a short sample size), and you’re going to get a bit of a discount due to his missed time on the gridiron. Depending on what the Redskins do in their backfield, Guice could push for high RB2 value in 2020.
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Samuel opened a lot of eyes in the second half of the season, as he became the Niners’ top wideout for all intents and purposes. He was 12th in the league in receiving yards from Week 10-17, and the Niners even used him out of the backfield (14 carries, 159 yards). With Emmanuel Sanders heading into free agency, Samuel could be a targets machine next season.
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Some wide receivers don’t bust out until their third NFL season, and that’s what I’d expect from Kirk. He’s going to see plenty of opportunities in the high-octane offense of coach Kliff Kingsbury, and we saw that in 2019 as he ranked ninth among wideouts in routes run per game. With Kyler Murray under center, Kirk could push for top-15 value among fantasy receivers.
Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos: Fant ranked 16th in fantasy points among tight ends as a rookie, but he ranked just 24th in targets per game. That total is destined to increase in 2020. Fant was also one of the better players at the position in yards per catch average (14.1), and he ranked seventh in yards after the catch. He could turn into next season’s version of Mark Andrews.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants: Jones scored 25-plus fantasy points four times as a rookie, and his skills as a runner will make him an intriguing sleeper in fantasy circles. He should also have his full complement of weapons back, too.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Johnson flashes in the second half of last season and could push James Washington for the WR2 spot on Pittsburgh’s depth chart. With Ben Roethlisberger back, Johnson could really shine in 2020.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins: Gesicki finished last season with three touchdowns in his last two games as his role in the Dolphins pass attack increased. A big-bodied player with speed, Gesicki could take the next step in 2020.
Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: I’m not sure what Sammy Watkins‘ status is for next season, but Hardman flashed enough playmaking skills as a rookie that he should warrant more opportunities in the Chiefs passing game in 2020.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams: There’s a chance that the Rams could trade or release Todd Gurley this offseason. That would make Henderson the top back in an offense that has been running back-friendly under coach Sean McVay.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for the latest fantasy football news and analysis!