We’ve officially made it through both the fantasy football season and now the 2019 NFL regular season. To those who managed to finish the decade with a win, well done. For those like me who pulled a Patriots and laid a stinker in a game that mattered, not as well done.
No matter how your season ended, all attention is now turning to the 2020 fantasy season and looking way too far ahead at what your draft strategy might be this coming year. A lot can change between now and August/September when most fantasy drafts occur so it’s important now to take the time and make promises to yourself about your draft strategy while taking into consideration the lessons learned from this year.
So, here are my New Year’s resolutions to myself for the 2020 fantasy football season.
I will not draft anyone who plays for Adam Gase
You can’t tell me the Gase-stank isn’t a thing. There’s just been too much evidence this year of players thriving as soon as they rid Gase from their lives. Look no further than DeVante Parker who blossomed into the WR6 in NPPR and WR11 in PPR (and finished the season with a big punctuation mark, single-handedly making sure Stephon Gilmore doesn’t win defensive player of the year this season). Or Kenyan Drake who suddenly became an unstoppable running back force as soon as he joined a coaching staff that knew what to do with him in Arizona. And I don’t need to tell you how much of a disappointment Le’Veon Bell has been this year under Adam Gase. My first resolution is to not have Gase in my life or my fantasy team in 2020, no matter how enticing the Jets offense might be.
Lamar Jackson is the only QB I’ll draft in the first two rounds
Normally I am a firm believer in the “late round QB” method to fantasy drafts. I don’t think spending an early round pick on a quarterback makes a whole lotta sense when there really isn’t that much difference between fantasy quarterbacks. However, Lamar Jackson isn’t your normal fantasy QB; Lamar is a top 20 running back AND a top 10 quarterback. Defenses will figure out how to contain Jackson but his rushing floor will always give him a boost in fantasy, especially when the Ravens ground game is so unstoppable. Oh and if teams do start limiting his rushing production, he can still throw the ball pretty darn well as evidenced by his league leading 36 passing touchdowns. He’s going to cost you a pretty penny this coming year, but damnit if he won’t be 100% worth it.
I will draft Deebo Samuel everywhere
Wanna hear something maybe surprising: in the final seven weeks of the NFL season, Samuel was the WR4 in NPPR and WR9 in PPR leagues. Samuel was on my team this year and that fact caught even me by surprise. With Emmanuel Sanders a free agent this offseason (and turning 33-years-old), Samuel might further solidify himself as the number one wideout in San Francisco and may even start to challenge George Kittle for Jimmy Garoppolo’s favorite target in 2020. Am I getting ahead of myself? Almost certainly, but I’m making sure that I’m not missing out on the potential for Samuel to take a big step in his second year in one of the more creative offenses in the NFL.
I will finally trust Derrick Henry
Henry has long been a decisive fantasy player: either you love him or you hate him. There really doesn’t seem to be much in between. I have always been pro-Henry but haven’t had the stones to consider him a top 10 fantasy back year-in and year-out despite the fact that he finishes each season a one-man wrecking crew. Well, this year I promise to myself that I will not only trust Henry but will be making him a focal point of all my drafts in 2020. He’s proven to be quite reliable in the most important months of the year when it comes to fantasy production. Can’t argue with a guy who’s best months have routinely been November and December.
I will not overdraft any big name players who move in the offseason
Remember when we were all freaking out about what Odell Beckham could do with Baker Mayfield passing him the ball instead of Eli Manning? (There is audio evidence of me thinking Beckham could break Randy Moss’ 23 touchdown record.) How about Le’Veon Bell signing with the Jets and being the focal point in their offense? And I clearly don’t need to tell you about Nick Foles heading to the Jaguars... Every offseason a few big offense names change teams and we get all excited that they will blow up with their new team, leading to plenty of overdrafts. I’m making a mental note not to get wrapped too much into the hype when A.J. Green signs with the Packers or Kareem Hunt ditches Cleveland for the Buccaneers. Even just typing those hypotheticals got me excited. Shit, this is going to be the hardest resolution to keep.
What New Year’s resolutions do you have for 2020?