Since 2004 I have been addicted to fantasy football. I begin preparations in April every year following the National Football League draft. This year is a little different though. With COVID-19 my excitement level has taken a hit. However, this weekend I will be hosting my 2020 fantasy football draft. Normally we gather at a pizza place or Buffalo Wild Wings but this year will be a little different. We will have a virtual draft with a few folks stopping by. Social distancing, outside and one to a table is how we will be doing it this year. I guess in 2020 you have to make adjustments, right? I am not completely sold on the National Football League getting in a full schedule but just in case I have a money back guarantee for the league this year.
For the sake of this column and my fantasy season, I worked hard on making my rankings list and included deep sleepers. Outside of the obvious choices (Mahomes, McCaffrey, Thomas, Kelce and so on) I dug deep. Deeper than ever before. Each list has at least 75 players on it (except kicker and defense of course). With the uncertainty of health issues this year, I encourage all fantasy players to stack up on as many players as possible. For example; normally I usually only draft two quarterbacks each year. However, this year I feel like I am going to draft four (just in case the coronavirus infects any of my other quarterbacks). Fantasy football is truly a crap shoot each year, but 2020 is going to be a free for all!
Other advice I’d like to share is that you should not be afraid to draft rookies this season. The young bucks have taken over. Last season Raiders running back Josh Jacobs finished as a top 10 running back and his average draft position for 2020 in drafts is at nine. Rookie running backs that I am eyeing this year include D’Andre Swift (Lions), A.J. Dillon (Packers), Jonathan Taylor (Colts) and Cam Akers (Rams). All of them have huge upside this year and the one rookie running back that I am not afraid to reach for in the first round is Kansas City’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Many players opted out this season because of the virus and with Damien Williams opting out, that opened up the floodgates for Edwards-Helaire as an instant workhorse.
I also have a list of players I will not be drafting this season. Not that I think they will be complete busts, but as a fantasy owner I hold grudges. Aaron Rodgers is on the top of this list. A future hall of famer no doubt but in fantasy I cannot go through what I did last year with this guy. He was so inconsistent in 2019 that I swore him off. One week it was four touchdowns and the next it was zero, a complete roller coaster. After about a month of this nonsense I benched him in favor of Baker Mayfield and rolled with him into the playoffs. Besides that, I encourage folks to stay away from Rodgers because his offensive weapons have been downgraded since last year. With many of his O-line and wide receivers sitting out the season, only receiver Devonte Adams is a reliable weapon for Rodgers at this point.
I hope everyone has a great season, draft wisely and have fun this draft season!
Dennis D. Cruz is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.