After tomorrow, the 2019-2020 fantasy football season will go into the books. While drafting certain players won championships for many, there were also some players of equal value who were nothing short of utter disappointments. The players who helped win championships will obviously be held at a very high draft stock to begin 2020, and the players who helped lose them will drop, while leaving those unfortunate fantasy owners bewildered.
However, some players outperform expectations to such an extent that their stock rises multiple rounds. One prominent example of this in 2018 was 49ers’ tight end George Kittle. Kittle broke the all-time receiving record for a tight end in 2018, and he won championships for many fantasy owners without scoring a lot of touchdowns. Without further ado, here are 5 players who boosted their fantasy draft stock for 2020.
Sutton’s production was incredible. Even with backup-caliber quarterbacks such as Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen, Sutton’s production has been sky-high. 68 receptions, 1060 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns are fantastic numbers for a WR1 in a mediocre-at-best offense. With rookie quarterback Drew Lock primed for a breakout season in 2020, Sutton’s stock should rise 6 or 7 rounds, especially because he is a big-bodied, physical mismatch threat who can be a fantasy producer in the red-zone.
When certain Raiders players said Darren Waller would be a name people should be talking about in training camp, they were absolutely right. Waller had a George Kittle-ish season in 2019, totaling over 1,000 receiving yards and 80 catches. Even with the addition of rookie tight end Foster Moreau, Oakland extending Waller for the near future can only mean 1 thing: they want to feature him as part of their offense.
With the Raiders also being a run-heavy team in the near future (thanks, Josh Jacobs), quarterback Derek Carr must learn how to thrive off of play-action. Waller is also a fantastic blocker, and with offensive coordinator Greg Olson running a variation of the West Coast system, a tight end like Waller will always be a consistent producer. While he went undrafted in many leagues last season, drafting him in the 6th round would be recommended.
Kenyan Drake is the definition of a fantasy enigma. After he broke out during the final stretch of 2017, many fantasy owners projected him within the top 35, and he underperformed mightily because an incompetent Adam Gase refused to give him quality touches. Even with a new head coach in Brian Flores, persistent injury-plagued Drake in training camp and 2019 looked like a lost cause.
Fast forward to Week 9, when the Kliff Kingsbury-led Arizona Cardinals traded a 5th-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Drake due to the injuries to former star runner David Johnson and emerging 2nd-year player Chase Edmonds. While both runners were having promising 2019 campaigns, Drake is sure to have that job in 2020, regardless of which backs are on the team. Ever since Week 9, he has received a low of 15 touches and a high of 27 as the sole option in the Cardinals backfield.
Drake won championships this season, and Twitter crowned him as the 2019 Playoffs MVP, so drafting him would not be a bad idea, especially with 33+ PPR points in the last two weeks against Cleveland and Seattle. From being regarded as one of the most volatile 6th-round picks in fantasy football history, Drake can be selected in the 3rd-round for RB1 value in 2020.
Chris Godwin was one of the most polarizing fantasy wide receivers in the offseason. With Bruce Arians’ new vertical passing scheme, people were unsure of Godwin’s potential alongside star receiver Mike Evans. Quarterback Jameis Winston’s inability to make good decisions was also a concern at the time, and rightfully so.
However, to say Godwin outperformed expectations is the understatement of the millennium. Jameis Winston still cannot make good decisions, and Mike Evans is still one of the best receivers in football. 86 catches, 1333 yards, and 9 touchdowns is incredible for a WR2, and Godwin should be considered a WR1 for future reference mainly because the scheme he’s in allows for manufactured receiver production.
Arians’ system doesn’t target tight ends and has a tendency to risk possessions with deep shot after deep shot, so Godwin is sure to produce in 2020 with a better and more familiar Jameis Winston. From being a skepticized 5th-round pick, Godwin’s Pro Bowl season should bump him up to a 3rd-round selection minimum.
A comeback season for the ages. So many excuses to not draft Cook in the offseason. Durability. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Injury concerns. If anyone proved their worth in 2019, it was easily Dalvin Cook. The Gary Kubiak influence absolutely transformed Cook into one of the 5 best backs in the entire league.
1654 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns while playing 12 games with double-digit carries ensures Cook as one of the safest banks in 2019, regardless of injury risk or not. His new offensive line has also made him leaps and bounds better than he was back in the John DeFilippo era.
Cook’s stock may have only risen 1 full round, but a transformation from one of the most volatile fantasy backs in league history to one of the most reliable producers in the NFL is nothing short of a sight to behold.
Regardless of what they say, about the Kirk Cousins-led Vikings, regardless of what the injury concerns are, just do your fantasy team a favor and take Cook. Don’t think; just take him.