Tag Archives: Justin Jefferson

2020 Fantasy Football Regular Season Awards

Finally, we are through the grueling regular season. What? No, not in the NFL, in fantasy leagues everywhere. If you were skilled enough (and had the right amount of luck) to make the playoffs, congratulations! Now the real, work begins.

But before we do that, we should take a look back at this season and recognize the players that got us where we are today. For some, that means appreciation. In regards to others, though, it will be a show of contempt for the disappointment.

Awards for 2020 Fantasy Football Standouts

Most Valuable Player

Kyler Murray

2020 has been a bit up-and-down for Kyler Murray; our preseason pick for league MVP. In his sophomore season, the diminutive passer has improved his completion percentage, touchdown rate, and is on pace to shatter his passing yardage total from last season. He’s even upped his rushing production.

What matters most for our purposes is that he went from 10th in overall fantasy scoring to first in a year. The QB5 with an ADP of 56 in the preseason, Murray gave you MVP-level production with an emphasis on the ‘value’.

We cannot do this without acknowledging the players who came closest to winning this. Patrick Mahomes, who missed out by five points, stands out as obvious, as would most any other top quarterback named. But of the four players to round out the top-10, none was a quarterback.

Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Tyreek Hill, and Davante Adams outscored the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, and many others this year. Kamara has been without Drew Brees for the last three weeks while Cook and Adams both missed at least one game.

Bust of the Year

Saquon Barkley

Now the “winner” may be Saquon Barkley, but this one could have gone any number of ways. Some might consider Dak Prescott since he was the league’s leading passer when he went down in Week 5. Or maybe you say it’s his teammate, Ezekiel Elliott. He hasn’t missed a game but is the RB7 after being drafted as the RB3 with an ADP of third-overall. Or is it Christian McCaffrey?

No, it’s Barkley who lasted one full week before going down with just four touches in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. Much was expected from the former second-overall pick. It’s the second year in a row he’s failed to come close to his ADP. Last year he was the first overall pick and finished as the RB17 (82nd overall). He was drafted second overall on average this season. Oof.

Rookie of the Year

Justins

Ok, so we’re breaking the rules a bit here and, no, that isn’t an error in the heading. Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers is the easy choice. A quarterback and the highest-scoring rookie in the NFL. But we don’t do ‘easy’ around here and so we have co-Rookies of the Year in Herbert and fellow-Justin, Justin Jefferson, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings.

The latter has made a strong case for winning the award in real life too. Herbert’s case would be stronger with more winning and fewer critical turnovers. Still, he is the QB9 after going undrafted due to starting the year as a backup. Jefferson, drafted as the WR48 only to finish the regular schedule as the WR7. A tip of the cap, rooks.

Waiver Add of the Year

James Robinson

Herbert could have qualified for this award since he was a hot commodity on waiver wires after Tyrod Taylor was injured. But it’s another player that walks away with this esteemed distinction. The waiver wire is critical to any successful season and missing out on your preferred target is a different kind of pain. You probably didn’t have that problem with James Robinson.

After Jacksonville cut Leonard Fournette the discussion around this backfield was simple: Avoid. Most wrote that any potential production was negligible. Most of that was because without a preseason we didn’t know who the backup was or how they would perform. All Robinson did was finish the regular season eighth among non-quarterbacks and 20th overall in fantasy points. The undrafted rookie out of Illinois State is third in the NFL in rushing attempts and yards.

Comeback Player of the Year

Ben Roethlisberger

One of the beautifully weird things about fantasy football is how different the perception of a player may be compared to real life. Ben Roethlisberger is having a good season by most standards; over 66 percent completion and 27 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. But he’s just 12th in passing yards and his interception last week against the Washington Football Team proved to be costly.

Yet, after missing all but two games last year with an elbow injury, and contemplating retirement, Roethlisberger sits 16 overall in fantasy points and is the QB11 (better than his QB14 ADP). Imagine if he was operating a typical Steelers offense.

Most Improved Player

Davante Adams

Aaron Rodgers is an MVP candidate thanks in no small part to stellar wideout Davante Adams. The former Fresno State Bulldog is fourth in catches, sixth in yards, but is tied for first with 13 receiving touchdowns. Mind you, he’s missed two full games and part of a third this season. He missed four games last season and had 83 grabs for 997 yards and five scores.

All of those numbers, racked up in 12 games, are fewer than Adams has compiled through 10. Being in the second year of the offensive system has helped all of the Green Bay Packers and the connection between Rodgers and Adams appears stronger than ever. Adams was the WR32 and 87th player overall last year. He is 2020’s WR2 and 10th overall player through the regular season.

DST of the Year

Miami Dolphins

In real life, we acknowledge the best player on defense with the Defensive Player of the Year award. In most cases, fantasy football only has entire units. As such, we have to bestow this great honor to the Miami Dolphins. Yup, we’re breaking the rules again. It’s actually the Pittsburgh Steelers DST that leads the way in scoring.

With an ADP as the DST2, their production is only “mildly” impressive. Miami, however, was ranked dead last on average in the preseason. Now? They are ranked second. That’s a stunning turnaround from a unit that finished last season just as they were projected before this one.

All rankings and ADP information courtesy of Fantasypros.com

The Chicago Bears and Draft Day

We’re only a few hours away from the 2020 NFL Draft which was supposed to take place in Las Vegas but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented change had to be made.  The NFL will have it’s first virtual draft from the home of Commissioner Roger Goodell.  It’s like the ultimate “real life” fantasy draft, just think about it.  Don’t worry about it, us fantasy players get it!  The evening’s historic festivities begin with the Cincinnati Bengals picking first.

The first four selections seem to be locked according to several mock drafts starting with Heisman winning QB Joe Burrow of LSU.  Two through four have EDGE Chase Young, cornerback Jeff Okudah (both from Ohio State), and Isaiah Simmons, a linebacker from Clemson going to the Washington RedskinsDetroit Lions, and New York Giants respectively.  Simmons may slip from that fourth slot but the rest of the first round is murky and up in the air. With teams bound to make trades, wheeling and dealing, we’ll just have to see where the chips fall.

Bears and Draft Day

What will Chicago Do

The Chicago Bears and general manager Ryan Pace have an extra day to prepare as they have no first day selections.  Remember the Khalil Mack trade in 2018 with the Oakland Raiders, (now Las Vegas)?  If not, a quick refresher: Chicago’s first-round pick this year (19) was part of the deal; which was well worth Mack.  Bears have seven picks in total this year with the first coming in the second round at 43rd and then 50th, they don’t pick again until the fifth round.  So with that said Pace and the organization really need to make those first two picks difference makers.

What direction will the Bears decide to go?  What direction should they go?  The answer should be simple. Offensive line first, secondly wide receiver and a distant last, safety.  Good thing the draft will be loaded at the most needed positions.  Looking at the offensive line in 2019, besides quarterback, was the most inconsistent part of an offensive unit that failed to score a touchdown in the first half in 11 of 16 games. Chicago ranked in the bottom half of the league in all major offensive categories. 27th in rushing, 25th in passing, 29th in both total yards and scoring, 31st in yards per play and 32nd in yards per pass attempt.

Chicago’s line struggles can be attributed to injuries, pro bowl guard Kyle Long was lost to a hip injury after just 4 games, who has also since retired.  Long was then replaced by Rashaad Coward who was a converted defensive lineman.  Right tackle Bobby Massie suffered an ankle injury that put him on the shelf for the last five games of the season.  Need we say anything more, to compete offensively in the NFL your foundation starts up front.

In regards to wide receiver, it appears that Taylor Gabriel didn’t quite fit the role the team was expecting him to.  As evidenced by Pace releasing the six-year veteran. In two seasons in Chicago Gabriel had 96 receptions, 1041 yards, and six touchdowns.  The Bears now need to add a speedy downfield threat to fill in that slot position.  That would be a welcomed addition for Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson, who led the team with a career-best 98 receptions, 1147 yards, and seven touchdowns.

What Prospects Will the Bears Select?

At this point, it would be easy to say the best offensive lineman available but with the teams first pick not coming until Friday at selection 43, get the best value at positions in need.  Unless there’s a player they’ve targeted that they believe will be there later, then they can work out a trade to move down and possibly get another pick, say, in the 3rd round.  With that being said here are some players the Bears should have an eye on:

  • Justin Jefferson WR LSU – Great hands, physical receiver, 4.4 speed
  • Grant Delpit S LSU – Second-ranked safety prospect, value pick, good size, and coverage skills
  • Cesar Ruiz OL Michigan – True Center would allow Cody Whitehair to move back to his natural guard position
  • KJ Hamler WR Penn State – Second-fastest WR in the draft, strong for his size, 5’9 176lbs, downfield threat

Now time to see if any of these players will be the next Chicago Bear.