Fantasy Football: 5 Buyer beware early-round picks in 2020

Fantasy Football, Aaron Jones (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Fantasy Football, Aaron Jones (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Buyer beware on these top-30 picks in fantasy football drafts right now.

Fantasy football stars seem to be born overnight at times. Other stars take up the flip side of the coin and burn out in the blink of an eye. But seasoned fantasy football managers have spent time figuring ways to curtail their appetite for risk by closely following ADP (Average Draft Position).

But even then there are guys who will fail to live up to their expectations. There are players who managers will use a high-end draft pick on that end up being a fantasy bust.

Using ADP from Fantasy Pros in half-point PPR leagues, these are five players being drafted in the top 30 that are buyer beware candidates with high bust potential.

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5. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Overall ADP 29

Avoid Leonard Fournette at all costs in the 2020 fantasy football season. For me, he is a guaranteed bust this year. Not only is the team in a position where they aren’t likely to be winning a ton of games and could be passing incessantly as they play from behind but the running back’s situation individually isn’t favorable.

We’ve all seen this show before: a disgruntled “star” on a terrible team who wants a big contract extension. Not a good situation to invest in for fantasy football managers.

4. Mike Evans, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Overall ADP: 25

There are a few blockades in the way for Mike Evans to produce the numbers that would make him WR8, which is what he’s going off the board as. First is the fact that Chris Godwin is a better receiver. Godwin may not boast the physical presence as Evans but he is a better tactician with smoother routes and softer hands. Then there’s also Rob Gronkowski taking red-zone targets.

But the quarterback is also a factor. Brady, traditionally, doesn’t push the ball down the field as much as Jameis Winston did last season. That takes away a huge part of what makes Evans a fantasy monster — big chunk plays. The combination of these factors at his ADP make him a player to avoid for me.

3. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Overall ADP: No. 21

This ADP assumes that Kenyan Drake will be a featured running back. However, he has never filled that role for a full season throughout his five-year NFL career. In fact, Drake’s highest number of carries in a season is only 133. If I’m asked to draft him as a borderline top-10 running back in fantasy football, I need to be sure that he will get twice that amount of carries.

Another reason to avoid drafting Drake at his current ADP is that his backup, Chase Edmonds, might be the more complete player. Edmonds was on his way to fantasy relevance last year while filling in for David Johnson until an injury of his own derailed him. Both Edmonds and Drake should get equal shots at carrying the running game, in my opinion.

2. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

Overall ADP: No. 15

There’s nothing worse in the sports world than being a starting running back who’s playing on the last year of his contract. I will make the not-so-bold prediction that Aaron Jones will be playing for a different team in 2021.

The Green Bay Packers are a traditionally frugal front office that will likely follow the trend of balking at the star running back’s request for a lucrative extension. Not to mention, they already indicated their plans by selecting bruiser A.J. Dillon in the second round of this year’s draft.

I could be wrong about Jones. He could try to prove his worth to the league and touch the ball more than ever to “earn” that next big payday, a nice thought after he led the NFL in touchdowns last year. But I’d be willing to bet that he reduces his role in an attempt of preservation for his next employer.

1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Overall ADP: No. 17

Lamar Jackson is the undisputed QB1 of the fantasy football realm. His eye-popping 2019 campaign saw him post RB1 numbers while also playing the role of a gun-slinging downfield passer. But the thing that makes the NFL so uniquely competitive is its ability to adapt.

I expect opposing defenses to come up with a way to spy Jackson and force him to beat them from the pocket. This is not a knock on Jackson’s abilities as a passer. He proved last year that he is capable of excelling as a traditional quarterback and should only get better entering his third season.

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However, we all know that quarterbacks who can run generate the most fantasy points. Jackson will find a lot less running room in 2020 and that is why I would fade paying his ADP this year.