Fantasy Football

2020 Fantasy Football Dynasty League Targets

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Great dynasty league targets are players that are going to exceed expectations for the future and for the present. In order to draft players that are going to exceed expectations, you first must know where they are going in drafts and what their outlook short and long term looks like.

In this article, I’ll be breaking down the best players to target in dynasty based on their current average draft position. Let’s get started.

2020 Fantasy Football Dynasty League Targets

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JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – ADP: Mid Round 2 ADP

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2018 In the Eyesight

Smith-Schuster burst onto the scene quickly in 2018 finishing as WR8 in fantasy ahead of big names like Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, and Odell Beckham Jr. Here are his stats from 2018:

  • 166 Targets
  • 111 Receptions
  • 1426 Receiving Yards
  • 7 Touchdowns

Those numbers are good for 307 fantasy points in PPR formats. Keep in mind the Steelers also had Antonio Brown who also finished as WR5 that same season in fantasy.

2019 Went Sidewise

If the title doesn’t tell it all then I don’t know what does. The Steelers were a trainwreck on offense and still managed to finish with a winning record. Amazing to think about in hindsight. In 2019 the Steelers lost key offensive starters in James Conner, Maurkice Pouncey, and Juju Smith-Schuster for multiple weeks.

They also lost their star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season. With a slew of injuries in 2019, it was clear Smith-Schuster was never in a position to produce, especially being arguably the only truly elite-level player available. With a healthy roster, you can see him producing a lot more.

The Claypool Effect

The long-anticipated wait for the Steelers to draft Big Ben and Juju some help has finally arrived in the form of Chase Claypool. Claypool is a tremendous wide receiver with a big frame standing at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds. To go with his enormous frame, he possesses quick feet as he ran 4.42 forty-time at the combine.

These factors helped Claypool haul in 66 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games at Notre Dame last year. Claypool’s elite-level frame and ability to burn defenders downfield means they can kick Smith-Schuster in the slot were he is most productive. Here are two graphics below that show just how great Smith-Schuster is in the slot.

Don’t forget his elite talent

I can’t stress this enough, Smith-Schuster is an ELITE LEVEL WIDE RECEIVER. People forget just how great Smith-Schuster is. Not only does he have hands as sure as they come, but he also has tremendous ability to make huge plays in the open field. He actually ranks 3rd among wide receivers in yards after the catch in the last two seasons (behind only Michael Thomas and Robert Woods) with 901 yards after the catch.

Smith-Schuster also has hands like Larry Fitzgerald. In his career, Smith-Schuster has 45 targets beyond 20 yards and has never dropped a single one of them.

Recap

With all these factors such as a healthy elite quarterback being thrown in the fold, paired with high usage and elite-level talent, I expect big things for Smith-Schuster for years to come. Given where he is currently going in drafts, he is an absolute steal.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons – Mid Round 4 ADP

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The future is bright

Simple and basic, the future is so bright for Ridley. With Julio Jones getting older and Ridley going into his prime, it’s clear that he has a bright future ahead. In an interview on Sirius XM radio former Falcons receiver, Roddy White was quoted as saying “Calvin Ridley is in for a breakout 3rd year this season.” With Matt Ryan still at the helm for possibly another five years, I can see Calvin Ridley being a number one wide receiver for years to come.

The shadow of Julio

No spotlight, no problem for Ridley. Calvin Ridley quietly gets it done year in and year out even in the spotlight of Julio Jones. in fact, Ridley has finished as a WR2 or better in each of his first two fantasy seasons. Here are his stats for his first two seasons in the NFL

2018:

  • 16 Games
  • 5 Starts
  • 92 Targets
  • 64 Receptions
  • 821 Yards
  • 10 Touchdowns

2019:

  • 13 Games
  • 10 Starts
  • 93 Targets
  • 63 Receptions
  • 866 Yards
  • 7 Touchdowns

Building on an Injury Plagued 2019

If you refer to the stats above you can see Ridley only played 13 games and only had 10 starts in 2019. If you adjust his stats to fit over a full 16 game season this is what they would be:

  • 16 Games
  • 114 Targets
  • 78 Receptions
  • 1066 Yards
  • 9 Touchdowns

Those stats are good for 238.6 fantasy points for an average of 14.9 points per game. These stats would rank him as WR12 in PPR formats.

Here is a quote from Pro Football Focus’ own Jarad Evans on what to expect from Calvin Ridley in 2020.

Evans writes: “Atlanta’s passing offense is going to run through its two outside WRs in Jones and Ridley — Matt Ryan has a league-high 537 pass attempts to outside WRs since 2018, 72 more than anyone else.”

I think we can really bank on 1,000 yards this season from Ridley if he is healthy.

Given the chance to shine

After the Sanu trade things got CRAZY. Ridley began to be in the starting lineup and lined up opposite of Julio Jones. From Week 9 to Week 17 Ridley was so great, he actually averaged 18.7 points per game which would rank him as WR6 during those weeks. During those weeks Ridley actually averaged a higher PPG in fantasy and a higher snap rate than Jones.

Another great stat for the Falcons and Ridley is that when he was targeted in 2019 by Ryan, it actually boosted Matt Ryans QB Rating to 113.4 which was substantially better than Julio and Ryan’s connection which was 91.7. If Ridley can get the workload he needs he should break out in a big way this season.

Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Football Team – High Round 6 ADP

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Plagued?

Guice is one of those guys that has flashed elite-level talent but just can’t seem to put in together. In Guice’s first two seasons in the league, he’s played a total of five games, starting only one of them. Knee injuries have plagued him throughout his entire career. In 2017 Guice missed several games at LSU and in 2018 Guice tore his ACL in the preseason opener for Washington, forcing him to miss the entire season in 2018. Then, in 2019, Guice sprained his MCL forcing him to miss the rest of his 2019 campaign.

No competition

Although Guice hasn’t been able to put together a full season, if he were to ever do it now would be the season. The roster from top to bottom isn’t great and he has such little competition at the running back spot. The main competition that Guice has is former All-Pro runner Adrian Peterson. Peterson is 35 years old and is in what should be his last season in the league. I don’t expect Peterson to be much of a factor in the passing game as he hasn’t posted over 20 grabs in a season since 2015. His lack of production should play a major role in the production for Guice especially since scatback Chris Thompson left in free agency this offseason. Here are the stats that Chris Thompson posted last season along with Adrian Peterson.



Adrian Peterson

  • 15 Games
  • 211 Rushes
  • 898 Yards
  • 23 Targets
  • 17 Receptions
  • 142 Yards
  • 5 Touchdowns

Chris Thompson

  • 11 Games
  • 37 Rushes
  • 138 Yards
  • 58 Targets
  • 42 Receptions
  • 378 Yards
  • 0 Touchdowns

Breaking the stats down you can see with such high volume combined they didn’t produce much. I believe a younger back that’s more talented like Guice could produce at a level we haven’t seen a running back produce for a Washington since Alfred Morris.

The advanced stats are LUDICROUS

Words can’t describe just how elusive Guice is. In 2019 Guice had an insane 3.33 yards created per touch which was second-best at that metric.

Guice also turned his limited carries into an insane 5.8 yards per carry which was tops in the league by far. Granted, it’s an extremely limited sample, but he averaged 11.29 YDS/REC as well as 12.43 YAC/REC (yards-after-catch per reception). For comparison’s sake, only Derrick Henry outperformed Guice in YAC/REC amongst starting RBs.

My last advanced stat that is amazing is Guice actually had an insane Pro Football Focus grade. He ranked at 75.6 grade whereas the arguable top back in the league Christian McCaffrey graded at a 75.8. These amazing stats show that even with limited play Guice produces.

The roundup

If Guice can manage to stay healthy, he’s clearly an elite level running back. Obviously health is a big concern but when you are drafting in fantasy football you have to take risks. Taking Guice is a calculated risk but his advanced stats and clear workload combined with his lower ADP means I’m drafting all the shares of him that I can.

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants – Low Round 11 ADP

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Was he the one?

The New York Giants selected quarterback Daniel Jones out of Duke last season with the 6th overall selection in the draft. That was met with heavy scrutiny making several fans question whether Jones was the guy and what the front office was thinking. Jones quickly put that to bed as he started in place for an old fan favorite Eli Manning.

Jones’ coming out party in 2019 was a big one. In his first year for the Giants, he showed great poise in the pocket, ability to make several tough and key throws, and tremendous talent and arm strength. His ability to read a defense and make throws is clearly a thing of beauty and he’s able to generate points not only through the air but on the ground.

Here are Jones’ 2019 stats

  • 13 Games
  • 12 Starts
  • 3,027 Yards
  • 24 Touchdowns
  • 61.9% Completion

The stats aren’t the stories

Behind a suspect line with several key pieces on the offense, Jones still managed in just 12 starts to throw for 3,000 yards in his rookie season. If that doesn’t impress you then I don’t know what will. His 24 touchdowns were most among his rookie class and his completion percentage was second behind the class’ sweetheart quarterback Kyler Murray. If Jones kept pace on these 2019 stats and you averaged it out to a full 16 game slate, here’s what the stats would look like.

  • 16 Starts
  • 4,036 Yards
  • 32 Touchdowns

Those stats just through the air are good enough for QB6 in fantasy leagues. Imagine drafting the sixth best QB in round 11? Not to mention he didn’t have players like Golden Tate, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, or Sterling Shepard for portions of the season.

The ADP is beautiful

I stress value a lot in my articles because how you draft is solely based on taking calculated risks with hopes that the player you’re selecting will produce better than the position he’s being drafted at. The thing with Jones is both his floor and ceiling are so tremendous that even with an ADP of round 11 he’s surely going to outproduce it. He’s currently going as the 13th QB selected. His floor alone should put him in the top 10.

The round-up

A lot of analysts and former pro scouts/gms are making waves about Daniel Jones. He’s the talk of New York and after his tremendous play in 2019 I believe he is “the guy”. I’m drafting all the shares of Jones that I can get given his current ADP. His new improved offensive line and his healthy weapons make give him the case to compete as a top-five quarterback in fantasy this season.

Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders, WR – Mid Round 9 ADP

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Glowing reviews

I’ve written several pieces about Ruggs this offseason. I can’t get enough of this guy’s potential in the Raiders’ offense. I’m not the only one that thinks highly of Ruggs either. People like John Gruden and places like Draft Network, Pro Football Focus, and many others are gushing about Ruggs. His college career, pure frame, elite hands, and blazing speed stand out, which is exactly why the Raiders selected him ahead of players with All-Pro upside like Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb.

The metrics are ELITE

I’ve been hung up on this but the SPEED, man is it unbelievable. He ran a blazing forty-time in college which clocked in at 4.25, faster than several elite players in the league like Tyreek Hill and Christian McCaffrey. His ability to blow by defenders and get open downfield is incredible and translated to a 24% touchdown rate in his last year at Alabama.

The metric that is most absurd when it comes to Ruggs is his incredible hands. His hands are so good that in his three years in college he managed to only drop a total of four passes which was good for a 2.4% drop rate. That statistic led the whole nation by a mile. I can’t stress just how pro-ready and great I believe Ruggs is.

Offensive woes, guess who’s fixing them

The offensive line was banged up at several points last season and caused the Raiders offense to sputter. Not to mention lack of weapons and check-down king Derek Carr kept the offense from hitting its full potential. Things should change quickly with Ruggs on the scene in 2020. The lack of weapons in 2019 was concerning for the Raiders as they really only rostered two receiving threats and only one was a wide receiver. If Tyrell Williams is your only legit wide receiver on your roster you have a problem.

Ruggs should step in and assert himself as the WR1 from day one. With such a high volume position being open from day one, I can see Ruggs having just a floor of a WR2 and a high ceiling like Tyreek Hill. With Ruggs and Josh Jacobs, I believe the offense can only go up considering it ranked in the bottom third of the league in almost all major offensive categories for 2019.

The check-down

Derek Carr is the king of check-downs. A lot of people think that is a bad thing but honestly for Ruggs that may not be. Here are Carr’s stats from 2019:

  • 82.6% On target throw % – 2nd behind Drew Brees
  • 3,926 Yards [9th Most]
  • Eight Interceptions [5th least]
  • 43.8 3rd Down Conversion % [7th most]

Stats like these show just how risk-averse he is and how often that he throws the check down.

The reason I like the check-down for Ruggs, in this case, is his pure speed and ability to make plays in the open field. Here is a clip that should get you excited about his ability to get open in the middle of the field:



The round-up

All things considered, I’m drafting as much Henry Ruggs as I can. He is such a valuable asset in fantasy. He’s one of only a few wide receivers with such a high floor to high ceiling ratio. With a high volume role, a low ADP, and elite traits to his game, I would draft Ruggs as much as I can.


Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice, including all 32 Fantasy Football Team Previews to get you prepared for the 2020 season

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