2020 Fantasy Football Sleepers
5. Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Injuries cost Chase Edmonds a shot at a sophomore breakout in 2019. With David Johnson banged up, Edmonds erupted for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground in the lone game in which he played over 65 percent of the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive snaps. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry on the season as a whole, which was only just behind Kenyan Drake’s 5.2 for the team lead. Drake will enter the season as the lead back in Arizona, but a healthy Edmonds will have a real shot at earning some significant volume as the No. 2 option in the team’s backfield, and he has proven that he can produce when given the opportunity.
4. Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos have surrounded sophomore QB Drew Lock with talent, and that’s good news for the offense in 2020. Noah Fant should play a big part in their offensive success after ranking second on the team with 66 targets in 2019, despite being a rookie at a position that historically doesn’t have much success in year one. Fant also posted solid efficiency to go with that volume, finishing tied for eighth among tight ends with 50-plus targets by averaging 8.5 yards per target.
3. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
Sterling Shepard missed a good chunk of the 2019 season with an injury, but when he suited up he got a ton of volume. He didn’t see fewer than 6 targets in any of his 10 games, and his average of 8.3 per game ranked No. 16 among all wideouts on the season. The Darius Slayton breakout and return of Golden Tate from suspension didn’t hurt his workload either, as his two highest target totals of the year (11 in Week 15 and 10 in Week 17) came at the end of the season. Having ranked 24th at the position in PPR fantasy points per game (14.2; minimum 4 games played), Shepard could very well be in for a big season if he stays healthy.
2. Jordan Howard, RB, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins’ running back situation was comically bad in 2019, and Ryan Fitzpatrick actually finished the season as the team’s leading rusher. They’ve addressed that weakness for 2020 though, with moves that include signing former Chicago Bear and Philadelphia Eagle Jordan Howard. Howard spent much of 2019 injured, but he produced well early in the year, averaging 66.0 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game when combining his rushing and receiving stats. If we ignore Week 17, when he played just one snap, Howard’s 12.4 PPR fantasy points per game would have ranked 27th at the position — tied with Phillip Lindsay, and one spot behind Kareem Hunt. As the presumed starter in Miami (ahead of Matt Breida, who was acquired for a fifth-round pick), Howard should be in for enough volume to have another solid season.
1. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
What do Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott and Matthew Stafford have in common? They are the only four quarterbacks that averaged over 20.5 fantasy points per game in the 2019 season. It wasn’t just hollow stats either, as his average of 9.1 adjusted yards per pass attempt (AY/A) ranked second in the NFL, trailing only Ryan Tannehill. Stafford suffered a season-ending injury after playing eight games, but the 32-year-old is healthy again and ready to pick up where he left off. A top-five season might be a bit of a stretch, but Stafford’s upside is hard to deny, and he’s being drafted as just the QB13 according to FantasyPros’ average draft position (ADP) data.