It appears that the NFL plans on having the 2020 NFL season go on as scheduled despite the coronavirus pandemic. That means fantasy football players across the globe can begin preparing themselves for their upcoming drafts this offseason.
A lot has happened this offseason, with plenty of marquee players changing teams via trade or in free agency. Most notably, DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, giving Kyler Murray another weapon in the offense. In addition, Stefon Diggs was also traded, forcing him to pack his bags and join the Buffalo Bills.
While Hopkins and Diggs are worth taking in fantasy football, there are going to be players that don’t hold much value. Of course, when making a selection during the league, you should be targeting players that can give you a decent or great return on investment. Following a hectic offseason, here are five players to avoid in fantasy football in 2020.
Kirk Cousins (QB, Minnesota Vikings)
The Minnesota Vikings underwent quite a few changes this offseason — especially on the defensive side of the ball. However, the Vikings also traded the aforementioned Diggs to the Bills, leaving a void in their offense.
Yes, Minnesota selected Justin Jefferson with the No. 24 pick in hopes he could replace the production left behind by Diggs. But it’s hard to believe that Jefferson will be as effective as Diggs was in his rookie season. Besides the departure of Diggs, the Vikings also lost Kevin Stefanski as their offensive coordinator, replacing him with Gary Kubiak.
Under Kubiak, Minnesota will likely lean on Dalvin Cook even more than they did a season ago. After finishing as the 15th highest scoring quarterback in 2019, it’s safe to assume that Cousins could see a slight decline in fantasy football production in 2020.
Le’Veon Bell (RB, New York Jets)
There’s no mistaking the fact that Le’Veon Bell is still an ultra-talented running back with fantasy football potential. With that being said, Bell was unable to succeed in his first season with the New York Jets in 2019 due to a horrid offensive line.
Over the course of the offseason, the Jets made a concerted effort to improve in the trenches. Altogether, New York added Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, George Fant, and rookie Mekhi Becton this offseason.
Still, even with a seemingly improved offensive line, it’s hard to trust Bell in fantasy football. Until Sam Darnold shows improvements as a passer, Bell is going to have a tough time returning to the form that he was in with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Keenan Allen (WR, Los Angeles Chargers)
Similar to Bell, Keenan Allen is still one of the best players at his respective position. However, the circumstances that he’s been dealt this offseason with the Chargers makes it harder to draft him in fantasy football.
First, Allen will no longer have Philip Rivers throwing to him, an obvious limitation in fantasy football. Instead, Allen will be catching passes from either Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert in 2020. Over the past three seasons, Allen has received 136+ targets per season from Rivers.
With Rivers not in Los Angeles to attempt 35+ passes a game, Allen is in danger of losing a decent amount of targets. Taking that into consideration, despite being an underrated wide receiver, Allen should be avoided in fantasy football.
James Conner (RB, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Last season, James Conner was unable to put together a productive fantasy football season due to injuries. In his second season as the starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Conner finished with just 715 yards and seven touchdowns.
While he appears healthy and Ben Roethlisberger is returning, Conner still comes with a ton of fantasy football risks in 2020. Will he remain healthy? What will his workload look like with the other running backs in Pittsburgh’s backfield?
Besides Conner, the Steelers also have Benny Snell (who Mike Tomlin believes will excel next season), Jaylen Samuels, and rookie Anthony McFarland. Given all the variables, Conner should be avoided in fantasy football.
Leonard Fournette (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Another running back that could disappoint fantasy football owners in 2020 is Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Nevertheless, he remains in Jacksonville as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. This past season, Fournette finished as the seventh-highest scoring running back — according to ESPN’s scoring metrics — due to his breakout year as a receiver. The former first-round pick hauled in a career-high 76 receptions in 2019.
While it was impressive to see him catch 76 passes, Fournette managed to turn those into only 522 yards and zero touchdowns.