Every year there are some big name players that somewhat disappoint or don't play up to their potential and 2019 was no exception. More often than not this slip in productions is due to an injury to the player himself or an injury to the QB, which completely disrupts the offense. Today we examine our short-list of bona fide NFL stars who we expect to have a bounce-back season in 2020 Fantasy Football.
In 2019, Kamara was being drafted as a sure-fire Top 4 pick across all formats which in part is why his output was so disappointing. Due to ankle and knee injuries that kept Kamara out for two weeks, and possibly lingered on for longer, Kamara finished as the 16th overall Standard scoring RB and 9th overall PPR RB. His final stat line was 171 rushes for 797 yards, 5 TD's and 81 receptions for 533 yards and 1 receiving TD. Also worth noting is that Drew Brees did miss 5 games and while Bridgewater filled in nicely it's probably fair to say the Saint offense wasn't as explosive as usual during that span. The reason for optimism when it comes to Kamara is that even in a "down" year he was still a Top 10 PPR RB and most importantly now Kamara can be had outside of the Top 5 picks in Fantasy Drafts and could be available to you in between picks 5-7. In truth, Kamara is the closest RB to Christian McCaffrey skill set wise and he gets a nice bump as a pass catching option. While Latavius Murray is also lurking in the backfield we have seen Kamara succeed before while playing alongside Mark Ingram so when fully healthy we believe he will return to a Top 5 RB on one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL and playing behind a solid offensive line.
In truth Conner never had a chance in 2019. As good as the Steeler offensive line is, as soon as Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the year at the start of the season that spelled doom for every Steeler fantasy option because of the drastic drop in QB play afterwards. To make matters worse is the fact that Conner also struggled with injuries and missed 6 games resulting in a finish as the 33rd Standard Scoring RB and 35th overall in PPR formats. His stat line was 116 rushes for 464 yards and 4 TD's along with 34 receptions for 251 yards and 3 TD's. Even with this pointed out though many people will still ignore as Conner as he has struggled with injuries for the last 2 seasons and was a big time bust in 2019 after being a late first round pick. BUT, we are here to tell you it is for precisely that reason that Conner is a risk worth taking. This is the perfect example of a player where the risk is outweighed by the reward. The primary reason for that is that Conner is being drafted in between the 4th and 5th rounds in drafts right now even though he is the feature back for Pittsburgh and should see plenty of volume. We predict Conner's ADP will slowly rise as we get closer to the start of the season so scoop him up at this undervalued price while you still can as he has RB 1 upside.
While Tyreek Hill is the biggest boom or bust player on this list, his skill set is undeniable and considering the pairing with Patrick Mahomes, then it's easy to see why Hill was being drafted as a Top 5 WR in 2019 and why he will retain that value in 2020 despite a "down year". Similar to the other players on this list an injury, shoulder, kept Hill out for several games at the start of the season as he finished with 58 receptions for 860 yards and 7 TD's through 12 games. Mixed into this is the fact that Mahomes also missed some time and for several weeks was playing banged up during which the Chiefs were a bit more inconsistent than usual offensively. However, with a fully healthy offensive cast the Chiefs are arguably the most talented offense in the NFL and with the best QB in the NFL on their side they can drop 50 on any opponent in the blink of an eye. The biggest worry about Hill is primarily his reception count as he is more of a standard scoring suited WR that does his damage on big plays with his incredible speed. But even with that Hill will be drafted as a Top 5 WR across all formats and with good reason as he is the top WR option for Mahomes and has a higher week to week ceiling than any WR in Fantasy Football.
The price tag hasn't dropped for Adams heading into the 2020 Fantasy Season despite him missing 4 games and finishing as the 29th and 23th scoring WR in Standard and PPR formats respectively. The top target for Rodgers finished the year with 83 receptions for 997 yards and 5 TD's in 2019 and is projected to return to elite status as he is usually the 2nd WR off the board. Due to this, Adams does'nt fall in the "undervalued" category but this does show that the rest of the fantasy community is confident in a bounce-back year for the stud WR in 2020 as well. Even with the Packers seemingly shifting to a run first offense the fact remains that when Rodgers has to find an option Adams is BY FAR his preferred target. GB also didn't add many new receiving weapons to the offense during free agency and the Draft, which means Adams will continue to be peppered with targets and that will result in plenty of opportunities for him to produce stats closer to his 2018 campaign.
Similar to James Conner, JuJu's fantasy season ended pretty much as soon as Big Ben got injured at the start of the season. Making matters worse though is that JuJu also struggled with injuries and when he did manage to see the field he had to deal with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges throwing him the football. Draft wise it's fair to say that JuJu was maybe a bit prematurely over-hyped in 2019, as he was being drafted as a Top 5 WR with Antonio Brown no longer a part of the team. In reality though, we still need to see how JuJu will fair as the #1 WR on the Steeler offense and his current ADP of somewhere in the 3rd/4th round is probably a bit more accurate, but undoubtedly still undervalued! For that reason we would endorse taking a chance on JuJu as he will get the most volume out of any other Pittsburgh WR and is still on an offense that can air it out with a healthy Big Ben.
While on the field in 2019, Engram was an absolute beast for the Giants and was headed for a Top 5 Fantasy TE type of season. But as we have seen before injuries crept up on the young TE as he missed half the season and finished as the 19th and 18th overall TE in standard and PPR formats respectively. His final stat line was 44 receptions for 467 yards and 3 TD's. If you extrapolate that production, Engram was on pace for close to 90 receptions for upwards of 900 yards and 6 TD's. Those stats would have put Engram into the Top 5 TE's across all formats! It's this reason why we continue to highlight the extremely high ceiling Engram has every year. His price tag right now is in the 6th/7th round which puts him in the category as a later round TE that can outproduce his ADP in a HUGE way and be a key piece to your roster like a Darren Waller or Mark Andrews of last year. The truth is that Engram is so big and physical that he creates mismatches on almost every play and with a gunslinger like Daniel Jones we think Engram will have plenty of opportunities to excel in 2020.
Even though it might be a bit tempting to fall into a recency bias trap and focus in on the most recent performance of a fantasy football player these guys have earned the superstar moniker for a reason. Simply put, when healthy the above players are RB 1 / WR 1 / TE 1 type of players that can carry your team to a championship. The best thing about this group of guys is that some are still undervalued which allows you to add them to your team at a bargain compared to other years. At the end of the day, we believe these players will all dominate and any concern or hesitation that might be surrounding them now will be wiped away for the 2021 season.