The Bargain Barrell: Redraft Buy-low's

By Jon McNabb

Fantasy Football Analyst

Twitter @JonMcNabb

Each fantasy year, many of us seem to go through the same routine: (re)join league, draft, submit waiver claims, make trades, talk shit, rinse and repeat. As most fantasy veterans are aware, the 2020 season is far from routine. With another weird week of postponed games and injuries behind us, let us pretend for a moment it is a routine season and prepare for the future weeks. In this article, I'll suggest a few of my favorite trade targets in redraft that may give you the upper hand during the playoffs.

Quarterback: Drew Brees

There seems to be a consensus within the fantasy community that Drew Brees just is not as good as he once was. Generally speaking, that's true. Brees is now forty-one years old and not getting any younger, so naturally, he is playing differently than he did a decade ago. Over the course of his career he had consistently been one of the best quarterbacks in fantasy football. Since 2009, Brees has finished outside the top eight just twice: in 2017 (QB11) and again in 2019 (QB20). Currently, according to Sleeper, Brees is ranked as the QB15. Based on previous seasons, I believe Drew Brees - a future first ballot Hall of Famer - will finish within the top ten in 2020. I recently ran a Twitter poll in which Ben Roethlisberger was favored by 72%. You might wonder why I favor Drew Brees. Here is why: The Saints have a top-five offensive line. Offensive lines in general, in my opinion, are one of the most overlooked fantasy variables to consider and simply put, the Saints line is incredible. The Saints are currently ranked sixth in run blocking and fourth in pass protection according to footballoutsiders.com. Given the success of Alvin Kamara this season and the return of Michael Thomas possibly coming in the near future, the Saints have the better team. In addition, it revolves around one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time: Drew Brees. Many people are fading Brees with no preseason, losing Michael Thomas to injury, and the Saints being forced to rely heavily on Kamara. Go snag Brees on the cheap. Reap the benefits in the coming weeks when the Saints have a few nice matchups.

2020 projections based on current production (6pt TD/-2int/.10per yard):

Yards- 4,259

Touchdowns- 29

Interceptions- 9

Wide receiver: Will Fuller, V

Alright friends, this one messes with my head. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know I’m not the biggest fan of Will Fuller, mostly because his NFL career has been mired by injuries. Unfortunately, not much has changed in 2020. Fuller has already missed one game to an injury this season. In a turn of unsurprising events, Bill O’Brien was recently kicked to the curb by the Houston Texas, with Romeo Crennel taking his place as interim head coach. The defensive-minded interim coach Romeo will look to get the ball out of the too often sacked Deshaun Watson’s hand quickly and into the hands of his receivers. Will Fuller could become one of Watson’s favorite targets. Fuller is typically targeted within twenty yards of the line of scrimmage according to NextGen Stats. If the plan is to keep Deshaun upright, extend plays, and for the Texans to win a game or two this season, I believe Will Fuller will be an integral part of that plan.

2020 projections based on current production (PPR):

Receptions- 83

Yards- 1,245

Touchdowns- 11

Running Back: Ronald Jones

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know I’m a HUGE Ronald Jones fan. In a recent poll, I put my boy RoJo up against James Conner. The all too often injured back from Pittsburg was favored by 85%. In Conner’s first three seasons, he has averaged just twelve games per season. For all the uncertainty of Conner playing, I choose Ronald Jones. There are two more major reasons I favor RoJo over Conner: Tom Brady and the much-improved Tampa defense. TB12, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and future first ballot Hall of Famer, is really starting to meld with the offense. As the season carries on, I envision Bruce Arians implementing a two-headed run game in Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette (when he is healthy). Rojo will continue to take the majority of the snaps in the run game with a low volume target share. With Fournette having missed two games with Tampa this season, for me, Ronald Jones is a safe bargain RB2/flex for the rest of the season. 

2020 projections based on current production (PPR):

Rush Yards- 1,149

Receptions- 48

Receiving Yards- 243

Touchdowns- 3

Tight End: Zach Ertz

Fantasy football is not a race; it is a process. Let me start by saying that the Philadelphia Eagles have not looked good this season. Zach Ertz has not been producing like he has in seasons past. According to Sleeper, Ertz is currently ranked as the TE15 in PPR formats. Since 2015, Ertz has finished each season in the top nine at his position. The good news is that Zach Ertz has great upside as he is currently being targeted seven times per game, on average. Another consideration is Doug Pederson is not a bad coach. Given all the injuries to the Eagles receiving core, opposing defenses have been able to target and shut down Ertz. As receivers come back from injury, defenses will have to plan for other weapons, opening up more opportunities for Ertz. At this point in the season, with so many injuries stacking up at wide receiver and running back, I'll be targeting Ertz and hopefully acquiring a few shares at a solid discount. As a preface to the projections below, they look a little discouraging. If and when the Eagles get healthy and start flowing, Zach Ertz could find himself heavily targeted and as a top ten tight end again.

2020 projections based on current production (PPR):

Receptions- 64

Yards- 464

Touchdowns- 3

These players, at this point in the season, have not jumped off the page as league winners, but they will likely come at a great discount with tremendous upside. The reality is that 2020 is not a normal season. The teams that hired new coaches or acquired new players are at a significant disadvantage. With no preseason taking place due to COVID-19, this fantasy season is going to be significantly more difficult to predict. Chances are, if you are participating in this 2020 fantasy football season, it is not your first. If it happens to be your first season, I want to assure you this, not every season is this wild. Don’t be discouraged and remember my number one rule: Have Fun!

Jon McNabb

Across the Board Sports

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