Fantasy Football 2020: Latest Draft Rankings and PPR Sleepers to Watch

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2020

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) runs against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Brian Blanco/Associated Press

There are many different ways to play fantasy football, and each comes with its own nuances and unique tricks for finding value.

In points-per-reception leagues (PPR) for example, high-volume pass-catchers can be terrific flex options late in the draft. For example, if a running back only averages eight to 112 touches per game, he isn't likely to be a coveted draft target. However, if four to five of those touches are receptions, he suddenly becomes a viable flex option or streamer. A 30- or 40-yard outing could quickly become a nine-to-10-point week for fantasy managers thanks to added PPR points.

Here, we'll examine some potential 2020 fantasy sleepers based primarily on their PPR value. First, though, an updated look at the PPR draft rankings.


2020 Fantasy Top 50, PPR

1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

2. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

3. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

4. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

5. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

6. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

7. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

9. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

10. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

11. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

12. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

14. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

15. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

16. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

17. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

18. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

19. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions

21. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

22. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

23. DJ Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers

24. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals

25. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

26. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

27. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

28. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

29. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

30. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

31. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns

32. Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons

33. Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears

34. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

35. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

36. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

37. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

38. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

39. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

40. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos

41. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

42. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens

43. Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

44. DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

45. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

46. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

47. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

48. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

49. Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

50. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears


Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Were he still with the Baltimore Ravens, tight end Hayden Hurst would have little fantasy value aside from being a handcuff for standout Mark Andrews. However, Hurts was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason, where he will replace Pro Bowler Austin Hooper.

This is important because the vacuum created by Hooper's free-agent departure should open up opportunities for Hurst. Last season, Hooper caught 75 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns. Even if Hurst doesn't do as much with his catches, production in the 75-catch range will make him a starting-caliber tight end.

Of course, Hurst's yardage and touchdown totals could also be impressive. The 2018 first-round pick has already been building chemistry with quarterback Matt Ryan.

"That's really going to pay off in training camp," he said, per ESPN's Vaughn McClure.

Hurst holds an average draft position (ADP) of 163, according to FantasyPros.


Duke Johnson Jr., RB, Houston Texans

The Houston Texans traded away star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason, meaning there will be targets to go around. While quarterback Deshaun Watson will look to get the ball to new additions Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, he'll miss the security of having a reliable receiver like Hopkins.

This could lead to more check-down throws from Watson and more opportunities for pass-catching back Duke Johnson Jr. Last season, Johnson caught 44 passes for 410 yards and three touchdowns while splitting time with Carlos Hyde. This was on top of 410 rushing yards and two more scores.

While the Texans did acquire running back David Johnson as part of the Hopkins deal, there's no guarantee that he will be the same workhorse running back that he once was. Yes, this is a player who once had 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards, but that was back in 2016.

Last season, David Johnson averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. If he doesn't pan out as Houston's lead back, Duke Johnson will see an expanded role. 

Duke Johnson's current ADP is 139.


Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears

Apparently, the emergence of Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery has caused fantasy managers to sour on receiving back Tarik Cohen. Though he caught a whopping 79 passes for 456 yards and three scores last season, Cohen has an ADP of just 144.

Yes, Montgomery is likely to be the lead back in 2020, and Cohen may see another subpar year in rushing—he had just 213 yards last season. However, any back who averages five receptions per game is going to hold PPR value.

Cohen is worth picking up higher than his 144 ADP might suggest. In addition to being a viable flex streamer, he also provides immense value as a handcuff to Montgomery. He can be started in a pinch and will gain immense trade value if Montgomery goes down with a significant injury.

If you draft Montgomery early, then Cohen is a no-brainer pick late.