Fantasy Football 2020: Top Player Rankings, Ideas for Team Names, League Names

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2020

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) speak following an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Brian Blanco/Associated Press

Several factors go into a successful fantasy season. Managers have to be smart with their lineup choices, work the waiver wire like a seasoned NFL executive and uncover value at every stage of the fantasy draft. However, few things make or break a season like the first few selections.

Landing an elite player early in the draft—typically a running back or a receiver—provides a core around which to build. It's even more important, though, to avoid using an early pick on a player who gets glued to the bench.

While injuries and other unforeseen factors are inevitable, managers can protect themselves by targeting consistent performers rather than boom-or-bust prospects early in the draft.

Here, we'll examine three of the safest prospects heading into 2020, along with the top 10 players at each skill position and some intriguing team and league names to get your fantasy season started.


Patrick Semansky/Associated Press


1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

2. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

5. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

7. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

9. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

10. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles


Running Backs

1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

4. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

6. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

7. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

9. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

10. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers


Wide Receivers

1. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

3. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

5. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

6. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

7. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

8. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns

10. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys


Tight Ends

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

4. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

5. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

6. Evan Engram, New York Giants

7. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

8. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

9. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints

10. Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns


Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Based on his 2019 numbers—2,392 combined rushing and receiving yards and 19 touchdowns—Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is the common-sense pick at No. 1 overall. Managers who don't own the No. 1 pick but still have a shot at New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley should pull the trigger.

While Barkley did miss three games in 2019, he still finished with 1,003 rushing yards, 52 receptions, 438 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. In 16 games as a rookie, he topped 2,000 scrimmage yards and had 15 touchdowns.

Barkley is the centerpiece of the Giants offense, and he's going to be one of the top-producing running backs virtually every week in which he is healthy.

He can be drafted and left in the starting lineup until the bye week, assuming another fluke injury doesn't crop up.


Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas might lay claim to being the best receiver in fantasy—particularly in PPR leagues—but Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons is about as consistent as they come.

Just consider that the last time Jones didn't top 1,300 receiving yards was in 2013, when he was limited to five games. He had 1,394 yards last season and at least 1,400 yards in each other season since 2013. He has also had at least 80 receptions in each season since 2013.

"I know defensive coordinators who lose sleep three nights before they have to face Julio," NFL Network's Peter Schrager said recently on Good Morning Football.

With a future Hall of Famer in Matt Ryan at quarterback, Jones leaves no questions about his floor or his ceiling in the fantasy landscape.


George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

Only a few tight ends are worth considering in the first couple of rounds, but guys like Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle can be valued as No. 1 pass-catchers. Kelce, who has more than 2,500 receiving yards over the past two seasons, is the tight end to target first.

However, the San Francisco 49ers' Kittle is remarkably consistent and can be picked without hesitation because of his high floor.

Kittle is the No. 1 target in the San Francisco offense. He has topped 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons and has caught 173 passes in that span. Over the past two years, Kittle has averaged roughly six receptions and 81 yards per game—with a touchdown every third game.

Managers can draft Kittle early with confidence in virtually every season-long fantasy format.


Team Names for 2020

  • You Like That?
  • What's Up, Mahomes
  • You Mad, Burrow?
  • Baskin Dobbins
  • Barkley Up the Wrong Tree
  • Judge Jeudy
  • Golden Tate Warriors
  • Hot Chubb Time Machine
  • Hooked on a Thielen
  • Vaughn With the Win
  • Dak to the Future
  • Game of Jones
  • 3rd Down for Watt
  • Aaron It Out
  • Baby Got Dak
  • Roethlisbergers With Cheese
  • Tua Legit to Quit
  • Deshaun of the Dead
  • From Wentz We Came
  • Tompa Bay
  • The Gronkaneers
  • Zeke and Destroy
  • Dalvin and the Chipmunks
  • Country Road, Take Mahomes


League Names

  • The Motley Crew
  • A League of Our Own
  • Weekend Warriors
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • Too Many Cooks
  • The Greatest Show on Paper
  • Average Joes
  • Win or Go Home
  • Un-Prime Time
  • Monday Morning Hangover
  • All in the Family
  • This Is Us
  • The No Fun League