In three weeks, we will be in the middle of the NFL Draft. This week we’ve taken a trip around the NFC, outlining what positions would be best suited for improving our fantasy football teams for 2020. We finish with the NFC South. The Saints took down the NFC South, and as such… don’t really have much to do to improve. They ended up as the third seed and lost in a wild one to the Vikings. That only happened because they lost a wild one to the 49ers, which cost them a playoffs bye. Let’s take a quick trip around Tom Brady’s new division to figure out which positions are of greatest need… to help our 2020 fantasy football teams!
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Atlanta Falcons
Running Back, Depth Wide Receiver
Picks: #16 (round 1), #47 (round 2), #78 (round 3), #119 (round 4), #143 (compensatory pick, from Baltimore), #228 (round 7, from Tampa Bay via Philadelphia)
The Falcons invested deeply in offensive lineman last year, getting two in the draft. They likely want to see how that situation plays out before dipping their toes back into the water of deeply investing in the position again this year. They have a great one-two punch with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley at wide receiver and swung a trade for Hayden Hurst. Obviously, with Matt Ryan under center, they are set at quarterback.
The Falcons have two areas of need that should get shored up for fantasy football 2020 purposes: a depth running back, and a third wide receiver. Atlanta tried to solve their running back problem by signing Todd Gurley. They met with many top-flight RBs before COVID-19 shut down the league, and it would likely behoove them to keep walking down that path. The Rams let Todd Gurley go for a reason, and Gurley was about as efficient a player as Devonta Freeman, who the Falcons jettisoned last season. It’s likely the Falcons add an upper-middle-class RB like J.K. Dobbins in the second round, rather than wait to add a depth piece.
The Falcons also need a depth wide receiver to go behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Currently, their WR3 is either Russell Gage (who we tried to make a thing) or Laquon Treadwell (who the NFL tried to make a thing). This class has loads of depth and talent, so it’s likely they end up picking up a third-or-fourth round WR like Donovan Peoples-Jones.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Carolina Panthers
Picks: #7 (round 1), #38 (round 2), #69 (round 3, nice), #114 (round 4), #148 (round 5, from Washington), #152 (round 5), #184 (round 6), #221 (round 7)
The Panthers have Christian McCaffrey, a whole host of wide receivers, and a quality tight end in Ian Thomas. What they don’t have, unfortunately, is a quarterback who fits the weapons on the field. Both Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson are field stretchers, and Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t really throw deep. You could call it scheming or what have you, but he carries a career 7.2 yards per attempt over 34 career starts (in five seasons, across two different franchises). I’m skeptical that Teddy will suddenly chuck up rainbows to Anderson and Samuel. The Panthers won’t go toward a quarterback, given their situation and expenditures, but that’s the best thing for their 2020 fantasy football prospects.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: New Orleans Saints
Picks: #24 (round 1), #88 (round 3), #130 (round 4), #169 (round 5), #203 (round 6)
Putting down a quality WR2 and moving on was probably the easiest thing to do when I conceived of this project to fill in the gap post-free agency. Then, the Saints went out and signed Emmanuel Sanders, filling in a quality WR2 behind Michael Thomas. Their offensive line is strong, Drew Brees and Taysom Hill are going to do their QB two-step again this season, and Alvin Kamara & Latavius Murray make for a potent backfield. Also, Jared Cook exists. The Saints are set for fantasy football purposes for the time being.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Offensive Linemen, Running Back
Picks: #14 (round one), #45 (round 2), #76 (round 3), #117 (round 4), #139 (round 4, compensatory pick), #161 (round 5), #194 (round 6)
The Buccaneers offensive line was extremely bad last season. Let me rephrase that, the interior of the Buccos’ offensive line was fine. The tackles, however, seemed to have a death wish for Jameis. That won’t fly with the 43-year-old Tom Brady in the 2020 season. If they get Brady killed, or even worse, mad at them, then things will fly off the rails quickly in Tampa Bay. They need to keep Brady healthy, first and foremost, despite having The Real American behind him. An OT in the first round is a foregone conclusion for the Bucs at fourteen, to the point that you can put it down in pen.
I don’t believe in Ronald Jones II. I’m sorry, I still don’t trust him for fantasy football. Probably because Bruce Arians put his rear end firmly on the bench last season after blowing a pass block assignment. The Buccaneers should spend that second-round or third-round pick on a running back to usurp Ronald Jones. Maybe Clyde Edwards-Helaire, everyone’s pre-draft crush, lands with the G.O.A.T.?
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(Header Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/number7cloud/39392724284 under CC BY-SA 2.0)