We’ve gone through twenty teams sorting out which positions we hope they look towards in the 2020 NFL Draft to best bolster our fantasy football leagues. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve written “this team has a terrible offensive line” for nearly every squad. Now, we move on to the AFC North. The Ravens took down this division last year while being one of the best teams in the league (Big Truss, woop, woop). Cleveland and Pittsburgh quickly descended into garbage fire status, a status the Bengals hoped they could someday improve enough to obtain. Let’s not forget that in week two last year, Vegas had Cincinnati as a favorite versus the 49ers. Let’s take a quick tour around the AFC North and square away the best-case scenario for 2020 fantasy football for each squad in the AFC North.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Baltimore Ravens
Picks: #28 (round 1), #55 (round 2, from New England via Atlanta), #60 (round 2), #92 (round 3), #106 (round 3, compensatory pick), #129 (round 4, from New England), #134 (round 4), #157 (round 5, from Atlanta), #225 (round 7, from N.Y. Jets)
The Ravens might just stand pat with the wide receivers they have. After all, they went to the playoffs last year with this group of guys and spent a first on Hollywood Brown and a third on Miles Boykin. You can’t watch their playoff loss to Tennessee and not come away of the opinion that they need to spend more resources on wide receivers, though. The corps betrayed Lamar Jackson with drops, bad routes, and bad play. There’s a good reason why their 169 targets to wide receivers were the lowest in the NFL by a wide margin last season. Their WRs stunk out loud, and the group got worse: Seth Roberts, their third-most targeted WR, absconded off to Carolina. Baltimore doesn’t need any help anywhere else on offense, but they should be understandably desperate for a wide receiver.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Cincinnati Bengals
Quarterback, Offensive Line
Picks: #1 (round 1), #33 (round 2), #65 (round 3), #107 (round 4), #147 (round 5), #180 (round 6), #215 (round 7)
I’m writing this under the assumption that A.J. Green makes his way back to Cincinnati in 2020, otherwise, they need a wide receiver, too. Shocking that the worst team in football last year needs so much, right? But, a Green return with Tyler Boyd and John Ross (and Auden Tate) makes for an interesting wide receiver corps.
Do you know what isn’t interesting? Andy Dalton. The Bengals own the #1 pick in the draft, and the smart money is on LSU’s Joe Burrow becoming the next quarterback in Cincinnati. They might go off-script and take Chase Young and see what happens, but I would think they are smarter than passing on Burrow in this draft. The Bengals also desperately need to draft some offensive lineman, since their situation was downright dreadful last year. PFF ranked them as the third-worst offensive line, and they only added Xavier Su’a-Filo in free agency.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Cleveland Browns
Picks: #10 (round 1), #41 (round 2), #74 (round 3), #97 (round 3, compensatory pick from Houston), #115 (round 4), #187 (round 6, from Arizona), #244 (round 7, from Green Bay)
I mean, where else is there for Cleveland to go here? Dethroning Baker Mayfield? Replacing Jarvis Landry or Odell Beckham atop the wide receiver room? Demoting either Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt? Discounting the Austin Hooper & David Njoku tandem? The Browns could use less crowded position rooms to clarify and consolidate some fantasy football production if we are being brutally honest. The specter of shared workloads and stolen targets looms large over all their potential weapons.
That leaves us with a big reason why the Browns didn’t succeed, despite all the talent on the roster. No, I’m not talking about Freddie Kitchens (though they already addressed that). The Browns moved Kevin Zeitler before the season, and seemingly everything fell apart from there as his replacements did not fare well, and caused cascading damage to the line as a whole. There isn’t an interior lineman worthy of their #10 pick, and they will likely shore up their tackle slot there.
2020 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Wishlist: Pittsburgh Steelers
Running Back, Quarterback
Picks: #49 (round 2), #102 (round 3, compensatory pick), #124 (round 4), #135 (round 4, from Tennessee through Miami), #198 (round 6), #232 (round 7)
Injuries ripped the Malevolent-Ghost-Who-Turned-Out-to-be-Old-Man-Smith Scooby Doo mask off these two positions for the Steelers last season. Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow injury exposed us to Mason Rudolph, who looked overwhelmed and exposed last year. That is, until the Steelers subjected us to six starts from Duck Hodges. The same thing happened with James Conners’ injuries forcing the Steelers to turn to Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels. Samuels showed up in a scat back, mini-Ekeler-type role, but did not have the vision or patience to be a traditional running back. Snell showed us he was just plain… bad.
The Steelers need to spend some mid-round selections shoring up both the QB room and the RB corps in order to make for better fantasy football production in 2020. It wouldn’t shock me to see a round two running back completely usurping James Conner on the depth chart. Unfortunately for Moria, Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going to be ensconced in a camp battle. We all saw last season, however, that a Big Ben injury can crush the rest of the fantasy football options.
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