Fantasy Football is a fluid as year to year things change. The players on this list were breakouts once and can be bouncebacks in 2020. Unfortunately these players did not perform to their draft costs. A myriad of reasons for the down seasons can vary from injuries to inadequate coaching. Coaches not being truthful about injury reports was another to take note. The 2019 season provided many interesting statistics however one in particular stands out. Before the season If you told me Lamar Jackson would rush for more yards than Todd Gurley and David Johnson combined I would have taken that bet. (1207-1202)
Browns QB Baker Mayfield
Unfortunately the step forward from year 1 to year 2 was a step backward. Passer rating dropped from 93.7 to 78.8 interceptions went up from 14 to 21. TD dropped from 27 to 22. The surrounding talent at the skill positions improved with the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr. Unfortunately incompetent coaching on the offensive side of the ball spearheaded by Freddie Kitchens and Todd Monken played a contributing factor in Baker’s demise. He also played a part in being careless with the ball. I am willing to spend a late round pick as a QB2 on Baker in 2020.
Rams QB Jared Goff
Pass attempts went up by 65 from 2018 to 2019. Sadly yards were down by 50 to 4,638 and TD’s dropped from 32 to 22. Sean McVay was unable to get his offense on track all season. Goff got exposed as play action was non-existent and the defense got the doors blow off a few times this year. Goff maybe learns from the struggles of 2019 and improves in 2020. I spent a middle round pick on Goff this year as my QB2. I may consider doing the same again as I don’t believe McVay’s offense stinks again in 2020. I guess even “Super Geniuses” have down years.
Bears QB Mitch Trubisky
Much of the hope built in 2018 was wiped away in 2019. “What The F^%$ Was That” is the best way I describe Trubisky’s play and Matt Nagy’s play-calling in 2019. Trubisky’s accuracy and decision making got exposed in year 2 of Nagy’s offense. Trubisky did play hurt with left shoulder and hip injuries limiting his ability to make plays with his feet. Nagy didn’t do Trubisky any favors with his play-calling either. Completion percentage dropped from 66.6 to 63.2 and TD’s down from 24 to 17. 2020 is a pivotal year in Trubisky’s career as he’s playing to get the 5th year option picked up. Improving on footwork should be his main priority this offseason. QB2 late if you draft Mahomes or Lamar Jackson.
Panthers QB Cam Newton
Played thru foot injury for 2 games before shutting it down for the season. Across the leagues I play in Newton was drafted ahead of Lamar Jackson, Carson Wentz, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Kyler Murray. Underwent foot surgery in December and theoretically should be ready for the off-season program. Whether it’s in Carolina or somewhere else is to-be-determined. Newton is a QB2 gamble entering drafts next season.
Cardinals RB David Johnson
As a first round pick Johnson’s season was an unmitigated disaster. 345/2 and 370/4. Didn’t scoring a rushing TD after Week 6. After the Week 7 injury fiasco of 1 carry for 2 yards vs. the Giants, DJ was useless for fantasy owners. Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury not being forthcoming with the injury details contributed to the problem. Noted Kliff. Kenyan Drake was acquired in a trade and took the job away. Johnson’s cap number means he’ll more than likely be around in 2020. I’ll have to re-examine the Cardinals offseason before drafting Johnson again at any cost.
Steelers RB James Conner
464/4 and 251/3 in a lost season. Week 8 saw Conner go for 145 yards against the Dolphins. The Steelers were the most snake bit team in the NFL this season. I’d consider Conner again in drafts at nearly a similar cost in 2020.
Falcons RB Devonta Freeman
His Week 16 performance helped win me a league championship. 2 rushing TD this season. 88 rushing yards was his season high (accomplished twice). 59/410/4 TD kept Freeman rosterable. 2020 is an interesting case for Freeman as injuries along the offensive line I believe played a part in his down season. If the Falcons don’t draft a RB, I’d consider Freeman again a few rounds later.
Chiefs RB Damien Williams
Over-drafted due his late 2018 success. Missed 5 games due to injuries, but wasn’t that effective when healthy. Just 3 games with over 100 total yards this season. In his first 6 games played rushing for 30 yards or less. I watched a lot of good players get passed over in favor of Williams drafts. For 2020, I probably will pass on Williams unless it’s really late.
Patriots RB Sony Michel
912 rushing yards and 7 TD. 0 games with 100 yards rushing. 1 game with 3 TD and 0 scores in 11 of 16 games. Just 12 receptions on the season. 2020 drafts I may be more inclined to select Damien Harris with a later pick.
Raiders/Patriots WR Antonio Brown
1 game for 4/56/1 was his season. Fantasy owners that spent a 2nd round pick on AB were burned twice. Countless valuable players were passed over in favor of Brown. Then many of those fantasy owners failed to strike while the iron was hot and trade away Brown. (Something I mentioned on my segment on a Milwaukee Radio Fantasy Football show.) Strangest fall from grace I’ve ever seen from an athlete in his prime. Hopefully Antonio Brown receives the help he may need.
Vikings WR Adam Thielen
30/418/6 TD. Week 7 vs. the Lions caught 1 ball for 25 yards and a TD. His season was essentially over. Missed 6 of the last 9 games with injuries. Was active and caught nothing in 2 contests and 3 for 27 yards vs. the Chargers in Week 15. Fantasy owners burned a roster spot hoping for Thielen to return. I don’t believe Mike Zimmer was truthful with the injury updates on Thielen. I’m noting that Zimmer isn’t truthful about injury updates for 2020. If healthy, Thielen should be a high upside bounce back candidate.
Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.
73/1,035/4 TD for Beckham in Cleveland. 64 players had more receiving TD than OBJ in 2019. Not what owners were expecting with that early of a draft choice. The Browns were the winners of the off-season in 2019 and it didn’t translate to the field. Injuries also played a part. I would consider OBJ in drafts next season at the right price.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
42/552/3 TD is quite a precipitous fall from 111/1,426/7. JuJu missed 4 games with injuries and was done in by inadequate play at the QB position. One of my favorite bounce-backs in 2020, don’t let JuJu fall in drafts.
Rams WR Brandin Cooks
Streak of 4 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons was snapped in 2019. 42/583/1 isn’t what owners expected from the deep threat in McVay’s offense. The Rams took a step back as referenced in my Goff write-up, but Cooks struggled with concussions. Concussion history and lack of red zone TD’s have taken Cooks off my board the last 2 seasons. The draft cost for Cooks is often too rich for my liking.
Chargers WR Mike Williams
One of my biggest disappointments in football in 2019. I strongly endorsed Williams as a keeper for 2019. On 66 targets had 43 catches for 10 TD. Imagine if Williams got 90 targets in 2019. He did for 49/1001/2 TD. In researching this piece I was surprised to see Williams actually hit the 1000 yard-mark. Averaged a league high 20.4 yards per catch. Williams reportedly played thru knee pain in 2019. Free-falling in the draft in 2020 is the only way I’d consider Williams.
Colts TE Eric Ebron
13 TD in 2018 down to 3 TD in 2019. Lesson don’t chase touchdowns in fantasy football. Ebron will likely looking for a new home in 2020. Depending on where Ebron goes he may be a TE2.
Buccaneers TE OJ Howard
34/459/1 TD playing with a QB that led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards. A lot of these guys on this list were hurt, Howard played in 14 games. Howard was typically drafted in that round 6 to round 9 range of drafts. 28 Tight Ends scored more fantasy points the Howard in one of my PPR leagues. Bruce Arians historically doesn’t utilize the TE in his passing attack. Howard is a candidate to get traded. In change of scenery, I may have some shares of OJ.