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Top Rebound Candidates for 2020

Is it way too early to be thinking about fantasy football for the 2020 season? Yes. Are we going to do it anyway? You bet we are. While coaches, coordinators, players, and rookies will change some things, you're still going to be able to get an idea of where certain players are going to be selected in drafts next year just based on the finishes they had at the end of this season.

Some guys are going to slip much further than they should based on disappointing seasons or question marks based on injuries or playing time. For instance, Packers running back Aaron Jones was drafted in the third or fourth round of most drafts, and he finished second in running back scoring. Or there's the biggest example of this, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson slid past the 10th round in most drafts, and he was the No. 1 fantasy scorer.

Who is going to be this year's breakout player that slips too far in drafts? We want to start building that draft board now to make life more difficult for everyone else in your league, so let's get to it!

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Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)

There are going to be a lot of people off Mayfield next year after the struggles that he had in his sophomore season, and that leaves more value for us later in the draft. As long as no one comes and gets these receivers, they're still going to have a supremely talented group of skill-position players. Wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. have historically performed better with worse quarterbacks, and tight end David Njoku will also be back.

The major key for Mayfield, aside from getting a new coach to call the plays, is that he will be getting a better offensive line in front of him to keep clean. In 14 games as a rookie, he was sacked just 25 times. In 16 games last season, he was taken down 40 times. That amounts to 15 more sacks in just two more games. The Browns have a top-10 pick and four picks in the top-100 overall. They can add multiple talented linemen to this mix, and Mayfield is still talented enough to make big plays happen.

 

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)

I saw somewhere the other day that Gurley went in the late sixth round of a 2020 fantasy mock draft. Did Gurley regress from last season? Yes. That was expected after the MVP-level season that he had just put forth. However, he was still a top-15 running back this season in PPR formats. You're telling me that a top-20 running back doesn't deserve to be higher than the sixth round? I'll say this. If he falls that far in any league that I'm in, I'm drafting him instantly. He is still a good PPR threat, and the team was featuring him a lot late in the year when they got the offense back on track.

Also, even in games where he didn't put up a ton of yardage, he was still getting work down in the red zone. He scored 12 touchdowns in 15 games on the ground, and he added two more through the air. You could argue that his value mainly comes from the 14 touchdowns he scored, which may not be repeated but that makes 54 TD in the last three seasons, so it's not as if it was a fluke. Gurley had a giant question mark on him because of his knee, an issue made worse by the fact that the team refused to answer clearly what the injury was last offseason. He showed this year that he can play at a high level despite the knee, so I'd have no reservations about drafting him.

 

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)

There were a number of wide receivers that underachieved this season but I think the one that has the best ability to bounce back next season is Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. He was a top-20 player at the position prior to the multiple injuries that he suffered. Through Week 8, which was his final game before missing several with injury, he was WR23. Since becoming a full-time player in 2013, he had missed just four games total until this season when he missed six.

Hilton will be playing with quarterback Jacoby Brissett for another year (one would assume) and that's a good thing because the two showed a great connection early in the season. Despite missing six games, he still was third on the team in targets by just four behind wide receiver Zach Pascal and tight end Jack Doyle. His big-play ability combined with his chemistry with the quarterback should lead to a much better finish than the WR57 mark he had at the end of this season.

 

Eric Ebron (TE, FA)

I don't know where he's going to be playing next year, outside of the fact that it won't be with the Indianapolis Colts. Ebron is a free agent and the team has expressed little interest in retaining him. After a breakout season in 2018, he was overdrafted last year. His value is going to hit the tank this year and you're going to get an athletic tight end who is a great red zone threat at a huge discount. Plus, at the tight end spot, it's not that hard to be considered a top talent at the position. He can easily achieve value for you and exceed that.

Because of his struggles with drops and injuries, players aren't going to want to pay up for him, so you'll likely get him at the end of the first 10 tight ends or even later depending on his situation. Ebron scored 13 touchdowns in the 2018-19 season which was just short of half of his career total of 27. Fantasy gamers are still punting on the tight end position after the top few guys come off of the board, and Ebron could be one of those guys that sneak up the scoreboard on you throughout the year.

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