Fantasy Football Value Changes
I can't help but feel bad for running backs. Every year NFL players make more and more money, yet running backs seem to make less and less. Running backs that did sign massive contracts are now only guaranteed for no more than 2 years it seems before the team has the option to cut them. Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon are the latest examples. I feel like the NFLPA should figure out some sort of payment structure for running backs that counts differently against the cap. But anyway, here are my fantasy thoughts.
Toddy Gurley: I think the move to Atlanta is a lateral one for Gurley. He will likely attempt less rushes in a Dirk Koetter offense, but he may catch more passes. Devonta Freeman snagged 59 receptions last year compared to Gurley's 31. I do think the offense will be better though than LA, so there is a chance he gets more goalline carries, but he had 12 rushing touchdowns last year, so expecting him to get more than that is probably a stretch.
Melvin Gordon: The move to the Broncos doesn't feel a lot different than what he had in LA. Austin Ekeler and Philip Lindsay are both undersized situational backs. Ekeler is the better pass catcher whereas Lindsay is the better runner. It's possible that Gordon takes on more passing work in Denver, which could improve the situation some, but overall I think this feels like a lateral move.
Phillip Lindsay: This is a bad move for Lindsay's fantasy stock. I've been preaching in dynasty to trade him because teams will never treat him as a true workhorse back, and the Broncos just showed that. He had him outside of my Top 20 backs a few weeks ago, and now he's likely outside of the top 30.
Emmanuel Sanders: Did you know that Emmanuel Sanders was the only player in the NFL last season to play in all 17 NFL games. Fun Fact. This move to New Orleans feels like another lateral move for fantasy. It's going to be hard for any player to take targets away from Michael Thomas. He's like a black hole for receptions. The Saints however did attempt more than 103 more passes than San Francisco. So all in all, I think Sanders does about what he did last season and finishes as a back end WR3.
Michael Thomas: Like I mentioned with Sanders, I don't see him taking a ton of targets away from Michael Thomas. Thomas will score less fantasy points just do to regression, but it won't be because of Sanders.
Drew Brees: The Sanders signing is a boost for Drew Brees. I think Sanders makes a great number two receiving option for Drew. Brees had an under the radar great fantasy season last year that was overlooked because of the thumb injury. If you remove the game against the Rams where he was knocked out in the 2nd quarter he averaged 22.4 points per game, which was 2nd only to Lamar Jackson. He's going to be a good fantasy option in 2020.
Deebo Samuel: Obviously the Sanders departure is a good thing for Samuel going into his 2nd season. Over the last 8 games of the season Deebo was the WR15. I think he finishes as a WR2 in 2020.
Eric Ebron: Things were pretty terrible last season for Ebron, so I only have him going up by comparison. I don't think he is a TE1 in Pittsburgh, but possible a high end TE2.
Ben Roethlisberger: I have some doubts about Big Ben going into his age 38 season. He hasn't taken care of himself to the level of Tom Brady and Drew Brees, and they are the only two quarterbacks I've seen play at a high level at that age and beyond. Having said that, Ebron should help give a slight boost to Ben.