Biggest Fades of the 2020 Season.

It’s 2020, which means it’s been exactly a decade since I graduated High School. Which in and of itself is crazy to me, the last decade has absolutely flown by. That’s partly due to my college years being a literal blur, for obvious reasons…However, that’s neither here nor there.

I don’t talk about this often, but at this time ten years ago, I had a difficult decision to make. I could either go to Oklahoma State and just be a student, or I could go play baseball on a partial scholarship at a Division 3 school called the University of the Ozarks. For some this might be a no brainer, just go to OSU and get your degree. However, for me this wasn’t an easy choice. It’s not as if I was being courted by big-time schools, and I wasn’t naive enough to think I was going pro. I did feel like I wanted to go continue playing baseball though, I played for over 16 years of my life and wasn’t quite ready to hang it up.

So, I ended up choosing to go play baseball for the Ozarks. At the time I thought I was making the correct decision for myself, and I actually enjoyed the time I spent at the Ozarks for the most part. It was a small school, located in a tiny town in Clarksville, Arkansas. What’s crazy is that Clarksville made Stillwater look enormous in stature when comparing the two. So I knew what I was getting into when I signed up, or so I thought I did.

If I had known then, what I know now I never would have gone to Arkansas to keep playing baseball. I should have faded the Ozarks by looking at it from all angles and just gone the safe route, which would have been going to OSU. Instead, I only looked at it from the perspective of wanting to keep playing baseball. Which in hindsight was a bad decision on my part.

I completely underestimated how difficult it would be to keep up with both baseball and school. It was like working a full-time job that you don’t get paid to do. School was always kind of difficult for me to begin with, so mixing in the rigors of college baseball, sucked the life out of me. I ended up staying for only one semester, I just couldn’t keep up with both. I had to choose to focus on what was most important, which was school. The choice of going to The University of the Ozarks should have been an easy fade. I just made the wrong decision. Don’t make the same mistake in your fantasy football drafts this season.

If a player seems like an easy fade to you this year, it’s probably for a good reason. Go with your gut, don’t make an easy choice more difficult than it has to be. It could windup up hurting you in the long run, and make being successful more difficult for yourself than it has to be. Here are some players I’m fading this year.

Lamar Jackson

It kills me to have to write this because I absolutely love Jackson’s game, he is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining players in the league to watch. Unfortunately, the cost to draft him is a big reason why I am fading him this year. He currently has an ADP of 19, and an AAV of $27. Both of those are too high in my opinion, which is why I’m going in a different direction when drafting this season. Last year, he had a ridiculous TD rate of 9%. Which is almost certainly going to regress. Historically, QBs that have that type of TD rate come back down to earth the following season. Mahomes is an example of someone who just had this happen. He went from an 8.6% TD rate in 2018. To a 5.4% TD rate this past season. That is still a great year, but he absolutely regressed to a more typical TD rate. A big reason why Jackson was so good for Fantasy last year, outside of his stats. Was because you were able to draft him late, this allowed you to draft more important positions early. Let some else draft him in round 2, while you draft a player at a much more shallow position, like RB or WR.

Dalvin Cook

Like Jackson, Cook is a fade for me this year due to his ADP and AAV. Both of which are 4 and $55 respectively. I love his game, just like I love Jackson’s. However, there are just too many question marks surrounding Cook this year for me to feel comfortable investing such high draft capital on him. He’s coming off his best season as a pro, which saw him get 1,600 total yards and 13 TDs. This was good enough for RB5, so he’s being drafting accordingly. Unfortunately, his ADP doesn’t have his contract negotiations or injury history baked into the price. It’s still high enough that I would rather take a RB that I know has a better chance of being on the field for all 16 games, and who will still provide elite production. Cook, in fact, has never been able to play all 16 games in a season. Could it happen this year, sure. I’m just more comfortable taking someone who I believe is a safer choice, like Ezekiel Elliott. After all, you can’t win your league in round 1. However, I do believe that you can lose it in round 1. If you do draft Cook, you better make sure you have Alexander Mattison as a handcuff. I’d even go as far as to say you might want to reach a little to get him, just to assure yourself of having the starter in the Minnesota backfield. I will say if the ADP were to drop in August due to a holdout. I could see myself reassessing this take if that we’re to happen. In fantasy, every situation is fluid, so we must react accordingly.

A.J. Brown

Some of you might hate seeing this, and that’s ok. What we can all agree on, is that Brown is a tremendous talent. There is no debating that. Unfortunately, he’s being drafting as the WR11 with an ADP of 29 and an AAV of $27. Both are a little too high for me. He’s is coming off a year that saw him get 52 catches for 1,051 yards and 8 TDs. What is crazy is that he did all of this on only 84 targets. That’s over 20 yards a catch, which is absolutely incredible, I just don’t believe it’s sustainable. I think that efficiency will drop some, so he would likely need to see a big bump in targets to put up those numbers or better. He will be the Titans go to WR this year, which helps. I just don’t think the Titans change things up enough to see him get a huge bump in targets. Their offense is just too focused on running the ball for me to take him that high. He will more than likely have multiple games of only 4 or 5 targets. Which isn’t what you’re looking for when drafting your WR1 for your team. It really comes down to whether or not I’d be comfortable taking him as that, your WR1. For me, that answer is no.

Darren Waller

It was technically Waller’s fifth season in the league last year, but he has only played games in four of them due to a suspension. He definitely broke out last season and had himself a career year by any standard. He had 90 catches on 117 targets for 1,145 yards and 3 TDs. Those are incredible numbers for any TE. Let alone a TE you probably drafted late. The 3 TDs left a little to be desired, but overall it’s hard to complain about that type of production from the TE position. Unfortunately for Waller, those types of numbers will probably be a thing of the past. I believe he will have a hard time matching that number in the target department this year. The Raiders have spent the off-season bringing in a lot of offensive talent to get targets of their own. From Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, to Lynn Bowden and Jason Witten. Yes, even Witten. Not to mention he will have to deal with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow getting their fair share of targets as well. Add all of this up, and it likely means a reduction of work for Waller. This should effectively lower the ceiling and floor for a player who just had over 1,100 yards. He’s being taken as the TE5, with an ADP of 53, and an AAV of $14. If he does in fact see a decrease in targets, both of those are likely higher than where he should be taken. Given the surprising depth at the TE position, I would much rather take a chance on a player who has yet to break out, and who will come with a lower draft capital. Then I would be drafting Waller where he currently is going.

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