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Former No. 1 Ranked Fantasy Player Reveals His Top 2020 Sleeper, Breakout & Bust

The former No. 1 ranked fantasy player Ian Ritchie offers his Preseason Pro picks. His sleeper, bust, breakout, comeback and stash players for the 2020 season.


Michael Fabiano: Sleeper | Bust | Breakout | Comeback | Stash & Cash

Corey Parson | Dr. Roto | Ben Heisler | Matt Bayley | Kimra Schleicher | Darren Summer | Ian Ritchie | Shawn Childs | Mark Deming | John Rozek | Ben Heisler | Frankie Taddeo| Roy Larking | Scott Atkins | Bill Enright

Sleeper: WR Darius Slayton, NYG

Do you believe in Danny Dimes? Do you think the Giants will have some high-scoring games this season? All signs point to Golden Tate being too old and a step slow. Evan Engram has proven he can't stay on the field. Sterling Shepard is here today, gone tomorrow. Opportunity knocked for Slayton last year, and he was able to show his QB that he could be trusted on the long ball and all of his routes. His 15.4 yard per reception average and eight TDs have him primed to be the difference-maker for the Giants offense. I'm trusting him to be a very reliable fantasy option that will outperform his ADP. The extra offensive line help from Andrew Thomas, the 2020 fourth overall pick, shows the need to protect their QB. Extra time in the pocket will give Daniel Jones more time to light it up downfield to my Fantasy Sleeper of the Year, Darius Slayton.

Bust: TE Rob Gronkowski, TB

Where to start with a guy that has not been in the NFL since 2018. Gronk already had declining numbers when he retired, so the idea that an injury-prone 31-year-old TE will help your team this year sounds like a pipe dream. I will quote my colleague Michael Fabiano here that only 15 out of 241 tight ends of Gronk's age have ever averaged double digits in fantasy, so thinking he might be the 16th is not going to happen! Especially in the Bruce Arians' offensive system. There are three mouths to feed here at TE, and my favorite value between Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski is Brate because he's a freebie late-round flier. Take him and take him late! It's the only option for fantasy owners in Tampa, and he is worth the low asking price. Unlike Gronk, who is my Fantasy Bust of the Year.

Breakout: TE Tyler Higbee, LAR

Over his last five games in 2019, Tyler Higbee played as well as any skill player in the NFL. If you are looking for a mid-round pick with top round upside, this is your guy. In those last five games, his 54 targets ranked fifth-most, his 522 yards were the most in the NFL, and his 43 catches were the third-most for all skill players. He is drafted as the TE7, and to me, that screams value. I am looking for a top-three finish from Higbee. Trust Goff to get him the ball as he has proven himself to be extremely reliable, especially when Gerald Everett went down last season with an injury.

Do not be afraid to rely on Higbee this year and let him help take you to the title as he is my Fantasy Breakout Player of the Year!

Comeback: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT

Magic can happen in a contract year. JuJu had high expectations last season, and it seemed like everyone watching the NFL was a JuJu fan. Fast forward a year to 2020 and the return of Big Ben at QB, and all of a sudden, JuJu might be undervalued! With the potential emergence of Diontae Johnson, the Steelers third-round pick in 2019, and new signee Eric Ebron, JuJu may get the space he needs to operate at a high level.

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According to my colleague, Shawn Childs (Rainman), JuJu went from 166 targets in 2018 to only 70 targets in 2019. I do not expect him to get back to 2018's stats, but I think his target share will be back around 140-150 targets, which is more than enough for him to be my Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year.

I also think Vikings WR Adam Thielen is another great comeback candidate.

Stash and Cash: WR Hunter Renfrow, LVR

If you watched college football and Clemson specifically in recent years, you know Hunter Renfrow is big-time! A walk-on at 5'10" and 155 pounds, Renfrow had to earn everything. He is still not big at 185 pounds and also on the slow side with a 4.59 60 time. It does not matter! This dude has the shakes, makes big plays, and is totally unafraid to go over the middle. Playing slot in the NFL is for tough little guys, and Renfrow is in the same mold as Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, and Cole Beasley. He and Derek Carr seem to have great chemistry, and he is trusted. Forty-seven percent of his catches were on third down. Showing his toughness, half his yards per catch are yards gained after the catch. Pretty amazing to think with him catching so many balls from the slot.

According to The Rainman, Shawn Childs, in his last seven games last year, Renfrow averaged 15 points per game. Not bad for a late-round pick and exactly why Hunter Renfrow in my Fantasy Stash and Cash Player for 2020.

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