This is the final part of a three-part series, where I look at the opening three rounds of this year’s fantasy draft. I will look for the one player who is the candidate to bust in each round potentially.
Here are the players listed 25-36 according to our Advanced ADP tool which pulls exclusive results from our high stakes drafts.
- 3.01 Allen Robinson
- 3.02 Patrick Mahomes
- 3.03 George Kittle
- 3.04 Odell Beckham
- 3.05 Leonard Fournette
- 3.06 Todd Gurley
- 3.07 D.J. Moore
- 3.08 Amari Cooper
- 3.09 A.J. Brown
- 3.10 JuJu Smith-Schuster
- 3.11 Melvin Gordon
- 3.12 Cooper Kupp
First Runner-Up: WR Amari Cooper, DAL
I know that this selection is going to draw the ire of the fans of "America’s Team", but my job is to give you the best fantasy advice possible! There is solid evidence that points to Cooper not producing third-round value.
To begin with, let’s talk about Cooper's lack of consistency. He had two games of 11 catches last season, but he also had four games where he had three or fewer catches. From Weeks 10-17 last season, he only caught two TD passes and only had three games with double-digit targets. Is that the production you are looking for from your WR1?
Cooper also struggles on the road. Look at these numbers:
- Week 2: @WAS - 4/44/1
- Week 4: @NO - 5/48/0
- Week 6: @NYJ - 1/3/0
- Week 9: @NYG - 4/80/1
- Week 11: @DET - 3/38/0
- Week 12: @NE - 0/0/0
- Week 14: @CHI - 6/83/1
- Week 16: @PHI - 4/24/0
Outside of the respectable games vs. the terrible NYG defense and Chicago, Cooper struggled. Also of note is that ex-Lions CB Darius Slay is now with the Philadelphia Eagles, which means that Cooper might be shut down completely in those two games as Slay has dominated Cooper in almost every previous matchup.
Dallas drafted stud rookie WR CeeDee Lamb in the first round of this year's NFL draft. Lamb will be fed the ball early and often, and I can see him surpassing Randall Cobb's production from last season. Additionally, the emergence of TE Blake Jarwin, who many think will breakout this season, could force Cooper to see fewer targets.
Cooper is still a solid WR for fantasy purposes and will have some big games, I worry about his boom-or-bust inconsistency. However, I think he will be a much better WR2 than a WR1.
Most Likely Third-Round Bust: RB Leonard Fournette, JAX
One of the more obvious bust plays of the 2020 season is Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette. Some fantasy managers will look to his outstanding 2019 season (1,152 rushing yards and 76 receptions for 522 receiving yards) and think that he might be able to replicate these numbers, but I don’t see any chance of this happening.
Here are some of the many reasons that Fournette will be a bust in 2020:
- The Jacksonville Jaguars defense is one of the worst in the NFL (my, how times change!), which means that the team will most likely be trailing in the second half of often. This surely will affect game flow for Fournette and cost him a half dozen rushing attempts per game.
- Fournette’s outstanding receiving numbers will be tempered in 2020 due to the team signing third-down RB specialist Chris Thompson. Thompson excels in pass protection and the two-minute drill, so Fournette's reception total may go down around 15-percent this season.
- New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden not only brought Chris Thompson over with him from Washington, but Gruden has a reputation for using the running back by committee approach. This could reduce Fournette's rushing attempts, even if only slightly.
- Fournette only had three rushing TDs last season. With no significant changes on the Jaguars offensive line, it seems unrealistic to think that Fournette will get anywhere close to double-digit TDs.
- The Jaguars have desperately tried to trade Fournette for the past few months and have already stated that they have no interest in signing him to another contract. Fournette has milked injuries in the past. Remember the hamstring injury that cost him eight games in 2018? It seems likely that he will not rush back from any injuries, especially because it is unlikely that the team will be competing for a playoff berth.
There might come a time when Leonard Fournette will again be worth drafting in the early rounds of fantasy drafts; however, 2020 is not the year for that to occur.
MORE FROM SI FANTASY
This is the final part of a three-part series, where I look at the opening three rounds of this year’s fantasy draft. I will look for the one player who is the candidate to bust in each round potentially.Subscribe for full article
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