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2020 Fantasy Football: Benny Heis' One Sleeper, Breakout, Bust & More for the Fantasy Season

SI Fantasy analyst Ben Heisler takes his turn to break down his preseason pro selections: One sleeper, bust, breakout, comeback and stash & cash player for 2020.

If you are not a premium subscriber to SI Fantasy+, only Corey Parson and Ben Heisler's Preseason Pro picks are available to you. 

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

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

SLEEPER: Jalen Reagor, Eagles WR

Carson Wentz should have gotten fantasy MVP consideration for putting up a top-10 scoring season based on the wide receivers available at his disposal.

Eagles wide receivers averaged 24 fantasy points-per-game in PPR leagues a season ago. The average NFL team averaged 34 a game. Even worse? In the last five weeks of the season with championships in play, the Eagles’ WR average dropped to 22.7 PPG, a -31.4% difference to the rest of the NFL. Even crazier? Wentz led the Eagles to a 4-1 record, averaging 300 yards and two TDs per contest while still getting nothing from his wide receiving corps.

Enter Jalen Reagor (WR57, Advanced ADP 125), a first-round rookie burner with 4.47 speed who was drafted ahead of other standout wide receivers in Justin Jefferson (Vikings), Tee Higgins (Bengals) and Michael Pittman Jr (Colts). Alshon Jeffrey is starting training camp on the PUP list. Marquise Goodwin has already opted out of the season, which means Reagor only has to beat out 33-year old DeSean Jackson, who finished last season with nine catches in three games played due to injury.

Reagor should step in immediately and contribute to an offense that ranked 29th in WR catches, 31st in WR yards, and 28th in WR TDs from a season ago.

BUST: DeVante Parker, Dolphins WR

DeVante Parker’s (WR27, Advanced ADP 54) breakout a season ago was eye-opening, but there were a few factors in play.

First, the Preston Williams torn-ACL injury opened the door for Parker after it looked like it would be another bust-worthy season in Miami. As SI Fantasy analyst Matt De Lima points out, Parker had 64% of his targets, 66% of his receptions, 71% of his yards, and 55% of his TDs while Williams was out.

Secondly, he’s due for serious regression in his 2019 statistics. Parker finished as the WR11 in PPR leagues, while tied for 3rd in TDs (9) and 4th in receiving yards with 1,202. That, plus the likely transition from the gun-slinging Ryan Fitzpatrick to rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa will likely impact Parker’s sky-high 13.8 TAY (average targeted air yards).

Tight end Mike Gesicki looks to be a breakout candidate in Year 3, which will limit Parker’s likely target share, plus Williams will be back in the mix along with speedster Albert Wilson in the slot. 2019 was a one-season wonder for Parker, and I’ll be looking to fade him entirely in drafts this year.

BREAKOUT: Derrius Guice, Washington Football Team RB

Before you roll your eyes and get ready to clap back with the overplayed, “he can’t stay healthy,” at least consider why Guice is worth your time as a breakout in 2020.

Back in late June at SI Fantasy, I wrote about why I’m drafting Guice far ahead of his current ADP (RB34, Advanced ADP 85) because at that stage of drafting, why not shoot for the moon?

Coaching matters. And Guice enters a make-or-break third year with new head coach Ron Rivera who knows the value of the pass-catching, versatile, do-it-all back after spending the last years with Christian McCaffrey in Carolina. Both Rivera AND VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith have said they believe Guice, when healthy, can perform at a similar level to McCaffrey.

That’s hyperbolic “coach-speak,” right? Now let’s look at some numbers. Granted, it’s a limited sample, but Guice averaged 11.29 YDS/REC and 12.43 YAC/REC (yards-after-catch per reception). For comparison’s sake, only last year’s rushing leader, Titans RB Derrick Henry, outperformed Guice amongst starting RBs with at least nine or more targets.

Guice played in only five games but finished 2019 averaging 6.61 YDS/touch, and 1.17 PTS/touch. In a historic season for CMC, Guice’s average numbers came out ahead.

You can check out the full breakdown, but I believe in Guice’s massive upside, especially at his ADP cost.

COMEBACK: James Conner, Steelers RB

Bias plays itself out in unusual ways. Take James Conner’s narrative from a season ago and compare it to Matthew Stafford of the Lions.

Between Weeks 1-8, Stafford put up QB10 numbers and was second in passing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Conner was having a ho-hum RB9 season in PPR before the injuries piled up.

Both put up quality numbers in the first eight games, but Stafford’s injury cost him the rest of the season to allow fantasy owners closure and the ability to move on. Conner, despite trying to fight back from injury, could not remain on the field.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has already indicated that he wants his lead backs to be featured in the offense. In a contract year, James Conner (RB19, Advanced ADP 38) is set up for far more work and touches than even several RBs going ahead of him (Melvin Gordon, Jonathan Taylor).

Yes, health is an issue for Conner, but you can argue that for almost any running back. Since 2012, the lead running back under Mike Tomlin has had at least 200 carries in every season. Here’s hoping it’s Conner in 2020.

STASH & CASH: Michael Pittman & Parris Campbell, Colts WR

Maybe I’m drinking the Kool-Aid from the Philip Rivers fountain of youth I’m expecting in Indy this year, but both Pittman and Campbell should amount to solid fantasy seasons with big upside potential down the stretch.

Pittman (WR56, Advanced ADP 119) has nearly the same size as Rivers’ former teammate Mike Williams with the Chargers (6’4″, 223 pounds). He immediately becomes a top red-zone threat in the Colts’ offense with his size and athleticism. As SI Fantasy high-stakes guru Shawn Childs points out, Rivers doesn’t have an issue targeting rookies, evidenced by Keenan Allen’s first year with over 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

As for Campbell (WR65, Advanced ADP 148), the exciting upside from a season ago was hampered with multiple injuries, including a broken hand, broken foot, hamstring, and sports hernia. But he’s still a dynamic weapon with 4.32 speed and a full season under his belt of learning Frank Reich’s offense.

With T.Y. Hilton another year older (and already dealing with a Training Camp hammy, Campbell (along with Pittman) are part of an exciting future for the Colts. Enjoy the benefits of investing tiny draft capital in two players who could pay off huge in the fantasy playoffs.