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READ MORE: SI Fantasy's BIG List of Sleepers
We've already released our top sleepers in our Preseason Pro series, where I told fantasy folks not to sleep on a certain New York quarterback. So not including him, these are my top-five sleepers for 2020. These five others fit my description of a player who could take the next step to fantasy stardom.
Here are the players who could make that leap and should be targeted in 2020 drafts:
RB Antonio Gibson, Washington
Washington's offense lacks playmakers aside from Terry McLaurin, so Gibson, a versatile back who's been compared to Christian McCaffrey, could earn a prominent role. With Derrius Guice out of the mix, Gibson will be allowed a chance to grab touches, both as a runner and receiver, and could end in a complementary role (or more) to projected starter Adrian Peterson. A Swiss army knife of sorts, Gibson was a more productive receiver than a runner during his time at Memphis. With OC Scott Turner planning to add more motion and reverses, Gibson will no doubt be utilized. If he can block well enough, the rookie could be a factor in 2020.
RB Zack Moss, Bills
Moss has done nothing but makes waves during Bills camp, both as a runner and pass-catcher. Reports suggest he's also done well in pass protection, which is important for a rookie back if he wants to play significant snaps. While Devin Singletary is still the favorite to start, we could see a situation that sees Moss carve out a much bigger role than Frank Gore had in Buffalo a season ago. A powerful, downhill runner who can break tackles, Moss could end up being a valuable option near the goal line, too. While a committee scenario is likely to open the season, no one would be shocked if Moss ended up being the better fantasy option in Buffalo's backfield.
WR Marquise Brown, Ravens
Brown ranked just 46th in fantasy points among wideouts as a rookie, but he showed big-time statistical potential. Those flashes should come more often in 2020, as the speedster is a virtual lock to run more than the 21.3 routes he averaged per game a season ago. Lamar Jackson has talked about taking more shots downfield (he completed 51.1 percent of his deep passes in 2019). What's more, OC Greg Roman ranks third among play-callers in deep ball rate in neutral game scripts since 2006. Brown also added 23 pounds in the offseason, and he hasn't lost any of his speed. I can see him producing 65 catches, 1,000 yards, and eight scores.
WR Diontae Johnson, Steelers
Johnson produced a solid rookie season, leading all first-year wideouts in catches even though he was without Ben Roethlisberger for most of the campaign. He also tied fellow rookie Deebo Samuel in forced missed tackles (18) and was second behind Courtland Sutton in broken tackles (10) among wide receivers. Johnson did al this despite ranking 36th among wideouts with at least 80 targets in terms of catchable targets and just 55th in air yards. Those two totals should be better with Big Ben under center, and Johnson’s full year of experience will be huge in his development into a next-level fantasy wideout. He’s in a great spot to succeed.
TE Noah Fant, Broncos
Fant led all rookie tight ends in targets, catches, and yards a season ago, and his yardage and touchdown catch totals were both good for second on the Broncos roster. He showed some flashes of high-scoring potential down the stretch too, scoring 20-plus fantasy points in games against the Browns and Texans. Fant was also prolific in terms of his yards after the catch per reception (8.3), which is an important stat in fantasy production. Denver also ran "12" personnel nearly 40 percent of the time with Drew Lock, which should be beneficial for Fant in 2020. While he will have his share of down weeks, his big-play upside makes him a nice sleeper option.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest fantasy football news and analysis!
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