Top 10 Fantasy Football Tight Ends

Having and elite Tight End on your squad can go a long way. It’s a position that has a rather limited amount of serviceable options. The reason being, the tier 1 TEs are substantially better than tier 2 guys. You can even argue that after tier 2, there’s another huge drop off again. But having a reliable TE on your fantasy team is extremely important, and can give you the edge you need to win your league. Depending on what your strategy is, it might make sense to lock down an elite guy, or it may make more sense to wait a little bit and draft a TE later in your draft. Either way, when drafting a TE, your expectation should be around 10-12 points per game in PPR formats. That would give you a nice reliable guy that you can feel safe starting each and every week. Anything more than that, you probably have one of the elites on your roster.

Just like the other lists I’ve created, this is not based on the rankings you’ve seen across the web, but instead, is a list of players I believe will finish 2020 within the top 10. With that said, here is my top 10 list of Tight Ends in fantasy football this year.

Top 10 TEs

1. George Kittle

George Kittle and Travis Kelce are pretty much interchangeable as the top 2 Tight Ends in the league. However, I’m choosing George Kittle for a couple reasons. With WR Deebo Samuel currently recovering from a Jones Fracture, there’s a real possibility he misses some games in the first portion of the NFL season. The rest of the WR group is a bit underwhelming, as it consists of Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, Jalen Hurd, and rookie Brandon Aiyuk. I don’t have high hopes of any of those guys becoming a reliable target for Jimmy Garappolo. Also factor in that Jimmy-G’s favorite target is George Kittle, and the offense is designed for their TE to receive a ton of targets. Kittle is also incredibly gifted, as he can run, catch, truck, block… He’s the complete package, and backed it up last season with an impressive stat line. He finished 2019 with over 1000 yards through the air and pulled down 5 touchdowns. That was enough for him to average 15.9 fantasy points in PPR formats. Considering the state of the 49ers passing game, George Kittle has a legitimate chance to have the best year of his career.

2. Travis Kelce

Kelce has been incredibly consistent for multiple years in a row now, and he’s in the prime of his career. He’s averaged over 15 points per game in each of the last 3 years now, finishing as the top TE in the league every time. He’s also on the loaded offense of the Kansas City Chiefs. Having Patrick Mahomes as his QB alone puts him in the top 3. He’s just as athletic as George Kittle, and can do all the same things as well, making him the ultimate weapon on offense. In 2019, Travis Kelce finished as the TE1 after finishing with over 1200 yards and 6 total touchdowns. He’s entering the 8th season of his career and there’s no telling when this guy is going to slow down. Kelce will finish within the top 2 Tight Ends this year, and probably for the next 4 years or so too.

3. Zach Ertz

Even with Dallas Goedert threatening to take pass attempts away, Zach Ertz is still in elite status in the NFL. I actually don’t really see this year being the one where Goedert takes over, and has better potential next year, which is part of the reason why I have Ertz as the 3rd best TE this season. The veteran Tight End is entering his 8th season, and has been one of the best TEs in the league since 2015. Last year, he put up just under 1000 yards, and hauled in 6 touchdowns. The Philadelphia Eagles were given a lot of flack for taking Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round, but once the draft ended, the Eagles came away with a decent looking WR group. None of the guys are really WR1 worthy, which means Ertz should be Carson Wentz’s favorite target throughout the course of the season.

4. Mark Andrews

Andrews turned out to be a pleasant surprise for those who owned him on their fantasy team, especially considering he’s only entering his 3rd season of his career. At the end of 2019, Mark Andrews ended up with 852 yards and 10 touchdowns. Scoring 10 touchdowns for any position is impressive, and he showed Lamar Jackson and the Ravens he can be a reliable red zone threat. Considering he’ll have another year of building chemistry with his QB, Mark Andrews is set up to receive even more targets this year. I don’t know if he’ll be able to re-gain double digit touchdowns, but the fact he’s going to be a safe target for Lamar Jackson, Andrews potential is through the roof. If you’re in round 4 (give or take) and you’re needing a TE, TAKE THIS MAN!

5. Evan Engram

I know, he hasn’t really been able to stay healthy the last two years, however, when Evan Engram is on the field, he produces. Due to injuries, Engram only played in 8 games. Within those 8, he posted over 450 yards along with 3 touchdowns. He also averaged 13.7 points a game in PPR formats, which made him a must start when he was healthy. As of right now, the Giants starting lineup hasn’t been able to play together at all, which means this team should be at its highest potential once the season begins. Considering the offense will begin with Saquon Barkely, and the WR group is just above average, Engram has a real opportunity to be Daniel Jones’ go-to target throughout the year. Evan Engram is only 25 years old, which means he’s not even in his prime as an athlete yet. I have high hopes for this guy, and I like his chances of finishing as a top 5 fantasy option amongst Tight Ends… as long as he stays healthy.

6. Darren Waller

The Raiders Tight End had a breakout year after dedicating himself to the game. If you don’t know, Waller has gone through some crazy things in his life, and the fact he was able to turn it all around and play the way he did in 2019 is just remarkable and inspiring. He seems determined to be one of the best TEs in the league, and he has the athleticism to do so. In 2019, he put up over 1100 yards and hauled in 3 touchdowns. He also averaged 13.8 fantasy points a week, which made him an elite starter in the NFL. This year, he has some competition if he wants to remain the TE1 in Las Vegas, especially after the team acquired future Hall of Fame TE Jason Witten. Witten’s on the back end of his career, but he’s still talented enough to where there’s a real chance he takes some reps away from Waller. Either way, Darren Waller is likely the starting TE for the Raiders and he isn’t going anywhere. If Waller falls to you, take him, and allow him to be that reliable TE you need to win your league.

7. Tyler Higbee

Higbee was another guy who had a nice breakout year, although, not to the extent of Darren Waller. Tyler Higbee proved to be a fantastic mid-season pickup for fantasy owners alike. This year, he’s looking to be the TE1 on a Rams team with a ton of talent in the skills positions. The Rams offensive line seems below average, which doesn’t bode well for the run game. However, Jared Goff is a gunslinger and likes to throw all over the field. Last season, Higbee finished with over 700 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, and he has a real chance to have a better year than that this season. Considering LA’s depleted O-line, Higbee should be a check down machine, making him one of the better TEs in the NFL.

8. Rob Gronkowski

A lot of people don’t have GRONK within the top 10 on their draft boards, and I’m not sure why. He’s only 29 years old, he’s had 2 full years to heal his body, and he’s back on a team with his teammate in New England, Tom Brady. These two have a history of connecting often, as Rob Gronkowski has been a reliable target for Brady throughout the years. Also factor in that this Buccaneers offense has Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in the WR group, there’s a real opportunity that Brady leans on GRONK as his Ol’ Reliable from the get go. Godwin and Mike Evans might run away with it down the stretch, but I’m fully expecting for Rob Gronkowski to be a receptions monster while Brady gets comfortable with this new team. GRONK is also dropping rather late in fantasy drafts, so you have a legit chance to stack your TE depth to dominate your league. At the very least, you may have a valuable trade piece at the start of the season.

9. Hunter Henry

Henry only played in 12 games last year, but he still finished the season as the TE9 in fantasy football. He had just over 650 receiving yards along with 5 touchdowns. Despite battling some injuries the last two years, Hunter Henry has proven to be one of the most consistent Tight Ends in the NFL. For the first time in what feels like forever, the Chargers will be without QB Philip Rivers. The new starting QB will likely be Tyrod Taylor until Justin Herbert is ready to go under Center. At the moment, the QB position is the weak spot on this Chargers team, which could be a reason to be concerned with Henry’s potential. However, considering how good Henry is when he’s healthy, I’m willing to bet he finishes within the top 10 in the league amongst TEs.

10. Noah Fant

I’ve officially put Noah Fant on BREAKOUT ALERT. Last year during his rookie season, Fant showed flashes of greatness, which gave Broncos fans something to be excited about in the future. Typically, Tight Ends don’t have a true breakout year until their 3rd or 4th season, but considering he’s likely the starter on this young Denver team, Fant’s chances of breaking out is rather high. He already has some familiarity with new starting QB Drew Lock, in which, during that 5 game time span, Fant was able to produce 188 yards and 1 touchdown. They say a TE is a QBs best friend (do they? There is a chance I just made that up), and Fant should prove to be a reliable target for Drew Lock while the rookie WRs get comfortable with the system. Noah Fant isn’t getting drafted until the very late rounds of fantasy drafts. I suggest selecting one of the TEs listed in the top 8, then take Fant as a nice depth piece that has the potential to give your team that extra boost it needs during the most important time of the year… the playoffs.

Top 10 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers

The Wide Receiver position has the most to offer in fantasy football, as most teams have (give or take) 6 guys on the roster for that position. The best teams in the NFL usually will have 2-3 viable targets for their QB, which means there is a ton of depth at WR for fantasy football. However, there is a big difference between who is in the top 10, and who is ranked closer to the 20-30 range. Which means in order to be successful in fantasy football, you’re going to want to have the best WR group as possible once your draft is concluded. Missing out on elite talent could be detrimental to your squad, so it’s important to consider snagging one of the best WRs in the game.

This list comprises of guys who I believe will finish the 2020 season within the top 10 in fantasy football, and is NOT based on the current rankings you’ll find across the internet. With that said, here are my top 10 WRs in fantasy football this year.

Top 10 WRs

1. Michael Thomas

Thomas is a fantasy football machine. He’s been one of the best in the league since his rookie year, and doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down anytime soon. 2019 was his best season so far even though Drew Brees missed out on 5 games. Michael Thomas put up an incredible 1725 receiving, 9 touchdowns all off of 149 catches. In PPR leagues, he averaged 23.4 points per week, making him the clear-cut WR1 in fantasy football. The Saints look like a tough team this year with a real chance at making a deep run in the playoffs. In order to do that, Michael Thomas is going to play a huge role throughout the year, as he’ll be Drew Brees’ favorite target yet again.

2. DeAndre Hopkins

This dude has been incredibly fun to watch since entering the NFL in 2013. He’s consistently one of the best WRs in the game, and has some of the most memorable catches throughout his career. In addition to that, Hopkins has been on fire even when he doesn’t have a great QB throwing him the ball. In fact, this year after he was traded to Arizona, he stated, “If I could do it with Brock Osweiler, I could do it with anybody.” The man exudes confidence in himself, and if you have opportunity to draft him this year, DO IT! Last year, D-Hop was able to put together an impressive stat line, reeling in 104 catches, over 1100 yards, 7 touchdowns. All of that together allowed for the superstar WR to average 17.9 points per week, which made him the 5th best in fantasy football. He’s now on an Arizona team where he’s teammates with future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald, exciting rookie QB Kyler Murray, and an offensive scheme that emphasizes the passing game. Everything is pointing towards a monster season for DeAndre Hopkins, and he has the potential to dethrone Michael Thomas from the #1 spot.

3. Julio Jones

The long-time Falcons Wide Receiver is entering his 10 year of his career, which many people are using as an excuse to not draft him… The fact is, Jones has a ton of experience, he’s consistently been one of the best WRs in the league since his rookie season, and he’s still only 31 years old, putting him in the PRIME OF HIS CAREER. QB Matt Ryan has made Julio Jones his favorite target for the better part of a decade, and you should expect to see these two connecting throughout the course of this season. In 2019, Jones recorded 99 receptions, over 1300 yards, and scored 6 TDs, which led to the veteran Wide Receiver to average 18.3 fantasy points per week. Jones has been slipping into the late first round/early second round in fantasy drafts, which means if you have a late 1st round pick, Julio can be a guy you start your team with and build around.

4. Tyreek Hill

In the real world, I wouldn’t consider Tyreek Hill within the top 5, but for fantasy football, he’s easily my 4th best WR in the game. Having Patrick Mahomes has its benefits, and when you’re as fast as Cheetah is, it makes for a perfect match for a QB with a strong arm. Hill is exciting to watch, as he’s able to beat Corners deep, or catch a short pass and turn it into a big play. Last year, Hill only played 12 games that led to a dismal 860 yards. But the guy still had 7 touchdowns off of just 58 receptions, which means when he was on the field, he produced. If Tyreek can stay healthy and play more than 12 games next year, he has massive potential to finish with the top 5. Due to his skewed stats from 2019, this year Hill is dropping into the 2nd round in A LOT of mock drafts. You have a real chance to snag an elite WR in the 2nd round this year, strengthening your chances to win your fantasy league.

5. Davante Adams

Considering the Packers front office didn’t acquire any new exciting talent in the WR position, expect Davante Adams to be a fantasy football monster this year. Adams has been Aaron Rodgers top target since about 2016, and has been reliable throughout his career. Last season, Adams missed out on 4 games due to injury, but when he was on the field, he averaged 17.7 fantasy points per week in PPR formats. He also finished with 997 yards with 5 touchdowns, so the guy is obviously a must start if he’s on your squad.

6. Chris Godwin

Tampa Bay may have the best WR group in the league, and with Brady under Center, it makes them that much better. Chris Godwin was a pleasant surprise last year as most people pegged Mike Evans as the WR to own before the start of the season. But now, Godwin looks to be the favorite right now as his play style compliments Tom Brady so well. In 2019, with Jameis Winston as his QB, Godwin was able to record over 1300 yards with 10 touchdowns. What’s great with Chris Godwin, is that he seems to be going in the early part of round two. So if you’re in a snake draft and have a late first rounder, go ahead and take Godwin with your 2nd pick and stack your lineup immediately.

7. Kenny Golladay

Kenny Golladay was one of the best WRs in football last year, and in fact back-to-back great years in a row now. He totaled nearly 1200 yards through the air, and pulled down 11 TDs, making him an elite pass catcher in the NFL. There’s reason to believe he’ll be even better next year, as the Lions offense beefed up their run game after drafting D’Andre Swift, which could be enough to force opposing defenses to respect the Lions run game a bit more. Also throw in he has the gunslinging Matthew Stafford throwing him the ball, it’s looking like Golladay is setup to have his 3rd successful season in a row. And don’t forget, Kenny Golladay is Matthew Berry’s 23rd ranked player on his board. Meaning he’s not even getting drafted until round 2 at the very least. Absolutely insane.

8. Allen Robinson II

His last two years in Jacksonville were nothing to remember, but since joining the Bears in 2018, Robinson has shown steady improvement, and had his best season since 2015, putting up over 1100 yards and 7 touchdowns last year. The Bears have a plethora of targets on their squad, but Robinson is easily the WR1 on this team. No matter what your opinions are of Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles, Allen Robinson is talented enough to make sure he’s going to be open for his QB, no matter who is under Center (he even helped make Blake Bortles look good). He’s also entering his 7th year of his career, meaning he’s a seasoned veteran in the league right now. Based on his improvements over the last 2 years, I believe we may see Robinson put up numbers closer to his 2015 season, which would easily make him a top 10 wideout in the NFL.

9. Mike Evans

Well, would you look that? A second Tampa Bay WR in the top 10? The Bucs offense is so stacked in the passing game, it’s hard to believe anyone is going to have a bad year. I’m expecting Mike Evans to be a touchdown machine this year, as he’s already one of the best red zone targets in the NFL, and boy does Brady love throwing those. Last season, Evans had a great year, picking up over 1100 yards with 8 TDs through the air. He finished 2019 as the 15th best WR in PPR formats, but considering his touchdown potential this year, I feel like I HAVE to put him in the top 10.

10. Adam Thielen

Making a decision on my WR10 was more difficult than it should have been, but at the end of the day, Thielen’s chances of reaching top 10 is better than both Amari Cooper (too many other options for Dak to throw to), and DJ Moore (he’s getting drafted way too early in my opinion). Last year was a down year for the Vikings WR after suffering a hamstring injury that put him out for 6 weeks. He ended the year with only 30 receptions and 418 yards, however, when Thielen was on the field, he brought in touchdowns, reeling in 7 total in a 10 game time span. In 2018, Adam Thielen was MR. Reliable, which led to people drafting him so high in fantasy football last year. He’s coming back from a down year, and people are slightly sleeping on the 7 year veteran. If you look at the Vikings WR group, Thielen is easily the WR1, and has always played better when Stefon Diggs wasn’t on the field with him… Diggs isn’t on the team anymore, and Dalvin Cook is in a holdout. That leaves Adam Thielen as the possible focal point of the Minnesota offense, and based on his potential, Adam Thielen is set up to have a top 10 year and regain that throne.

Top 10 Fantasy Football Running Backs

The Running Back position is possibly the most important position to fill for fantasy football. Considering there is a limited number of teams, and only so many RBs that actually put up decent stats, makes the RB pool much smaller than any other position in football (except for maybe the TE position). Having multiple reliable RBs on your roster goes a long way, and will make you a tough matchup against your opponents each and every week. There’s only a handful of elite fantasy RBs, making tier 2 players a slight drop off in comparison to tier 1. After the first two rounds of your fantasy draft, it’s likely the RB pool is spread thin, making RB one of toughest positions to draft.

However, I’ve created my list of top 10 RBs for fantasy football this year, and if you have any of them on your team, you should be feeling pretty good about yourself at the start of the 2020 season. Just like the last article, this list will be based on PPR scoring. Also, a great source to conduct some of your own research is Fantasy Data. They lay out player’s stats for their entire career along with their fantasy points and value. I recommend using a site like this to find the most consistent players available in your draft. With that said, here are my top 10 fantasy RBs for the new year.

Top 10 RBs

1. Christian McCaffrey

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see McCaffrey as the top option. In 2019, CMC put up over 1300 yards on the ground, and backed it up with just over 1000 yards receiving. He totaled 19 touchdowns for the Panthers, which led to him averaging 22.2 fantasy points a game. Just looking at his stats, CMC proved to be an elite RB1 as well as a solid flex option WR3. McCaffrey has the the chance to play even better this coming year, as he’s easily the best player on this Panthers offense. Nobody is going to take carries away from him, and outside of DJ Moore and Robby Anderson, Christian McCaffrey is possibly the 3rd best receiving option for that offense. Carolina is going to rely on their superstar Running Back all year long, which means McCaffrey is going to be pumping out fantasy points like a machine.

2. Saquon Barkley

The guy is a FREAK athlete and is one of those rare Running Backs that can do it all. He’s fast, he’s quick, he’ll run through defenders, and he’s pretty good in the pass game too. You could say Barkely had a down year after missing out on 3 games due to an injury, but he still finished as the 10th best RB in fantasy football. I like Barkley’s chances to bounce back into elite status, as the Giants actually have a decent looking offensive line, and QB Daniel Jones showed promise. Either way, New York is going to rely on their young RB throughout the year, and likely make him the focal point of their offense. If this kid stays healthy, Barkley has the potential to finish the year as the top RB in the league.

3. Ezekiel Elliott

The truth of the matter is, Zeke has been consistent his entire career, and considering he’ll only be 25 at the start of the season, there’s a real chance this guy continues playing at a high level for the next four years. For whatever reason, people seem to be sleeping on him after getting paid a huge contract, believing he’s going to slow down. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case at all. The Cowboys have one of the best O-lines in the league, along with an insane WR group that forces opposing defenses to play in coverage. As long as those two things stay intact, Zeke is going to be a great Back for a long time. Just based on his numbers last year, right after getting PAID, Zeke put up over 1300 yards rushing along with 12 touchdowns. He also averaged 16.1 fantasy points per week, which made him the 3rd best fantasy RB in the league. Technically, that was a down year for this guy, and I’m expecting him to at least match those numbers again this year.

4. Dalvin Cook

I know, Cook is in a holdout right now, and there’s a risk in him missing games due to that fact. However, once he’s on the field, he’s a dominant force that keeps opposing defenses awake at night. He’s another elite RB that doesn’t really have anyone else on the roster threatening to take many carries away from him. So having Cook means you would have a RB that’s going to average 20+ carries week in and week out. In 2019, Cook rushed for over 1100 yards, and paired that up with 13 TDs. He averaged 17.1 points per game, making him one of the best fantasy RBs last season. The Vikings offense starts with Dalvin Cook, and when he’s on the field, he’s a must start for your fantasy team. If not, at least you’ll have an extremely valuable trading piece from the get go.

5. Alvin Kamara

Kamara didn’t play to his full potential last year after playing in 14 games, and only listed as the starter in 9 of them. His rushing stats weren’t very impressive, as he ran for less than 800 yards, and only had 6 total TDs on the year. The bright side though, is that Alvin Kamara averaged 4.7 yards per carry, and proved once again he’s a legit threat in the passing game. New Orleans looks to have one of the most lethal offenses next year, and Kamara is going to play a huge factor in that. With Kamra being fully healthy, he should be able to get back to his normal ways, and put up some great numbers for your fantasy squad. Due to his lack of numbers last year, there’s a chance Kamara falls to you in the middle or back end of the first round of your draft. He could be a huge steal for your team

6. Derrick Henry

For whatever reason, there seems to be a lot of doubt around King Henry repeating his performance from a season ago. It’s understandable, considering he’s 26 years old, inching closer and closer to the age where Running Backs tend to decline. Henry’s been in the league for 4 years, but people are forgetting that El Tractorcito rode the bench his first 2 years in the league. In fact, 2019 was his first year actually playing as the starting RB for the Titans, meaning Henry has plenty of gas left in the tank. The Titans locked up their superstar RB for the next 4 years which should make him a reliable fantasy option for at least the next 2. In 2019, Derrick Henry led the NFL in yards with over 1500, scored a total of 18 touchdowns and averaged 18.4 fantasy points a week on top of that. Even if Derrick Henry repeats those numbers, or has a slight regression (which I don’t think he will), he’s still likely to finish the year as one of the best RBs in the NFL. He seems to be dropping to mid-late round 1, and sometimes early round 2, which means you could be drafting an elite RB outside of the top 5 picks.

7. Aaron Jones

The Packers starting RB is another one of those guys that’s a threat in the run game, and through the air, and it makes him a great dual threat RB for your fantasy squad. Green Bay finally allowed Jones to play at his full potential, and even though they selected a Running Back in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft, Jones is likely still the guy for this team next year. Due to the fact the Packers front office didn’t acquire any new WRs for Aaron Rodgers, means there’s reason to believe we’ll be seeing Aaron Jones having another great year. He rushed for over 1000 yards and backed that up with 19 total touchdowns for the Green and Yellow. I think he puts up similar numbers, which means he should be averaging around 16-17 fantasy points a week.

8. Austin Ekeler

Ekeler was one of those pleasant surprises last year, after becoming the RB1 for the Chargers once Melvin Gordon decided to sit out. Austin’s Ekeler’s fantasy value dropped after Gordon’s return, but now, Ekeler is the Chargers RB1 for the 2020 season. This guy is arguably the best pass catching RB in the NFL, which is how he earned most of his fantasy points. Last year, he put up just under 1000 receiving yards and 8 TDs through the air. Match that up with his 557 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs, Ekeler proved to be a rather reliable fantasy option during the first half of the year. LA has a lot of weapons on the offense, and he’s going to be a huge check down option for the Chargers QB, whether it’s Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert. The nice thing about Ekeler, is that he’s dropping into the 2nd round in most mock drafts. You could get lucky and end up with two top 10 RBs on your fantasy squad.

9. Joe Mixon

For whatever reason, the Bengals still love having Giovanni Bernard in the backfield, but even though Bernard takes some reps away from their starter, Joe Mixon is still talented enough to be a reliable Running Back for your squad. I actually think 2020 could be Mixon’s best year of his career, but in order to do that, he’s going to need to score more TDs. Last season, Mixon rushed for over 1100 yards, and scored a total of 8 TDs. If Mixon can find his way into the end zone more often, he suddenly becomes one of the better fantasy RBs in the league. Considering all eyes will be on rookie QB Joe Burrow and the passing game, I’m expecting to see Joe Mixon sneak his way into the top 10 conversations of fantasy Running Backs.

10. Josh Jacobs

I damn near had to flip a coin for this one, but, at the end of the day, Jacobs has a better chance at finishing as a top 10 RB than Nick Chubb. The reason? The Browns don’t only have Nick Chubb, but they also have Kareem Hunt in the backfield. In the final 5 weeks of 2019, Chubb had 18 carries or less to finish the year. Hunt took some reps away, as he’s a much more reliable target in the passing game. Hunt is also talented enough to where he can be a solid RB for the Browns too. So considering Chubb is going to be competing with Kareem Hunt for reps, that means Josh Jacobs has a legitimate chance to break into the top 10 conversation. During his rookie season, he played in 13 games, rushing for over 1100 yards, and scoring 7 touchdowns. On top of that, he averaged 13.2 fantasy points a week, which made him nice RB2 for fantasy owners. Jacobs is the clear-cut RB1 for the Raiders, and John Gruden thinks VERY highly of the young RB. Josh Jacobs is set up to have an improved Sophomore season, with the potential to be an elite RB1 by 2021. He’s also dropping into the 2nd round of fantasy drafts, which means you could end up with more than one top 10 RB on your team.

Top 10 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

Most leagues will be drafting in August, which means it’s time to start preparing for your fantasy football season. In order to be the best, you’re going to want the best possible roster in order to be successful, and if you have any of these QBs on your roster, you can feel confident at the start of the season.

Now, these lists are not ranked according to their draft ranking, and instead, is a list of QBs I believe who will end the year as a top 10 fantasy option. So, let’s get down to business and breakdown why each of these guys have the potential to be an elite QB for your fantasy team.

Top 10 Quarterbacks

1. Lamar Jackson

The Ravens starting QB is going to be high on everybody’s draft boards this year, and for good reason. Last year, Jackson put up ridiculous numbers, totaling over 3000 yards through the air, and backed it up with just over 1200 rushing yards. That alone makes Jackson a premiere threat in fantasy football, but it goes even further than that. He also through an impressive 36 touchdowns along with 7 rushing touchdowns, giving him 43 total TDs on the year. On top of that, he averaged an insane 27.7 points per game (in PPR leagues), making him an obvious QB1 all season long. Entering the 2020 season, Lamar Jackson has more weapons around him, and relatively the same coaching staff, which means he’s poised to repeat his success again. If Jackson stays healthy, I feel confident in saying that Jackson will be the number one fantasy football QB this year.

2. Patrick Mahomes

Last year, Mahomes finished the season as the 6th best QB in fantasy football. In fact, in comparison to his 2018 season, you could argue that 2019 was a down year for the Chiefs superstar QB (at least in fantasy football). After signing a record breaking deal to stay in Kansas City for the next decade, Mahomes is setup to play as an elite QB again. The guy is entering his 4th year of his career, and there’s a real chance he actually plays even better. He also has the potential to repeat his 2018 performance, especially since the Chiefs just came off a Super Bowl win, and he’ll have the same stud passing group around him. Last year, Patrick Mahomes put up over 4000 yards along with 26 passing touchdowns. Those are phenomenal stats and they’re considered a down year for this kid. I’m expecting Mahomes to “re-take” over the league and win the MVP this season, which means he’ll be giving you elite numbers for your fantasy team.

3. Dak Prescott

In comparison to Lamar and Mahomes, Prescott isn’t really comparable in the real world. However, in fantasy football, Dak Prescott is a stat stuffer, which makes him an incredible fantasy QB. In fact, in PPR leagues, Prescott finished 2019 as the 2nd best QB in fantasy football, with only Lamar Jackson being ahead of him. Last season, he nearly threw for 5000 yards and totaled 33 TDs (passing/rushing) on the year. This led to the Cowboys QB to averaging 21.1 fantasy points. The beautiful thing about Dak Prescott, is that he flies under the radar in most leagues, which means you can probably draft him in the middle rounds of your draft after stacking up your RBs and WRs. Plus, just look at his supporting cast in Dallas… Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Ezekiel Elliot, and they just drafted CeeDee Lamb? There’s no wonder why this guy stuffs the stat sheet week in and week out.

4. Russell Wilson

What’s there not to like about Russell Wilson? He can throw, run, extend plays, doesn’t get sacked much, and he doesn’t turn the ball over either. On top of that, he threw for just over 4000 yards last year, and capped it off with 31 TDs through the air. He’s also a seasoned vet at this point in his career, and has shown consistency, proving he’s a franchise QB. Last year he averaged 20.5 fantasy points per game, and I see him repeating those numbers in 2020, with the potential to do even better. Reliability is what you should be looking for in your fantasy team, and Russell Wilson gives you just that every single week. He’s also a guy that you can snag in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft, which could give you a competitive edge when building your roster.

5. Kyler Murray

Typically, I try to stay away from young Quarterbacks until their 3rd year in the league, but Murray is a guy that’s poised for a big season. He has incredible WRs to throw to in Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and new addition superstar DeAndre Hopkins. Not only that, Kenyan Drake has the potential to be a top RB in the league, giving Murray a solid run game to rely on throughout the year. Considering the cast of players around him, and that he’s playing in a pass heavy scheme in Arizona, Kyler Murray has a chance to break the “Sophomore Slump” and play at a high level. In 2019, Murray put up just over 3700 yards with only 20 TDs, along with an average of 17.8 fantasy points per game. Those are impressive numbers for a rookie, and any improvements he makes would make him a reliable QB for your fantasy squad.

6. Deshaun Watson

If DeAndre Hopkins were still on the Texans, I would have Watson up at the 4 spot, but after Bill O’Brien’s trading shenanigans, it’s hard to imagine Watson putting up the same stat line as he did in 2019. Although it’s likely he regresses as a fantasy QB, Deshaun Watson is still talented enough to finish as a top 10 option. He put up impressive numbers last year, passing over 3800 yards and throwing 26 TDs. He also finished as the 4th best fantasy QB after averaging 21.3 points per game too. I don’t see him repeating this stat line due to the depleted roster in Houston, but he plays similar enough to Russell Wilson that you should feel comfortable starting him as your QB this year as your QB1.

7. Josh Allen

Josh Allen turned out to be a pleasant surprise last year for fantasy players. He put up a nice stat line of just over 3000 yards through the air, along with 20 passing TDs. He’s also a threat in the run game, as he rushed for over 500 yards and ended the year with 9 rushing TDs. Allen took advantage of what seemed like a below average WR group in 2019, but John Brown and Cole Beasley proved to be reliable targets in the pass game. For 2020, the Bills traded for superstar WR Stefon Diggs, giving the Bills a true WR1 on their roster. Just based off how well this Bills offense played last year, there’s reason to believe that Josh Allen will be playing as one of the best fantasy QBs in 2020. Even if he puts up the exact same numbers as last season, Josh Allen is still worth being drafted in your fantasy league, as he would be averaging 18 fantasy points a game, and really, that’s a great number to aim for every week.

8. Matthew Stafford

I know what you might be thinking, “Really? Stafford? Give me a break.” But before you tune out, just look at this guy’s stats from 2019. He only played 8 games after sustaining an injury. Of those 8 games he played, Stafford scored OVER 23 fantasy points in 5 games. In fact, he ended up averaging 20.8 points per game in that 8 game time span. Had he been healthy and played all 16 games, that would have made him a better fantasy option than Russell Wilson. He also has a fantastic receiving core in Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and TJ Hockenson. The best part about Stafford, is that in 2019, most people acquired him as a free agent in their fantasy league (I was one of them), and it looks like he’s going un-drafted again this year. This means you could get a HUGE steal taking him late in your fantasy draft. The gunslinger isn’t done yet, as he’s only 32 years old, putting him in his prime as a NFL Quarterback.

9. Drew Brees

Drew Brees has been a consistent QB since 2002, and showed last year he’s still got it. Even though he missed 5 games, Brees still put up an impressive stat line, throwing for just under 3000 yards, and 27 touchdowns in 11 games. He’s one of the oldest players in league, but considering his supporting cast of Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Alvin Kamara, Brees is likely to have another fantastic year under Center. We’ll see if age becomes a factor for the future Hall of Famer, but even if he regresses, Brees should still be able to average 17+ fantasy points every week, making him a reliable starter for your fantasy team.

10. Aaron Rodgers

Another reliable veteran to finish off the top 10 list. Rodgers has been putting up top 10 numbers since 2008, and doesn’t seem like he’s willing to slow down. The Packers didn’t do him any favors this offseason after failing to add any new talent in the WR group. But don’t fear, Rodgers has been playing at an elite level his entire career, despite whoever his targets have been. In 2019, Aaron Rodgers put up just over 4000 passing yards along with 26 TDs through the air. He also averaged 17.4 fantasy points, making it his worst average since becoming the Packer’s starter. Even so, putting up over 17 points a week makes him a reliable QB1 in the league, and Aaron Rodgers is likely going to continue playing this way for at least another 2-3 years. Nice thing about him too, is that he’s dropping into the later rounds in fantasy drafts, which gives you the pleasure in filling out your roster before selecting a solid QB for your squad.

Fantasy Football: Draft Strategy for Beginners

Football season is still up in the air as we’re still not really sure exactly how the season is going to go due to COVID-19 (so tired of this thing, WEAR A MASK IF YOU WANT FOOTBALL). However, the NFL’s plans right now are to have a season play through, with or without fans in attendance. With that said, it only makes sense to prepare for the season like it’s going to happen. It’s early July which means it’s time to start preparing yourself for fantasy football.

Now, you may be new to fantasy football, or a seasoned vet. Maybe you’re trying it out for the first time, or your coworkers kind of forced you into their league, or maybe you’re just looking for a second opinion on different strategies. Either way, this advice works for everybody, and can really give you a boost in your fantasy football experience. So if you’re that guy that’s never played before, or that gal trying to dominate her coworkers in the office league, or the person just seeking some extra help, this article will provide you with a solid game plan on how to approach the first three rounds of your fantasy football draft.

Type of League

Keep in mind, there are tons of different fantasy football leagues out there. I’m going to keep this one simple and focus on the most common fantasy football league type that most people play, which is a Points Per Reception (PPR) league, that consists of 10-12 teams, conducting a snake draft. If you already know what that means, go ahead and skip down to the “Three Strategies” section. If you don’t, the PPR points system means each player receives points every time they touch the ball. So Running Backs and Wide Receivers who touch the ball a lot for their team will earn extra points. It’s important to know this, as the ranking system of the players will be based off the points system of your league. The snake draft means that each team alternates the draft order every round based off your first round selection. If you have the 1st pick overall in round one, then you will have the last pick in the second round, then have the 1st pick again in the 3rd round, and so on and so forth. Throughout this article, I’ll be using the 2020 rosters as my examples of “possible players available,” so you can take this strategy right into your draft.

Three Strategies

10 team and 12 team leagues are relatively the same. The only difference being that in a 10 team league, the available player pool is going to be better than the 12 team league. Either way, the first three rounds won’t be that much of a difference, and right now, I’m just focusing on your first 3 picks. Everything you’re going to be reading will be based around a ranking list I found at: “https://www.fantasypros.com/nfl/rankings/ppr-cheatsheets.php.” Fantasy Pros is really helpful for anyone and offers an easy to use interface that makes it clear to navigate through. You can even conduct some mock drafts on their site, either with other people, or against a simulation. They also have insider tips and tricks that you can pay for, but that’s up to you if want to go that route.

The three strategies are based on “Early,” “Mid,” and “Late,” round picks, and each strategy is based on your 1st round position. For a 10 team league that would consist of the following: Early = Picks 1-3, Mid = Picks 4-7, Late = Picks 8-10. For a 12 team league it would consist of the following: Early = Picks 1-4, Mid = Picks 5-8, Late = Picks 9-12. So once you know which selection you have in the 1st round, you can then use the strategy that best fits your draft position to get the most bang for your buck (if you’re playing for money).

Early – RB Heavy

This is one of the oldest strategies in the book, and when I first started playing fantasy football, this was a strategy everyone followed no matter what pick they had. The NFL is a passing league, but in fantasy football, a top RB provides you with solid consistency, which is really all you can ask for. If you’re lucky enough to have an early pick in the 1st round, I highly advise focusing on the RB position from the get go. In the first round, guys like Christian McCaffrey, Saquaon Barkely, Ezekiel Elliot, Dalvin Cook, and Alvin Kamara will all be available to you. Pick one of them and give yourself an elite RB to rely on every single week.

So now that you have an elite RB on your squad, you get to sit back and wait for your second selection, which won’t take place until late in the 2nd round. A plethora of great players will be selected in between your first two picks, and there’s a chance you’ll start feeling antsy about who’s being drafted. But don’t worry, as there is still plenty of talent available at the back end of round 2. Now, the reason why focusing on the RB position is smart here, is that your RB situation is going to give you a huge advantage every week, and when it comes to figuring out your starting lineup, your RB group will be a no-brainer, stress free decision. Basically, it’s just going to make your life easier. Here’s a few RBs that could be available late in the 2nd round: Nick Chubb (if you’re lucky), Joe Mixon, Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Kenyan Drake, and Austin Ekeler. Each one of these guys have the potential to play as an RB1, and will provide you with the best RB group in your fantasy league.

You now have 2 solid RBs, now it’s time to switch it up and go for a WR. In fact, your RB group is so good, you can afford to go a couple rounds without drafting one and load up on other positions. By taking a WR with your 3rd pick you’ll be giving yourself a reliable low-end WR1/high-end WR2 for your fantasy lineup. Some solid WRs that could be available to you are Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Mike Evans, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Amari Coooper. So, if you followed this strategy, you’re now sitting with 2 legit RBs, and a strong WR, which is going to make you a tough matchup throughout the year.

Mid – Spread the Wealth

As you conduct your fantasy football research, you’ll find there a lot of people who complain about having a mid-round selection in a snake draft. The main reason being, that the alternating selections are not all that different. In a 12 team league you might have the 6th pick in the first round, and then follow that up with the 7th pick in round two. The other complaint is that, for teams with early picks, they get an elite guy on their roster, while teams with late picks have the pleasure to make two selections back-to-back. I’m here to tell you though, that having a mid-round selection can be a huge advantage if you play your cards right, and I’ve actually had my most successful seasons after having a mid-round selection. The strategy I like to follow is something I call “Spreading the Wealth.” Basically that means I focus my draft on selecting a different position with my first two picks, which then opens up the rest of my draft accordingly. For example, with your first pick, you’re going to have a great option of RBs and WRs to choose from, and it really doesn’t matter which one you pick, as long as you believe he’s the best available player. For RBs, you’ll likely have a chance to select Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, or Derrick Henry. As for the WR position, you may be able to choose between Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, or Tyreke Hill. Each one of these guys are worth a 1st round selection, and should be able to provide you consistency throughout the year.

Round 2 is where the strategy really begins. After your first selection, choose the opposite position of what you just took. If you drafted a RB in the first round, then draft a WR in round 2. If you drafted a WR, then go with a RB in 2nd round. This is going to give you the opportunity to have a solid RB1 and a solid WR1 on your team. Not only does this help your team’s chances of winning games, but this also puts you in a better position to be more flexible with trades once the season begins. So, if you selected a WR in the first round, the possible available RBs include Derrick Henry (he’s dropping into round 2 in some mock drafts), Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Kenyan Drake, and Austin Ekeler. If you went the opposite route in the first round, then the possible WRs you could choose from might be Tyreke Hill (he’s dropped just like Derrick Henry), Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Mike Evans, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Kenny Golladay (he might be a bit of a reach here, but trust me, Golladay is a LEGIT option at WR).

So now you have a great RB and WR on your roster, and in round 3, you can pretty much do whatever you want, just DON’T draft a Defense or a Kicker here (unless your name is Taco). But you have the choice to load up on your RB position, or stack your WR group. If you want, you can continue spreading the wealth and take a TE or even a QB (if one of the elites is available). If you choose RB, you could draft Aaron Jones, Chris Carson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, or Leonard Fournette. As for WRs, you could go ahead and snag Odell Beckham Jr., Adam Thielen, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, or even Calvin Ridley. If you’d like to spread your team out a bit and snag a top TE, there’s a chance you could draft Zach Ertz or Darren Waller. And if you want to draft a QB, there’s only 2 worthy of taking in the 3rd round, and if these guys aren’t available here, you might as well wait until round 8-10 to take a QB (possibly even later). But the two potential options in the 3rd round are Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson. Anyone else would be a huge reach.

Late – WR Heavy

This strategy is rather similar to RB Heavy, only instead it puts focus and attention on your WR group. The reason why it’s a smart decision to go with back-to-back WRs with your first two picks is because: 1.) An elite RB will not be available to you in the 1st round. 2.) You’ll be drafting two elite WRs onto your roster, giving you a huge advantage, and easy decision making throughout the year. So if you’re in this situation, you could have the pleasure in drafting Michael Thomas (if you’re lucky), DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, and Tyreke Hill.

Depending on how many WRs were taken in the 1st round, you could get lucky and be in a situation where you’re drafting a 1st round graded WR in the 2nd round. Your chances of that happening are rather high, since having a late 1st round pick, your 2nd round selection follows it up immediately (especially if you have the final pick in the 1st round). So, some WRs that could be available to you here are Davante Adams, Tyreke Hill, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans.

Alright, it’s round 3 and you likely have the best WR group in your entire league. Now, going this route with your strategy means your RB situation is going to be on the weaker side of things, so it’s important to do your homework and find out who you think are the best RBs available in rounds 3-5. Luckily, a lot of RBs will be taken in the first 2 rounds, which means most of round 3 will be WRs being drafted. That means the RBs available in rounds 3 and 4 are still going to be good enough to be solid RB2 options with low-end RB1 potential. Here’s a list of RBs that could be considered steals in rounds 3 and 4: Chris Carson, Melvin Gordon, James Connor, David Singletary, Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Jonathan Taylor, and Mark Ingram.

Conclusion

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been starving for sports. Football is my favorite sport and in July, I’m usually sitting at home studying fantasy football and twiddling my thumbs waiting for football to begin, regardless if there’s a pandemic or not. At the end of the day though, there are a ton of ways to find information about fantasy football, and if you’re new to the game, utilizing these strategies can be a great way to help you get off to a fast start. But at the very least, you can enter your fantasy draft with these strategies and come off as a pro. I can’t guarantee that utilizing any of these strategies garners success, as there is always the possibility of drafting a player that ends up being a bust, and typically, nobody really knows who is a good or bad pick until the season gets going. Hope you enjoyed this article, and I hope it helps you out. Feel free to leave a comment with any tips you have, or questions you might have too.

College Party

College is a wonderful place that allows people the opportunity to further their education and learn about themselves. It’s also a place that is notoriously known for insane parties! The stereotype of college students has been portrayed in films for quite awhile now. Movies like Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House, Old School, American Pie 2, Van Wilder… The list goes on and on, but the point is, college can be pretty close to how these movies portray the lifestyle. I would know from experience, as I spent 6 years to obtain a 4 year degree.

Based on my experience, I had a great time in college, but I can only imagine what it would be like for an athlete, especially if they went to one of the top party schools and were a top player on the roster.

While you’re in college, you learn valuable skill sets that help you gain a better understanding for your career, but it’s also a place where you learn how to chug beer, which is something I’m always down to do! Due to the current trend (when we could pack stadiums and watch sports), of watching pro athletes down a beer, we can only imagine what these guy’s lives were like during their college years. Luckily, I’ve come up with a list of current NFL athletes who likely raged their face off when they had some down time. This is not a ranking either, just a fun list to speculate.

Chug, Chug, Chug, Chug, Chug…

Rob Gronkowski

You’re cant’ have a list of partiers and not have GRONK at the top. This guy has been raging his face off in the NFL from the beginning. There’s even video of Gronk getting down after a Super Bowl loss, so I can only guess how he celebrated a win! Also factor in that Grokowski attended the University of Arizona (Arizona State is known as the party school, but still), there has to be some insane stories he has to share off camera.

Rob Gronkowski also has the personality of a typical jock athlete/frat boy, which is the perfect recipe for crazy shenanigans. Apparently, while in college, Gronk was hired as a security guard for a bachelorette party, but after they fed him drink after drink, Gronk found himself as the hired stripper for the night. Additionally, one day Gronk’s brother turned their kitchen into an indoor slip-and-slide, and their house was known on campus as a top party destination if you were looking for fun. Those two stories alone would put Gronk in the College Party Hall of Fame, and that’s just the two he allowed to go public. Gronk was probably a real life version of Van Wilder at Arizona, which would make him the College King.

Taylor Lewan

Offensive line are known for chugging beer and being big time partiers, which means Taylor Lewan HAS to be on this list. I mean, this guy chugged a beer through a FISH BODY while at a Predators NHL game in Nashville. If you’re a Titans fan, you’re probably well aware of his podcast he runs with Will Compton called Bussin’ With the Boys. On the podcast, just listening to Lewan reminisce his playing days at Michigan, you can tell he has some fire college stories to share, but they might be a little too wild for the public knowledge. Either way, Lewan is a nut and a fan favorite due to his on the field play, and his personality alone. While in Michigan, Lewan could’ve been the dude that constantly did beer bongs, and ended the night shirtless due to the amount of beer spilt all over his shirt.

David Bakhtiari

He’s the second O-lineman on this list, but Bakhtiari more than deserves to be on it. He shared a college story on Bussin’ With the Boys about how he one time gargled $8 vodka just so he could puke and rally. If that’s not dedication to the party, I don’t know what is. He also spoke about his time at Colorado and how his team only won 13 games in a 3 year time span… I don’t know about you, but when your team sucks and you’re not playing in bowl games, what else are you gonna do? Add onto the fact he displayed one of the cleanest beer chugs we’ve seen as he out performed his QB Aaron Rodgers, Bakhtiari likely crushed beers like a champ during his time in Boulder, CO. The superstar Left Tackle seems like that guy who crushed empty beer cans on his head with a fat dip in.

Odell Beckham Jr.

Anybody remember that party boat trip when he was still playing for the Giants? OBJ took a few of his teammates on a party boat in Maimi, then hit the clubs in South Beach afterwards. The reason why this event was viewed so badly was the timing, as they went the week before a playoff game, which obviously brought negative attention towards the Giants locker room. But for a guy to be ballsy enough to attempt it, we can only imagine what his antics were while at LSU with Jarvis Landry. We also witnessed the WR partying at the National Championship game this year, where he was clearly intoxicated, mad dogging security and fans, handing out money to LSU players after the win, and slapping a police officer’s ass in the locker room. OBJ could be a bit more bold as a pro, but based on his antics and personality, Beckham Jr. seems like the guy who stayed up till 6am drinking a 4-Loco swiping left and right on Tinder, even though he had already hooked up with a chick (or 2) earlier that night.

Baker Mayfield

Who didn’t love this guy during his time at Oklahoma? Dominating the dance circle, talking shit to opponents, taunting other teams on the sideline by grabbing his junk… Mayfield has the personality of a guy that’s ready to to do whatever, whenever. Not only that, we have video evidence of him shotgunning a beer at a Cleveland Indians game using his TEETH to puncture the can. Just based on his personality and that video, I imagine Baker as the dude who volunteered to jump off the roof to cannon ball into the pool. Hell, he was probably the guy that instigated body shots after performing such a stunt too.

Tom Brady

Yup, he’s a GOAT, and was likely a GOAT during his days in college too. Brady has the ability to down a beer faster than most. Brian Hoyer shared a story of how Brady basically walked in, dominated his beer, then left, which led to Tom downing a beer on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Also factor in that Tom went to Michigan, AND played as a backup throughout his college career, the GOAT probably had more than enough time on his hands to party when he wasn’t practicing. At the end of the day, I can see Brady being that dude that out drinks everybody in the room but somehow is still the most sober dude there.

Matt Stafford

I know, another QB, but these dudes seem to be machines when it comes to chugging beers. Stafford was chilling at a restaurant with friends when he drained a tall glass of beer like it was nothing. On top of that, Stafford just looks like the stereotypical frat guy you’d run into at college. He’s a backwards snapback and a pair of boat shoes away from looking like the Frat Boy King. Matt Stafford seems like the type that offered to buy shots for everybody, only to ask his friends to spot him at the end of the night.

Honorable Mentions

Sebastian Janikowski

I know, he’s retired, but that’s why he’s under the Honorable Mentions section. Janikowski was a great Kicker in the NFL, and a great partier off the field. I mean, it’s impressive when a QB out chugs the O-line, but Janikowski would DRINK the O-line under the table during his time at Florida State. On top of that, during his time in the NFL, we watched this man sit on the sideline with fat dip in his lip while wearing a jersey that was just too small for him, and he had an incident where he got in a bar fight while playing for the Raiders. Sebastian Janikowski seems like the “Hank the Tank” type, as he was probably outdrinking everybody, was the drunkest in the room, and was still the last one standing when the night ended. Salute to you Janikowski, my next beer is dedicated to you.

The XFL

The XFL didn’t last long, but it gave us so many great memories. The giant Beer Snake in DC, the touchdown celebrations, and the shotgunning beers after a win were becoming the culture of this Xtremely Fun League. Players were even rushing up to fans after a touchdown and chugging the beer right there on the field! This was enough proof that a large majority of the population of athletes likely partied their faces off during their time in college, and it’s too bad the XFL had to die off so soon. The next time you’re having a beer, make sure pour some out for our fallen comrades.

Top Potential College Football Teams: Part Two

Part Two is here, so it’s time to see which teams the NCAA believes to have the best chances to be ranked within the top 5 to start the year. Like I mentioned in the last article, the season is still up in the air due to COVID-19, but I still feel rather confident that football season will be in full effect this fall.

The teams ranked in the potential Top 5 (official Top 25 lists drops in August), have all lost some talent, but the reason they’re ranked here is due to the fact that each of these programs absolutely crush it in the recruiting department. There’s a reason why teams like Alabama, and Clemson are at the top of the list every year, and recruiting is what keeps football programs competitive. Let’s take a dive into the possible Top 5 to start the 2020 season.

Potential Top Teams: 5-1

Georgia Bulldogs

The Bulldogs had a ton of talent enter the NFL Draft this year. QB Jake Fromm, RB D’Andre Swift, and (nearly) the entire O-line will have to be replaced, which leaves Georgia’s offense in an unknown state. However that may be the case, Bulldogs fans should have plenty to cheer for in 2020. Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman transferred over to Georgia, and he’s the likely starter for next year. This kid is big, and Georgia’s coaching staff seems to think he has the pocket presence to give this team a legit threat through the air. In addition to the new QB, Georgia will have Zamir “Zeus” White taking over as the new RB. D’Andre Swift left some big shoes to fill, but Georgia almost ALWAYS has good RBs. I like Zamir White to be one of the top RBs in nation next year. Behind White in the depth chart, the Bulldogs have James Cook (brother to Dalvin Cook), and a 5 star recruit in Kendall Milton. Long story short, Georgia is going to be fine in the running game for years to come. Even though so much talent left this team, Georgia still has enough fire power to make a nice run next year.

Defensively, the Bulldogs could finish the year with the number one ranked unit in the nation. Unlike the offense, this defense didn’t really lose a whole bunch of players (only 4 new starters for this year), meaning this unit already has the team chemistry needed to be successful. The key aspect that will keep this defense at the top, will be the amount of depth the Bulldogs have across the board. With guys like, DT Jordan Davis, LB Azeez Ojulari, and S Richard LeCounte, this Georgia defense will be playing at an incredibly high level once again. It’s a shame only 4 teams can make it to the playoffs, however, the Georgia Bulldogs have a great chance to make it to the postseason this year.

LSU Tigers

The Tigers have a lot of moving parts this offseason, as there are changes in the coaching staff, and a good chunk of players from the National Championship team has left for the NFL. Despite that, Head Coach Ed Orgeron is one of the better coaches in college football, and it helps that LSU plays in the SEC as one of the top caliber football programs in the nation. It’s hard to gauge exactly how good this team will be with so many new faces, but LSU should still be able to play as one of the better teams this year.

Replacing Joe Burrow will be a daunting task, especially after he gave one of the best single-year performances we’ve ever seen. Right now, QB Myles Brennan will be the likely starter for this team. It’s likely Brennan won’t be able to capture the magic the way Burrow did, which means we probably won’t see a LSU team put up crazy numbers through the air. I also really like LSU’s Running Back situation, as Chris Curry and Tyrion Davis-Price are two big backs that can punish the opposing defense. Depending on how quickly Brennan can adjust into the new starting role, the LSU Tigers will likely be a run heavy offense to start the season.

The defense is going to look different this year, literally. The new Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini will be bringing a 4-3 scheme to Louisiana. LSU has been using the 3-4 scheme for over a decade now, so Tigers fans will be watching a defense they’re not used to seeing in the purple and yellow. Ed Orgeron has already made the claim that Pelini’s defensive scheme will allow for the Tigers to continue to play fast. So despite the new look, this defense should still be able to attack the opposing QBs at a high rate. At the end of the day, LSU’s chances of repeating and winning the National Championship again is rather low. They have a ton of new faces and schemes, and really, LSU is in a questionable spot for what this season holds. I think they’ll still be competitive, but playoffs potential? Not so much.

Alabama Crimson Tide

ROLL TIDE!! When aren’t the Crimson Tide in the top 3? This is the best recruiting school in the nation, and they’ll likely play at a high level without missing a beat. Tua Tagovailoa is gone, but ‘Bama has QB Mac Jones, who passed for over 320 yards and and 3 touchdowns during his bowl game against Michigan. Nick Saban also has 5 star QB recruit Bryce Young who has the potential to earn starting reps too. I’m expecting this offense to take off out of the gate and perform as a top 10 offense all season long.

Not only is the offense great, but ‘Bama is literally known across the nation as always having a top defense too. LB Dylan Moses comes back after sustaining a season ending ACL tear last year (really hoping he plays at full potential). The defense comes off a down year (20th defense overall, which would be fantastic for most programs), so the seat is a little hot under DC Pete Golding. Just like LSU, the Alabama defense took a hit after the NFL draft, but they should be fine as guys like CB Patrick Surtain, DT DJ Dale, and DE LaBryan Ray are more than talented enough to gear the Crimson Tide back in the right direction. Considering how good ‘Bama always is, especially since Nick Saban took over as the Head Coach, I’m expecting this team to find their way back into the College Football Playoffs again.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Buckeye fans are more than likely excited about the upcoming season, as Ohio State has a legitimate chance to win the National Championship this year. Sure, they lost Running Back JK Dobbins in the Draft, but Ohio State pumps out great RBs every year. QB Justin Fields returns, and I place him as the early favorite to win the Heisman next season. Fields also has a great WR group to throw to, as Chris Olave, and Garrett Wilson are both capable of playing as a strong WR1. Watch out for the Buckeyes offense this year, as they’re going to be lighting up the score board all season long.

The defense took a hit this year after DE Chase Young, CB Jeff Okudah, LB Malik Harrison, CB Damon Arnette, DT DaVon Hamilton, and S Jordan Fuller have all left the team, and you would think Ohio State would be in dire need of help. There will be a drop in play, especially since this defense ranked within the top 3 in the nation last year. It’s really going to depend on how the new starters adapt and play. Ohio State’s defense won’t drop off the face of the earth, but it’ll be hard for them to play at the same level as last year. Despite that, they have potential to be a top 20 defensive unit, which would catapult them into playoff contention.

Clemson Tigers

The Clemson Tigers have been on top of the College Football world for quite some time now, and are poised to be the best team next season. QB Trevor Lawrence is another Heisman winner favorite, and will be playing his 3rd year as the starting QB for the Tigers. The kid has experience, he’s a superstar talent, and dammit, he has the best hair in football! The Clemson offense should be one of the best next year, as Travis Etienne returns for his 3rd year as the starting RB. For whatever reason, Etienne has been vastly under rated throughout his college career, but he gives the Tigers a dominant run game that will wear out any defense. The WR group took a hit after Justyn Ross suffered a neck and spinal injury, which put him out for the entire 2020 season. However, not all hope is lost, as the Clemson Tigers WRs still have some great talent in that position. Frank Ladson, Amari Rodgers, and Joseph Ngata are three tremendous WRs who give the Tigers a trio that’s better than most other programs. This is yet another squad looking to beat up opposing defenses with prolific talent.

The defense has a fantastic leader to guide them, as Brent Venables is still the Defensive Coordinator for this football team. Stand out LB Isaiah Simmons left for the NFL, and he’s not someone you can just replace. But luckily for Clemson, they have a bunch of guys on the roster ready to step up. DT Tyler Davis is likely the best player on the defense, and he has a cast of guys around him like CB Derion Kendrick, and LB James Skalski. Clemson may be the most stacked team in College Football, and has the best chances at making a run for another National Championship run.

Top Potential College Football Teams: Part One

It’s June, and typically college Football gets going in August. Due to COVID-19, we’re still on the fence on whether there will even be a season all together. Despite that, sports leagues are doing their best to make sure their sports are played safely. Men’s and women’s soccer are playing without fans in the US and across the world, NASCAR has been racing for the last month or so, the NBA is due to start up again on July 31st, and there is a ton of positive momentum building around the NFL. There is even great news for College Football, as every school in the SEC has their schools opening up for the fall term. So, fingers crossed, we get some damn football this year!

These breakdowns are focused on the potential Top 10 teams to start the 2020 season. This is not an official list, as the actual Pre-season Top 25 won’t be released until early August. This is also not my own list I came up with. You can find this potential Top 25 teams at https://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2020-03-20/college-football-rankings-preseason-top-25-2020-season. Part One will be focused on the teams ranked 10-6 according to this list.

Potential Top Teams: 10-6

Auburn Tigers

The Tigers finished the 2019 season with a 9-4 record, but they showed tremendous heart throughout the season. In fact, they had a few games that should give Auburn fans some hope for this team in 2020. Throughout last year, Auburn beat the Oregon Ducks, upset Alabama’s title chances, and put up a solid fight against Georgia and the National Champion LSU Tigers. Just based on that alone, the Tigers have plenty to build upon to be even better this year.

QB Bo Nix should make huge improvements after playing rather well during his Freshman year. This kid has some serious talent, and I’m excited to see how he develops throughout his college career. He has the opportunity to throw to WR Seth Williams, who has the talent to be a dominant WR1 for this Auburn team. Additionally, the Tigers always seem to have a great RB group, which means this year, Auburn could have one of the more lethal offenses in College Football.

The defense is a different story, as DT Derrick Brown left the team for the NFL. He’s a superstar talent, and when a player like that leaves a program, there’s (almost) always going to be a decline. Luckily for the Tigers, they have a pretty spread out defense, and do have some solid veteran guys, and a good looking secondary. I don’t see the Tigers making the jump and winning a National Title this year, but I’m expecting them to make improvements, which could lead to becoming a dangerous team in 2021.

Florida Gators

The Gators finished 2019 with an 11-2 record, and played better than most people anticipated. Especially after QB Feleipe Franks went down with an injury that brought backup Kyle Trask to take over as the starter. Trask balled out last season, to the point where he’s likely the starter for this year.

Head Coach Dan Mullen has been impressive so far in his young career for the Gators. They went 10-3 his first season, and backed that up by going 11-2. So obviously, Gators fans are expecting to be even better, and they should be! Trask is back, and he’s in the position to finish the year as one of the top QBs in College Football. He has an excellent cast around him, and the Florida offensive line could finish as the top O-line in the nation, as they have 4 of 5 returning starters on the roster. The Gators are one of the most highly recognized football programs, and the offense is ready to show they’re worthy of being the best.

As with any top college program, there is always going to be a bunch of moving parts every year due to the fact they have a ton of talent leave to go pro. Mullen has done a great job in recruiting though, which means the Gators defense should be able to play like an elite defense without skipping a beat. Florida is poised for a big year, and has the potential to return to former glory.

Penn State Nittany Lions

On the offensive side of the ball, QB Sean Clifford returns as the starter for the 2nd year of his college career. Penn State doesn’t necessarily have the most outstanding WR group, and hopefully for them, someone steps up big time to make Clifford’s life a little easier. I see the Nittany Lions being a run heavy squad, as RBs Journey Brown, Noah Cain, and Devyn Ford are all potential playmakers that can take over a game. Additionally, Penn State may have the most reliable TE target in the nation with Pat Freiermuth , who has the talent to be a potential top TE in the National Football League one day.

The Nittany Lions may have the best LB in the nation with Micah Parsons. This kid went bonkers in the Cotton Bowl last year, ending the game with 14 total tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles (DAMN). He’s a solid anchor for this defense to rely on, and could finish the year with the top front seven in College Football. However that may be the case, the secondary will be a weak spot on this defense (again), as they have one of the youngest secondary groups in the NCAA.

Considering the Nittany Lion’s weaknesses are the WR group and the Secondary unit, it’s hard to imaging this team making their way into the College Football Playoffs. However, they’ll be competitive like they were last season, and have the potential to play in one of the more prestigious Bowl games at the end of the year.

Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners are the favorites to win the Big 12 again, as they’ve been the best team in the conference for the last 7 of 8 years. They also lost great talent with QB Jalen Hurts and WR CeeDee Lamb who both left for the NFL. Even so, Head Coach Lincoln Riley has been a phenomenal HC, and seems to always find legit talent in the QB position. We’ve watched him coach Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts, and now it seems Riley will have the pleasure to coach former 5-star recruit Spencer Rattler. The Sooners also have a good group of their roster returning from last year too, which means this offense has potential to be one of the best next year.

In addition to this offense, the Oklahoma Sooners defense has the potential to finish the season with a top defense. 2nd year Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch has turned this unit around since taking over. In 2018 (his first year) the defense finished with the 114th ranked defense. Just one year later, Grinch helped this defense turn into the 2nd best defense in the Big 12, which also included an incredibly upgraded secondary. Based on Grinch’s history, the Sooners defense could position themselves as an elite defense in the NCAA, especially since they have veteran players with experience returning to the program. In fact, the Sooners have 12 of their top 15 tacklers returning, which is HUGE at the college level. I like Oklahoma’s chances to finish with a top 10 defense this year. If that’s the case, the Sooners have potential to find their way into the College Football Playoffs.

Oregon Ducks

The Ducks are the early favorite to win the PAC-12, and they should be able to see that through. The only major changes on this team are the O-line (4 new starters) and the QB position, as Justin Herbert entered the NFL after being selected by the LA Chargers in the Draft. The offense has a plethora of WRs for whoever may be the new QB, which should be a battle between Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown. As usual, the Ducks offense is loaded with talented RBs, which will make the new starting QB’s transition that much easier. This Ducks team has a flock of talent too, which will be led by LT Penei Sewell, WR Johnny Johnson III, and RBs CJ Verdell and Travis Dye. They also have a legit red zone threat with WR Devon Williams, who stands at 6’5″ (which isn’t the type of athlete Oregon fans are used to seeing). The Ducks have the leadership and the potential to finish as a top offense this year, but it will depend on how the new QB(s) develop at the college level.

Head Coach Mario Cristobal has been killing it with this program since taking over. He’s built this program to match his vision, which is related to teams that play in the SEC. When it comes to building a franchise, setting up the defense should always come first, and Cristobal has completed that job with his recruiting abilities. This defensive unit is STACKED! Oregon has a ton of returning players with solid experience, which gives Oregon an advantage over most other teams across the nation. DE Kayvon Thibodeaux was a monster last year with 9 sacks, and should improve his play. Thibodeaux could end 2020 as the one of the best defensive talents in the nation, and he’s not the only great player on this squad. ILB, MJ Cunningham is a legit threat that can do it all, and the Oregon Ducks have one of the better Secondaries too. Look for Oregon to be competitive all year long, and if the Ducks find a way to beat Ohio State in Autzen this year… The Ducks could be playing in the postseason.

NFL Predictions: AFC South

We’ve done it! At last, the final installment of our NFL predictions are here , and we’ll be focusing on the AFC South. This division should be a tight race between 3 of the 4 teams, and has the potential to send 2 teams into the postseason. Which ever team wins 10+ games in the regular season, should be able to become the division winner. Considering I think the Ravens, Chiefs and Bills are the best 3 teams in the AFC, the winner of this division will have to take up the 4th seed for the postseason.

In 2019, the Tennessee Titans shocked the world after Tannehill took over as the starting QB. They plan to repeat their performance from a year ago with the Super Bowl in their sights. The Indianapolis Colts are STACKED, but considering Philip River’s age, we have to ask, is he the right guy to put this team over the edge? Bill O’Brien has traded away nearly all of the Texans assets, but this team still has some major talent and should remain competitive throughout the year. Lastly, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in an obvious rebuild (they have been for like, 20 years it seems), and have a chance to be the worst team in the league in 2020.

The Dirty South

Tennessee Titans

The Titans finally have some familiarity in their coaching staff and roster, and didn’t make any major changes in the group that brought success from last season. Tennessee is flying under the radar (as usual), even though this team has a solid offense AND defense this year. Vegas only has them winning 8-9 games this season, but they have the potential to finally break that double digit barrier in the win column.

This offense has 10 of 11 returning starters, which should give them a huge competitive advantage, especially at the beginning of the year. In 2019, after QB Ryan Tannehill took over as the starter, the Titans offense had the 3rd highest scoring rate in the NFL, only being behind the Ravens and the Chiefs. We watched the Titans offense light up the scoreboard for 10 weeks until they ultimately lost in the AFC Conference Championship game. Derrick Henry looks to regain the rushing crown again, and this time, lead the Titans to the promise land. All eyes are on King Henry, which should give the Titans an advantage this year too, as Tennessee has a plethora of weapons on the offense. WR AJ Brown emerged as a premiere playmaker during his rookie season (Titans haven’t had one since like, Derrick Mason). Brown aims to play even better than last year, and has a great chance to do so. Also include TE Jonnu Smith, the now starting TE after the front office let Delanie Walker go. Smith is surprisingly fast, and quick on his feet, has the ability to make incredible catches, and make defenders miss. Additionally, the Titans O-line is relatively the same, as RT Jack Conklin is the only player the Titans needed to replace. Dennis Kelly takes over as the starter now, and the front office drafted rookie RT Isaiah Wilson (AKA Panda) in the first round, giving the Titans a solid veteran and great rookie to replace him eventually. Also throw in the fact the Titans have the same Offensive Coordinator making the calls (first time this has happened in forever), the Tennessee Titans are setup to make a repeat performance, and finish with a top 10 offense in the NFL.

Tennessee has had a stout defense for quite some time now, and look to continue that dominant play in 2020. Last year, the defense was the reason why the Titans were competitive in a majority of their games. This defense is led by arguably the best Safety in the league, Kevin Byard. This guy has consistently been at the top of the list in terms of interceptions since his rookie year, and I’m hoping he finds his way into the endzone this season. But he’s not the only asset in this secondary. Kenny Vaccaro has been a fantastic acquisition for this team, and is vastly under rated across the league. Also include Adoree Jackson, who has shown improvements every year in his career. In the 2nd round of the draft, the Titans selected CB Kristian Fulton, a guy who has 1st round potential and many view as the steal of the draft. The LB group is solid as well, as Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans lead the way as the ILBs. In addition to that, the D-line should be stout this year, as Jeffery Simmons should improve off of what was already an impressive rookie performance. You could make the argument that the Titans were a pass rusher away from making the Super Bowl last season, and the front office attacked that weakness by signing veteran EDGE Rusher Vic Beasley. Between him, and Harold Landry, the Titans pass rush should improve as well.

At the end of the day, the Titans have all the potential in the world to make another deep playoff run. However, the Titans did trade away long time great D-lineman Jurrell Casey, and they haven’t found a replacement for him yet. This team is still rumored to be in talks with Jadeveon Clowney (still… I know, sign him already), and if Clowney does sign with Tennessee, the defense could be pushed up into the top 5 conversation. I like the Titans chances this year, and fans should have high hopes for this squad in 2020.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have a tremendous roster, and pose a legitimate threat in the AFC this season. However, I don’t have much faith in Philip Rivers, as he did show some regression in 2019. Indy has a legit chance to win the AFC South, but considering the Titans strengths right now, I just have a hard time seeing the Colts win the AFC South this year. Vegas thinks they’ll be competitive, as they’re projected to win 9 games.

I love the Colts coaching staff, and the front office has done a great job with their acquisitions and scouting. Indy drew a bad luck card last year after QB Andrew Luck announced his early and unexpected retirement. The way the Colts played last season, had Luck stuck it out with the Colts, Indianapolis could have been a serious contender in the AFC, but due to poor QB play from Jacoby Brissett, the Colts ended up missing out on the postseason all together. During this offseason, the front office signed veteran QB Philip Rivers to take over as the starter. I love Rivers as much as the next football fan, but this dude is 38 years old, and showed some major decline in his ability to play in 2019. I foresee Philip Rivers being the main source of the Colts struggles next season, as the rest of the offense is incredibly strong. Indy has one of the best O-lines in the league, and they have a great running game too. Marlon Mack is an under rated RB, and the front office drafted rookie RB Jonathan Taylor, who will give the Colts a huge upgrade in the run game. TY Hilton is still a great WR, and rookie Michael Pittman has the potential to become something special one day. On paper, this offense looks to be one of the best this year, but you can only be as strong as your weakest link.

The Indy defense is going to be good this year, and it will be difficult for opposing offenses to score on them. The front seven is stacked after the Colts traded for DE DeForest Buckner. He’ll be amongst a front seven that includes Justin Houston, and Darius Leanard, which means the Colts defense will be attacking QBs at an extremely high rate. I was shocked the Colts let Pierre Desir walk away during free agency, as I was sure he was someone they would’ve wanted to keep. However, the front office replaced him with veteran CB Xavier Rhodes, who should be able to slide in and help this defense. Although there were trade rumors around him, Safety Malik Hooker is an incredibly reliable player, and should be a great anchor for this team to count on. Indy has a tremendous talent throughout their defense, which means the Colts should be in contention for most of their games.

Like I said, this Colts team has an incredible roster, and a great coaching staff to pair with it. The GM seems to always make the best decisions for this franchise too. If they had a better QB situation, I would fully understand why people choose the Colts as the favorites. Luckily for Colts fans, Indy should win enough games this year to earn them a spot in the playoffs.

Houston Texans

Head Coach/General Manager Bill O’Brien has depleted this roster the last couple years, and made it difficult for this franchise to build properly these next coming years as well. For whatever reason, the owner hasn’t fired him yet. Even so, the Texans have enough talent on the roster to remain competitive next year. They could be one of those “in the hunt” teams, as Vegas has them winning 7-8 games.

Houston’s offense is going to stay competitive throughout the year, as Deshaun Watson is under Center for this franchise. With this guy as your QB, you’re always going to have a chance to win games. Although they traded away superstar WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals, the Texans WR group isn’t necessarily the worst in the league. Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills, and Will Fuller V are all speedy WRs that should help spread out the offense. They also signed veteran Randall Cobb, who should give the Watson a reliable route runner. So even though the Texans will be without a true WR1 this year, Watson should still be able to play well enough to do some damage through the air. The run game is in some serious question though after O’Brien acquired RB David Johnson in the Hopkins trade. For whatever reason, the Cardinals refused to use Johnson last year, which should raise some red flags to any coaches and GMs across the NFL. The RB is also 29 years old, which is typically when RBs abilities begin to diminish. The O-line won’t be doing this team any favors, as they were one of the worst in the league in 2019, and O’Brien didn’t add any new help to this terrible O-line group to help protect his franchise QB. Expect Watson to make some amazing scrambling plays this year, as he’s clearly the best player on this offense.

The Texans defense is rather up and down, but should be the most consistent part of this team. JJ Watt is still an elite player when he’s on the field, and just like Houston’s QB, Watt will always give you a chance to win games. I really liked the Texans draft pick this year when they selected DT Ross Blacklock. He was one of the better options in the D-line this year, and has the talent to really help this defense too. Whitney Mercilus is a fantastic player, and has been a great sidekick to JJ Watt. Outside from those 3 guys, the Houston defense is right around average, to slightly above average. Justin Reid and Bradley Roby are two good players in the secondary, but they’re not great. The defense is in a similar situation as the offense, as Watt is clearly the best player on the team, and this franchise is going to need him on the field in order to have a chance to win games.

Like I said, the Texans will likely be competitive. JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson are by far the best athletes on this team, and if they weren’t apart of this franchise, the Texans would be in a bad situation and needing to rebuild ASAP. When it’s all said and done, the Houston Texans will likely end the year in the middle of the pack.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags are in an obvious rebuild (again), after trading away nearly every star player on the roster. Jacksonville’s future looks bleak, as it seems they can’t keep any superstar talent on the team. In fact, the NFLPA made an announcement to players across the league to avoid signing with the Jaguars if they can (YIKES). They’re likely to be the worst team in the NFL next season, and Vegas agrees. They’re only projected to win 4-5 games next year, which places them in dead last.

The word “struggle” comes to mind, but I don’t know if that’s the best word to use to describe this Jags offense. The only bright spot on this team is the jorts wearing, mustache having QB Gardner Minshew, who actually put up decent numbers during his rookie season (he’s not a bad fantasy football option either). Minshew came out of nowhere after Nick Foles went down with an injury, and played so well, the Jaguars front office decided to dish away Foles so they could ride that mustache for as long as they can (thank you, I’ll be here all week). I will say though, that I do really like Leanard Fournette even though the rest of the NFL seems to undervalue his abilities. He should be getting carries at a high rate next year, as the Jaguars have a mediocre WR group. DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook, and Chris Conley are not very exciting names, and neither of them have proven (as of yet, I’ll give them a chance) to be a WR1 for this franchise. However, the front office decided to draft WR Laviska Shenault in the 2nd round, and he’ll have many opportunities to prove he was worth the pick. The Jags O-line is probably the worst in the NFL, which won’t help with the woes of this offense either.

The defense is real thin, especially after the front office traded away superstar CB Jalen Ramsey last season. They then backed that up with trading away superstar DE Calais Campbell to the Ravens this offseason. Additionally, EDGE Rusher, Yannick Ngakoue is still technically on the roster, but he wants out too, and the front office hasn’t found a trade partner just yet. In the last 2 years, that’s 3 superstar talents leaving this team, which is a bad look for any franchise in any sport. Considering how much is going wrong, the defense will be going through a bunch of growing pains in 2020, as they have a potential 5 rookie starters this season. CJ Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson are two exciting prospects that have the potential to turn into something special. Josh Allen and Myles Jack are the two veteran leaders on this team, so at least the Jags have THAT going for them. But who knows, the way this front office operates, I wouldn’t be shocked if Henderson, K’Lavon, Allen, and Jack all eventually beg to leave somewhere down the road.

Jacksonville is young and inexperienced, and the front office can’t keep their star athletes on the roster. Hopefully for Jaguars fans, the team figures it out soon. If not, this franchise will be at the bottom of the barrel for years to come.

NFL Predictions: NFC South

It’s our final week of predictions, which means we’re finally in the “Dirty South” portion of these articles. The NFC South is rather stacked, and will likely have two playoff teams in the post season, while one has the potential to be “in the hunt.” This division will be electric all season long, and could contain two of the top teams in the league in general.

The New Orleans Saints are stacked and reloaded to make another attempt at a possible Super Bowl run. Can Drew Brees continue his consistency to get them there? Tom Brady and Rob Gronkwoski joined the Buccaneers this offseason, and look to aim for a deep playoff run with a new team. The Atlanta Falcons have had a difficult time recovering from that Super Bowl loss to the Patriots just a few years ago, but could this be the year they turn their luck around and soar in the right direction? And the Carolina Panthers are in a clear rebuild mode, but Panthers fans have plenty to be excited about in Carolina.

The Dirty South

New Orleans Saints

I know, there is a lot of hype around the Bucs right now due to their exciting offseason, but the Saints are the team to beat in the NFC South. I like New Orleans chances to challenge for the number 1 seed in the NFC this year, with the Bucs closely behind them. Vegas believes this team ends with 10 wins on the season, which puts them just behind the 49ers in their predictions.

This is going to be one of the best offenses in the league… again. There aren’t many holes on this squad, and I don’t know if there’s much else you could do to improve this franchise offensively. Michael Thomas and Drew Brees are arguably the best QB/WR duo in the entire NFL, even though Brees is getting up there in age (he’s 41 this year). Drew has been a phenomenal QB in this league, and despite what people might think of him after those comments about kneeling/protesting (luckily, his teammates spoke with him and he has the open mindedness to listen), the guy hasn’t shown any decline in his play. Even if the future Hall of Fame QB starts to decline this year, the Saints offense has so much versatility that they can rely on the players around the QB to succeed. Michael Thomas is easily a top 5 WR in the NFL, and the front office signed veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders, which gives Brees one of the best route runners to throw to as well. Additionally, Jared Cook is a top 10 Tight End, and has been a reliable target the last few years. Not to mention, RB Alvin Kamara is a freak athlete that has a unique ability to pinball off tacklers, and keep gaining yards. I also loved the Saint’s first round pick selection, Cesar Ruiz, who has the talent to make an immediate impact on this O-line. You can expect the Saints to have one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL this year.

The Saints defense will have one major advantage over their opponents this season, which is the fact that they’ll likely be slept on throughout the year. Cameron Jordan is still one of the top DEs in the league, and will continue his dominance in 2020. The New Orleans secondary is going to be top notch, as Marshon Lattimore has made his mark in this league during his young career. The guy is one of top Corners, and should show even more improvements this year. On the opposite side of the field, the Saints have CB Janoris Jenkins, he’s not the most exciting name, however, Jenkins has been much more consistent in the NFL than most people give him credit for. Additionally, the LB core should be stout, as Demario Davis and Kiko Alonso lead the way at the position. They’re not the top LBs in the league or anything, but these dudes play well enough to earn respect across the NFL. The front office also draft rookie LB Zack Baun, who could be the biggest steal in the draft. This kid can play ILB, or OLB, as he’s capable of stopping the run, pass, and attacking the QB.

New Orleans will be scoring A LOT of points, and their defense is good enough (on paper) to put them within the top 10. Sean Payton is one of the best coaches in the league, and he has the privilege to coach one of the best rosters as well. Expectations for the Saints are high this year, especially with Brees being 41. I for one, believe this team will end the year with the best record in the NFC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There is SO much offense in the NFC South this year! The Bucs will be closely competing with the Saints (and the Ravens, and the Chiefs) for the top offense this season. The real question is, can their defense hold up? I think they can, and Vegas has the Bucs winning 9-10 games in 2020.

Tom Brady in Tampa Bay just sounds weird. But as a Titans fan, I’m just glad the guy is out of the AFC! However, now that he’s on the Bucs, Brady aims to win a Super Bowl ring without his long time coach, Bill Belichick. Brady showed some decline in his play last season, but luckily for him, the Tampa Bay front office went all out to give him the best chances to succeed. I’m making a declaration right here, right now, and I’ll argue anybody over this… Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the best WR duo in the National Football League. Both guys put up over 1000 yards a piece last season, and have the potential to play even better now that Jameis Winston won’t be throwing interceptions every 5 minutes (at least it felt that way). GRONK comes out of retirement, and joins his long time QB in Tampa Bay, which gives Brady the familiarity he’ll need to adapt with a new team much faster. On top of that, a ton of people are sleeping on OJ Howard. This makes sense, as Howard has been underwhelming so far in his career. But the fact that Evans, Godwin and Gronk will be the main focus opposing defenses will game plan around, OJ Howard could finally emerge and play at the level everyone expected him to play at since his rookie year. Obviously, the passing game in Tampa Bay is going to be elite, but what about the rest of the offensive lineup? RB Ronald Jones II isn’t a bad player, and actually played rather well in the final part of the regular season last year. The front office also made sure to acquire protection for Tom Brady. With a new improved O-line, and so much focus and attention on the passing game, this could be Ronald Jones II’s year to surprise the league. Although Brady will be 43 at the start of the season, the Bucs offense has so many weapons, that a declined Brady will still play at a high level.

Much like their division rivals, the Saints, the Buccaneers defense is going to be slept on. Last year, the Bucs defense ranked number 1 in stopping run, and they brought back a majority of players that helped pull off that feat. Ndamukong Suh isn’t the player he used to be, but his ability to plug holes and stop the run makes him an elite run stopper for this unit. Tampa also has one of the best LB groups in the league, and somehow, they’re still criminally under rated. You can easily make a case that Levonte David is the best ILB in the NFL, and he plays alongside guys like Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White, and Shaquil Barrett. So, between the D-line, and the LB group, not much is getting past this Bucs D. The only weak spot this defense has is in the secondary. They don’t necessarily have any big name players in those positions, and pass heavy teams will look to attack this team through the air.

On paper, the Bucs look like a team that’s ready for a Super Bowl run. We’ll see how it goes, as Brady will be 43, and did show some decline in his abilities in 2019, and this years Bucs defense will likely give up a ton of yards (and possibly points) through the air. Despite those two negatives, Bruce Arians is a phenomenal coach in the NFL, and there is so much talent on this team in general that it’s hard to imagine this franchise struggling at all. The Saints should win the NFC South, but the Bucs will be a VERY strong 5 seed in the playoffs this year.

Atlanta Falcons

I have the Dirty Birds finishing 3rd in the NFC South, but, they have the potential to be “in the hunt.” If Atlanta can finally pull themselves together, they’ll be a team you won’t want to face late in the season (similar to 2019). I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs, and Vegas predicts them winning 7-8 games.

The Falcon’s offense is by far the strongest asset for this franchise. Matt Ryan is still a top 10 QB (arguably top 5), and he’s still throwing the ball to top wideout, Julio Jones. These 2 have been putting up the numbers for what seems like forever, and they should continue connecting through the air in 2020. Calvin Ridley is a WR that emerged as a solid WR2 for this offense, and should expand his abilities even further next year. I also liked how the front office picked up TE Hayden Hurst via trade, which gives Atlanta a solid replacement for Austin Hooper. Furthermore, the Dirty Birds signed RB Todd Gurley, who is aiming to bounce back from his poor play a year ago. Gurley is a smart player, and is still athletic enough to make opposing defenses lose sleep at night. A lot of people have written Gurley off, but I like his chances to still play at a high level (hoping he’s recovered from his past injuries). He’s one of my candidates for Comeback Player of the Year. Either way, this franchise has some amazing talent on this offense, and will be the reason why the Falcons stay competitive throughout the season.

This defense however is a different story. They’ll likely be average at best, which is rather shocking, as just a few years ago, the defense looked like they were stacked with young talent. Sports analysts and myself believed Atlanta would have a top 5 defense by now, but for whatever reason, nothing has really gone the way this franchise was hoping for since giving up that 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. The front seven will likely be the focal point of this unit, as Allen Bailey leads the way on the D-line, and Deion Jones is one of the more consistent LBs in the league. The front office released CB Desmond Trufant after failing to find a trade partner. Trufant is still a talented CB, but the Falcons replaced him with exciting rookie AJ Terrell. I don’t have high hopes for this defense, and this will likely be the reason why Atlanta misses out on the postseason.

Ultimately, the Falcons front office has made some great progress this offseason in their attempt to get back on top of the league. They won’t beat out their division rivals the Saints or the Bucs, but if the Falcons can put it all together, this could be a dangerous team to play against late in year. At least Falcons fans can be excited about possibly spoiling another franchise’s playoff hopes.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are in an obvious rebuild mode, as nearly everything about this team is brand new. With an entirely new coaching staff along with a bunch of new faces on the roster, the Panthers are setup to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year. Vegas seems to agree with me, as they have the Panthers only winning 5-6 games, which is tied for 3rd worst in the league.

For the first time since 2011, Carolina will be without QB Cam Newton. Despite public opinion of Newton (at least outside of the Carolinas), the guy has a tremendous track record. He’s won the National Championship in college, the Heisman trophy, NFL Rookie of the Year, NFL MVP, and led a below average team to a Super Bowl damn near by himself… But all that is for a different article for another time, as we’re here to focus on the 2020 Carolina Panthers. This year, Carolina will be led by RB Christian McCaffrey. This dude is just an amazing athlete, and is easily the best dual threat RB in the world. Not only is he a top 5 RB, but he also puts up receiving numbers that places him in the conversation with some of the best WRs in the NFL. The Panthers have an absolute superstar to build around, which puts this franchise in a great spot during this rebuilding period. Furthermore, this offense doesn’t look all that bad after signing Teddy Bridgewater to replace Cam Newton under Center. He’s not the best, but he played well enough last year for the Saints to gain attention. Now he’s the starter for Carolina, and has a chance to prove himself again. The WR group is pretty good too, as DJ Moore played rather well last year, and the front office signed speedy WR Robby Anderson, who gives the Panthers a legitimate deep ball threat. The weak spots on this offense are the O-line, and the TE positions. This team probably won’t put up points at the same rate as the Saints and the Bucs, but this offense is a great starting point for this rebuilding process.

The defense is really where the problems lie for this franchise, as there just isn’t much exciting talent on the roster right now. The Panthers had a fantastic pass defense a season ago, which could be something this group relies on this year. However, the front office put all of their focus on the defensive side of the ball in the draft (which was incredibly smart), which means the Panthers may have 4 rookie starters on the defense this season. With so many holes on this squad, it’s going to be difficult for the Panthers to contain their opponents in 2020.

The Panthers likely won’t be too much of a threat this year, but fans should be excited about the future of this franchise. Carolina had one of the best drafts this offseason, and if those selections work out the way the franchise hopes, this team could develop into something special down the road. As for the 2020 season, you can expect to see a ton of growing pains, as the Panthers have a new coaching staff, bad O-line, bad TE group, and a very young defense.