Curtis Patrick makes some important tweaks to 2020 fantasy football rankings for 2020 as he prepares for his biggest drafts of the year.
We plan to win our drafts by nailing our middle- and late-round targets, but we want to make sure we don’t lose our drafts in the first 36-48 picks. As player roles become clearer and injuries begin taking their toll, it’s important to stay on top of player rankings as drafts continue. I want to share some critical changes I’ve made as my biggest drafts of the year (like the $3.9M FFPC Main Event) are rapidly approaching.
As it becomes clearer and clearer with each passing day that Miles Sanders is in line for bell-cow usage, I’ve vaulted him into my top-eight over Derrick Henry and now value him at the bottom of RB Tier 2 (after Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, and Dalvin Cook). The second-year back has received a steady drumbeat of praise from the coaching staff; both Doug Pederson and Duce Staley have been frank about their plans for him this season.
“I’m excited about him handling the full load. I don’t think you have to be careful with him because it’s hard to get to him — if you’ve got a guy who — is kind of special like Miles, the injury risk goes down…”
Duce Staley on Miles Sanders ⤵️https://t.co/T94vtNhAcB
— Curtis Patrick (@CPatrickNFL) August 12, 2020
Sanders averaged nearly 18 PPR per game after Jordan Howard left the picture in 2019 and that was despite him still splitting significant snap-share with Boston Scott. If Sanders really relegates Scott to the bench other than for short spells, I’m not sure there’s even a ceiling on his scoring. Here’s an excerpt from deeper research I did on Sanders back in January:
As Blair Andrews notes in his research, running backs who have positive rookie seasons in total fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) tend to score more fantasy points the following year. Sanders ranked first among 2019 rookie running backs with 19.7 total FPOE. What I really like about Sanders is that the value he added on top of his opportunity came in receiving game. In fact, since 2000, Sanders ranks third among all backs selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft in rookie season receiving FPOE (reFPOE).
The team has him in bubble wrap now until the season starts, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He’s an auto-draft player for me now beginning at eight overall. Sanders has also been a priority dynasty trade target since early in the offseason.
New Rank: RB6
New Draft Range: 8-10