The past two seasons, I have written an 8-part divisional series piece titled “Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer”.  As we approach the 2020 season, it’s time for the third annual installment of this series.

In these 8 articles, I utilized ADP to identify two guys I am buying, two I’m selling, and a flyer off each team. Buying and selling have nothing to do with my opinion of the player and everything to do with my perceived value of the player vs. ADP. As for the flyer, these are gut feels on players deeper down in ADP that you are likely selecting in the late rounds of your drafts and in some cases, guys you will find on your league’s waiver wires.

We continue the 2020 “Buy Sell Take the Flyer” Series with the NFC South.

4. Atlanta Falcons

2021 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC South
TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 30: Calvin Ridley #18 of the Atlanta Falcons runs after catching a pass during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. The Falcons won 34-32. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) 2020 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC South

Two Players I Am Buying

Calvin Ridley – Overall ADP 44 WR17

Calvin Ridley finished 2019 with 63 catches on 93 targets for 866 yards and 7 touchdowns. In his rookie season, Ridley finished with 64 catches on 92 targets for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. In 2018, he played in all 16 games and in 2019 he was limited to 13. 

The Dynasty community has long talked about the third-year breakout WR. Ridley has all the markings of being just that. He finished both 2018 and 2019 as WR22 in PPR scoring. 195.9 points in ’18 followed by 197 in ’19. Ridley plays in an offense that likes to throw the football. The Atlanta Falcons have ranked 5th and 1st in pass attempts in Ridley’s first two seasons, and that is a trend I would not expect to decrease very much in 2020. I have Ridley ranked 15th in my WR PPR rankings and I am happily taking him towards the back end of round 3 in my drafts.

Matt Ryan – Overall ADP 85 QB9

Matt Ryan has finished as a top-12 scoring Quarterback 6 times, including two top 2 finishes and a QB11 finish a year ago. Ryan enters 2020 in position to repeat his top 12 ways. He has two top weapons returning in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, 3rd year WR Russell Gage showed promise late in 2019, and the Falcons added RB Todd Gurley to the backfield.

Atlanta led the league in pass attempts in 2019 with 684 and were 5th in 2018 with 617. Expect the Falcons to continue to throw and throw often in 2020. As as a result, I have Matt Ryan ranked 7th in my QB rankings and a buy at his current ADP.

Two Players I Am Selling

Hayden Hurst – Overall ADP 106 TE11

The Falcons allowed Austin Hooper to walk via free agency and traded for Hayden Hurst. Hurst enters an offense with targets-a-plenty. Hooper was targeted 97 times in 2019, (in 13 games) and 88 times in 2018. Combined in those two seasons, Hooper totaled 146 catches, 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Falcons did nothing in the draft to address tight end, so you expect Hurst to be first in line to get most of the targets thrown to the tight ends in that offense.

I do not expect Hurst to be as productive as Hooper, but is 60% as productive really too much to ask? If Hooper can stay healthy, he should flirt with top 12-15 TE status. Hurst is currently my 13th ranked TE making him sell in comparison to his current ADP of 11.

Todd Gurley – Overall ADP 26 RB14

Todd Gurley finished the 2019 season with 857 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns to go along with 31 receptions for 207 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. He appeared in 15 games, and his 1,064 total yards were the lowest of his 5 year career. His 254 touches were the lowest since his 250 in his rookie season. He finished 2019 as RB14 with 219.4 PPR points. On March 19, 2020, Gurley was released by the Rams, and signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons on April 6, 2020.

As far as landing spots go, the Falcons are about as good as it gets for Gurley. He joins a potent offense with minimal competition for touches. There’s certainly some optimism here for fantasy purposes. It’s a homecoming for Gurley, and he’s motivated on a one-year deal.  Gurley is the unquestioned starter for a historically strong Atlanta offense and will see all the volume his body can handle. I have him ranked 15th in my RB rankings, making him a difficult sell here.

Take the Flyer

Russell Gage – Overall ADP 322 WR95

Russell Gage was 6th round selection out of LSU in 2018.  He has compiled 55 catches 509 yards and 1 TD in parts of two seasons in Atlanta.  Mohammad Sanu was dealt to the Patriots prior to Week 8 last year, and at that time Gage had 11 receptions for 102 yards.  After the trade, Gage finished the season with 38 catches 344 yards and a TD. Gage was WR120 before the trade and WR49 after it.

In addition, Austin Hooper missed Weeks 11-13 a year ago. In those three games, Gage saw 23 targets, had 15 grabs for 145 yards, and the only TD of his career.  It’s a small sample size, but over 16 games at that pace it’s 80/773/5.  In those three games, Gage was WR27; that 16 game pace, by the way, would land him as WR32. Hooper is gone and as much as I dig Hayden Hurst, he’s not Austin Hooper.  Gage showed last year that he’s going to be a part of this offense and that he can be relied upon to contribute. That makes him worth the flyer here.

3. Carolina Panthers

D.J. Moore Fantasy Outlook 2021
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 30: D.J. Moore #12 of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 30, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) 2020 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC South

Two Players I Am Buying

D.J. Moore – Overall ADP 30 WR10

In 15 games a season ago, D.J. Moore posted 230.5 PPR points and a WR16 finish. It’s impressive considering that the majority of his production came with below average replacement Quarterback play. In 2018, Moore finished as WR36 with 157 PPR points.

With Teddy Bridgewater in place as the Panthers Quarterback, things are looking up for Moore in 2020. Bridgewater is not an air yards kind of QB and Moore isn’t an air yards kind of WR. In 2019, Moore ran a slant route 27% of the time–the most of any route on his tree. He was successful on those routes 81.1% of the time. If Moore is targeted as much as he was last season (135), he is in line for a monster season.

Moore specializes in yards after the catch, and new Panther’s OC Joe Brady knows Bridgewater and his strengths and should tailor make this offense to benefit those running routes close to the quarterback. 2020 is going to be the first of many seasons that D.J. Moore makes his way into the top-12 WRs. I have him ranked 8th in my WR rankings and I am buying him at his current ADP.

Christian McCaffrey – Overall ADP 1 RB 1

Christian McCaffrey was the NFL’s best fantasy player in PPR leagues after having the second-best fantasy season in NFL history. Throughout the season, McCaffrey accumulated 471.2 fantasy points, 1,387 rushing yards, 1,005 receiving yards, and 19 total touchdowns. He also became the third player in NFL history to record 1,000+ receiving and 1,000+ rushing yards in the same year.

As great as Christian McCaffrey is, regression in 2020 is almost certain. After all, he is coming off the second best fantasy season in league history. His role in the passing game likely remains unchanged. Teddy Bridgewater, his new Quarterback, thrives on throws close to the line of scrimmage. Regression or no regression, I recently moved CMC up to #1 in my running backs rankings and into first overall. If you are sitting on the clock with the first overall selection in your draft, do not over think it–take CMC.

Two Players I Am Selling

Robby Anderson – Overall ADP 148 WR55

Robby Anderson finished last season as WR40 with 162.3 PPR points. 2019 was the final season of Anderson’s contract with the New York Jets, and fantasy managers welcomed a new team for their WR. That new team is the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina was not the landing spot most would have picked for Anderson. Anderson goes from being pretty much the top receiving weapon the Jets had for three seasons to playing 3rd fiddle in Carolina. The Panthers offense will employ plenty of multi-WR sets, so Anderson will still have the opportunity to be a field-stretcher while D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey work the short routes.

It will be interesting to see how the competition between Anderson and Curtis Samuel plays out for the “deep-threat” role and if Teddy Bridgewater can make the necessary throws. Even on a better offense than what he dealt with in New York, it may be tough for Robby to be a consistent fantasy producer in 2020. I am not certain how this season works out for Anderson, and I would prefer that I don’t find out with him on my roster.

Curtis Samuel – Overall ADP 168 WR 61

Curtis Samuel was one of the most hyped WRs entering draft season in 2019. He didn’t deliver on the hype, but considering the injury to Cam Newton and the replacement level quarterback play he was saddled with all last season, his WR36 finish with 171.7 PPR points wasn’t that bad.

There’s a ton of turnover in Carolina with a new head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater). D.J. Moore and CMC are the clear top targets on the offense while Samuel and newly signed Robby Anderson should fight for next up. Samuel is going very late in fantasy drafts, but not late enough for me. I am passing on the receiver that is very well the 4th or 5th passing option in an offense that would prefer not to pass.

Take the Flyer

Ian Thomas – Overall ADP 226 TE25

It’s certainly possible Ian Thomas is the forgotten man in Carolina, and we are all overlooking his upside. Greg Olsen is no longer on the team giving Thomas his chance. Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t shown that he can sustain multiple fantasy relevant players, and Carolina has a very talented receiving core. Thomas is likely not worth a roster spot, but other than backup RB Reggie Bonnafon, there isn’t much worth looking at for a flyer on the Panthers.

2. New Orleans Saints

Top 10 Best Running Backs for Fantasy Football 2020
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 13: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Jordan Hicks #58 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) 2020 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC South

Two Players I Am Buying

Alvin Kamara – Overall ADP 5 RB4

After starting his career with RB3 and RB4 finishes in 2017 and 2018, Alvin Kamara slid back to a RB9 finish in 2019. In his first two seasons in New Orleans, Kamara averaged 15.5 touchdowns a season, and in 2019 he scored a total of 6.

Fantasy owners preparing for 2020 can expect production more like his first two years than his third. After suffering a high-ankle sprain against Jacksonville and battling knee issues throughout the season, Kamara will return to the Saints at full strength. Furthermore, Kamara will have added motivation as 2020 is the final year of his rookie contract. The Saints will face 6 teams in 2020 that ranked in the bottom 10 against running backs in 2019. They are also returning the #1 run blocking offensive line from a season ago. The ceiling for Kamara also remains limitless due to the return of Drew Brees and the team’s commitment to running the ball on early downs. 

Emmanuel Sanders – Overall ADP 105 WR40

In 2019, Emmanuel Sanders finished his season as WR 30 with 190.3 PPR points. In 2020, Sanders has a new home after signing a free agent deal with the New Orleans Saints.

Sanders goes to possibly the best landing spot possible in free agency joining the Saints. While his age (33) may concern some, he actually played ALL 17 weeks last season because of being traded midseason from the Broncos to the 49ers. Coming back and fighting through injuries, he still showed big play ability last season. If you can grab him later in drafts, he should have nice upside any week with Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints offense.

Two Players I Am Selling

Drew Brees – Overall ADP 79 QB7

Drew Brees was limited to 11 games a season ago due to an injury to the thumb on his throwing hand. The five games missed were two more than he had missed since the start of the 2004 season. As a result, Brees finished 2019 as the QB28 with 228.8 points. His 20.8 points a game were tied for 8th with Russell Wilson.

From the time Brees returned to his starting role in Week 8 until the end of the season he was fantasy’s QB5. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders to the lineup is an upgrade over Ted Ginn Jr. and Tre’Quan Smith, and it gives Brees a dependable WR to target in addition to standout WR Michael Thomas. Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara round out the arsenal at Brees’s disposal.

This may be Brees’s final season and it may not, but it will be yet another top 12 season. I do expect Alvin Kamara to be more of a force in 2020 than 2019, and scoring more rushing touchdowns similar to his first two season in the league. This slightly downgrades Brees and makes him a sell at QB7.

Jared Cook – Overall ADP 98 TE10

Jared Cook has quietly turned into a very reliable fantasy TE. Cook is one of only three TEs to deliver a top 12 season the past three years. Cook finished 2019 as TE7, but from the time Drew Brees returned from injury in Week 10, Cook was the TE2 the rest of the way.

The addition of Emmanuel Sanders, and a healthy Alvin Kamara, should limit Jared Cook’s targets and productivity in 2020. I recently downgraded Cook in my 2020 Redraft Tight End Rankings pushing him out of my top-12. As a result Cook is a sell for me here.

Take the Flyer

Latavius Murray – Overall ADP 115 RB45

The New Orleans Saints are a very top heavy offense. Their stars are consistent and it makes for finding a sleeper among them a daunting task. If there is one, it very well may be veteran RB Latavius Murray.

Murray didn’t get a Mark Ingram role for the Saints, but he did produce when Alvin Kamara missed a few games. Even after a few successful games, Murray was right back to minimal work. It’s hard to view Murray as anything but a handcuff at this point, but in this offense that’s worth taking the flyer

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buy Sell Take the Flyer
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 18: Wide receiver Chris Godwin #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers carries the ball as he is defended by cornerback Curtis Riley #35 of the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 18, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Giants won 38-35. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) 2020 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC South

Two Players I Am Buying

Chris Godwin – Overall ADP 20 WR 6

In his third season, Chris Godwin truly delivered on the breakout season anticipated by many. His breakout was anticipated, but his #2 overall fantasy finish at WR was not. In 14 games, Godwin finished with 86 catches, 1,333 yards, and 9 TDs for 276.1 PPR points.

I would expect Godwin to experience some regression in 2020. Mike Evans is still in his prime and will remain a top target as well. It is hard to predict volume in this new Tampa Bay offense with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn mixing in. Godwin gets a lot of work from the slot, and he beats press coverage routinely. His high success rates on routes like the slant and dig should fit right in with new Quarterback Tom Brady. Even with some expected regression, Godwin has proven he has the talent to finish as the top fantasy WR. I have him sliding to #6 in my 2020 Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings, right at his ADP, and I will be buying.

Ke’Shawn Vaughan – Overall ADP 86 RB34

With pick 76 in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected RB Ke’Shawn Vaughan out of Vanderbilt.

Vaughn has seemingly stepped into a great spot for fantasy purposes. Tampa Bay will be a very potent offense with the combo of Coach Arians and Tom Brady. Vaughn possesses true 3-down abilities and his main competition, Ronald Jones, may not have the full confidence of his coach or his new quarterback. Vaughn is a decent later round pick, but you may have to be patient to see him get meaningful playing time. By the time the year hits the midway point, Ke’Shawn Vaughn should be considered an RB2. I am going to buy now at the reduced price.

Two Players I Am Selling

Rob Gronkowski – Overall ADP 77 TE8

Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason and decided he wanted to have his old buddy join him. After a trade with the New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement. The last time we saw Gronk was 2018, a season in which he was limited to 13 games and finished as TE11. 2017 was his last dominate season, where he was TE2 and averaged 17.5 fantasy points a game.

It’s possible the one-year retirement let his body fully heal. It’s also possible people expect too much out of Gronk heading into an offense that hasn’t shown much interest on relying on the TE position. If he’s healthy, it’s really hard to see him have a relevant role in the offense. Brady wanted Gronk in Tampa for a reason, and I can’t imagine that is to block. It is also unlikely that we see the dominating top 3 TE that he once was. I have Gronk at 10 in my TE rankings, and I don’t fell overly great about it. At an ADP of TE8, the decision to sell is fairly easy.

Ronald Jones II – Overall ADP 78 RB31

It should come as no surprise to find Ronald Jones on my sell list. The RotoHeat team has been telling you all to avoid him prior to his 2018 rookie season. 2020 is no different.

For the majority of the fantasy community, the jury is still out on Jones as he heads into his 3rd year. He did clear 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his first season with new coach Bruce Arians, but the team also invested a 3rd round pick into rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Jones had a few flash moments last season, but also struggled to shake Peyton Barber for consistent touches. Jones is likely the starting RB for a Bucs at this point, but as noted above, I expect Vaughn to grab a hold of that role sooner rather than later. I don’t see Rojo as anything more than a plug and play low end RB3, and as a result he’s a very easy sell at his ADP.

Take the Flyer

O.J. Howard – Overall ADP 229 TE26

Of all my takes heading onto the 2019 season, easily the worst was ranking O.J. Howard in my top 4 at TE. Not only did Howard fail to have his breakout season, his best catch all season came at a Tampa Bay Rays game. Howard was invisible the majority of the season and finished as TE29.

The team traded for Rob Gronkowski this offseason, and it is starting to look like Howard’s career is bust. I am taking the flyer here for a few reasons: 1. I still believe in the talent, 2. Gronk missing time will not surprise anyone, and 3. The team has expressed a desire to be in 12 personnel as their set offense. This might not be the best take, but I am pretty sure it’s better than last year’s.

Thank you for reading 2020 Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC South

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