As camps have opened around the NFL, anticipation mounts as some of the biggest offseason questions will begin to be answered. Savvy dynasty GMs will keep their ears perked and their Twitter feeds open to take in all the reports from around the league so that they can start to piece together a championship run. Here are my biggest questions heading into NFL Training Camp 2020:
Which rookies will make the most of their landing positions?
Several rookies landed in savory situations where they will be able to compete for quality snaps right away. Clyde Edwards-Helaire already landed in a great spot before Damien Willians opted out of the 2020 season; now, he seems a shoe-in to be in the top 12 RB discussion. Fantasy GMs will be watching the likes of Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, Zach Moss, and others, as well as their competitors, to see how things shake out. In this time of year, it is not only the big names who earn quality starting chances; sometimes, late-rounders or undrafted rookies make waves, and dynasty GMs should be looking for that as well.
What will the effects of the Hopkins-Johnson trade be?
The most shocking trade of the offseason sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona, David Johnson to the Texans, and left fantasy GMs with some big questions headed into the season. Who will fill the massive target void that Hopkins left in Houston? We surmise that Will Fuller IV will look to eat some of those targets, but his health has always been questionable. Same for Keke Coutee. The addition of Brandin Cooks helps fill that void, but it seems like Cooks is starting to become less of a threat with age. Does Bill O’Brien’s plan involve passing less and running the football more? Trading for David Johnson might make you think so, but let us not forget DJ’s pass-catching acumen as well. It will be highly interesting to see how things shake out in Houston.
Over in Arizona, things are a little more ironed out. Hopkins is definitely the number one, and we would figure that after a nice year, Christian Kirk will make a solid second wide receiver. After that, things get a little more interesting. The ageless wonder, Larry Fitzgerald, should soak up some targets, but you have to wonder how many targets Kliff Kingsbury wants going to a 36-year-old receiver when he has talents in Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and Kenyan Drake on his squad.
Who will be the favored backs and receivers in Tom-pa Bay?
With Tom Brady taking his talents to Tampa, along with his old buddy Rob Gronkowski, things will be plenty interesting in training camp for the Buccaneers this year. In this new look offense, who will benefit and who will be an afterthought? We know Gronkowski (when healthy) is going to get some looks. It would be hard to imagine a world where Chris Godwin and Mike Evans get no love. Assuming all falls into place as planned, there are still some targets out there for OJ Howard, Cameron Brate, and the other receivers in Tampa. But who will carry the rock? Ronald Jones II, Dare Ogunbowale, LeSean McCoy, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn will all have something to say about that in camp, but Bruce Arians has declared Ronald Jones the guy. Will that last? Will Tom Brady agree? Time will tell.
What will the Cam Newton era bring in New England?
Just when you thought that Bill Belichick was going to ride out 2020 with Jarrett Stidham, the Patriots signed Cam Newton in the 11th hour of the offseason. What does that mean for the New England offense in 2020? Cam has proven himself a capable passer when healthy, but aside from Julian Edelman, the cupboard lays bare of proven pass-catchers. Cam has also shown that he can run the ball, and that adds value in most fantasy leagues. Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, and whoever else BB decides to hand the ball will look to help Cam get the ball rolling, and maybe Cam will add some yards on the ground himself. We will look on with anticipation to see what Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels scheme for such a dual-threat.
Which breakout stars will take the next steps?
2019 was filled with guys who either enjoyed their first taste of success, or took their games to the next level. Guys like Christian McCaffrey, Lamar Jackson, and Derrick Henry all built on successes of previous years, while rookie talents such as A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, Josh Jacobs, and Kyler Murray showed that they deserved a seat at the big boy table for fantasy purposes. For the first three it will be quite difficult to do better than 2019, but they will have a chance to at least sustain their success. Meanwhile, our aforementioned rookies, as well as names like Josh Allen, Nick Chubb, and DeVante Parker will look to climb higher in 2020. Their shot starts now.