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    Hman's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Answering top fantasy questions for all 32 NFL teams 🏈

    Answering top fantasy questions for all 32 NFL teams


    Later this month, NFL teams are scheduled to report to training camp. Position battles will take shape and some burning questions will have answers just as fantasy drafts begin. Looking ahead, NFL Nation reporters answer the biggest fantasy questions -- provided by ESPN fantasy football analyst Mike Clay -- across the league.


    Buffalo Bills

    How large of a role do you anticipate for running back Zack Moss in his rookie season?

    Moss should immediately slide into Frank Gore's role from last season as the other half of a tandem with Devin Singletary. While Singletary will likely dominate snaps early, as Moss finds his footing, the rookie's bruising style should immediately translate in short-yardage and goal-line situations. If Singletary misses time, consider Moss a high-end handcuff in an offense that loves to run the ball. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

    Miami Dolphins

    Will Jordan Howard or Matt Breida lead this backfield in touches?
    My early projection is Howard will lead the backfield in touches, but both backs will be plenty active. Howard has the third-most rushing yards since entering the NFL in 2016, and he's a true workhorse who fits well in the Dolphins' power scheme. Don't be surprised if Howard comes close to doubling up Breida in carries, but Breida's value will come in the passing game, where he should receive most of the touches and increased playing time when Miami is trailing. -- Cameron Wolfe

    New England Patriots

    Do you expect a big leap for running back Damien Harris in his second season?

    Things are lining up well for Harris with Sony Michel recovering from offseason foot surgery, which could mean Harris will be provided an expanded opportunity to show he is worthy of a spot on the game-day roster (which happened only twice in 2019). Running backs coach Ivan Fears believes Harris has a "great future" and his lack of action as a rookie was a result of a stocked depth chart and a general lack of injuries. So Harris is a good bet to take a significant leap in 2020. -- Mike Reiss

    New York Jets

    Considering coach Adam Gase's underwhelming history with tight ends, should we temper expectations for Chris Herndon?
    "Underwhelming" is an understatement, so the answer is yes. During Gase's time as the Miami coach from 2016 to 2018, his tight ends finished with a league-low 150 catches. A year ago, the Jets finished with 44 (T-28th). To be fair, he has never had a pass-catching tight end as gifted as Herndon, who showed plenty of upside as a rookie in 2018 -- 39 catches on a bad offense. He has 50-catch potential, not to mention a good rapport with quarterback Sam Darnold, but it's fair to dial back the expectations because of Gase's history. -- Rich Cimini

    Baltimore Ravens

    How big of a role will J.K. Dobbins play as a rookie in a crowded backfield?
    Dobbins is the future featured back for Baltimore, but he'll be the primary backup in 2020 to Mark Ingram, who will turn 31 by the end of the season. This situation feels like the 2008 rookie season for Ray Rice, who was selected No. 55 overall, just like Dobbins. In a backfield with Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain, Rice was on pace for 200 touches and 900 total yards from scrimmage before being out with an injury for the final three games. This is a realistic comparison for Dobbins, who will share touches with Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. But as general manager Eric DeCosta said, it's rare to see a starting running back go through an entire season without getting injured. So, Dobbins' workload could increase if Ingram gets banged up. -- Jamison Hensley

    Cincinnati Bengals

    Can we trust 32-year-old A.J. Green at receiver after multiple injury-plagued seasons?
    Green insists he'll be back to normal after missing all of 2019 because of an ankle injury. But given Green's 29 missed games since the start of the 2016 season, it's hard to have confidence in his ability to stay healthy. That's mainly why the Bengals placed the franchise tag on Green for 2020, a short-term designation that is unlikely to change before the July 15 deadline. -- Ben Baby

    Cleveland Browns

    Do you believe this will be a run-heavy offense under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski?
    Without a doubt. Only three teams ran the ball more than the Vikings did last year with Stefanski calling the plays. Given a backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, plus what should be an improved offensive line, look for the Browns to pound the ball, which also should set up big-play opportunities in play-action for receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. -- Jake Trotter

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    Do you expect a backfield committee or will James Conner lock down clear lead-back duties?
    Conner is the Steelers' featured runner, and as long as he stays healthy that's the way it will remain this season. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin prefers to have a workhorse back, and the Steelers believe Conner can return to Pro Bowl form after maneuvering around a season of acute injuries. The Steelers added one running back in the draft but not until the fourth round -- further signalling they believe the future of the run game flows through Conner. -- Brooke Pryor


    Houston Texans

    Who will lead the Texans in targets?
    Wide receiver Brandin Cooks. The Texans' offense will look very different without DeAndre Hopkins, and the top contenders to take the majority of the targets in 2020 are Cooks and wide receiver Will Fuller. But given Fuller's injury history (he has played in more than 11 regular-season games in a season once in four years), Cooks should be Deshaun Watson's No. 1 target despite missing two games last season with recurring concussions. -- Sarah Barshop

    Indianapolis Colts

    Do you expect a bigger season from Marlon Mack or Jonathan Taylor?
    Mack will get the first shot at being the primary back because, according to coach Frank Reich, he has "inherent respect for the starting returner." With that said, Taylor, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season at Wisconsin, will get plenty of carries because the Colts plan to rely on running the ball behind arguably one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. "I see it as a one-one [punch], and I see that on many fronts," Reich said. "The way the league has gone and the way role-playing has been elevated in our league, it's made it prominent." Expect Mack to have extra motivation after the Colts decided not offer him a contract extension following a career-best 1,091 yards rushing in 2019. -- Mike Wells

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    Do you expect a significant drop in touches for running back Leonard Fournette?
    The addition of Chris Thompson will absolutely take some touches away from Fournette. Mainly on third down, because Thompson excels as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Fournette had 76 catches last year, and it wouldn't be a surprise if that number dropped by half in 2020. -- Mike DiRocco

    Tennessee Titans

    What has gone wrong with receiver Corey Davis, and how likely is an elusive fourth-year breakout season?
    The primary problem with Davis has been consistency. Davis has shown flashes of the talent that made him a high draft pick but has also disappeared. With most of the attention from opposing defenses focusing on A.J. Brown, it's likely Davis will not face as many top cornerbacks. That should give him more opportunities to get targets from quarterback Ryan Tannehill. -- Turron Davenport

    Denver Broncos

    How will backfield touches be distributed between Melvin Gordon and Philip Lindsay?
    That is the $16 million question -- the amount of Gordon's two-year deal, signed in March. History is no guarantee, but it is worth noting that last season, when Gordon wasn't around, Lindsay had just one game with most than 20 carries -- 21 against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3. The Broncos also haven't had a back top 250 carries in a season since Reuben Droughns in 2004. In previous jobs, first-year offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has favored a primary back getting the majority of the carries, with his season in Minnesota as a notable exception. Bottom line is the Broncos will likely split the work in the running game 50-50. Gordon has been more active in his career in the passing game with four seasons with 40-plus catches and two with 50 or more. -- Jeff Legwold

    Kansas City Chiefs

    Do you expect receiver Mecole Hardman to make a substantial leap in his second season?
    Hardman should catch more passes and have more receiving yards than last season, but it might not be a substantial leap. If the Chiefs thought Hardman was ready for every-down duty, they probably wouldn't have fought so hard to keep Sammy Watkins. The Chiefs also have a lot of players to feed, and running back production should be up this season with the addition of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. -- Adam Teicher

    Las Vegas Raiders

    Will Darren Waller see a big dip in targets with improved wide receivers and Jason Witten in the mix?
    That depends on the definition of "big dip." It is unlikely Waller will reach 90 catches again, as he did last season in becoming the first Raiders tight end since Todd Christensen in 1986 to gain more than 1,000 yards receiving. But Waller is a matchup nightmare with wide receiver skills and is a security blanket of sorts for quarterback Derek Carr. And Jon Gruden's offense loves the tight end. A 75-catch season would seemingly be the over/under for Waller in this reimagined offense, and if that is considered a "big dip," so be it. -- Paul Gutierrez

    Los Angeles Chargers

    Which back will fill Melvin Gordon's shoes alongside Austin Ekeler?
    Coach Anthony Lynn chuckled when a reporter suggested the Chargers were "loaded" at running back. "I love the running back room," Lynn said. "I wouldn't necessarily say we're loaded." Ekeler will take the lead with Gordon gone, but it remains to be seen whether Justin Jackson, who has struggled with injuries, can remain healthy enough to stay on the field as a strong complementary option. The Chargers also drafted UCLA running back Joshua Kelley in the fourth round, though it's far too early to depend on Kelley, given rookies were unable to receive any hands-on training this offseason. -- Lindsey Thiry


    Dallas Cowboys

    Will the Dallas offense throw the ball more under pass-heavy coach Mike McCarthy?
    McCarthy has said Ezekiel Elliott will be a primary focus of the Cowboys' offense, but until we see it, it's difficult to know for sure. If we are using Green Bay as a way to judge McCarthy, then he will be pass heavy. He had a 1,000-yard rusher in five of his 13 seasons and had just one back have more than 300 carries in a season (Ryan Grant, 2008). But he never had a back like Elliott in Green Bay. As a coordinator with New Orleans, he relied heavily on Ricky Williams and Deuce McAllister. Coaches should build their offenses on what they have and adapt. McCarthy will figure out Elliott can make his life a lot easier and build a dynamic offense that can attack equally with the pass and run. Elliott has rushed for at least 1,357 yards when he has played a full season. There's no reason to think he won't be in that same neighborhood under McCarthy. -- Todd Archer

    New York Giants

    Who will lead this team in targets in 2020?
    Wide receiver Golden Tate. Wow, this is a tough one, but Tate is the most reliable and sure-handed of the Giants' receivers. Saquon Barkley is also a reasonable option, but quarterback Daniel Jones isn't about the dink and dunk, preferring to push the ball downfield. The odds are against Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard playing a full 16 games, and Darius Slayton -- while he has a tremendous working relationship with Jones -- is more of a deep-threat target, not a volume pass-catcher. That is more Tate's role in this offense. -- Jordan Raanan

    Philadelphia Eagles

    Who will be this team's most productive wide receiver?
    DeSean Jackson. First-round pick Jalen Reagor might make a late-season push, but the plan is to have Reagor learn the Z receiver position exclusively to start -- meaning he'd be the backup to Jackson. Alshon Jeffery is still on the mend from offseason foot surgery and could miss time, and Marquise Goodwin needs to prove he can stay healthy, making the 33-year-old Jackson the safest bet here, even though he's coming off core muscle surgery in 2019. -- Tim McManus

    Washington Redskins

    Who will lead this backfield in touches this season?
    If healthy, it'll be Derrius Guice. But after three knee injuries in his first two seasons, it's hard to bank on him. Still, Guice's talent tops the others at this point. Adrian Peterson has been reliable the past two years, but asking him to carry a big load at age 35 isn't ideal. Antonio Gibson is a raw running back, and his impact will be as a do-it-all back who can line up wide as easily as in the backfield. There's still concern about Bryce Love's readiness for camp as he recovers from a torn ACL he suffered in November 2018. That leaves Guice, who has shown plenty of glimpses of game-breaking ability. He must prove he can stay healthy. -- John Keim

    Chicago Bears

    Are you anticipating a big second-year leap from running back David Montgomery?
    One of Bears coach Matt Nagy's stated goals is to have a more efficient and consistent running attack. Therefore, it's reasonable to expect Montgomery's rushing attempts and yardage will increase from his rookie season. I'm not sure whether Montgomery will take a giant leap, but Nagy knows that Montgomery wasn't properly utilized in 2019 when he rushed for 889 yards and six touchdowns. Nagy is determined to fix that. -- Jeff Dickerson

    Detroit Lions

    Should we throw in the towel on a potential Kerryon Johnson breakout with D'Andre Swift on the roster?
    No. The Lions are going to use a committee approach -- the strategy Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn have wanted since the beginning. While in theory it could mean fewer carries for Johnson, that also means keeping him fresher and reducing his chance of injury. If you had Johnson on your fantasy roster the past two years, you know he missed a large portion of those seasons, so this should allow for more consistent production. Is a 1,000-yard rushing season a likelihood? Probably not, but there's no reason Johnson won't be productive as a runner and receiver this season, and he could have a breakout year as long as he stays healthy. -- Michael Rothstein

    Green Bay Packers

    Considering how little Aaron Rodgers has used his tight ends, can we expect a Jace Sternberger breakout?
    Sternberger is going to get the first crack at it, for sure. Perhaps the NFC Championship Game offered a glimpse into his future role. He caught two passes, including his first NFL touchdown, in the loss to the 49ers. Sternberger could have a hybrid role -- some combination of in-line tight end, slot receiver and even H-back. That's also how the Packers view rookie third-round pick Josiah Deguara, so Sternberger will have some competition for those snaps. But, at least at the start, it will be his job to either secure or lose. -- Rob Demovsky

    Minnesota Vikings

    If Dalvin Cook were to sit out, would you expect Alexander Mattison to handle featured back duties?
    I'll start by saying this: Cook will likely sign an extension close to the start of training camp, given the way Vikings have done business with players seeking a second or third contract. In the event of a Cook holdout, Minnesota could very well turn to a committee approach, led by Mattison. Last year, Mattison, Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone averaged 4.9 yards per rush and more yards before and after contact than Cook. And the Vikings didn't just draft Mattison in the third round in 2019 to spell their starter from time to time. Minnesota sees Mattison as a strong fit in this zone-running scheme and as a potential replacement for Cook, if need be. -- Courtney Cronin


    Atlanta Falcons

    How confident should we be that Hayden Hurst will pick right up where Austin Hooper left off at tight end?
    Well, quarterback Matt Ryan certainly expressed confidence in Hurst already after some offseason workouts. He said Hurst is "one of the fastest and most athletic tight ends that I've ever played with.'' And Ryan said that without playing in a game with Hurst. With the attention Julio Jones and emerging Calvin Ridley are sure to draw from opposing defenses, Hurst will have every opportunity to live up to his first-round draft spot -- something he didn't necessarily get a chance to do in Baltimore. -- Vaughn McClure

    Carolina Panthers

    Do you anticipate more, less or the same production from receiver DJ Moore in Matt Rhule's scheme?
    More. Moore emerged last season as one of the more consistent receivers in the NFL in a 10-game stretch when he averaged 6.6 catches a game. First-year offensive coordinator Joe Brady will bring a scheme that gets the ball into the hands of his playmakers. Outside of running back Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers don't have a more consistent playmaker than Moore. His ability to gain yards after the catch is particularly impressive. -- David Newton

    New Orleans Saints

    Is there any reason to believe wide receiver Michael Thomas will see a substantial dip in targets?
    Yes -- but not enough to drop him from the No. 1 WR spot in fantasy. Thomas' 185 targets last year were a big leap from his 148 targets in 2018 and 144 in 2017, mostly because he was so much better than the Saints' other options. Now they've added a much-needed No. 2 receiver in Emmanuel Sanders; they expect more involvement from a healthier Alvin Kamara and a healthier Jared Cook; and they're hoping to get young WRs such as Tre'Quan Smith and Deonte Harris more involved. But even when Thomas had fewer than 150 targets in 2018, he still caught 125 passes for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns. -- Mike Triplett

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    How likely is a Ronald Jones breakout season with Ke'Shawn Vaughn now in the backfield?
    That's a good question. Jones has come a long way as a pass-catcher in the past year, but he's not a natural and has missed some blitz pickups. Vaughn has three-down back capability. He might not have the extra gear Jones has, though, based on the tape. Vaughn's assimilation into the Bucs' offense could be hampered by a lack of OTAs, rookie camp or minicamp, so that's something to be mindful of. Regardless, they're not going to use a single back; expect another committee approach. -- Jenna Laine

    Arizona Cardinals

    Which second-year wide receiver is most likely to break out?
    KeeSean Johnson. He never became the receiver he looked like during the 2019 preseason, but of the three second-year receivers from last year's draft -- Johnson, Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler -- Johnson has the skill set and body makeup to take the biggest leap. It wasn't a surprise the sixth-round pick didn't make an immediate transition to the NFL. It takes rookies, especially from smaller schools such as Fresno State, some time. He had 21 catches for 187 yards and one touchdown, and he wasn't on the active roster for the final five games. He struggled to get open and make plays against regular-season defenses. Having an entire season to look back on and the offseason to train, Johnson might find the groove he was missing last year. -- Josh Weinfuss

    Los Angeles Rams

    Who will lead this backfield in touches?
    The Rams have invested in running backs, using a third-round pick in 2019 to select Darrell Henderson and a second-round pick this year to take Cam Akers. It's a toss-up whether Henderson or Akers will lead the group, which also includes veteran Malcolm Brown, in touches. Henderson flashed outside the tackles last season, while Akers is expected to run between the tackles as a rookie. Expect Henderson to earn more touches early in the season, given Akers could take extra time to acclimate because of the virtual offseason program. -- Lindsey Thiry

    San Francisco 49ers

    How much of a role will a healthy Jerick McKinnon play in the backfield this season?

    If McKinnon can make it through camp healthy and get close to where he was before his knee injury, there's a clear role for him in the offense. It's the same role coach Kyle Shanahan envisioned for McKinnon when the Niners signed him two years ago, which is as a primary receiving weapon out of the backfield capable of chipping in on the running game. Raheem Mostert has earned the lion's share of the carries as a runner, but McKinnon can be a strong complement in the passing game. In the past two years, the Niners haven't had a back catch more than 33 passes in a season. A healthy McKinnon could land somewhere around 50-plus receptions if he can play a full season. -- Nick Wagoner

    Seattle Seahawks

    Do you expect a backfield committee, or will Chris Carson remain the clear featured back?
    Something in between. Carson ranked sixth among NFL running backs in touches last season (315) despite missing the final game and a half with a hip injury that landed him on IR for the second time in three seasons. That underlies the Carson dilemma for fantasy football players. The Seahawks signed Carlos Hyde to mix in with Carson on early downs, at least until Rashaad Penny comes back from his torn ACL. Rookie DeeJay Dallas is a candidate for third-down work. Carson will be their primary running back as long as he's healthy, but you can't take his health for granted given his rugged running style and injury history. -- Brady Henderson

  2. #2
    Bcats Winning Everywhere
    Bcatswin's Avatar SBR PRO
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    As being a homer Hman i don't agree with what said about AJ, he wasn't hurt all last year was a big cover up. Guy was hurt like 2 weeks he was running crisp routes after 14 days insiders on the team say. It was all about his upcoming contract.

  3. #3
    MinnesotaFats's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Well the Vikings thing was ridiculous.

    Noone holding out w his injury history AND risking restricted FA vs unrestricted

    Reporter doesn't know the game

  4. #4
    Chi_archie's Avatar SBR PRO
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    Mattison and Boone are prob the best 2nd and 3rd RB options that any team has.

    take some notes from Melvin Gordon last year, Dalvin

  5. #5
    Chi_archie's Avatar SBR PRO
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    I'll wait for our foremost fantasy expert TTWarrior01 to answer these questions though

  6. #6
    Update your status
    Stallion's Avatar SBR PRO
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    Great article, thanks Hman.

  7. #7
    Eddy Munny
    Eddy Munny's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I've done one fantasy draft already... Would have more under my belt but I didn't want money tied up for a season that'll probably be compromised if not altogether canceled.

    Was stealing guys left and right... Got James Conner in the 4th round.

    Took Djax in the 12th and that was a reach because I'm certain I could've got him later. I agree with the Eagles synopsis though, he's the one to own in that WR corps.

  8. #8
    jjgold's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I tried fantasy after years of fighting it and it did nothing for me @Draftkings
    Good luck players

  9. #9
    Go Navy.....Beat Army!!!
    mpaschal34's Avatar SBR PRO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_archie View Post
    I'll wait for our foremost fantasy expert TTWarrior01 to answer these questions though