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riskiest early round selections in fantasy football 2020

In this article, I will be talking about some of the riskiest players in the first couple of rounds of fantasy football. In the early rounds, you want to minimize unnecessary risks and take safer players since they are the cornerstone players of your fantasy football team. Here are some of the riskiest players in fantasy football this year.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook is one of the riskiest players in fantasy football this season, mainly due to his holdout. If healthy, playing 16 games, he is almost a guaranteed top-3 RB in PPR. While health has been a big problem, it is not my main concern with him this season.

Cook wants a massive contract, and doesn't want to risk his health to earn it. With the new COVID-19 safety plan, a player can be on the week 1 roster, play week 1, and sit out the season. They would sit out, not getting their salary for the season but having the season accrued on their contract. Therefore, he can essentially hold out after week one and become a free agent. This worries me with Cook and I am avoiding drafting him whenever possible, given he has the most risk in the first couple of rounds right now.

Upside: plays 16 games and is a top-3 RB

Downside: holds out and is the biggest fantasy bust this season

Kenyan Drake

All it took was a change in situation and a new team for draft to emerge as a top-5 RB in the back half of the season. Once he moved to Arizona, he was the RB4 and averaged 20.3 ppg, third best among RBs. Now the big concern is his touchdowns. In those 8 weeks, he scored 8 TDs, a pace that is hard to keep up over 16 games.

Let's look at what would have happened without a few touchdowns. Even without 2 of those TDs, he still would have averaged 18.6 ppg in those weeks, which would have tied with 3 players for the third most points per game (Tied with Elliott and Barkley). The most notable game was when he scored 4 TDs against the Browns in week 15. If you take those touchdowns entirely out of the equation, Drake would still have averaged 16.9 ppg. This would have been tied for the 9th best in those weeks, and would equate to 253 PPR points over weeks 1-16. This would place Drake as the overall RB8, just 2 points behind Derrick Henry. Keep in mind, this is while taking away 4 TDs for Drake.

If the rest of Drake's stats stayed the same, but we removed some of the touchdowns, this would be his 2020 stats:

281 rushing attempts, 1470 rushing yards, 8 TDs, 64 receptions on 80 targets, and 391 receiving yards.

Those are true workhorse numbers, and the touchdowns aren't even that high. It wouldn't surprise me if Drake had 10+ touchdowns in the Cardinals offense this year.

Upside: Keeps up the workhorse status and is a top-5 RB

Downside: Has never been a true workhorse and finishes outside the top-15 RBs

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

When CEH landed in Kansas City, my immediate thoughts were "fringe first round pick." However, it is hard to invest that highly in CEH with the COVID-19 situation. He hasn't had much time to get used to the Chiefs and their complex offensive scheme. However, he possesses a TON of upside. In Damien Williams 16 games since joining the Chiefs in 2018, he has racked up 340.4 fantasy points. This would have been the RB2 last year. I don't think CEH is less talented than Williams, so he undoubtedly possesses that upside. Now, a lot of people think CEH isn't talented and Williams will be the starter.

I am not buying that. Williams had the chance to be the starter last season, with his only real competition being a washed up LeSean McCoy. Damien Williams only played in 10 games last season, and finished as the RB42. That doesn't really scream competition. All it takes is one week for Williams to miss, then its the Clyde show. Given Williams has never been a workhorse back, I would bet on that.

Now, to displace the concerns that Clyde isn't talented. Joe Burrow recently called him the best football player he has played with. Out of the stacked LSU team from this year, and playing with players like Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Thomas back at Ohio State. This is huge praise. While it might not be true, Burrow clearly thinks highly of CEH. Mahomes also praised CEH to the Chiefs and Andy Reid, which is why they drafted him first round. Again, he was drafted in the first round. Over the last 7 years, RBs drafted in the first round have averaged 280.7 touches in their rookie year, and 75% of them have finishes as an RB2 or better. This includes massive busts like Rashaad Penny, on the Seahawks. Now Clyde is being taken in the mid-third round in 12 man leagues, and this is a fair price. He can undoubtedly be a league winning player this season and has the highest upside outside the first two rounds.

Upside: Finishes as a top-6 RB

Downside: Williams is starter. He takes over midseason and finishes as a back-end RB2.



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