The NFL's free agency frenzy has seen a number of big-name players change teams, including the greatest quarterback of all time and one of the league's top wide receivers. So, how does all the movement affect the fantasy landscape? Well, it's a great time to take a look at what the first five rounds of a fantasy draft could look like before we hit the 2020 NFL Draft. Who's value has seen the biggest rise, and which players have seen the biggest decline in their future draft stock?
Let's find out.
Notes: This mock draft is based on a 10-team league with a PPR scoring system that rewards four points for touchdown passes and six points for all other touchdowns (rushing, receiving). 2019 final rankings per position and point-per-game averages are listed in parenthesis.
1.1) Team 1 - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (RB1, 29.4 PPG): McCaffrey scored a ridiculous 471.2 fantasy points last season, which ranks second all time among running backs behind only LaDainian Tomlinson (2006, 481.1 points). While it's tough to expect the same sort of production in 2020, CMC will continue to be the centerpiece of the Panthers offense and fantasy's premier runner.
1.2) Team 2 - Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (RB10, 18.8 PPG): Barkley missed time to a bum ankle in 2019, and the ailment made him less effective in a number of games upon his return. He looked like the Barkley of old at the end of the season though, averaging 27.9 fantasy points during the fantasy postseason. I'm expecting Barkley to retain his elite status in 2020.
1.3) Team 3 - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (RB3, 19.5 PPG): Despite averaging a career-low 19.5 fantasy points per game last season, Zeke still became the first player in NFL history to average 19-plus fantasy points in each of his first four seasons in the NFL. One of the league's most reliable, consistent and durable backs, Elliott will be a top-5 overall selection in all drafts.
1.4) Team 4 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (WR1, 23.4 PPG): Thomas is coming off one of the greatest fantasy campaigns ever among wideouts, finishing ninth all time in fantasy points at the position. He also broke the NFL record for catches in a single season (149), and his 470 catches in his first four pro seasons is the most in NFL history. Thomas is a virtual top-5 lock in all leagues.
1.5) Team 5 - Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings (RB6, 20.9 PPG): Cook was a beast in what was a breakout 2019 campaign, ranking second in fantasy points per game among runners behind only McCaffrey. While he has missed 19 games in his first three NFL seasons due to injuries, it'll be tough to pass on this versatile featured runner with one of the first five overall picks in 2020 drafts.
1.6) Team 6 - Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (RB9, 17.8 PPG): Kamara is coming off his worst fantasy season, but he still finished ninth in points among running backs. That was due in large part to the fact that he scored just six touchdowns, four of which came in his final two games. Still, it's tough to pass on a talented, young runner who should rebound in the stat sheets.
1.7) Team 7 - Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (RB5, 19.6 PPG): Henry led the NFL in rushing yards (1,540) and tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns (16) in 2019. He also became just the third running back in NFL history to score 290-plus fantasy points while catching 20 or fewer passes. An absolute beast on the gridiron, Henry is a good bet to be a top-10 fantasy back again.
1.8) Team 8 - Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (WR22, 17.7 PPG): Adams missed time due to injuries last season, but his point-per-game average was still good enough to finish sixth in the league among wideouts. At 27, Adams is still in the prime of his career and will continue to be the top option in the Packers passing game. He'll be a top-10 overall selection in most fantasy drafts.
1.9) Team 9 - Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (RB4, 19.3 PPG): In his first four games of last season without Melvin Gordon, Ekeler averaged nearly 27 fantasy points per game. While that pace is pretty difficult to sustain, it proves that he can be a true fantasy superstar when put into a featured role. With Gordon now in Denver, I see Ekeler as a top-10 overall draft selection.
1.10) Team 10 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals (WR5, 17.9 PPG): Hopkins goes from Houston to Arizona, but his fantasy value isn't going to change much as a result. One of the top wideouts in the league, Nuk will remain a virtual lock to see 150-plus targets in the Cardinals fast-paced offensive attack. He'll be one of the first five wide receivers selected in most 2020 fantasy drafts.
2.11) Team 10 - Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (RB13, 14.1 PPG): Mixon had a very slow start to last season, averaging a mere 10 fantasy points in his first eight games. He was far more productive in his final eight games, though, averaging more than 18 points while seeing 24.1 touches per contest. Entering the prime of his career, Mixon should be seen as a legitimate No. 1 runner.
2.12) Team 9 - Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (WR32, 15.7 PPG): Hill is coming off a down season overall, but he also played in just 12 games and was without Patrick Mahomes for two of them. The explosive wideout should rebound in 2020, so a return to his more productive seasons (2017-18) is likely. With that being said, Hill figures to be a top-15 overall selection in most fantasy drafts.
2.13) Team 8 - Nick, Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (RB8, 16.0 PPG): Chubb would be ranked as a first rounder, but the Browns tendered Kareem Hunt and will likely have a 1-2 punch once again. That hurts Chubbs' stock, as he averaged almost six fewer fantasy points and scored just two touchdowns while sharing the workload with Hunt in the final eight games of 2019. He's a low-end No. 1 back.
2.14) Team 7 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (WR3, 18.3 PPG): Jones finished second in receiving yards among wideouts last season, and was once again among the top players at his position in terms of fantasy points. With Austin Hooper now in Cleveland, more target opportunities should now flow through Jones in the passing game as well. The veteran superstar remains a top-5 option.
2.15) Team 6 - Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR2, 19.7 PPG): Godwin had a breakout season in 2019, posting nearly 20 fantasy points per game. He should continue to produce strong totals with Tom Brady taking over the reins of the offense, as the G.O.A.T. loved throwing to his slot options (most notably, Julian Edelman) in New England. Godwin is a surefire top-20 overall pick.
2.16) Team 5 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR15, 17.9 PPG): Evans might have finished just 15th in fantasy points among wideouts a season ago, but he was tied with Hopkins for fourth at the position in points per game. He too should benefit from the presence of Brady, who hasn't had this level of wideouts at his disposal since the days of Randy Moss. Evans will be a cinch WR1.
2.17) Team 4 - Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers (RB2, 19.7 PPG): Jones was a fantasy beast a season ago, rankings 11th in rushing yards (1,084) and tied for first in rushing touchdowns (16). He'll likely be hard pressed to get back to the same number of end-zone visits in 2020, but Jones is a talented runner who is entering the prime of his career. He'll be a top-20 pick in most 2020 drafts.
2.18) Team 3 - Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions (WR9, 15.5 PPG): The new "Megatron" (or "Babytron") in Detroit, Golladay led all wide receivers in touchdown catches (11) a season ago. What's most impressive is that he scored that many times while catching passes from the likes of Jeff Driskel and David Blough. With Matthew Stafford back under center, Golladay is a locked in No. 1 wideout.
2.19) Team 2 - Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys (WR10, 15.4 PPG): Cooper will be back with the Cowboys after signing a 5-year, $100 million contract. He averaged an impressive 18.6 points per game in the first half of last year before knee and ankle injuries limited him down the stretch, but he still finished among the league's best receivers. Expect more of the same with Dak Prescott in 2020.
2.20) Team 1 - Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals (RB17, 15.3 PPG): Drake finished 17th among runners overall last season, but he was far better in Arizona. In fact, he averaged 18.9 touches and 18.7 fantasy points in his six games in the offense of coach Kliff Kingsbury. Now the unquestioned top option with David Johnson in Houston, Drake will be a borderline RB1/RB2 in most fantasy drafts.
3.21) Team 1 - D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers (WR16, 15.4 PPG): Moore was a PPR star in what was a breakout campaign in 2019. He ranked 10th among wide receivers in both targets and catches, and he also finished as a top-20 fantasy wideout in 60 percent of his games. I expect Moore to quickly become the top option in the passing game for new starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
3.22) Team 2 - Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (RB7, 17.3 PPG): Fournette rushed for just three touchdowns a season ago, but he made up for the lack of end-zone visits with a career-high 76 catches. That's two more than he had in his first two seasons combined! With a featured role locked and loaded in for another year, Fournette will be one of the more popular high-RB2 choice.
3.23) Team 3 - Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders (RB21, 14.7 PPG): Jacobs finished outside of the top-20 backs as a rookie, but he was 16th at the position in points-per-game average and would have projected to finish 12th had he not missed time. The Alabama product will continue to see a featured role as an NFL sophomore, and he could be even more involved in the passing game as well.
3.24) Team 4 - Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (QB1, 27.7 PPG): I don't like to take quarterbacks this soon, but Jackson is going to be a top-25 pick in most drafts. He's coming off one of the two best fantasy seasons ever at the position, averaging more than 27 fantasy points per game. The duel-threat signal-caller is the ultimate fantasy football weapon heading into 2020.
3.25) Team 5 - Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (RB15, 13.7 PPG): Sanders looks like the clear-cut No. 1 runner in Philadelphia after Jordan Howard signed with the Miami Dolphins. He was a star at the end of last season, averaging almost 20 fantasy points per game over a four-week stretch when Howard was injured. Sanders will be a top-30 pick and a high-end RB2 in 2020 drafts.
3.26) Team 6 - Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons (RB14, 14.6 PPG): Gurley landed a quick, 1-year contract with the Falcons and is projected to be their lead back. That's the good news, at least for now, but will Atlanta take a running back in the NFL draft? That remains to be seen. In a best-case scenario where Gurley is the unquestioned top back, he'll be a risk-reward No. 2 back in drafts.
3.27) Team 7 - Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (WR4, 16.9 PPG): Kupp was an absolute beast in the first half of last season, averaging more than 20 fantasy points per game. He slowed to just 12.9 points in the second half, but he still ranked fourth in points among wideouts ... and he did it one season after an ACL tear. Kupp should remain among the top-10 receivers in fantasy land.
3.28) Team 8 - Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears (WR8, 15.9 PPG): Robinson was solid in the stat sheets a season ago, and he did it with less than stellar quarterbacks throwing him the football. A talented playmaker, he averaged 36.4 routes run per game and was 12th in broken tackles among wideouts with at least 60 catches. Robinson should be considered a WR1/WR2 in fantasy drafts.
3.29) Team 9 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs (TE1, 15.9 PPG): The top tight end in fantasy football in each of the last four seasons, Kelce leads the position in targets (628), catches (440), receiving yards (5,603), touchdowns (33) and fantasy points (1,194.9) since 2016. While George Kittle has closed the gap at the position, Kelce remains the best fantasy player at his position.
3.30) Team 10 - David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans (RB37, 10.9 PPG): Johnson landed in a great spot to get back into the good graces of fantasy fans, as he'll play a featured role in Houston. While a recent rash of injuries could drive his draft price down a bit, he did average over 20 fantasy points in the first six games of 2019. He'll remain a borderline, risk-reward top-30 overall selection.