Every single season there is a hunger for fantasy football rankings. Every single season people draft their entire fantasy football team off of a list of names ordered by their favorite analysts or site. And every year those people make the most common mistake when it comes to rankings!
The mistake so many fantasy players make is treating rankings like an “end-all-be-all” rather than using them as a guide. That is all they really are. The next step is learning how to properly use that guide. After all, you don’t want to follow rankings blindly like Kevin in The League does.
That's what I'm here for. I will provide some insight as to my own rankings, how I came to those decisions, and why they differ from industry consensus.Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, rankings, projections, 15 lineup tools and daily Premium DFS research/tools including our Lineup Optimizer, Research Station and so much more! Sign Up Now!
Michael Florio's 2020 PPR Draft Rankings
At the bottom of this article you can see the Half-PPR and Standard rankings too:
|Rank||Player Name||Team||Position||ECR||vs. ECR|
|40||Odell Beckham Jr.||CLE||WR||31||-9|
|47||Mark Ingram II||BAL||RB||60||13|
|112||Gardner Minshew II||JAC||QB||145||33|
|117||Ronald Jones II||TB||RB||107||-10|
|121||Chris Herndon IV||NYJ||TE||146||25|
|142||Irv Smith Jr.||MIN||TE||171||29|
|147||Henry Ruggs III||LV||WR||123||-24|
|153||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||WR||162||9|
|156||Laviska Shenault Jr.||JAC||WR||174||18|
|162||San Francisco 49ers||SF||DST||160||-2|
|164||Los Angeles Rams||LAR||DST||200||36|
|165||New England Patriots||NE||DST||173||8|
|169||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||DST||189||20|
|173||Los Angeles Chargers||LAC||DST||210||37|
|176||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||DST||237||61|
|182||New Orleans Saints||NO||DST||178||-4|
|192||Green Bay Packers||GB||DST||231||39|
|209||Washington Football Team||WAS||DST||284||75|
|236||New York Jets||NYJ||DST||254||18|
|254||New York Giants||NYG||DST||370||116|
|255||Las Vegas Raiders||LV||DST||333||78|
Florio vs the World
My advice with rankings (especially while drafting) is to always to dissect your team as you go and find any weaknesses you may have. If you look at your team and feel you built a safe base but are lacking some upside, taking the highest-ranked player could hurt. Let’s say you are targeting a WR and look at the rankings you are using and realize the highest-ranked player is Julian Edelman, but right near him is Will Fuller. If you go by the rankings you will draft Edelman, but in a scenario like that knowing that your team lacks upside the play I would recommend is Fuller.
It’s why I am a big fan of tiered rankings. Because that way you can see the grouping of players that I think belong together. This gives you a general sense of the players in that range you should be targeting. But, inside that tier, you should be looking for the player that best fits your need. If you have a lot of safe players, go for upside. If you have a lot of players with upside but come with question marks, it may be best to a more proven player in the tier. Rankings are important in fantasy football but using them properly is just as important as having a good list on names!
Below are players that I am higher or lower on than consensus. For consensus, I will be using FantasyPros, which utilizes rankings from some of the top fantasy analysts and give an average rank. I then use that average rank and determine the players I have higher and lower than the field. I will explain why I feel the way I do with each player.
JaMycal Hasty is the player I disagree with the most with the consensus. If you listen to RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (moving 6am to 8am Saturday and Sunday) you have heard me mention Hasty before. Look, he is an undrafted free agent, so he doesn’t come with really any hype at all. But there is a reason I have him 60 spots higher than the average ranker. The thing is, it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Hasty himself.
Any back that I can get a last-round flier on in Kyle Shanahan’s offense? Yes please! He is going to start getting more and more popular now that Raheem Mostert has requested a trade. I was off of Mostert well before any trade rumors too. You can read about that (as well as other backs I am low on here)!
Joshua Kelley is someone I am higher on by over 20 spots in the rankings according to FantasyPros. That may seem contradictory since I am driving the Austin Ekeler hype train, but I do think Kelley has a role on this team. I continue to say I expect this backfield to operate much like the Saints. I expect Ekeler to dominate all passing duties, while also sharing carries out of the backfield with Kelley. Kelley has the chance to also become the goal line back. His upside is capped given Ekeler’s involvement, but Kelley is so cheap in drafts that he becomes a worthwhile gamble in rounds 12 or 13, sometimes even later.
I am a big believer that the rookie running backs possess a ton of upside in fantasy this season. In many of these instances, there is a rookie back coming in to compete with an incumbent back. In many of these cases, the downside for the rookie is they will have to share touches. But the upside is they can run away with this backfield and dominate opportunities. I do not feel this way about the incumbent backs, because they were on the roster and the team still went out and drafted a back early.
I am higher on Ke’Shawn Vaughn (+8), Cam Akers (+6), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+6), Jonathan Taylor (+4) and Zack Moss (+2). Oddly enough the rookie I am lowest on is J.K. Dobbins (-6) but I am considering changing that. The reason I am scared though is because I value Mark Ingram higher than the other incumbent backs, plus there is also Gus Edwards there who could steal some touches. I like Dobbins, especially long-term, I just worry that this year the backfield may just be a little too crowded to live up to expectations. But if Ingram gets hurt, watch out!
The backs I am lowest on are the ones that I view as having little to no upside. If you haven’t read my 2020 fantasy football strategy article, it is all about trying to capitalize on as many upside shots as possible in the middle to safer rounds. The argument against safe floor players with little upside is that you hold onto them all year, likely only start them during bye weeks or if someone gets injured, and when you have to use them, your starting lineup is already worse by switching from a starter to a bench option.
Meanwhile, if you keep taking upside shots and some hit, you are going to be a powerhouse. To me, I would rather miss the playoffs trying to build a championship-caliber team than make the playoffs as the fifth seed and get bounced in round one. There are many safe backs that fit that category that I am lower on than consensus. I have James White 12 spots lower than his average rank. Is he going to finish higher than I have him ranked? Probably. But there are RBs that have higher ceilings that go around where he goes that I would simply rather take a shot on. Having White the last couple of seasons, I can tell you he may help you win a week when you’re in a pinch, but he will not win you a title, especially with Cam Newton and not Tom Brady. Others than fall into this group are Sony Michel (-5), Tarik Cohen (-6), Kerryon Johnson (-6), Patrick Laird (-8) and most of all Jamaal Williams (-16) and Adrian Peterson (-16).
Adam Thielen is a WR1 for me. In fact, in PPR he is my WR6, six spots ahead of his average ranking. Too many people are forgetting that Thielen was the WR7 in 2018 and was averaging 16.45 fantasy PPG in Weeks 1-6 last season, before injuring his hamstring. That injury really just ruined Thielen’s season as we saw him try to return and injure it. That injury is now behind him and Stefon Diggs is now in Buffalo. Meaning that there is plenty of work up for grabs in Minnesota. The Vikings may be a run-first team, but when they decide to throw you can expect them to go Thielen’s way constantly. The best part is you get him at a discount due to last year’s injury!
Marquise Brown is someone I have written and spoke about a bunch this offseason, so it is no surprise I have him seven spots higher than consensus. Brown was not healthy at any point last season. He had a screw put into his foot that forced him to miss the combine and much of the summer. Brown himself said he did not have his normal burst or top speed and by the end of the season his foot was mangled. Now he is healthy, more comfortable in the NFL and on a prolific offense where teams will not really be able to double team him. Good luck guarding this guy one-on-one.
I am way higher on Marquise's cousin Antonio Brown than the consensus. How much higher? Apparently 53 spots higher, which to me is shocking since I still have him ranked as a WR5. Look, we all know the hurdles AB still has to jump: a team needs to sign him and he needs to serve a possible suspension. But he goes so cheap and we all know the upside he possesses. You can nab someone who has WR1 upside when on the field in the reserve rounds? Yes, please! He has been getting more hype lately though as rumors about him fly.
Other Wide Receivers I am higher on than consensus: Breshad Perriman (+20), John Ross (+16), Steven Sims (+14), Tyler Lockett (+8), CeeDee Lamb (+7), Anthony Miller (+6), Preston Williams (+6), Jalen Reagor (+6), N’Keal Harry (+6), Diontae Johnson (+5), Darius Slayton (+5) and DK Metcalf (+4).
Mike Evans (-7) is a player I am lower on and have been vocal about it this offseason. He now has a QB that doesn’t air the ball out or throw out wide as much as his former QB. I expect the Bucs to pass less in general as I think they will be trailing less.
Keenan Allen (-8) has been my guy for years. Ever since he got labeled as injury-prone for tearing his ACL and having his spleen rupture, he was a value. But that changes for me this season with the move at QB from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor. In Taylor’s three seasons with the Bills, the only receiver he had top 120 fantasy points was Sammy Watkins in 2015. The only other receiver to top 100 fantasy points was Robert Woods. Allen could prove me wrong, but even if he does, he provides more of a safe floor rather than a high ceiling. And there are so many receivers in his range with higher upside.
Amari Cooper (-5) finished as the WR10 last season and yet you have to pay an even higher price to get him (WR9) in FFPC drafts. With CeeDee Lamb now on board, still with Michael Gallup and Blake Jarwin set to take over the Jason Witten role, there are a lot of mouths in this offense. Paying that price for Cooper, who does have a knack of being inconsistent week to week, just feels like paying for the ceiling. I will let others take him and target his teammates later in the draft.
Jack Doyle (+7) is a tight end I am definitely higher on than others. I believe Doyle could see the volume to finish as a low-end TE1. Rivers has always featured a tight end in his offense. First it was Antonio Gates and then Hunter Henry. Now Doyle won’t be those guys, but he is very much so in the mix for targets behind T.Y. Hilton. There is also no more Eric Ebron for him to have to split reps with. You can get Doyle as a TE2, but there’s upside to outlive that purely on volume alone.
Other tight ends I am higher on than consensus: Jace Sternberger (+8), Hayden Hurst (+3), Rob Gronkowski (+3), Chris Herndon (+3).
Other tight ends I am lower on than consensus: Blake Jarwin (-8), Austin Hooper (-6), Eric Ebron (-6), Jared Cook (-4).
If you have any rankings questions, hit me up on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio
Florio's Full Fantasy Football Draft Rankings
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