I label my players to fade as “fades” versus “busts,” because a bust connotes an awful season on the field. But, if a player is healthy and has some chance to see meaningful playing time, he has fantasy value. Does that mean I’ll draft that player? It all depends on where they go in the draft I am in at that moment. Average draft position is our best tool for predicting where a player will be drafted. When selecting sleepers and busts and breakouts and the like, we must do it within the ADP landscape.
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals
Update September 4: Hopkins continues to miss practices, but it appears the team is just keeping him under wraps until Week 1.
Update August 27: Hopkins has returned to practice after dealing with a hamstring injury.
Update Aug 19: Hopkins has yet to practice in training camp due to a hamstring injury. There doesn’t seem to be any concern yet, but it would be better if he was healthy in a shortened training camp.
Hopkins is currently the No. 3 receiver off the board in the first round. He’s truly a great receiver and deserves that kind of hype, but should we be paying top dollar for a player in a new offense? The Cardinals use four wide receivers and spread the ball around. Hopkins will lead the team in targets, but how efficient will he be with Kyler Murray? I’m on board with Hopkins in the second round, but rather get Davante Adams in the first round.
Courtland Sutton, Broncos
Update August 27: Sutton has been dominant in camp and could be gearing up for a career year.
Sutton has put up good numbers for the start of his career, but he’s going to have more competition in year three. With Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant and K.J. Halmer all vying for a piece of the offensive pie, Sutton will need to be much more efficient than he has been to live up to his ADP.
D.J. Moore, Panthers
Update August 27: Matt Rhule wants Moore to be a “dominant” receiver in 2020, and that means his receptions numbers could be in for a major boost. If he improves and establishes himself as the clear WR1, he have a career year.
Moore broke out last season with an awful quarterback giving him targets. He now gets a new quarterback, coach and offensive coordinator. All of the changes should be positive for the Panthers offense, but they also added Robby Anderson and should give Curtis Samuel a better chance to contribute this season. Add in Christian McCaffrey’s big workload as a receiver and Moore’s upside will be capped.
A.J. Brown, Titans
Update Aug 19: Brown said he’s improved his conditioning after being fatigued in the fourth quarter of some games during his rookie season, per TennesseeTitans.com’s Jim Wyatt.
Paying for Brown’s uber-efficient 2020 rookie year doesn’t seem like a great use of resources. Brown showed how great he can be, but his 9.5 percent touchdown rate isn’t sustainable. The same can be said for Ryan Tannehill’s efficiency, which should also come down this season.
Evans has shown great consistency so far in his career and is hard to fade, but there are some real questions coming into the 2020 season with Tom Brady at the helm. I like Brady this season, even at 43-years of age, but with Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Tyler Johnson and a weakish arm, Evans will have more trouble getting his usual numbers.