The Gut Check No.502: 5 Players Who Could Potentially Have Career Years

Matt Waldman shares five players with the skills, supporting cast, and upside to delivers a career-year for fantasy GMs in 2020. 

Prognosticating the potential for a career-year in 2020 seems as safe as crossing all 10 lanes of rush-hour traffic on Atlanta's I-85 while walking backward and blindfolded. A football season is still tentative, at best.

It doesn't mean that we haven't seen players produce on pace with their career-bests during shortened seasons. An extreme example is Jerry Rice. He earned 65 catches, 1,079 yards, and 22 touchdowns in 12 games during a strike-shortened 1987 campaign. His next-best touchdown total during a season for the remainder of his 21-year career was 17 in 1989.

Mark McGuire and Frank Thomas were on their way to record seasons in major league baseball before a player strike. This might be the first time I ever mentioned baseball in this column.

It will also probably be the last.

Rice's 22 scores broke Mark Clayton's 1984 record of 18 in a season where Clayton played 15 games and remained the top mark until Randy Moss caught 23 scores from Tom Brady 20 years later during a 16-game campaign with New England. To put it another way, ridiculous things happen during ridiculous years, and considering what 2020 has been like, we can't rule anything out.

Even if none of the five candidates delivers a career-year, it's a worthwhile exercise for determining players poised to deliver on their upside—and the supporting cast of talents who also benefit—for as long as a season remains a viable consideration.

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