2020 Rookie Staff Ranks


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2020 Rookie Staff Ranks

Fantasy Points is a collaborative effort. Our 2020 season-long and dynasty rankings are formed by blending all of our research, opinions, and team outlooks together to form the strongest final version of projections possible. Even though our staff usually ends up agreeing on most players to target and avoid, we still have our disagreements. Below you will find our staff’s positional rookie dynasty rankings and insight into the process of how we rank players.


Joe BurrowCIN111111.0
Tua TagovailoaMIA222222.0
Justin HerbertLAC433333.2
Jordan LoveGB344554.2
Jalen HurtsPHI555444.6
Jacob EasonIND666776.4
Jake FrommBUF897667.2
James MorganNYJ978988.2
Jake LutonJAX789898.2
Cole McDonaldTEN101010101010.0

(For a more comprehensive look at the rookie QBs, check out Joe Dolan’s breakdown).

Scott explains Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa’s value in Superflex leagues: Ranking Burrow at 1, Tua at 2, and Herbert at 3 was pretty easy, and one only needs to read Greg Cosell’s 2020 NFL Draft Guide to see why. Although Tua is right behind Burrow, there should be a sizeable gap between them. Burrow is the much better prospect, according to Cosell, but also according to the front offices in Cincinnati, Miami, and Los Angeles. He also has the most rushing upside of these three quarterbacks, he has far less injury risk, and his landing spot is strong -- the formerly-benched and now-released Andy Dalton was less than 1.0 fantasy points per game away from low-end QB1 numbers last year.

Joe tries to figure out what the hell to do with Jalen Hurts: As a staff, we were super intrigued with Hurts pre-draft, because we wondered if there was a way for him to land with a team that could start him sooner rather than later — maybe the Patriots or Jaguars, for instance. But the Eagles made Hurts their second-round pick, which obviously was going to invite a lot of discussion and debate (and that’s putting it lightly). While there’s a good chance the Eagles use Hurts in some sort of Taysom Hill role (though he’s not as explosive an athlete as Hill), Occam’s Razor tells us the Eagles simply value the backup QB position explicitly (there was that Nick Foles guy, after all). And fair or not — don’t tell our injury analyst Dr. Edwin Porras that Carson Wentz is “injury-prone” — the Eagles’ starting QB hasn’t finished the last three seasons for one reason or another (the 2019 borderline cheap shot from Jadeveon Clowney perhaps the most unfair of all). It’s hard to see what the best-case scenario for the Eagles with this pick is. Is it Hurts never has to play because Wentz stays healthy and productive? Is it Hurts impresses as a “gadget” player, helps the Eagles win games, and then they can flip him for a good pick? Or is it Wentz can’t stay on the field and Hurts becomes the Eagles’ franchise QB? Hurts might not even be the Eagles’ #2 QB this year — he has to develop as a passer and Philly apparently likes Nate Sudfeld. But if that’s the case, he’s absolutely going to be the most-discussed #3 QB in the NFL… well, besides Hill. Hurts is merely a deep stash in superflex dynasty leagues, but one who could have an enormous payoff down the line. That’s what Philly is counting on, at least.

John discusses Love > Herbert: This is a risky ranking, but based on my eyeball test and talking to several analysts I respect greatly, I’m willing to bet on Love over Herbert for the long haul. Love is hardly perfect and needs to sit for 1-2 years, but I’ll take his upside over Herbert’s. His arm is as strong and his movement as good as Herbert’s, and I think Love has a better chance to settle in as a nice ball distributor who can also make big plays outside of structure, a la Patrick Mahomes. I do see some Mahomes in Love, and I also see some Josh Allen in Herbet, which isn’t exactly a compliment.

Running Backs

C. Edwards-HelaireKC111111.0
Jonathan TaylorIND222222.0
JK DobbinsBAL333333.0
Cam AkersLAR455444.4
D'Andre SwiftDET544554.6
Ke'Shawn VaughnTB666666.0
Anthony McFarlandPIT777977.4
AJ DillonGB88118109.0
Antonio GibsonWAS11108799.0
Zack MossBUF9991189.2
Darrynton EvansTEN121210101111.0
Joshua KelleyLAC101313121212.0
DeeJay DallasSEA161112161313.6
Lamical PerineNYJ131514131413.8
Lynn BowdenLVR141415141514.4
Eno BenjaminARI151816151616.0
Jason HuntleyDET1816171717.0
Raymond CalaisTB17171917.7
JaMycal HastySF1818.0

(For a more comprehensive look at the rookie RBs, check out Joe Dolan’s breakdown).

Graham explains why Clyde Edwards-Helaire is our consensus 1.01 in rookie drafts: Edwards-Helaire was fantasy’s biggest winner of the NFL draft and has been skyrocketing up recent rookie and season-long draft boards accordingly. As the best route runner among RBs in the class, Edwards-Helaire is a perfect match for HC Andy Reid’s RB friendly scheme. Over the last 16 seasons, 75% of Reid’s starting running backs have finished top-8 or better in fantasy points per game. The Chiefs are the most pass-heavy team in the NFL and adding another mismatch nightmare in Edwards-Helaire for defenses to deal with underneath will only help elevate their offense. If you want to read more, I wrote about how much I love Edwards-Helaire’s game and landing spot in Kansas City for my Yards Created series.

Graham explains why Jonathan Taylor is our consensus 1.02 in rookie drafts: The Colts somewhat surprisingly moved up to select Taylor at 41 overall, but the move does make some sense from a long-term perspective. Marlon Mack will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and, because Taylor was just a second-round pick, Indianapolis now has one of the league’s best runners on a cheap deal relative to the already barren RB market. According to Over The Cap’s contract projections based on his draft slot, Taylor will roughly be the 25th highest-paid RB in the league. For fantasy, Taylor will likely be the “1A” of Indy’s committee in 2020 but he could potentially have a 3-down role behind one of the NFL’s most talented offensive lines if the Colts do not re-sign Mack next offseason.

Why Graham is lower on A.J. Dillon: The Packers obviously love Dillon’s game, but Yards Created was not a fan. In this class, no running back got more help from their offensive line than Dillon and no running back forced fewer missed tackles than Dillon did. That’s not the combination you’re looking for. Still, my guess is that the Dillon selection is more of an indictment on Jamaal Williams and not Aaron Jones. The Packers were reportedly talking about extending Jones back in March -- he only has one year left on his rookie deal -- and there is no doubt that he’s one of the most talented backs in the NFL. Over the past three years, Jones ranks 8th in broken tackles per touch, 6th in yards per carry, 4th in first downs per carry, and 2nd in rushing success rate. Dillon will have an early-down role, but the hope for Jones’ fantasy owners is that he is more involved in the passing game in 2020.

John is with the whole staff on Dobbins as the RB3 long-term: I had some questions about Dobbins in terms of his ability to be a true bell-cow, but this landing spot is so perfect, as we’ve outlined in many places on the site. I could absolutely see him being a top-15 overall pick in 2021 if Mark Ingram is out of the mix. The problem is, he could be fairly worthless in 2020. I’m not convinced that Ingram is going to be phased out of anything down the stretch in 2020. Why would he be? He’s a savvy veteran who was tremendous last year and still has plenty of juice.

Wide Receivers

Jerry JeudyDEN112131.6
Jalen ReagorPHI223312.2
CeeDee LambDAL431222.4
Michael PittmanIND364444.2
Henry RuggsLVR546565.2
Justin JeffersonMIN755655.6
Brandon AiyukSF679787.4
Tee HigginsCIN8117878.2
Denzel MimsNYJ988998.6
Laviska ShenaultJAX12911101110.6
Bryan EdwardsLVR111312111011.4
Chase ClaypoolPIT151510131513.6
Antonio Gandy-GoldenWAS101014181613.6
Devin DuvernayBAL131613161214.0
KJ HamlerDEN161415121314.0
Van JeffersonLAR141216141414.0
Tyler JohnsonTB171717151716.6
John HightowerPHI181919171918.4
Gabriel DavisBUF212120201820.0
Isaiah CoulterHOU192017242120.2
Donovan Peoples-JonesCLE201821262221.4
Quez WatkinsPHI2322222322.5
Quintez CephusDET262622192022.6
James ProcheBAL222424272424.2
Collin JohnsonJAX2526232324.3
Darnell MooneyCHI2823212724.8
Joe ReedLAC2525.0

(For a more comprehensive look at the rookie WRs, check out Joe Dolan’s breakdown).

Why Tom is higher on CeeDee Lamb: I had Lamb as my 1B in my pre-draft rankings behind my 1A Jerry Jeudy, but I much preferred Lamb’s landing spot in one of the NFL’s top offenses. The Cowboys vacated the second-most targets (190) from last season, and they didn’t add a single receiver outside of Lamb this off-season. Lamb and Amari Cooper figure to split up the workload in the slot this season, and Lamb is a major upgrade over Randall Cobb, who saw 83 targets last season. The former Oklahoma WR averaged an absolutely silly 6.11 yards per route run out of the slot last season. Lamb will be in a battle for touches with so many big-time players in this offense, but he should routinely see the softest coverage with Michael Gallup primarily playing the X and Cooper drawing extra attention.

Why Graham is higher on Jalen Reagor: He has everything you look for in a wide receiver prospect. Reagor broke out in college (72/1061/9) before turning 20-years-old, he declared early for the NFL Draft which has been extremely predictive of fantasy success per Rich Hribar, he flashed elite separation skills on tape according to Greg Cosell, and he’s an incredible athlete. Reagor’s lack of production in his final year in college needs a big dose of context, too. Last year, TCU’s quarterback was a true-freshman and he was one of the worst passers in college football. Only 31% of Reagor’s targets were deemed catchable per PFF’s charting, which was the lowest rate in the 2020 class. CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy are slightly more polished and refined players, but Reagor has a massive short- and long-term ceiling in Philadelphia while Lamb and Jeudy have a ton of competition for targets already entrenched on their team. Zach Ertz will always command looks, but only aging and recently injured veterans DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are around to really push Reagor for targets at receiver.

Why Scott is lower on Justin Jefferson: As I mentioned elsewhere, I’m not a fan of the landing spot and I worry about Jefferson’s fit in this offense. Jefferson ran 99% of his routes from the slot in 2019, but no team had a slot wide receiver on the field less often than Minnesota. They ran only 18% of their plays out of 11 personnel, while the league-average rate sat at 55%. Maybe he’s better outside than I (or Eagles GM Howie Roseman) might think, but this is still a low-upside run-first offense.

Why Tom is lower on Brandon Aiyuk: In general, I’m lower on the passing-game options in this 49ers offense than the rest of our staff. I love YAC players like Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle, but the lack of passing volume in Kyle Shanahan’s offenses have these guys walking a tightrope to come through for fantasy on a weekly basis. I’m expecting Aiyuk to step into Emmanuel Sanders’ role from the end of last season, which will have him working as a vertical threat and as a weapon at all three levels of the field. With Samuel serving as the #1 WR for Jimmy Garoppolo at the end of the season, Sanders averaged just 4.7 targets per game in his 13 regular season and postseason games. Aiyuk is going to have some moments, but I think he will be a better real-life player than a fantasy option.

Why Tom is higher on Chase Claypool: Claypool is going to be a boom-or-bust pick, but I’ll trust the Steelers strong track record of drafting WRs after the first round. Claypool will likely be a rotational player with James Washington on the perimeter as a rookie, but he could have a massive role starting in 2021 if JuJu Smith-Schuster moves on in free agency. Ben Roethlisberger has missed not having a player like Martavis Bryant at his disposal in recent years, and Claypool has the size (6’4”, 238 pounds) and speed (4.42) to fill that role. It may not take long for Claypool to start dominating the most valuable targets for fantasy: deep passes and end-zone targets.

Why Tom is lower on Van Jefferson: Jefferson comes into the league with too many red flags for me. He’ll start this season at 24 years and, even at his advanced college age, he never posted big numbers at Ole Miss or Florida. He needed surgery for a Jones Fracture before the draft, which can be a tricky foot injury to overcome. I also don’t like his fit with the Rams since he projects to primarily play Z (Robert Woods’ spot) or in the slot (Cooper Kupp’s spot). I see Josh Reynolds as a much better fit to play X so I could see Jefferson serving as the primary backup early in his career. Jefferson may turn into a long-time pro at the position, but I have a tough time projecting him to ever be an impact fantasy option.

Why does John have such a man-crush on Michael Pittman?: Pittman has been “my guy” since I watched his tape in January, reviewed Greg Cosell’s evaluation on him, and then met and interviewed him at the combine. He’s a fantastic guy, and nothing is too big for him. His tape shows he has no real weaknesses, and that’s how he carries himself. He landed in a great spot, of course, with the only question being his long-term QB situation. But they did draft a legit prospect in Jacob Eason, at least. As long as Pittman gets stable QB play, I see him as the #1 receiver for this offense indefinitely.

Tight Ends

Adam TrautmanNO111211.2
Cole KmetCHI422122.2
Devin AsiasiNE233332.8
Harrison BryantCLE365454.6
Colby ParkinsonSEA554665.2
Dalton KeeneNE647845.8
Brycen HopkinsLAR1086587.4
A. OkwuegbunamDEN778977.6
Josiah DeguaraGB109798.8
Thaddeus MossWAS9109.5
Hunter BryantDET81110109.8

(For a more comprehensive look at the rookie TEs, check out Joe Dolan’s breakdown).

Joe explains why Adam Trautman is our #1 dynasty TE: Look, Trautman might do nothing as a rookie, but it says something that the Saints made a “mini Ricky Williams” deal, trading their entire Day 3 assortment of picks (one each in Rounds 4 through 7) to move into the back end of the third round to take Trautman. Jared Cook is 33 and has no guaranteed money left on his deal following the 2020 season. Coach Sean Payton told reporters after the pick that he views Trautman as an “old school” TE, a competitive blocker who can line up at the point of attack effectively, while also producing as a receiver and route runner. The Saints have a plan for Trautman, which makes him the most exciting dynasty prospect in an overall weak class.

Why Tom is higher on Colby Parkinson: Russell Wilson loves his tight ends, especially in the red zone! The Seahawks last drafted a tight end in the fourth round in 2018. That player, Will Dissly, has scored six touchdowns in just 10 games. Of course, Dissly has played just 10 games because of two major leg injuries — he tore his left Achilles in 2019 and his right patellar tendon in 2018 — which has his long-term durability very much in question. Greg Olsen is at the top of their depth chart this season, and he’ll likely be in a broadcast booth for the 2021 season. It may not be long until Parkinson, at 6’7”, is the next Wilson favorite in the red zone.

John preaches patience on Harrison Bryant: I know they added Austin Hooper in free agency, and that David Njoku is still there, but Njoku will be gone by 2021, and I think Bryant is a better overall prospect than Hooper. Bryant may need two years to develop, but by 2022, I envision him being a huge part of the offense and one of Baker Mayfield’s top-3 targets. As I’ve said elsewhere, my guy Charlie Weiss reached out to me via text to specifically alert me about Bryant, who was coached last year by Charlie’s son (Charlie Weiss Jr.). When I asked Charlie to tell me specifically what he liked about Bryant he said “ball skills, route running, and position alignment flexibility,” and I personally saw a potential top-12 TE prospect when I watched his tape.