Fantasy Football: NFL Rookies for the 2020 Season

It is never too early to start talking about fantasy football for the 2020 season none the less. Let’s hope there is a 2020 season because of the coronavirus that has shut down the sports world none the less, but it didn’t shut down the 2020 NFL Draft. There are so many rookies that can make an impact immediately none the less.

There a lot of people that think they can contribute to their team right away none the less. With that in mind, who are some of the top candidates to be fantasy football stars in 2020?

Joe Burrow – QB, Cincinnati Bengals

Let’s face the facts. He’s going to be the only quarterback that sees significant playing time as an NFL rookie. I don’t expect Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert to see the field. Burrow was a stud at LSU last season. He completed 402-of-527 passes (76.3 completion percentage) for 5,671 yards 60 touchdowns and six interceptions. Burrow also rushed for 368 yards on 115 carries and five touchdowns in 15 games. He also caught one pass for 16 yards. Joe Burrow will have players like A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, Tyler Kroft, and John Ross III to throw too none the less.

Jerry Jeudy – WR, Denver Broncos

Jeudy is the best wide receiver in this draft class and don’t let it fool you because his teammate Henry Ruggs III was drafted first at 12th overall to the Las Vegas Raiders. Jerry Jeudy is going to be Drew Lock‘s favorite target. They also drafted K.J. Hamler out of Penn State in the second round and the Broncos also have Cortland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton. Jeudy is going to line up all over the place on the field and he will be highly rated in fantasy drafts in 2020 none the less. He caught 77 passes for 1,163 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. Jerry Jeudy also rushed for one yard on one carry.

Justin Jefferson – WR, Minnesota Vikings

I love the situation Justin Jefferson is in. He gets to be Kirk Cousins‘s number one or number two target at the wide receiver position on the other side of Adam Thielen. Jefferson will replace Stefon Diggs, who was traded to the Buffalo Bills in the offseason none the less. Justin Jefferson is a solid receiver who goes up for passes. Some people think that Ja’Mar Chase might be the better receiver than him. Anyways, Jefferson caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns.

D’Andre Swift – RB, Detroit Lions

Swift was not drafted until the second round, but he is going to be the primary three-down back for the Detroit Lions. D’Andre Swift can cause problems going downhill. He may be the best running back Detroit has had since Jahvid Best. They need to protect Matthew Stafford at all costs and provide him with a running game. Swift rushed for 1,218 yards on 196 carries and seven touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 216 yards receiving and a touchdown. D’Andre Swift could very well be a first-round or second-round fantasy football pick none the less.

Jonathan Taylor – RB, Indianapolis Colts

I found it very interesting that the Indianapolis Colts traded up with the Cleveland Browns from 44 to 41 to draft Taylor. They already have Marlon Mack, Nyhiem Hynes, and Jordan Wilkins in the backfield, unless General Manager Chris Ballard feels like Jonathan Taylor has the most potential out of them all. He is a stud and can bust a game open. Taylor can also catch passes out of the backfield. He will help out Philip Rivers none the less. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 2,003 yards on 320 carries and 21 touchdowns. He also caught 26 passes for 252 yards receiving and five touchdowns.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB, Kansas City Chiefs

When he was the first running back off the board with the 32nd pick in the NFL Draft, you have to be thinking to yourself, you have to be kidding me right? The Kansas City Chiefs will have another explosive weapon. Head Coach Andy Reid believes this guy has more potential and is already potentially better than Brian Westbrook. Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 1,414 yards on 215 carries and 16 touchdowns. He also caught 55 passes for 453 yards receiving and one touchdown. Despite the talent on the offensive side of the ball, Edwards-Helaire will be the top running back over Damien Williams, Darrell Williams, Darwin Thompson, and LeSean McCoy.

Cam Akers – RB, Los Angeles Rams

Akers is going to be the featured number one back. With him being drafted 53rd overall, he will be the three-down back after Todd Gurley left. I find it interesting to see what will happen none the less. Cam Akers is more of a downhill runner rather than a player who catches passes out of the backfield. He rushed for 1,144 yards on 231 carries and 14 touchdowns. Akers also caught 30 passes for 225 yards receiving and four touchdowns.

Henry Ruggs III – WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Ruggs III was the first wide receiver taken off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft. It will be a speed threat for Derek Carr. Henry Ruggs III was on a loaded receiving core at the University of Alabama with Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle. Ruggs III caught 40 passes for 746 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 75 yards on two carries and a score.

CeeDee Lamb – WR, Dallas Cowboys

Lamb’s stats improved every single season at the University of Oklahoma. Dallas was shocked to see him available with the 17th selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Cowboys should have addressed the defensive side of the ball. However, Dallas is going to be loaded offensively now with Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper, Blake Jarwin, and Dak Prescott. Prescott is the heartbeat and the heart and soul of this Dallas Cowboys football team none the less. This offense could be scary, but how will the offensive line be? CeeDee Lamb played in 13 games last season. He caught 62 passes for 1,327 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns. Lamb also rushed for 20 yards on nine carries and a score.

Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Shenault Jr. had first-round talent, but he slipped to the NFL’s second round to the Jacksonville Jaguars. D.J. Chark and Keelan Cole are also some nice receivers to have around him none the less. Gardner Minshew III will be the starting quarterback this season for an offense lead by Jay Gruden. Laviska Shenault Jr. can catch passes and run with the football. In 11 games last season at the University of Colorado, he caught 56 passes for 764 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Shenault Jr. also crushed for 161 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns.

Tee Higgins – WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Higgins was a first-round talent that slipped to the second round of the NFL Draft for some off reason. Tee Higgins maybe the future number one wide receiver with A.J. Green playing on an NFL Franchise Tag this season. Higgins was getting some comparisons to him before the draft. Tee Higgins can catch in mid-air and also outrun people with the football none the less. He caught 59 passes for 1,167 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. Higgins also rushed for a 36-yard touchdown in the National Championship Game against LSU. He may not start fast but will Tee Higgins will be a waiver wire hot commodity when he gets going.

Denzel Mims – WR, New York Jets

Mims was taken with the 59th pick in the second round of the NFL Draft. New York hopes that Denzel Mims is their top wide receiver for Sam Darnold for the next decade. He has a ton of speed and Mims will need to work on some route running and some physical abilities in order to succeed at the next level. He was a productive three-year starter in college. Denzel Mims caught 66 passes for 1,020 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns last season.

Zack Moss – RB, Buffalo Bills

Moss will most likely be in a two running back system with Devin Singletary. Moss was one of the reasons why the Utah Utes had a shot at the college football playoff last season. He rushed for 1,416 yards on 235 carries and 15 touchdowns. Zack Moss also caught 28 passes for 388 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He can be a hot commodity on the waiver wire.

Michael Pittman Jr. – WR, Indianapolis Colts

Pittman Jr. improved every single season at USC and then he popped during his senior year. Michael Pittman Jr. will be a nice number one target for Philip Rivers alongside T.Y. Hilton. Pittman Jr. caught 101 passes for 1,275 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. He is very physical and is an excellent run blocker. Michael Pittman Jr. is a perfect fit for Frank Reich‘s system.

Cole Kmet – TE, Chicago Bears

Kmet is a solid pass catcher, but he needs work on his blocking. Blocking skills doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to fantasy football, but his receptions, yards, and touchdowns will none the less. Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham will be in a two-tight end system for Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky. Kmet caught 43 passes for 515 yards receiving and six touchdowns last season at the University of Notre Dame in 10 games none the less. He wasn’t relatively healthy the first two seasons, but Cole Kmet was healthy last season none the less.

Other potential fantasy football rookie breakouts: Jalen Reagor – WR, Philadelphia Eagles, Brandon Aiyuk – WR, San Francisco 49ers, Antonio Gibson – WR/RB, Washington Redskins, Lynn Bowden Jr. – WR, Las Vegas Raiders, Ke’Shawn Vaughn – RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dalton Keene – TE, New England Patriots, Adam Trautman – TE, New Orleans Saints, J.K. Dobbins – RB, Baltimore Ravens, AJ Dillon – RB, Green Bay Packers, Anthony McFarland Jr. – RB, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Chase Claypool – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Devin Duvernay – WR, Baltimore Ravens, Gabriel Davis – WR, Buffalo Bills, Colby Parkinson – TE, Seattle Seahawks, Antonio Gandy-Golden – WR, Washington Redskins, KJ Hamler – WR, Denver Broncos, Van Jefferson – WR, Los Angeles Rams, Brycen Hopkins – TE, Los Angeles Rams, K.J. Hill – WR, Los Angeles Chargers, Albert Okwuegbunam – TE, Denver Broncos, Deejay Dallas – RB, Seattle Seahawks, Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Miami Dolphins, Justin Herbert – QB, Los Angeles Chargers, Jalen Hurts – QB, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacob Eason – QB, Indianapolis Colts, Jake Fromm – QB, Buffalo Bills, Devin Asiasi – TE, New England Patriots, and Darrynton Evans – RB, Tennessee Titans.

Who do you think are some of the top rookies that can do damage in fantasy football in 2020? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on twitter @glennkaplan13.

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