With the 2020 NFL Draft behind us, it is time that several dynasty fantasy football leagues begin to conduct their annual rookie draft. Knowing where each player will be playing is an instrumental part of putting together a dynasty roster, not only for those hoping to win in the next few years but also right now. Here is Rookie Dynasty Rankings – Frick Part 1
Over the course of this two-part series, I will be ranking my top 25 rookies for dynasty fantasy football leagues, using conventional roster and scoring settings. That includes 1 QB per week, while also needing a minimum of 2 or 3 RB and WR spots in lineups.
1WR – Jerry Jeudy – Denver Broncos
Now, this may come as a surprise, considering this rookie class has several highly touted running backs. However, I believe that Jerry Jeudy is by far the safest pick in any rookie draft. When I consider what type of position he has been put in, it is tough to not want to draft him. The combination of his size and speed is already intimidating. However, when I watch his superb route running and ability to create space, I can’t help but compare him to Julio Jones and Keenan Allen. Jeudy could not have landed in a much better situation and will be a top 10 wide receiver year in and year out for the foreseeable future.
2RB – D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions
The top running back spot in the class is tough to identify. One can lean in many different directions. Personally, I fell in love with D’Andre Swift’s game and think he can fit in any NFL system perfectly. He has a three-down skill set with the ability to line up in the slot to catch passes. This, along with his status as a big-play threat should allow him to maintain steady production. Detroit is definitely not the best fit. However, over the course of the next several years, Swift should consistently be one of the top running backs in fantasy football. His future fantasy appeal puts him over the top for me.
3RB – Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams
Filling in for Todd Gurley is the first player that the Rams selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Cam Akers fits the scheme of this offense terrifically and is a perfect replacement for Gurley. Akers is both fast and strong, with the ability to catch the ball and make defenders miss in the open field. He will be a terrific complement to Jared Goff, and should quickly become the top running back on the Rams roster.
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4RB – Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs
Amongst all rookies, this was the greatest fit. Clyde Edwards-Helaire finds himself in the backfield for the Super Bowl champions, alongside the top quarterback in the league, Patrick Mahomes. Edwards-Helaire is fairly short, but has excellent hands and excels at creating space. A powerful back, he should help in creating an even more dynamic offense by running the football. Edwards-Helaire may not be the greatest overall running back available in the draft, but he lands in a perfect spot, surrounded by a plethora of talent and opportunities awaiting him.
5RB – J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens
In the top tier, J.K. Dobbins may very well be the most underrated rookie running back. Being added to one of the league’s most potent offenses creates plenty of opportunities. However, there are multiple challenges facing Dobbins. For one, Mark Ingram is the top running back in Baltimore. The Ravens also have Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill in the backfield. Dobbins will even have to compete with Lamar Jackson for carries. In his first year, he may not see too much action. But by year two, expect Dobbins to become the top running back on the roster. His combination of vision, power, speed, and soft hands could catapult him to the top of fantasy rankings in the near future.
6RB – Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
Perhaps the most successful running back of the bunch, Jonathan Taylor finds himself rounding out the top tier at the position. I think that spending a year or two behind Marlon Mack will do Taylor well. He was a workhorse for his entire collegiate career. Taylor already has a lot of mileage and for a running back and that is always scary. His tenure in the NFL may end up being far less than any of the others, but he possesses the speed and three-down ability you want in a running back. Taylor is an incredibly gifted athlete, but his workload may be limited in his first few years to make up for the mileage put on him in college.
7WR – Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings
I love this fit for Justin Jefferson. He should become a main target for Kirk Cousins, who lost Stefon Diggs. Jefferson can play along the perimeter or in the slot, without being shadowed by any team’s top cornerback. In all likelihood, he will quickly be inserted into the Vikings’ game plans and will be expected to produce early in his career. Jefferson is a dark horse to be the most productive rookie wide receiver in the entire class and be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
8WR – Michael Pittman – Indianapolis Colts
Landing in Indianapolis was a blessing in disguise for Michael Pittman. He will be among the primary targets for Philip Rivers. Pittman could even have a chance to lead all rookie receivers for most touchdowns in year one. He is an incredibly physical receiver, with the size to make impressive plays. Most importantly, Pittman has the best ball skills in the class. His ability to bring in any pass gives him a chance to be an elite wide receiver in this league. I expect Pittman to surprise many people this year.
9RB – Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I was much higher on Ke’Shawn Vaughn entering the draft than most. He is a tough and physical back, who is sneakily an amazing pass catcher. Vaughn is a perfect running back for a Tom Brady-led offense. In addition, he has the special one-cut ability Bruce Arians was looking for in his backfield. I expect Vaughn to make an immediate impact and solidify a role as the top running back in Tampa Bay even once Brady moves on.
10WR – CeeDee Lamb – Dallas Cowboys
In college, CeeDee Lamb was one of the most electrifying players I have ever watched. His ability to make defenders miss in the open field was incredible. As were his separation skills. However, I question the viability of relying on those at the next level. That is why I have him at the back end of the top 10. Lamb will still be put in a great situation, alongside Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. He will still be expected to produce and will have to adjust to relying on his crisp route running abilities more often than just out-styling his opponent.
11WR – Jalen Reagor – Philadelphia Eagles
I am a big fan of Jalen Reagor and believe he will be a great addition alongside Alshon Jeffery and Desean Jackson. Reagor is incredibly athletic, with enough straight-line speed to fit perfectly in Doug Peterson’s offense with Carson Wentz. I think Reagor will have a chance to make an immediate impact for the Eagles and will likely emerge as the team’s top receiver by year two.
12WR – Brandon Aiyuk – San Francisco 49ers
One of the moves of the draft that shocked me the most was that the 49ers moved up six spots to draft Brandon Aiyuk. He is a big-play threat that perfectly fits alongside Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. Aiyuk’s speed will intimidate opposing defenses and will create a lot more opportunities for the other pass-catchers in the offense. Great for the 49ers offense. Not so great for Aiyuk’s potential fantasy production.
13WR – Henry Ruggs – Las Vegas Raiders
Most rankings will likely have this player higher, but the top receiver drafted in the 2020 draft finds himself at #13. I like Henry Ruggs’ game and think he will be a good NFL wide receiver. However, he is not in the best situation. His upside as a downfield threat is obvious. But Ruggs may have issues early on shaking off tough coverage from larger cornerbacks. Not only that, but he landed on a team that ranked near the bottom of the league in downfield passing. That eliminates a large portion of Ruggs’ dynamic arsenal. Ruggs is definitely a Jon Gruden draft pick and wide receiver, but in the current Raiders offense, the jury will remain until Ruggs takes the field.