We still have questions about when sports will be returning to the field, but things seem to be moving in the right direction. The NFL season is rapidly approach, and that means that drafts are going to pick up in a big way throughout the summer. With everything that has been going on in the wild year of 2020, even some dynasty leagues have held off drafts, so now is the time to get ready for them. What better way than to go over our fantasy football rankings for some of the best rookies to target for your 2020 dynasty drafts.
Awesemo’s Fantasy Football Rankings: Top Rookie Targets
Cam Akers – Running Back, Los Angeles Rams
Cam Akers came out of Florida State as a guy I was interested in, mostly because he was forced to rush behind a miserable offensive line the last few years. He impressed at the combine with a 4.47 40-yard dash and really doesn’t have a glaring weakness to his game. He landed in Los Angeles with the 52nd pick where the team that just said goodbye to Todd Gurley and has a backfield that is wide open in terms of carries up for grabs.
Akers is very live to be the lead guy, considering he is competing with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson, who didn’t have the rookie campaign many were expecting. If Akers is the lead back or slowly becomes one, he could pay major dividends for you late in the season.
Update: Rumors are swirling that Sean McVay may go with a three- or four-man rotation in L.A., so tread cautiously here and adjust as the offseason progresses.
Clyde Edwards Helaire – Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs
The Super Bowl champions don’t have a lot of weaknesses, so this was a luxury first-round get with Edwards-Helaire coming to town. The backfield had plenty of firepower, and then they have Patrick Mahomes and the passing attack, which is as deadly of unit as we have in the league. The pure volume of points that the Chiefs are expected to put up will directly benefit Edwards-Helaire even if he finds himself in a crowded backfield with a lot of mouths to feed. The big question with him is how early are you going to have to fire in order to secure him, as he projects as a top-20 RB across the league given his situation.
Jerry Jeudy – Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
This 2020 NFL draft was loaded at the wide receiver position and it was a huge discussion about the order these pass catchers would come off the board. Alabama had Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy become the first two WRs taken at 12 and 15, so both should be live to make an immediate impact. Ruggs went to the Raiders, which gives him opportunities but also some serious question marks with Derek Carr under center.
Jeudy on the other hand checks all the boxes physically and landed in Denver who is a team that I am bullish on coming into the season. He pairs up with Drew Lock and forms a duo with Courtland Sutton on the outside who should draw the top corner each and every week for opposing defenses. Jeudy, to me, was the best WR in the entire draft and is the ideal high-upside rookie to target in dynasty.
Joe Burrow – Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals
Being drafted No. 1 overall is obviously exciting, but it also means you are now the savior for a franchise that has issues. Cincinnati is the poster child for a franchise that has issues and Joe Burrow is now the savior for the Bengals. Long term, we will see what happens, but Year 1 should be rocky considering he is being thrown into the fire right from the start. That’s the bad news, but its not all doom and gloom, as Burrow is going to have weapons around him and plenty of opportunities to put up numbers
Burrow will have a capable back in Joe Mixon behind him and the offensive line should be improved, even if it still is a work in progress. On the outside he has a fantastic trio of pass catchers with A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and fellow rookie Tee Higgins good to go. Green is the wild card as he cannot seem to stay healthy, and losing him again would be a major bump down for Burrow. Last year at LSU, Burrow threw 60 TDs and truly had a historically good season. This is the NFL, but he is 23 years old and should be poised to make some plays with the skill position players around him. Vegas has set his passing TD prop in the 23-24 range, which is a decent output if you choose to take him as one of your QBs.
Laviska Shenault – Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
Laviska Shenault was the ninth receiver taken in the 2020 draft, but I believe he has the potential to be the best of them all. The 42nd pick comes out of Colorado where he showed how dominant he can be IF he remains healthy. Shenault is 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, and is going to cause major problems for AFC South cornerbacks in the near future. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, but fits the prototype of big-time possession receiver in the league
The other big question mark is can he get the ball as the Jaguars have one of the worst situations at QB in the entire league in Gardner Minshew. Given that the Jaguars are going to struggle this year, the concerns are real, but such struggles could lead to immediate fantasy impact for Shenault given his skill set and the upside he contains if he remains on the field.
Anthony McFarland – Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers drafted Anthony McFarland out of Maryland with the 124th pick in the draft. The fourth round doesn’t scream someone who is immediately going to make an impact, but I love the landing spot for the explosive back. Pittsburgh is one of the few teams that really lacks a deep backfield with James Conner getting the majority of the touches. They have Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell, but neither seem firmly entrenched as the change-of-pace back.
McFarland isn’t a three-down back, so he could mesh well behind Conner as a pass-catching, third-down player with breakaway speed. McFarland is a good target in dynasty leagues where you can hold onto him and see the payoff maybe a few years down the road. However, if we get word he will have a role from the start in this offense, don’t rule him out as a late-round selection.
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