One area to get familiar with before draft day is the players that had their names called in the NFL Draft just a few months ago. Rookies are always going to be risky fantasy football picks, but they can also give you some serious upside.
With that in mind, here are the top-10 rookies for the 2020 fantasy football season.
Best Rookies in Fantasy Football 2020
10. Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills
Zack Moss will start firmly behind Devin Singletary on the Buffalo Bills' running back depth chart. The Bills invested a third-round pick in Moss, however, and Frank Gore was given double-digit carries in seven of the 12 regular season games in which Singletary played in 2019. There could be enough volume to support two RBs in Buffalo.
9. Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
With Alshon Jeffery likely starting the season on the PUP list, Jalen Reagor could get some early opportunity. This Philadelphia Eagles offense has very few options at wide receiver, meaning Reagor will get plenty of playing time, though they do have plenty of pass-catching talent at other positions. Only three Eagles players caught 50-plus passes in 2019, and none were WRs.
8. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders selected Henry Ruggs III as the first wideout off the board in this year's draft, highlighting just how highly they think of him. He's another guy that won't have much competition for snaps, likely starting opposite Tyrell Williams on the outside (with Hunter Renfrow in the slot). Derek Carr had the third-lowest average depth of target (aDOT) among qualifying passers in 2019, however, so Ruggs' fit in this offense is a bit of a strange one.
7. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
Jerry Jeudy should get plenty of opportunity as well, as Courtland Sutton is the team's only returning wide receiver that caught even 30 passes in 2019. This offense's success will be closely tied to the development of Drew Lock, and the selection of Jeudy indicates that they're going to want Lock putting the ball in the air often.
6. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ke'Shawn Vaughn's outlook includes big upside but also a very low floor. There's a chance he ends up buried behind Ronald Jones on early downs and Dare Ogunbowale on passing downs. If he does carve out a role ahead of that uninspiring duo, however, that would mean being the No. 1 RB in one of the league's most exciting offenses with Tom Brady at the helm. That's a good spot for fantasy value.
5. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams' backfield is a mess for fantasy football purposes, and that means Cam Akers is also a boom-or-bust option. This could be a three, or even four-man committee, which would likely leave no reliable fantasy options in the group. That lack of clarity also means an opportunity to earn increased usage if any of those backs impress, however, which means Akers has the upside to blossom into the team's lead back early in the season.
4. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
J.K. Dobbins' value is heavily tied to the offense he's in. The Baltimore Ravens' offense was a goldmine for fantasy production in 2019, and even if regression hits, that should be the case again this year. The big knock on Dobbins is that he's buried behind Mark Ingram on the depth chart, but it's worth noting that even Gus Edwards was able to carve out a 133-carry season behind Ingram in 2019. Dobbins is an upgrade over Edwards, so that RB2 role could grow.
3. D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
D'Andre Swift has a much clearer path to earning his team's RB1 spot, opening the season behind Kerryon Johnson, who has already missed 14 games with injury in his first two NFL seasons. Johnson also averaged an abysmal 3.6 yards per carry in 2019, which put him well behind stablemates Bo Scarbrough (4.2) and Ty Johnson (4.3), suggesting those struggles weren't all to do with the poor offense around him.
2. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Like Dobbins, Jonathan Taylor finds himself behind an established starter in Marlon Mack. Mack is a relatively one-dimensional player however, having seen only 17 targets in 2019, and his 1,000-yard season had as much to do with volume as efficiency. Taylor is a serious big-play threat, having averaged over 6.0 yards per carry in all three of his collegiate seasons, and if he earns the top spot in a backfield on one of the league's most run-heavy offenses (No. 5 in run play percentage in 2019) then we could be talking about him as a first-round fantasy pick at this time next year.
1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
This one's easy. With Damien Williams as the Kansas City Chiefs' incumbent starter, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has an easier path to the RB1 role than Taylor or Dobbins. As the only RB selected in Round 1, the Chiefs likely want him to take that role. And in the league's best offense, that role should translate to huge fantasy production. Edwards-Helaire comes into the NFL with a rare track record as a receiving back (55 receptions in 2019) as well as a rusher (1,414 yards at 6.6 yards per carry in 2019), and this should be the perfect storm for a huge rookie year.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.