Each year fans get excited about new rookies coming into the NFL, but not a lot of the players will have huge impacts in fantasy football. In standard fantasy football drafts, owners need to be smart and not get excited about all of the new rookies entering the league and focus on the ones who can make an impact. Here are 6 rookies to target in fantasy football.
1. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
This offseason the Colts signed Philip Rivers and seem like they made an emphasis to improve the offense. In the 2020 NFL Draft, they selected wide receiver Michael Pittman and Jonathan Taylor on day two. Taylor was one of the best running backs in college football history with over 6,000 rushing yards in three seasons.
The Colts run the ball a lot and it makes sense because they have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Taylor has the vision to find holes, the power to run up the middle and the speed to break long runs. Indianapolis still has Marlon Mack, but Taylor will likely be the workhorse back for the Colts in 2020.
2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
After winning the Super Bowl with a very explosive offense, the Chiefs added Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Patrick Mahomes will have all the tools he needs to have another great season and Kansas City should be eyeing another Super Bowl.
Kansas City has a stable of running backs, but the usage of them varies. Damien Williams didn’t have the best start to the season, but finished strong. Edwards-Helaire should see a lot of the work out of the backfield even with Williams there. He is elusive and can catch passes out of the backfield, which should give him the edge to see a lot of production in year one with the Chiefs.
3. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys decided to ignore their defensive needs in the 2020 NFL Draft and rather took another wide receiver to add to their offense. CeeDee Lamb was the choice, which means good things for the offense who had Dak Prescott help the team rank second in the NFL in passing yards. There is no excuse for the offense not to score more points this year with Lamb on the roster.
One obstacle that Lamb will have to overcome is the fact that he will be battling for touches. Between Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot running the ball and Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper receiving targets, Lamb will have to make the most out of what is left. He is great at running after the catch so he can make big plays out of nothing. Lamb will have be the second or third highest producing receiver on the Cowboys, but he should still be fantasy relevant.
4. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
Last season, the Denver Broncos got to see what they had in their rookie quarterback Drew Lock. Lock showed flashes of potential and really connected with rookie tight end Noah Fant and young wide receiver Courtland Sutton. In the first round of the NFL Draft, the Broncos got Lock some more help by selecting Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama.
With Sutton and Jeudy, the Broncos have a solid one-two punch at wide receiver. Jeudy has great quickness, is a great route-runner and has great run after the catch ability. If Lock is able to play at a decent level next year, Jeudy will be one of the most productive rookie receivers in 2020.
5. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had a good young running back in Todd Gurley, but after he had arthritis in his knees came up, they decided to move on. Los Angeles then selected Cam Akers to go with some other players who have already produced a little bit over the last few seasons. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson have each had a decent amount of carries over the last few seasons.
While he will have to compete for carries, Akers is the most talented running back in the backfield. His college production was inconsistent, but he also ran behind an awful offensive line. Akers has solid vision, is elusive and can catch passes out of the backfield. He should have solid production in year one for the Rams.
6. D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
After taking Kerryon Johnson just a few years ago, the Lions added to their backfield again in the 2020 NFL Draft. The hope is to make sure that Matthew Stafford has all the weapons at his disposal that he’ll need, assuming that key members of their offense can stay healthy. If they can, the offense can vastly improve next season.
While he will have to compete for carries with Johnson, Swift should be more available than him, as Johnson has dealt with injury issues. Swift finds holes well, runs hard and catches passes out of the backfield. His added value will come out of the backfield if Stafford is healthy and feeding him the ball.
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