News & Analysis

Final 2020 pre-draft rookie fantasy football rankings

With the NFL Draft just a few days away, we have one last chance to take a look at our pre-draft dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings. While everything is going to get reshuffled after the draft, it’s important to know how these players stack up against each other on a level playing field. That knowledge will help us produce better rankings after the draft.

Remember, you can always check out our fully updated 2020 fantasy football rankings and our 2020 fantasy football projections, both of which we’ll be updating as the players come off the board during the draft. We also have the brand new Rookie Fantasy Scouting Report and our NFL Draft Guide to get you up to speed on all of this year’s prospects. And if you’re really into the draft, it’s worth checking out our NFL Mock Draft Simulator where you can run your own NFL mock drafts and see how the results compare to our 2020 NFL Draft Big Board.

1. Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin

2. Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama

3. Ceedee Lamb, WR Oklahoma

4. D'Andre Swift, RB Georgia

5. J.K. Dobbins, RB Ohio State

Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins (2) in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This year’s top tier is fairly deep, with three running backs and two wideouts. Even though he doesn’t figure to be the first running back selected in the draft, Taylor is the cream of the fantasy crop following a prolific college career. Jeudy and Lamb are neck-and-neck, though we could see some separation following their landing spots. Likewise, Swift and Dobbins will need to step into good situations to maintain top-tier status.

6. Tee Higgins, WR Clemson

7. Cam Akers, RB Florida State

8. Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama

9. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB LSU

10. Justin Jefferson, WR LSU

11. Zack Moss, RB Utah

12. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR Colorado

13. Jalen Reagor, WR TCU

Aug 31, 2019; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Jalen Reagor (1) scores a touchdown during the second half against the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This is a fascinating group with five potential first-round wideouts. We also have some appealing running backs. Of these players, Akers is the most likely to jump tiers based on landing spot. The Florida State product is currently being slightly undervalued in some fantasy circles. We could say the opposite for Edwards-Helaire. There’s no denying his production for LSU last season, but the big concern is whether or not he has the size to be an NFL feature-back at just 5-foot-7 and 207 pounds.

14. Joe Burrow, QB LSU

15. Denzel Mims, WR Baylor

16. Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina

17. Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama

18. Michael Pittman Jr., WR USC

19. K.J. Hamler, WR Penn State

20. AJ Dillon, RB Boston College

21. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB Vanderbilt

Nov 16, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Riley Neal (6) fakes a handoff to Vanderbilt Commodores running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn (5) during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Stadium. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy is often different from reality. Running backs certainly matter in fantasy, and quarterbacks really don’t as much in 1QB formats. So while Burrow and Tagovailoa will be among the first handful of players selected on Thursday night, neither figure to be first-round rookie picks. It’s also worth noting the sheer depth of wide receiver in this year’s class. There’s a good chance that you’ll still be picking from extremely solid options well into the second round of your rookie drafts.

22. Adam Trautman, TE Dayton

23. Hunter Bryant, TE Washington

24. Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

25. Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State

26. Tyler Johnson, WR Minnesota

27. Cole Kmet, TE Notre Dame

28. Harrison Bryant, TE FAU

29. Anthony McFarland Jr., RB Maryland

30. Brycen Hopkins, TE Purdue

31. Jordan Love, QB Utah State

32. Eno Benjamin, RB Arizona State

Aug 30, 2019; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Utah State Aggies quarterback Jordan Love (10) jogs off the field after a touchdown in the second quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Does this year’s class have any standout premium tight ends? No. But there is a lot of depth to this class with players like Trautman, both Bryants, Kmet and Hopkins. The important thing to note is that it often takes several seasons for tight ends to start producing consistent fantasy numbers. Tight ends rarely step into the NFL and put up viable fantasy numbers. Keep that in mind with this class. It’s extremely unlikely that any of these guys are more than fantasy streamers in 2020, but I’m willing to wager that at least two of them emerge by 2023. I know, that’s a while, but good tight ends are worth the wait in dynasty leagues.

33. Chase Claypool, WR Notre Dame

34. Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR Liberty

35. Michael Warren II, RB Cincinnati

36. Lamical Perine, RB Florida

37. Jalen Hurts, QB Oklahoma

Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass against the LSU Tigers during the first quarter of the 2019 Peach Bowl college football playoff semifinal game. Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

38. Jacob Eason, QB Washington

39. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE Missouri

40. Jake Fromm, QB Georgia

41. C.J. O'Grady, TE Arkansas

42. Salvon Ahmed, RB Washington

43. DeeJay Dallas, RB Miami

44. Darrynton Evans, RB Appalachian State

45. Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR Michigan

46. Devin Duvernay, WR Texas

47. LeVante Bellamy, RB Western Michigan

Oct 26, 2019; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Devin Duvernay (6) catches a touchdown pass past TCU Horned Frogs safety Trevon Moehrig (7) during the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The middle rounds of dynasty rookie drafts pose some challenges but can also yield fantasy gold if you target the right guys. There are a number of running backs in this tier who will be worth a look. It’s unlikely any of them will be in the “potential starter” conversation out of the gate, but players like Warren, Ahmed, Dallas, Evans and Bellamy could all potentially surface at some point during their rookie seasons as backups who step in due to injury.

48. Jared Pinkney, TE Vanderbilt

49. Anthony Gordon, QB Washington State

50. Cole McDonald, QB Hawai'i

51. Thaddeus Moss, TE LSU

52. Joshua Kelley, RB UCLA

53. Patrick Taylor Jr., RB Memphis

54. Lynn Bowden Jr., WR Kentucky

55. Steven Montez, QB Colorado

56. K.J. Hill, WR Ohio State

57. Omar Bayless, WR Arkansas State

58. Antonio Gibson, WR Memphis

59. Darius Anderson, RB TCU

60. Colby Parkinson, TE Stanford

Nov 9, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver K.J. Hill (14) scores a touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins during the second quarter at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in flier territory at this point in the rankings, but there are still intriguing prospects. The two who stick out the most are Bowden and Gibson. Both players offer an “offensive weapon” skill set, so position classification is going to be key. But they’re both extremely athletic and could be fantasy diamonds in the rough.

61. Isaiah Hodgins, WR Oregon State

62. Javon Leake, RB Maryland

63. James Robinson, RB Illinois State

64. Raymond Calais, RB Louisiana-Lafayette

65. Gabriel Davis, WR UCF

66. Devin Asiasi, TE UCLA

67. Charlie Taumoepeau, TE Portland State

68. J.J. Taylor, RB Arizona

69. Quintez Cephus, WR Wisconsin

70. James Proche, WR SMU

71. Quartney Davis, WR Texas A&M

72. JaMycal Hasty, RB Baylor

73. Shea Patterson, QB Michigan

74. John Hightower, WR Boise State

75. Van Jefferson, WR Florida

76. Collin Johnson, WR Texas

77. Jauan Jennings, WR Tennessee

78. Josiah Deguara, TE Cincinnati

Jan 2, 2020; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats tight end Josiah Deguara (83) pushes away Boston College Eagles defensive back Mike Palmer (18) at Legion Field. Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

79. Tony Jones Jr., RB Notre Dame

80. Kalija Lipscomb, WR Vanderbilt

81. Cody White, WR Michigan State

82. Aaron Fuller, WR Washington

83. Nate Stanley, QB Iowa

84. Benny LeMay, RB UNC-Charlotte

85. Marquez Callaway, WR Tennessee

86. Jacob Breeland, TE Oregon

87. Stephen Sullivan, TE LSU

88. Darrell Stewart Jr., WR Michigan State

89. Binjimen Victor, WR Ohio State

90. Aaron Parker, WR Rhode Island

91. Joe Reed, WR Virginia

92. Scottie Phillips, RB Ole Miss

93. Stephen Guidry, WR Mississippi State

94. Isaiah Coulter, WR Rhode Island

95. Austin Mack, WR Ohio State

96. Mitchell Wilcox, TE South Florida

97. Sewo Olonilua, RB TCU

98. Quez Watkins, WR Mississippi State

99. Darnell Mooney, WR Tulane

Oct 5, 2019; West Point, NY, USA; Tulane Green Wave wide receiver Darnell Mooney (3) runs after a catch against Army Black Knights defensive back Jabari Moore (28) during the second half at Michie Stadium. Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

100. Sean McKeon, TE Michigan

101. Rico Dowdle, RB South Carolina

102. Malcolm Perry, WR Navy

103. Kendrick Rogers, WR Texas A&M

104. Juwan Johnson, WR Oregon

105. K.J. Osborn, WR Miami

106. Lawrence Cager, WR Georgia

107. Tyrie Cleveland, WR Florida

108. Brian Herrien, RB Georgia

109. Dalton Keene, TE Virginia Tech

110. Dominick Wood-Anderson, TE Tennessee

111. Brian Lewerke, QB Michigan State

112. Kelly Bryant, QB Missouri

113. Reggie Corbin, RB Illinois

114. Trishton Jackson, WR Syracuse

115. Jeff Thomas, WR Miami

116. Chris Finke, WR Notre Dame

117. Joey Magnifico, TE Memphis

118. Tyler Huntley, QB Utah

119. Josh Love, QB San Jose State

120. Kevin Davidson, QB Princeton

121. Dezmon Patmon, WR Washington State

122. Charlie Woerner, TE Georgia

123. Jake Luton, QB Oregon State

124. James Morgan, QB Florida International

125. Kyle Markway, TE South Carolina

126. Freddie Swain, WR Florida

127. Mason Fine, QB North Texas

128. Tony Brown, WR Colorado

129. Ty'Son Williams, RB BYU

130. Nathan Rourke, QB Ohio

131. Jason Huntley, RB New Mexico State

132. Nick Westbrook, WR Indiana

133. Isaiah Wright, WR Temple

134. Tra Barnett, RB Georgia State

135. Adrian Killins Jr., RB UCF

136. Gerold Bright, RB Utah State

137. Luke Farrell, TE Ohio State

138. Diondre Overton, WR Clemson

139. Ja'Marcus Bradley, WR Louisiana-Lafayette

140. Kirk Merritt, WR Arkansas State

141. Ben Ellefson, TE North Dakota State

142. Khalil Tate, QB Arizona

143. Blake Barnett, QB South Florida

144. Tavien Feaster, RB South Carolina

145. Xavier Jones, RB SMU

146. Jared Rice, TE Fresno State

147. Noah Togiai, TE Oregon State

148. DeShawn McClease, RB Virginia Tech

149. Tra Minter, RB South Alabama

150. Pete Guerriero, RB Monmouth

151. Moe Neal, RB Syracuse

152. Bryce Perkins, QB Virginia

153. Riley Neal, QB Vanderbilt

154. Juwan Washington, RB San Diego State

155. James Gilbert, RB Kansas State

156. Corey Dauphine, RB Tulane

157. Mason Kinsey, WR Berry College

158. Rodney Smith, RB Minnesota

159. Darius Bradwell, RB Tulane

160. Cade Carney, RB Wake Forest

161. Tyler Mabry, TE Maryland

162. Jack Freudenthal, TE Wake Forest

163. Easop Winston Jr., WR Washington State

164. Johnathon Johnson, WR Missouri

165. Kennedy McKoy, RB West Virginia

166. Jonathan Ward, RB Central Michigan

167. Marvin Kinsey Jr., RB Colorado State

168. Tommy Stevens, QB Mississippi State

169. Case Cookus, QB Northern Arizona

170. Patrick Carr, RB Houston

171. Devin Cates, TE Drake

172. Kyle Penniston, TE Rutgers

173. Cedric Byrd II, WR Hawai'i

174. Christian Gibson, RB New Mexico State

175. Antonio Williams, RB North Carolina State

176. Nick Tiano, QB Chattanooga

177. Jacob Knipp, QB Northern Colorado

178. Nick Eubanks, TE Michigan

179. Matt Seybert, TE Michigan State

180. Nick Bowers, TE Penn State

181. Derrick Dillon, WR LSU

182. Isaiah Zuber, WR Mississippi State

183. Jo-El Shaw, RB Kent State

184. Cameron Scarlett, RB Stanford

185. Kurt Rawlings, QB Yale

186. Chase Allen, TE Iowa State

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