Freedman’s Way-Too-Early 2020 Rookie Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: D’Andre Swift
- Matthew Freedman reveals his way-too-early 2020 rookie dynasty fantasy football rankings.
- Find out how he stacks Georgia RB D'Andre Swift, Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy and more.
The 2019 NFL regular season is over, so it’s time to look ahead to the 2020 NFL draft.
Looking back at my top 50 rookies for the 2019 class, I’m pleased with how my dynasty rankings turned out. I missed on a few players — I was too low on Terry McLaurin and Devin Singletary — but there will always be misses, and I was appropriately high on Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Kyler Murray and A.J. Brown and correctly low on David Montgomery and Darrell Henderson.
Some of the big-name underclassmen are starting to declare for the draft, so my rankings will certainly change in the coming weeks and months, but right now the 2020 class looks absolutely stacked and is especially loaded with high-value 21-year-old prospects.
With so many young producers, this class will likely offer multiple Round 1 talents in the middle of the Round 2.
If you can acquire extra picks for rookie drafts, do it.
Here’s a quick glance at my way-too-early rankings for 2020 rookie drafts in dynasty leagues.
2020 Rookie Dynasty Rankings: Round 1
1) D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
2) Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
3) CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
4) Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
5) Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
6) Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
7) Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
8) J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
9) Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
10) Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
11) Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
12) Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Running back D’Andre Swift (Georgia) and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) are almost universally recognized as the top picks in 2020 rookie drafts. I don’t see much of a difference right now between the two. If you have the No. 1 pick, whom you select probably comes down to positional need more than anything else.
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma) has back-to-back years with 1,000-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns. If you had him ahead of Jeudy, I wouldn’t blame you.
Running backs Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) and Travis Etienne (Clemson) are strong options in the top six. Both have good size and three-down ability and look like future lead backs. It wouldn’t be surprising if either had a better career than Swift.
Wide receivers Tee Higgins (Clemson) and Justin Jefferson (LSU) have both dominated as true juniors, but are rather dissimilar.
Higgins entered college as a big-bodied coveted five-star recruit and has been a steady contributor since his freshman season. Jefferson, meanwhile, is a rail-thin receiver who enrolled at LSU as a three-star player and underwhelmed before massively breaking out this year. Both strike me as good NFL receivers.
Running back J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State) has been one of the most productive backs in college football over the past three years. I give the slight edge to Taylor and Etienne because they’re younger and more accomplished as receivers.
Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (Colorado) entered the year with a lot of hype, but he disappointed with just 925 yards and six touchdowns. But he’s a big-bodied, versatile playmaker who did it all in 2018 with 86-1,011-6 receiving and 17-115-5 rushing in just nine games.
Running backs Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State) and Cam Akers (Florida State) are 21-year-old lead backs with good size and pass-catching ability. In almost any other year, they would both be top-five selections.
Wide receiver Tyler Johnson (Minnesota) is the only senior I have ranked in Round 1. Instead of entering the draft last year, he returned to school and put up his second straight season with 1,000-plus yards and 12-plus touchdowns. He’s an all-around good receiver who can probably play any role at the position.
13) A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College
14) DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
15) Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
16) Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
17) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
18) Eno Benjamin RB Arizona State
19) Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
20) Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
21) Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
22) Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
23) Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
24) Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Running back A.J. Dillon (Boston College) doesn’t offer much as a receiver, but he’s been a dominant rusher for three years and is incredibly hard to tackle because of his linebacker-like size.
Wide receivers DeVonta Smith (Alabama) and Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty) are about as different as two receivers can be. Smith is an undersized five-star recruit who did little at a heralded program before breaking out this year. AGG is a big-bodied two-star recruit who had three consecutive 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown seasons for a small-school team.
I’m probably way too high on Gandy-Golden, but his size, consistency and dominance intrigue me.
Running backs Najee Harris (Alabama), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU) and Eno Benjamin (Arizona State) all have lead back potential. Harris is the next Alabama back who will have at least one season of fantasy relevance. CEH is built exactly like Maurice Jones and is especially strong as a receiver. Benjamin has back-to-back 1,400-yard, 12-touchdown seasons and is a three-down player.
Wide receivers Jalen Reagor (TCU), Michael Pittman Jr. (Southern California) and Henry Ruggs III (Alabama) are upside players with question marks.
Is Reagor really as fast as advertised, and why did he regress in 2019 after putting up 1,231 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018?
Pittman was dominant this year with a 101-1,275-11 receiving performance, but is he just a one-year wonder?
Ruggs was a five-star recruit and reportedly has elite speed, but if he’s so talented, why has he never cracked 1,000 yards in a season?
Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri) is the top option in a relatively weak class at the position. He dominated as a freshman with 11 touchdowns in 2017, but since then he’s amassed just 772 yards and 12 touchdowns. Still, he seems unlikely to be selected later than Round 2 in the NFL draft.
Running backs Kylin Hill (Mississippi State) and Zack Moss (Utah) are workmanlike options with lead back potential. Hill is a 1,500-yard SEC producer with good size and some receiving ability. Moss is an established grinder with three straight seasons as a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown starter.
25) Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
26) Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
27) Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis
28) Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
29) Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
30) Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
31) Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
32) James Proche, WR, SMU
33) Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
34) Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
35) Omar Bayless, WR, Arkansas State
36) Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
Quarterback Joe Burrow (LSU) is an old transfer who didn’t flash till his redshirt senior season. But he’s also a Heisman Trophy-winning, touchdown-slinging presumed No. 1 NFL pick with two years of starting experience. He’s worth taking in Round 3.
Wide receivers Gabriel Davis (UCF), Antonio Gibson (Memphis) and Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon State) are all big-bodied producers with upside.
Davis turns 21 in 2020 and is coming off a 1,200-12 season. Gibson is way off the radar, but he has a Tony Pollard-esque quality with his 38-735-8 receiving, 33-369-4 rushing and 23-645-1 kick-returning stat lines this year. Hodgins is a four-star recruit with an 1,100-13 campaign and near-elite contested-catch skills.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) would likely be higher in the rankings if not for his potentially career-altering hip injury.
Wide receivers Chase Claypool (Notre Dame), Denzel Sims (Baylor) and James Proche (SMU) are seniors with good final-season production. Claypool is a massive receiver with four-star pedigree. Sims has good size and two 1,000-yard seasons to his name. Proche is small relative to the other receivers in this class, but he’s not diminutive, and he has back-to-back 1,200-12 campaigns in the SMU spread offense.
Quarterback Justin Herbert (Oregon) is likely to be a top-10 selection in the NFL draft. A starter for most of the past four seasons, Herbert is a perfectly reasonable (and sort of nondescript) passing prospect.
Wide receivers Bryan Edwards (South Carolina) and Omar Bayless (Arkansas State) are polar opposites.
Edwards has been a hyped prospect for years with three straight 800-yard seasons, but he’s never crossed the 1,000-yard threshold. Bayless entered college as an unknown player, and he did little before this season, but in 2019, he led the nation with his 93-1,653-17 receiving line.
Tight end Harrison Bryant (Florida Atlantic) is the 2019 John Mackey Award winner as the top player at the position, and several recipients over the past decade — T.J. Hockenson (2018), Mark Andrews (2017), Hunter Henry (2015), Tyler Eifert (2012), Dwayne Allen (2011) and Aaron Hernandez (2009) — have had sustained fantasy relevance. Bryant is coming off a dominant 1,000-yard season.
Freedman’s Full 2020 Rookie Dynasty Rankings
Matthew Freedman is 551-427-22 (56.3%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app. He’s the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.