2020 Fantasy Football: Rookie-only mock draft indicates Fantasy demand ahead of the NFL Draft


The NFL Draft is expected to happen as planned on April 23. When all seven rounds are over, we’ll know where the incoming rookies are playing and can officially evaluate their Fantasy outlooks for 2020 and beyond.

But before the NFL Draft takes place, we wanted to evaluate the incoming rookies based on their talent alone, without knowing their fit on their future NFL teams. With that in mind, we held a four round rookie-only mock draft at the beginning of April.

The 12 managers in this PPR mock draft approached it as if they were adding the best-player available to an already established dynasty roster. And it will be interesting to see how these results change after the NFL Draft takes place.

Our draft order is as follows:

1. Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
2. Andrew Baumhor, CBS Sports HQ Producer 
3. Meron Berkson, CBS Sports HQ Producer 
4. Will Brinson, Senior NFL Writer 
5. Jack Capotorto, CBS Sports HQ Producer
6. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer  
7. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
8. Ben Gretch, Fantasy Editor
9. George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
10. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer 
11. R.J White, NFL Editor 
12. Ryan Wilson, NFL Draft Analyst

Round 1

1.1 Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
1.2 Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
1.3 D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
1.4 CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
1.5 J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
1.6 Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
1.7 Cam Akers, RB, FSU
1.8 Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
1.9 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
1.10 Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
1.11 Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
1.12 Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

The running back order was expected with Taylor the first one off the board, followed by Swift and Dobbins. That could change depending on where each guy lands, but that’s the order I like them as well. I also like Akers as the fourth running back in this class, with Edwards-Helaire right behind him. Those five have the chance to be standout Fantasy options depending on their NFL teams.

Jeudy and Lamb are the top two receivers in this class, and Jeudy went first here. I like Lamb slightly better, and both should be first-round picks in the NFL Draft. You can make an argument for Jefferson, Shenault, Ruggs, Reagor, Mims and Tee Higgins, who went in Round 2, to be the No. 3 receiver in this class, and I like Jefferson the best of that group. I have it ranked, for now, as Jefferson, Mims, Ruggs, Shenault, Higgins and Reagor. 

Round 2

2.1 Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2.2 Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
2.3 Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
2.4 Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
2.5 Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
2.6 Zack Moss, RB, Utah
2.7 K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
2.8 A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College
2.9 Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
2.10 Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
2.11 Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State
2.12 Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Higgins is a steal here in Round 2, and I also like the Aiyuk pick as well. I took Hamler, and he’s another receiver to consider as a top-10 option at his position.

The quarterbacks started coming off the board in Round 2, and Burrow will be the first one selected in most rookie drafts since he’s expected to go No. 1 overall to Cincinnati. Tagovailoa will likely be the No. 2 quarterback drafted, but No. 3 isn’t locked in yet. Love went third here, but Wilson likes him a lot as a prospect.

Round 3

3.1 Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
3.2 Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt
3.3 Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
3.4 Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
3.5 Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
3.6 Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
3.7 Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
3.8 Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
3.9 Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
3.10 Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
3.11 Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State
3.12 Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M

The tight ends were drafted in this round, but I was surprised to see Kmet as the first one selected. I like Hunter Bryant the best, followed by Trautman, Harrison Bryant and then Kmet, with Brycen Hopkins in the mix as well. Hopkins went in Round 4.

We finally saw Herbert selected in Round 3 as the No. 4 quarterback off the board, and Hurts was also drafted here. He could be a surprise Fantasy quarterback, but it’s doubtful he earns a starting job in 2020, barring an injury. 

Round 4

4.1 Anthony McFarland Jr., RB, Maryland 
4.2 Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
4.3 Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
4.4 K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
4.5 Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis
4.6 Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
4.7 Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
4.8 Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky
4.9 James Proche, WR, SMU
4.10 Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
4.11 Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
4.12 John Hightower, WR, Boise State

Some of my favorite picks in this round were McFarland, Hopkins, Hill, Bowden and Hightower. All should be considered sleepers, depending on where they end up in the NFL.

I also like Duvernay, who is a sleeper as well. He rounded out my draft of Akers, Hamler and Gandy-Golden, who could be one of the better receivers in this class from Liberty. I’m excited to see where he’s going to play this year.

Which players are poised for breakouts, which sleepers do you need to jump on, and which busts should you avoid at all costs in your Fantasy football league? Visit SportsLine now to get early rankings, plus see which WR is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.





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