Fantasy Football: Top 10 Dynasty Rookies (Pre-Draft)

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Situation and opportunity is the key to player success in fantasy football. Skill level remains the main X-factor, but it is truly a mix of those three aspects. With the NFL Draft beginning tomorrow, we are oh so close to finding out some more context about the upcoming rookie class for the 2020 season and onward. However, before that event occurs, I am going to take a look at the best prospects for fantasy purposes based on their ability.

10) Tua Tagovailoa

Tua’s biggest concern is health. Quite honestly, it is likely in his best interest to sit out his rookie season. However, there is no question surrounding his ability. If he stays on the field, Tua should be one of the better franchise quarterbacks in the game. We will see just how far he ends up falling, but I love his long-term outlook if he ends up with the Chargers or the Dolphins, two landing spots that appear the most likely. The Chargers already have a ton of weapons in place, and a great placeholder in Tyrod Taylor to allow him to develop. Down in South Beach, things are still a work in progress, but they are turning the corner as a franchise. Devante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki is a talented young core of pass catchers for him to work with, and they have a plethora of picks to build a solid foundation for years to come.

9) Joe Burrow

Quarterbacks are way less of a priority for fantasy football purposes. However, Joe Burrow is set to be the first player off the board for a reason. He is a special talent. The Bengals will have a healthy line once again; we will see how Joe Mixon’s holdout goes, and they have A.J. green for at least one more season. I am not sure it is going to be a smooth start to his career, but over time, Burrow should be among the best quarterbacks in football and has the skill set to put up elite numbers down the road. It is hard to bet on the Bengals but easy to bet on Burrow.

8) Justin Jefferson

Jefferson will be a first-round pick, but he is almost a forgotten man of sorts due to Jerry Jeudy and Ceedee Lamb being cant-miss, elite prospects. However, he should be an outstanding NFL receiver. Sure, he may have benefitted a bit from the situation at LSU last season, but putting up a 1,540-yard season in the SEC does not happen by accident. LSU has an excellent track record of producing playmaking wide receivers, and Jefferson is next in line.

7) Henry Ruggs III

Ruggs should benefit from being the top target in an offense. At the minimum, I think he will be an elite number two receiver, a home run hitter like DeSean Jackson. Do not consider me in the camp that says he should be the top receiver off the board, but he will push John Ross for being the fastest. Fantasy football is about getting in the endzone, and he has a knack for making plays in the redzone. I value him higher in standard leagues than PPR because he will not likely catch a ton of passes, but average a ton of yards per target.

6) DeAndre Swift

I am lower on Swift than some, but I will not deny he has the makings of a quality starting NFL running back. UGA has put some great ones in the NFL in recent years, and he should be no different, there are just a few backs I like a bit more.

5) J.K. Dobbins

Workhorse is the perfect word to describe Dobbins, and assuming he plays the same role in the NFL; fantasy owners should be satisfied in what has become more of a committee league. Even better is that Dobbins is the type of player a team can run their offense through. He is a home run hitter and was utilized more in the passing game last season. 

4) Clyde Edwards-Helaire

CEH reminds me so much of Ray Rice — a sturdy back with a great center of gravity that is sneaky slippery. I also liked his pass-catching work last season, and he seems very durable. Edwards-Helaire showed he is capable of handling a considerable workload, and he should make an NFL team, and fantasy football owners, very happy.

3) CeeDee Lamb

Man, it was a tough toss-up between Lamb and Jeudy for my top receiver spot, and you could almost consider them 2A and 2B. Lamb’s moves out in space are ridiculous, and he is a lock to be a high-end WR1 in the NFL. The Oklahoma product is as good as it gets as a playmaker at the position.

2) Jerry Jeudy

The reason I ultimately ended up giving Jeudy the slight edge over Lamb is that the day he steps on a football field, he should be viewed as a number one wideout and one of the best route-runners in the game. Jeudy is a cant-miss prospect with multiple 1,000-yard seasons ahead of him.

1) Jonathan Taylor 

This one may surprise you, but I believe that Jonathan Taylor is the next elite fantasy football running back. He put up unreal production at Wisconsin, and there is no indication he will be slowing down any time soon. Taylor is the type of player an NFL team can run their entire offense through, and since he has improved in the passing game, he should remain a three-down back. It will come down to the situation, but Taylor has run for back-to-back 2,000-yard seasons, and the only concern here as far as dynasty purposes go is the mileage.

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