With the 2020 NFL Draft over, the next important draft for millions of fans will be in the fantasy football world. Rookies have now found their new homes on offense, and there are a lot who are in a position to make an instant impact both in the National Football League and fantasy leagues.
Here's a look at which first-year players' fantasy projections are trending up due to where they landed in the draft.
QB - Joe Burrow (Bengals)
For fantasy owners, the first thing to be considered when drafting a player is how much they will play. For a majority of the quarterbacks taken in the 2020 class, the answer doesn't look great, at least for the early portion of the season.
Joe Burrow is the exception. The No. 1 overall pick looks to be in line to open up the season as the starter in Cincinnati. Though veteran Andy Dalton is still on the roster, there is a chance he is released before the season begins to save some money. Additionally, after a 2-14 season, the Bengals have nothing to lose by letting the future of their franchise hit the ground running from Day 1.
Just because Cincinnati struggled a lot last year doesn't mean Burrow can't find some decent success this year. Already beginning to study the playbook, Burrow has a chance to put his skillset to good use with offensive-minded head coach Zac Taylor. Having weapons like A.J. Green, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon doesn't hurt, either. Burrow has the best chance to be a starter Week 1, meaning he's the best fantasy option among rookie quarterbacks.
QB - Justin Herbert (Chargers)
Herbert may not start immediately due to Tyrod Taylor, but head coach Anthony Lynn believes it will be an open competition. If you're looking for someone to stash for later in the season or in a dynasty league, Herbert could be the guy. With a strong arm and sneaky athleticism, he'll have the chance to put up a lot of numbers in an LA offense that has the likes of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Herbert heading to the Chargers puts him in a situation where he can thrive in the long run.
RB - Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Chiefs)
A shifty and explosive running back that can catch passes out of the backfield heading to an innovative offense that loves to get its running backs in open space. The LSU running back heading to Kansas City seems like a match made in heaven.
He won't be an every-down back, but he'll have his fair share of opportunities to touch the football. In an offense that can score at will like the Chiefs', that's all fantasy owners can hope for.
RB - J.K. Dobbins (Ravens)
Dobbins is a workhorse that ran the ball 301 times for Ohio State in 2019. With Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson still commanding the rushing game for the Ravens, he won't get as many chances in 2020. However, he's a bruising and quick runner that is joining a team that loves to run the ball more than anyone else.
Dobbins' skill will earn him reps in the offense, and if the Ravens continue to run the ball like they have the last couple of seasons, he'll have fantasy value.
WR CeeDee Lamb (Cowboys)
Lamb may not have been who the Cowboys expected to grab in the first round, but when he fell to them it was a pick that they had to make. Both sides will benefit from that decision.
Lamb won't be the number one option right away, he may not even be number two. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are both very talented receivers who already have a connection with Dak Prescott. But don't let that scare you away. The former Oklahoma pass catcher has exceptional ball skills and big-play ability that will allow him to garner targets right out of the gate.
Cooper will demand double teams at times, leaving someone else open. When it's Lamb, you'll want him on your fantasy team.
WR Jerry Jeudy (Broncos)
After showing flashes of good QB play in 2019, the offense is Drew Lock's in 2020. Denver will most likely open up the offense a little more for the second-year passer and allow him to stretch the field more.
Jeudy, who may be the most polished receiver in what was a very talented class, will get a buckle of the targets right away. Courtland Sutton is another viable option for the Broncos, but there's no reason to think Jeudy couldn't assert himself as the main weapon in Denver during his rookie season.
TE Devin Asiasi (Patriots)
Strong fantasy tight ends are hard to find, strong fantasy tight ends that are rookies are even harder to locate. This will be no different in 2020. Cole Kmet may have the greatest upside, but he'll be busy dealing with a mess in Chicago that includes quarterback questions, Jimmy Graham and eight other tight ends on the roster.
So, while no rookie at this position may do much fantasy-wise, Asiasi is the best bet. The Patriots are in need of weapons, and Bill Belichick has been able to create success for tight ends in the past. At 6-5, 280 pounds, Asiasi can at least get some red zone work early on and potentially give fantasy owners a few touchdowns.
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