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Which NFL rookies landed in the best fantasy football situations?

Which NFL rookies landed in the best fantasy football situations?

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. 

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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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Making a case for a DC-themed name for the Washington Football Team

Making a case for a DC-themed name for the Washington Football Team

It's been several weeks since the Washington Football Team announced it was retiring its former name and logo after more than 80 years. Ever since FedEx became the first known sponsor to formally ask Washington to change its name, fans have taken to social media to voice some of their favorites among potential replacements. I spoke with several marketing experts about a few of the fan-generated names, and will use their responses to make a case for some of the most popular suggestions. This is the case for a DC-themed name.

Case for: Washington, D.C.

If there was one sentiment most common amongst the marketing experts interviewed for this project, it was that the Washington Football Team’s best option for a new name is something related to the city the team plays in.

This opinion wasn’t specific to Washington, D.C., as the experts cited other sports teams with great brands related to the city they represent, but the experts did cite the unique opportunities D.C. provides for a brand.

“The general rule of thumb for sports franchise branding is to tap into the elements of a city, a geography, a people that is highly relevant, highly aligned with how people in that area identify themselves,” said Whitney Wagoner, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at University of Oregon. “The Pittsburgh Steelers are called the Pittsburgh Steelers for a reason. And that identity, that industry, working class, blue collar, hard hat kind’ve imagery really speaks emotionally to people in that city. And that is the strength of that connection, and that’s the strength of that brand. So, in general, you want to find things that really best represent the culture and the people and the uniqueness of that city, of that region.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THIS FAN CONCEPT FOR THE WASHINGTON POTOMACS AS A DC-THEMED NAME

“And so what are those things in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area about people from there? What is to be from there? And the more you can align and tap into those things, conventional wisdom says the stronger that connection, the better the fan base connection will be.”

If done correctly, the Washington Football Team should be able strengthen an already loyal fan base by picking a name based on its city. Tapping into the region is a way to not only pacify some of the fans upset about a name change, but also gain new fans in the people who were not so fond of the previous brand. Doing it correctly, however, will take time, which is why it was wise for the team to temporarily change its name to Washington Football Team for this upcoming season.

Fans have tossed around names like the Senators, Generals and Monuments, but the marketing experts don’t like any of those to win people over. The Washington Senators already existed as the city’s Major League Baseball team until the franchise relocated in 1961. The Washington Generals still exist, but as the frequent lovable losers to the Harlem Globetrotters. And the Monuments, according to RedPeg Marketing CEO Brad Nierenberg, don’t have much energy.

RELATED: GLOBETROTTERS WILLING TO SELL WASHINGTON GENERALS NAME TO WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM

“They’re not gonna be a name that is gonna create energy,” Nierenberg said. “That passion, it doesn’t evoke the type of emotion that a fan base is gonna be rallying around.”

Tim Derdenger, associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, said a name like the Monuments would become a running joke. But according to his research, if the right name does exist for the team to connect its brand to the city, that is the direction the team should go.

“I did some analysis of that,” Derdenger said, “and what I’ve found is that teams that actually have a connection -- the team brand and name that has a connection to the local environment -- has actually stronger brand equity, higher brand equity.”

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If Washington opts to go in this direction, it wouldn’t be the first professional sports team in the region to do so, and by all accounts, the others have built pretty successful brands. The Washington Capitals struggled for many years after their inception in the mid-1970’s but became a successful brand even before winning their first Stanley Cup title in 2018. Same can be said for the Washington Nationals, who broke through for their first World Series title a year later. Winning obviously helps strengthen a brand, but how that brand sustains through losing is a better judge of how good it is.

Thanks to its location, Washington can create that very type of brand by appealing to more than just people in DMV area. Playing in the capital of the United States also allows the team to build a brand around a name that represents the entire country.

“I think that would be one of their strongest brand elements for them to bring forward,” said Keith Scully, CEO of Strategic-Noise Group and a graduate adjunct professor at Georgetown and American universities. “I think it would be accepted better as well, both on those current customers that they have as well as a nation.

“Taking a look at the Americans, something like that. Something that’s wholesome, and it’s Washington, D.C. How do you go ahead and develop an emotion that goes along with the country. I think they’re in the only place in the United States that can do it. Why not try it?”

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Packers won't have fans for 1st two home games

Packers won't have fans for 1st two home games

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers say they won't have any fans for at least their first two home games this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Lambeau Field will not be the same without our fans' energetic support in the stands," Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. "Given the extraordinary circumstances this year and the additional protocols in place, though, we determined it was best to take incremental steps to start the regular season. These two games will allow us to focus our attention on safely conducting games inside the stadium with all necessary participants."

That means there won't be any spectators for their Sept. 20 game with the Detroit Lions and their Oct. 5 Monday night game with the Atlanta Falcons.

Green Bay's third home game is Nov. 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. Packers officials say any decision on whether to admit fans for that game would depend on the status of the pandemic, and that they'd consult with local health officials.

This announcement comes two weeks after Packers CEO Mark Murphy had said that any Packers home games this year would include no more than 10,000-12,000 spectators, if any fans were allowed at all.

All other public areas at Lambeau Field, including parking lots, the pro shop and the Packers Hall of Fame, will be closed during the home games that have no fans. The Titletown area surrounding Lambeau Field will remain open to the public, but no team-run, game-day activities will be planned.