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Updated Dynasty Rookie Rankings: Post-NFL Draft Risers and Fallers

As the calendar begins to lean towards the summer, that tells fantasy owners to ramp up their preparations for the upcoming season. But what is on tap first for many is the rookie draft. We've been through the scouting combine, the NFL Draft has come and gone, and we know where these rookies will be playing in 2020. The all-important landing spot has caused some repercussions in the rankings for these players. We have seen some players move up the board, while others have found their appeal take a bit of a hit.

Of course, we see the top of the rankings board filled with the players we were expecting to see land in fantasy friendly spots (i.e. Jonathan Taylor, CeeDee Lamb, and Jerry Jeudy). But what we saw with the 2020 NFL Draft was front offices placing more of an emphasis on depth at the skill positions and fit within their schemes. Not many were expecting to see Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the first running back off the board, but his fit within the Kansas City Chiefs offense is natural and now has him as one of the top players off the board in rookie drafts. This can not go overlooked as you prepare for drafts. Rookie drafts, and dynasty in general, owners must have an eye towards the future as well as trying to compete to win now.

With my rookie rankings now updated, it is time to look at the players that have moved up the board that you should be targeting in drafts. And of course, we must look at a few of the names that have slipped due to their landing spot and that you might need to avoid as your drafts begin to unfold.

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Brandon's Updated Dynasty Rookie Rankings

Rank Player Name Position
1 Jonathan Taylor RB
2 Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB
3 J.K. Dobbins RB
4 Cam Akers RB
5 D'Andre Swift RB
6 CeeDee Lamb WR
7 Jerry Jeudy WR
8 Joe Burrow QB
9 Ke'Shawn Vaughn RB
10 Tee Higgins WR
11 Jalen Reagor WR
12 Henry Ruggs III WR
13 Justin Jefferson WR
14 Zack Moss RB
15 Antonio Gibson RB
16 Denzel Mims WR
17 Michael Pittman Jr. WR
18 Laviska Shenault Jr. WR
19 Tua Tagovailoa QB
20 Joshua Kelley RB
21 Bryan Edwards WR
22 Brandon Aiyuk WR
23 A.J. Dillon RB
24 Anthony McFarland Jr. RB
25 Justin Herbert QB
26 Chase Claypool WR
27 Antonio Gandy-Golden WR
28 Devin Asiasi TE
29 Lamical Perine RB
30 Darrynton Evans RB
31 Tyler Johnson WR
32 Lynn Bowden Jr. RB
33 Adam Trautman TE
34 Cole Kmet TE
35 Van Jefferson WR
36 Eno Benjamin RB
37 Michael Warren II RB
38 Jalen Hurts QB
39 Dalton Keene TE
40 KJ Hamler WR
41 Donovan Peoples-Jones WR
42 Isaiah Hodgins WR
43 Harrison Bryant TE
44 Devin Duvernay WR
45 DeeJay Dallas RB
46 Colby Parkinson TE
47 Jordan Love QB
48 Quintez Cephus WR
49 Albert Okwuegbunam TE
50 Jacob Eason QB
51 Josiah Deguara TE
52 Gabriel Davis WR
53 Jake Fromm QB
54 JaMycal Hasty RB
55 Marquez Callaway WR
56 Jauan Jennings WR
57 Thaddeus Moss TE
58 K.J. Osborn WR
59 Darnell Mooney WR
60 Jason Huntley RB
61 Hunter Bryant TE
62 Rico Dowdle RB
63 K.J. Hill WR
64 John Hightower WR
65 Jared Pinkney TE
66 Quez Watkins WR
67 Salvon Ahmed RB
68 James Proche WR
69 Collin Johnson WR
70 Raymond Calais RB
71 Darius Anderson RB
72 Scottie Phillips RB
73 Brycen Hopkins TE
74 Dezmon Patmon WR
75 Freddie Swain WR
76 Cole McDonald QB
77 Isaiah Coulter WR
78 Joe Reed WR
79 Nate Stanley QB
80 Jake Luton QB
81 Tavien Feaster RB
82 J.J. Taylor RB
83 Tony Jones Jr. RB
84 Anthony Gordon QB
85 Patrick Taylor Jr. RB
86 Quartney Davis WR
87 Juwan Johnson WR
88 Jacob Breeland TE
89 Sewo Olonilua RB
90 James Robinson RB
91 Brian Lewerke QB
92 Omar Bayless WR
93 Rodney Smith RB
94 Levante Bellamy RB
95 Jacques Patrick RB
96 Kalija Lipscomb WR
97 Benny Lemay RB
98 Javon Leake RB
99 Isaiah Wright WR
100 Bryce Perkins QB
101 Kendrick Rogers WR
102 Adrian Killins Jr. RB
103 Lawrence Cager WR
104 Jeff Thomas WR
105 Ty'Son Williams RB
106 Aaron Fuller WR
107 Pete Guerriero RB
108 Travon McMillian RB
109 Matt Colburn RB
110 Reggie Corbin RB
111 Ronald Cleveland WR
112 Shun Brown WR
113 Calen Holt RB
114 Moe Neal RB
115 DeShawn McClease RB
116 Cheyenne O'Grady TE
117 Richie Worship RB
118 Tanner Mangum QB
119 Anthony Johnson WR
120 Damion Jeanpiere Jr. WR
121 Trey Sermon RB
122 Brody Oliver WR
123 Kennedy McKoy RB
124 Jacob Dolegala QB
125 Trevon Brown WR
126 Nyqwan Murray WR
127 Dorian Baker WR

 

Dynasty Rookie Risers

Antonio Gibson (RB, WAS)

Gibson is someone I have been high on throughout the process and has caught the eye of many fantasy owners with his selection to the Redskins. A player that was going overlooked before the NFL Draft, Gibson now finds himself firmly as a prospect to target in the second round of rookie drafts.

He can play at either running back or receiver in certain packages for the team that lost pass-catching threat, Chris Thompson, to the Jaguars. His explosive potential (12 TD on 71 touches in 2019) will undoubtedly be utilized by the Redskins. In what could be a busy backfield in 2020 (Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson, and Bryce Love), Gibson could make plays with limited touches and carve out a role as a flex play in PPR formats.

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Joshua Kelley (RB, LAC)

Another player that was a little below the radar before the NFL Draft, Kelley's selection to the Chargers is an intriguing landing spot. The team will likely feature Austin Ekeler in the backfield, leaving Kelley to compete with Justin Jackson as the compliment. Although the team does like Jackson, Kelley will be more adept to fill the Melvin Gordon III role.

A very productive back in college (1,000 yards and 12 scores in back to back seasons), Kelley does not shy away from contact and could come away with a short-yardage/goal-line back role early on. If he can come away with a consistent amount of touches in this offense early on, he will be well worth the second-round price tag that he currently has.

 

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, IND)

Pittman was the recipient of a fantastic landing spot coming out of the draft. He fills the role of a big-bodied receiver that the Colts have been desperately needing. He could develop a quick rapport with Philip Rivers, which could bode well for his scoring potential. But once Rivers is out of the picture the learning curve could take hold once again.

The big statistical jump for Pittman in 2019 (101 receptions for 1,269 yards and 11 TD) could be a sign of things to come as he should quickly take hold of the WR2 spot for the Colts. He is another player that has landed solidly into the second round of rookie drafts and holds a potentially high ceiling for fantasy owners.

 

Bryan Edwards (WR, LV)

Edwards is a player that was seeing a rise in his draft stock throughout the offseason. His selection to the Raiders cemented that rise as he could quickly become an integral part of the Raiders passing game. Coming in and competing against the likes of Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, and fellow rookie Henry Ruggs III, Edwards' ability should allow him to stake a claim on a starting job early in his career.

The downside for Edwards could be the play of Derek Carr, but with the number of weapons now at his disposal, it will be a make-or-break season for Carr. Edwards could become a player that produces despite the situation, much like A.J. Brown a season ago. He is a fringe second-round pick at the moment but has the skillset and potential to produce with the top names in this year's class.

 

Dynasty Rookie Fallers

Laviska Shenault (WR, JAX)

This is a bit of a downgrade for Shenault based on the landing spot. The Jaguars do not boast one of the league's premier passing attacks and he will be competing for usage with plenty of other receivers. Also, Shenault's attributes would be better utilized with a coaching staff that uses a more creative offensive scheme.

Instead, he will be at the mercy of a run-based attack, which will limit the scoring potential. Before the draft, I had Shenault as a fringe first/second pick. But with this landing spot, he drops down just a bit.

 

Zack Moss (RB, BUF)

It pains me to say this with Moss, but his landing spot with the Bills is one that could prove to be problematic. One of my top backs in the pre-draft process, Moss now finds himself in a committee backfield with rising talent Devin Singletary. The plan will be for the two of them to be a "thunder and lightning" duo, but Moss has the talent to be a three-down back in his own right.

There is some thought that this is more of an indictment on the Bills' thoughts on Singletary's ability to handle a heavy workload, but we saw this offense do very well down the stretch featuring him. Moss will file into the Frank Gore role in this offense, limiting his PPR potential. He is still a second-round prospect in rookie drafts, but that comes down from what should have been a first-round pick.

 

Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR, CLE)

One of the darlings from the scouting combine, Peoples-Jones was quickly shooting up pre-draft rankings boards. But he was still only valued as a Day 3 pick in the draft and was selected by the Browns.

The path to targets will be a tough one for him as time on the field will be sparse. His skillset leaves him limited and could likely be looking at a reserve role in the league during his stint. Someone that just a month ago was sneaking into the second round of rookie drafts, Peoples-Jones now likely falls out of the third round with the limited upside.

 

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

Kmet was largely considered the top tight end heading into the NFL Draft. But although the landing spot with the Bears seems intriguing, it will ultimately limit his upside. The Bears tend to underutilize the position from a fantasy standpoint with only two notable performances over the last six years (Trey Burton in 2018 and Martellus Bennett in 2014).

Kmet can buck the trend for this team but will be playing behind Jimmy Graham in 2020 and the offense could need an overhaul after next season. It's feasible that the Bears stunt his growth and progression at the next level, capping his fantasy potential. A player that could have been a fringe second-round pick now finds himself as a prospect floating around the end of the third or into the fourth in rookie drafts.

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