Fantasy Football 2020: Updated Rankings and Rookie Sleepers Following NFL Draft

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2020

Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (22 runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The 2020 NFL draft was an exciting and intriguing event for football fans. They got to see the next generation of NFL stars get called up, sowing thoughts of how their favorite teams could perform next season and beyond.

For fantasy football enthusiasts, the draft sparks dreams of winning leagues with fresh rookie talent or ascending late-round draft targets.

Many a manager has already thought about making Clyde Edwards-Helaire a prime draft target or going after Drew Lock now that he'll be throwing to the likes of Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler.

While some fantasy repercussions from the draft are obvious, others are less so. Here, we'll examine some potential rookie sleepers who will be worth taking a flier on late in fantasy drafts. These aren't must-adds, mind you—unproven rookies rarely are—but potential steals worth stashing on the back end of your roster.

First, though, an updated look at the PPR rankings.


2020 Fantasy Football Rankings, PPR

1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

2. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

3. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

4. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

5. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

6. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

9. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

10. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

11. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

12. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

14. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

15. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

16. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

17. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

18. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

19. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions

21. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

22. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

23. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals

24. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers

25. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

26. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

27. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

28. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

29. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

30. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

31. Odell Beckham jr., WR, Cleveland Browns

32. Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons

33. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

34. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

35. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

36. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

37. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

38. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

39. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

40. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

41. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills

42. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos

43. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens

44. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

45. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

46. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

47. DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

48. Mark Ingram II, RB, Baltimore Ravens

49. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

50. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals


Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Buffalo Bills used a third-round pick on former Utah running back Zack Moss. While the presence of Devin Singletary makes Moss seem like a luxury pick, this is precisely why he's a fantasy sleeper.

Singletary is undoubtedly talented and will remain Buffalo's home-run-hitter. However, the departure of Frank Gore leaves open a grinder role that Moss can fill perfectly. The 5'9", 223-pound back is a battering ram between the tackle and can be a nightmare in short-yardage situations.

While some rookie backs might want to be the lead guy at the next level, the 22-year-old appears comfortable being the complementary hammer to Singletary.

"[Singletary] hit me up the same night," Moss said, per Dana Greene of ABC4.com. "So, I'm ready to get out there and get to work with a guy like that. It's two young guys that want to do a lot of big things in the league."

For the record, Gore had 699 rushing and receiving yards last season. Moss could have even better numbers as a rookie.


Adam Trautman, TE, New Orleans Saints

When searching for a deep sleeper, it's usually a good idea to target players landing in prolific offenses. A fourth or fifth option can be a viable streaming option when his team is dropping 30-40 points per game. 

This is why it's worth keeping tabs on former Dayton receiver Adam Trautman. The former Flyers player was scooped up by the New Orleans Saints in Round 3 and could quickly earn himself a role in the offense.

While the Saints have Pro Bowler Jared Cook at tight end, Trautman has the potential to be a more dynamic receiving threat. Just last season, he caught 70 passes for 916 yards and 14 touchdowns. At 6'5" and 255 pounds, he should be a prime red-zone target at the very least as a rookie. 

The 23-year-old should be able to pass blocking tight end Josh Hill on the depth chart—at least when it comes to passing situations. From there, he could become one of Drew Brees' favorite short-yardage and goal-line targets.

Make no mistake, Trautman is a deep sleeper. If you already have a weekly must-start at the position, though, he'll be worth the flier.


Anthony McFarland Jr., RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

New Pittsburgh Steelers running back Anthony McFarland Jr. is a bit safer of a pick than Trautman.

With James Conner coming off a disappointing campaign—for the Steelers and fantasy managers alike—the 22-year-old Maryland product could have an open shot at the starting job.

With a healthy Ben Roethlisberger healthy and back under center, that starting job is going to carry a lot of fantasy value.

Pittsburgh's fourth-round pick has the skill set needed to make an early impact too. At 208 pounds and with 4.44 speed, he can both bang between the tackles and race past defenders on the perimeter.

Limited by an ankle sprain in 2019, McFarland was much more productive the year before—he racked up 1,034 rushing yards and four touchdowns for Maryland in 2018.

A lot is going to depend on Conner and the rest of Pittsburgh's backfield situation, so McFarland will be a player to watch closely during training camp.