Fantasy Football 2020: Updated Rankings and Rookie Sleepers After NFL DraftMay 3, 2020
The 2020 NFL draft has come and gone, and a new crop of rookies is heading into the NFL. For fantasy football enthusiasts, this means that a whole new group of potential draft sleepers has arrived.
Longtime fantasy veterans know that while it's important not to miss on first- and second-round draft picks, it's equally important to find value in the middle and late rounds. Early selections can largely carry teams, but that's often not a possibility when injuries and bye weeks get involved.
This is why rookies can play huge roles on a championship fantasy team. With rare exceptions—Saquon Barkley being a recent one—rookies aren't drafted as highly as their veteran brethren. When those newcomers aren't high first-rounders, they can often be found on the back end of the draft.
There is risk involved, of course, as rookies are unproven at the NFL level. But once a starting lineup is largely filled, it's worth taking a chance on a rookie. The payoff can be enormous, and the floor isn't that much lower than it might be with a mid-tier fantasy backup.
Here we will examine some potential rookie sleepers who are worth picking up based on the situations they are joining. First, though, an updated look at 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. Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons
32. Odell Beckham jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
33. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
34. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
35. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
36. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
37. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
38. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
39. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
40. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills
41. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
42. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
43. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
44. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
45. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
46. DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
47. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
48. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
49. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
50. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts didn't get in on the draft's first-round receiver feeding frenzy. However, they did grab a receiver early on Day 2, taking USC's Michael Pittman Jr. with the 34th pick. Pittman enters a situation in which he can have an immediate fantasy impact.
For one, the Colts don't have an established No. 2 receiver opposite T.Y. Hilton. Indianapolis has the likes of Artavis Scott, Zach Pascal and unproven second-year man Parris Campbell. At 6'4" and with 4.52 speed, Pittman can be the big-bodied complement to Hilton out of the blocks.
"He was big. He's strong to the ball. He competes. He got better every year in college," general manager Chris Ballard said, per Jake Arthur of the team's official website. "He's the type of teammate we want. We think he's got a chance to be a heck of a player."
With Hilton stretching the field, Pittman should have opportunities to feast on intermediate routes. With Philip Rivers leading the offense instead of Jacoby Brissett, the Colts should be more balanced than run-heavy offensively. That further raises Pittman's ceiling.
Van Jefferson, WR, Los Angeles Rams
While the Colts are retooling their offense with a new quarterback, the Los Angeles Rams are going into another year with Jared Goff under center and Sean McVay running the show. While the Los Angeles offense experienced some hiccups in 2019, it still finished ranked 11th in scoring and seventh in yardage.
In terms of scheme, former Florida receiver and 57th overall pick Van Jefferson couldn't ask for a better landing spot. McVay's passing offense is all about timing and spacing, and that fits Jefferson perfectly.
"Jefferson has average size and won't run away from quality man coverage, but he will separate from it with premium route-running and unique looks and angles that keep cornerbacks on their heels," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote before the draft.
The Rams aren't short on receivers—their depth chart features Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds—but the offseason trade of Brandin Cooks should open up opportunities for Jefferson.
Cooks was limited to 14 games in 2019 and still finished with 42 catches, 583 yards and two touchdowns. This could be the floor for Jefferson.
Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears
If you are looking for a deep sleeper at the tight end position, former Notre Dame standout Cole Kmet is your target from this rookie class. The 6'6", 262-pound pass-catcher has 4.7 speed—making him a size-speed mismatch against most defensive backs and linebackers. Kmet possesses big-play potential.
"Once he's striding, he becomes a legitimate second-level threat with sneaky separation speed and intriguing ball skills," Zierlein wrote.
Kmet should be considered a deep sleeper for two reasons. For one, he shouldn't be drafted as a starting tight end. For those who even draft a backup tight end, the understudy shouldn't be targeted before the final few rounds.
The second reason is that his value will hinge on Chicago's starting quarterback. If the recently acquired Nick Foles wins the starting job, Kmet could overtake many starters on fantasy rosters. Foles worked wonders with Zach Ertz with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Kmet can be an Ertz-type target for him.
If Mitchell Trubisky remains the starter, Kmet will likely only have value as a backup. The presence of free-agent acquisition Jimmy Graham only hurts Kmet's value slightly. While Graham is little more than a big-bodied red-zone target, Kmet can be a true downfield weapon.