Fantasy Football 2020: Early Mock Draft and Rankings Before Training Camps

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2020

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

As NFL training camps open, coaches will take the first look at their players on the practice field. Fantasy managers have to assemble their draft boards with some cold guesses as to how roles shape up through the summer.

According to MMQB's Albert Breer, teams won't have padded practices until late August. The NFL and the players association agreed to zero preseason games, so this offseason takes a difficult turn in projecting rookie outlooks. Even with glowing reports from scrimmages, managers should take the optimism for first-year talents with a grain of salt. 

Perhaps temper your expectations for players in new offenses and prioritize continuity.

Before you take a fresh look at the draft pool, consider an early first-round mock with a top 50 list of players for point-per-reception leagues below. We've also predicted the biggest breakout, best sleeper pick and the top rookie contributor for 2020.


2020 Fantasy Football 1st-Round Mock Draft

1.01: RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

1.02: RB Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

1.03: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

1.04: RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

1.05: RB Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

1.06: RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

1.07: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

1.08: WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

1.09: WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

1.10: RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

1.11: RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

1.12: RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns


2020 Fantasy Football Top 50

1. RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

2. RB Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

3. RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

4. RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

5. RB Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

6. RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

7. RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

8. WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

9. WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

10. RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

11. RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

12. RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

13. WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

14. RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals

15. RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

16. WR DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

17. RB Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

18. RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

19. QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

20. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

21. RB Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons

22. WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

23. WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

24. RB David Johnson, Houston Texans

25. TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

26. TE Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

27. WR Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

28. WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

29. WR Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30. RB Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos

31. RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

32. RB Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

33. WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

34. WR Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys

35. WR Odell Beckham Jr. Cleveland Browns

36. QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

37. RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers

38. WR Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears

39. TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

40. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

41. RB Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

42. RB Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

43. RB David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

44. WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

45. WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons

46. RB Mark Ingram II, Baltimore Ravens

47. RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

48. RB Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets

49. TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

50. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers


Biggest Breakout: QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals 

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

In his second season, Kyler Murray could post big numbers. Don't worry about the irregular offseason, he has experience in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's system. Furthermore, the front office acquired arguably one of the top five wide receivers in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins. 

Before the Houston Texans selected quarterback Deshaun Watson in the 2017 draft, Hopkins eclipsed 1,200 receiving yards during the 2014 and 2015 seasons with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett primarily under center. He's going to elevate the Cardinals passing game. 

Once Hopkins and Murray click, the young signal-caller will rack up yards and touchdowns in bunches.

Keep in mind, Murray ran for 544 yards and four touchdowns during his rookie term. Ideally, running back Kenyan Drake will take most of the hits on the ground, but Murray's ability to scramble won't just go away. That's part of his game and a strength when the pocket breaks down. 

After throwing for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last year, Murray should surpass 4,000 yards and crack 30 touchdowns through the air in 2020. He's not going to rush for Lamar Jackson numbers (1,206), but an extra 400-500 yards on the ground should satisfy fantasy owners.

FantasyPros ranks Murray 57th as the QB3 behind Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.


Best Sleeper Pick: RB Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

John Munson/Associated Press

The Buffalo Bills selected Zack Moss in the third round of April's draft. Without spring practice or a preseason, the rookie tailback may take some time to acclimate himself to the offense in live action.

Even if Moss eats into Devin Singletary's workload at some point in the season, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has relied heavily on the run over the last two terms. Buffalo ranked sixth in carries in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns.

Quarterback Josh Allen will likely take more shots downfield to his new wide receiver, Stefon Diggs, but expect the Bills to reinforce their offensive blueprint. Singletary and Moss should have enough touches to make an impact in fantasy leagues. 

As the more experienced running back, Singletary will probably handle the majority of the touches early in the season. If he's effective, the Bills may ride his hand throughout the year. 

In the Bills' last outing with the Houston Texans, Singletary had a solid showing, accumulating 134 yards from scrimmage on 19 touches. He's a dual-threat out of the backfield who's going to make strides in 2020.


Top Rookie: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is listed two spots above fellow rookie running back Jonathan Taylor in the top-50 rankings. 

Both first-year tailbacks will likely open the season as No. 2 options behind veterans Damien Williams in Kansas City and Marlon Mack in Indianapolis. 

Yet, Edwards-Helaire has a better chance of taking over a lead role. He's playing alongside a ball-carrier who hasn't eclipsed 500 rushing yards in a season. Mack ran for a career-high 1,091 yards in 2019.

In the context of a PPR league, we have to acknowledge Edwards-Helaire had a more active collegiate career as a receiver, hauling in 69 passes for 595 yards and a touchdown compared to Taylor's 42 receptions for 407 yards and five scores. On paper, their receiving numbers look similar, but the LSU product put his route-running skills on full display last season with 55 receptions for 453 yards.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has always fielded aggressive passing offenses, so Edwards-Helaire could easily carve out a role as a target in the flat and on screens. He'll share the load with Williams, though the touches may favor the rookie late in the campaign.