The 2020 NFL Draft is now in the books, so it’s time to start looking at the rookie players landing spots, continuing with RB this is Part 1. The objective of each of these articles is to dive into their fantasy outlook for the next few years.
Pick 32: Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs
Most analysts thought that Jonathan Taylor or D’Andre Swift were going to be the first RBs taken in the draft, but that wasn’t to happen. Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to take Edwards-Helaire– adding to the riches they have on offense. The Chiefs might have been an effective offense, but their RB situation was murky to say the least.
An injury to Damien Williams early in the season gave LeSean McCoy a chance in the backfield, but the team really ran a committee all season. Something that is likely to change with this addition.
Fantasy Outlook: In any season, I want the starting Kansas City RB. With the capital invested in the player, he has to be a strong contender for the 1.01 in rookie drafts.
Pick 3: D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions
The Lions‘ selecting of Swift has put an end to the belief that Kerryon Johnson can lead the backfield for the team. Swift is a fantastically elusive back in the open field, and has pass-catching ability.
Fantasy Outlook: Swift comes into a backfield where his only competition is the aforementioned Johnson who has struggled with injuries since entering the league. Certainly an early selection in the first round.
Pick 9: Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
Taylor ended his slip by going to the Colts, which is good and bad for his fantasy outlook. The team itself has a good offensive head coach in Frank Reich, and has a solid offensive line to pair with an effective QB. However, they also have a tandem of RBs, Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines, that will steal away carries and targets in the short-term.
Fantasy Outlook: I’m still confident in Taylor to be the lead back (eventually) for the team. While he might not have an immediate impact for your roster, he has a massive ceiling once he wins the job.
Pick 20: Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams
Akers looked great coming out of high school, but struggled as part of a faltering college offense in Florida. The Rams offensive line isn’t what it was, but fortunately Akers was used to it behind Florida‘s awful unit. With Todd Gurley out of picture, the only competition in the backfield is veteran Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson. The team tried employing a committee backfield last season, but that won’t last long once Akers gets on the field.
Fantasy Outlook: Akers is a great athlete, who was taken in the second round by the team. Clearly the position was a need for the team, and they have addressed that. I’d happily take him in the first round.
Pick 23: J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens
Another good landing spot for a running back. Dobbins had a fantastic end to his college career, on the ground and through the air. He will likely sit behind veteran Mark Ingram II for this season, while being used in some rotation plays. However, he should be the next man up for the team.
Fantasy Outlook: Baltimore run the ball effectively and with volume, but they are going to need to rotate the players they use this season to prevent injury. Early-to-mid first round talent.
Pick 30: A.J. Dillon – Green Bay Packers
As a Packers fan, when this was confirmed as the pick I was confused. The team were able to be effective with the duo of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Frankly, I think this backfield is ruined for me now. Dillon limits Jones‘ goal-line touches, takes away touches from both and isn’t going to protect Aaron Rodgers.
Fantasy Outlook: I think that I’d be only targetting him at the end of the second round, or early third round with the landing spot. He could inherit more touches once the rookie deals of the other backfield members run out.
Pick 2: Antonio Gibson – Washington Redskins
Gibson converted to running back from wide receiver in college, and it’s likely he will play a hybrid between the two in his rookie season. The team have a lot of RBs on their roster, but all of them have question marks over them.
Fantasy Outlook: Gibson has a chance to make the rotation of rushing touches, but is more likely to occupy the passing downs role. He is a great athlete, and if he is able to show some effectiveness early in the season he could be fantastic addition. Worth an early third round pick.
Pick 12: Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Tampa Bay Buccanneers
Tampa had a need at the position, and Vaughn has a great opportunity to become the bell-cow for the team. Tampa is ready to roll on offense with their stock of weapons now being managed by Tom Brady.
Fantasy Outlook: The biggest concern that there is for Vaughn‘s success is his pass-blocking. If he is able to improve there, he should be on the field for the majority of the plays- something that is likely to be extremely valuable. Worth a second-round pick.
Pick 22: Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills
Moss was looking like a great prospect last season, before an injury meant he stayed in college for an extra season. Then after struggling at the combine, questions were asked of the running back. However, being an effective pass-blocker and catcher should give him touches to be viable this season.
Fantasy Outlook: Moss paired with Devin Singletary should be an effective duo for the Bills but the touch count is likely to flip-flop this season. Despite that I would be happy to invest a middle second round pick in him.
Pick 29: Darrynton Evans – Tennessee Titans
The running back position is likely locked up for this season by the tagged Derrick Henry but they needed a receiving threat. Dion Lewis left the team, leaving a team need for a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Evans isn’t build for a big workload in the NFL, but should be a valuable pass-catcher, potentially becoming a flex consideration in PPR leagues.
Fantasy Outlook: I think given the depth chart for the team, that it is likely he will see the field this season. I’d stick a late second price tag on him.
So that’s it for part 1 of our 2020 NFL Draft Rookie RB Landing Spots. Check out our other landing spots articles in our dynasty section as they become released. And always let us know what you think by connecting to use on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Jason Getz- USA TODAY Sports