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Who is Pick 1.01 in Dynasty Rookie Drafts? (2020 Fantasy Football)

Feb 6, 2020

With the Super Bowl in the books, fantasy football owners will now turn their attention to the 2020 NFL season. For redraft owners, there is some time to take a breath before preparing for the upcoming campaign, but the fantasy season never stops for dynasty fantasy football owners. As such, we’re immediately turning out attention to the next big fantasy event, dynasty rookie drafts.

It all starts with No. 1, so we’ve asked our writers to provide who they would take with the first-overall pick in 2020 dynasty rookie drafts.

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Q: Who should be Pick 1.01 in Dynasty Rookie Drafts?

Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama)
Most are likely going with D’Andre Swift here at 1.01, and I won’t blame anyone as running back is an important position in fantasy. But, if I own the 1.01 in this year’s draft, give me Jerry Jeudy. Yes, the running back position is important in fantasy, but running backs are the easiest position to replace. Every year there are new running backs in the top 12 and even more new faces in the top 24. Rarely are there wide receivers with Jeudy’s talent and potential. Wide receiver is a position that once you have a good young player, you don’t have to worry about that spot for 8-to-10 years. You get so much more for your investment by drafting a wide receiver, and you can spend the next 8-to-10 years drafting running backs now that you have a top-flight receiver.
– Geoff Lambert (@geofflambert77)

With the first-overall pick in rookie drafts, you need to prioritize sustainability and minimize bust potential. It’s well known that the shelf life of an NFL running back is shorter than most positions, and in fantasy football, it takes a greater hit. Look at Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell, who were the consensus first picks two years ago. Now, dynasty players won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole. If you have the No. 1 pick, you likely finished with the worst record in your league and need to capitalize on the security of the top prospects. Jerry Jeudy is one of the most complete wide-receiver prospects in this draft class and will either be the first or second wide receiver taken off the board. While running backs are more valuable in fantasy, I prefer to take a long-term view and potentially get a year-in, year-out WR1.
– Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)

It is really hard to tell what player is going to go first in dynasty drafts in February because the player does not have a team that you can project fantasy production. Having said that, I really like Jeudy, as he had 77 receptions for 1,163 yards, and 10 touchdowns at Alabama last year. He runs routes as well as anyone in this draft, and he appears to have both the speed to be a deep threat and the size to be red-zone weapon. He comes from a school that has produced several great NFL wide receivers, such as Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Calvin Ridley. Jeudy should be a safe player that fantasy owners can own for a decade. However, his appeal in Arizona with second-year quarterback Kyler Murray is much higher than if he goes a pick later to the Jacksonville Jaguars and their uncertain quarterback situation. Also, if Georgia running back D’Andre Swift goes in the back of the first round to the Atlanta Falcons to replace aging Devonta Freeman, suddenly that looks like an appealing situation that would make Swift a potential top player. It matters where players go, but in a vacuum where talent is the only consideration, I like the great route-running and playmaking of Jeudy with pick 1.01 in rookie drafts.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

I’m tempted to go running back given the extraordinary wide receiver depth in the 2020 draft class, but Jeudy is simply too talented to pass up. Dating back to his Biletnikoff Award-winning sophomore campaign, Jeudy has been regarded as a can’t-miss receiving prospect whose hands and route-running ability should translate immediately to the NFL game. The short- and long-term upside of Jeudy is enormous, and his positional longevity gives him the edge over players such as D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor in a dynasty draft. The numbers don’t lie, either. Over his final two seasons at Alabama, Jeudy caught 24 touchdowns and held a 75 percent catch rate on a team-high 23 percent target share. He did so while playing alongside fellow projected first-round pick, Henry Ruggs III.
– Daniel Comer (@DanComer404)

D’Andre Swift (RB – Georgia)
Swift is my pick for the 1.01 in rookie drafts. His vision, burst, change of direction, and receiving ability, all translate extremely well to the NFL level. While he may not possess the top end speed of guys like Jonathan Taylor or JK Dobbins, he makes up for it in other areas. For Fantasy Football, you want running backs who can step on the field day one and be instant contributors…Swift is exactly that.
– Kyle Yates (@kyleynfl)

In rookie drafts, I am more likely to target a stud running back than a stud wide receiver with an early pick, especially the 1.01. While I do value wide receivers more in general, I like to target potential workhorse running backs in rookie drafts if possible. I like to draft running backs in rookie drafts, and target stud wide receivers via trade later. Someone like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb may offer more long-term value, but the way I play dynasty football, I want to draft the potential stud running back and hopefully, RB1, and win as soon as possible. D’Andre Swift, in my opinion, is the most talented running back in this class, and he’s the first player off the board for me if I’m drafting today. Swift has all the tools to be a three-down running back in the NFL. He’s elusive. has excellent contact balance, great speed, and can catch the ball well.
– Aaron Schillinger (@aaron_schill)

D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor are neck and neck at this point of the pre-draft process, but for rookie drafts held before the NFL Combine, Swift is my 1.01. While he is listed shorter than I like my top running back prospects to be (5’9″), he is a rocked-up 215 pounds and has the frame to carry the ball 20-25 times per game. Swift led all of the top running backs in this class with 19.89 percent of his carries going for more than 10 yards. Swift appears to have immediate 1,000-rushing yard, 10-rushing touchdown potential with the upside to haul in over 50 receptions in year one. He will need to have a strong combine to cement himself as the consensus 1.01, as there are quite a few names that will be gunning for the top spot following the combine and the NFL Draft.
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

Jonathan Taylor (RB – Wisconsin)
This can, and may very likely change once combine measurables and draft capital are determined, but if forced to make this pick right now, I’d lean Taylor. He rushed for 6.3 YPC in 2019 and finished in the top-two of yards after contact in each of the last three years. Taylor actually had more receiving yards and yards per reception than D’Andre Swift in 2019. We’re talking about a running back who compiled two consecutive 2,000+ rushing yard seasons and ran for 1,977 yards in his freshman campaign. Taylor has scored over 50 touchdowns to go along with the sixth-most yards in CFB history while passing Tony Dorsett for the fourth-most yards all-time in the FBS. To add to his legacy, Taylor has the most 200-yard rushing games ever in the FBS. Taylor’s name has already been etched in college football history with a lot of running backs who would go on to become Hall of Fame talents in the NFL. While previous record-setting Wisconsin backs like Ron Dayne and Montee Ball didn’t live up to the hype in the NFL, Taylor figures to surpass even Melvin Gordon’s apex as a rusher who will command early-round draft capital and be featured in an NFL offense in 2020.
– Paul Ghiglieri (@FantasyGhigs)

It’s razor-thin between Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift, but no one else should even be in contention at 1.01 this year (at this point). These are the two true bell-cow running backs, and it’s well documented that wide receivers offer a lower ROI early in their careers. Running backs, especially as rookies, are more likely to help your team win a championship, and more likely than not, both Swift and Taylor will be able to net you any wide receiver in this class plus more on the trade market in the next offseason. Dynasty owners should be prioritizing running back early in rookie drafts until there is a precipitous decline in value and the wide receivers are too good to pass up. In this class, it looks like that will be at least 1.05 if not later. Taylor gets the edge here because Swift never fully operated as a bell-cow in college. While all indicators are that he can and will in the NFL, the edge goes to the player who has already done it. Both are highly talented, have feature-back size, and are active in the passing game. They both essentially check all the boxes, and they will likely end up as the top two picks in most leagues.
– Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)

CeeDee Lamb (WR – Oklahoma)
Lamb is my pick for 1.01 in rookie drafts because of his elite ball skills and dynamic ability to make defenders miss after the catch. Lamb set all kinds of tackle-breaking records last season despite not having the elite speed of Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs, and his elusiveness will immediately translate to fantasy production in the NFL. Lamb’s catch radius is ridiculous, and there is no such thing as an uncatchable pass for him. While all these rookie wide receivers are immensely talented, Lamb has the skillset and experience to be a fantasy contributor by Week 1. The idea of a running back at 1.01 is tempting, but there is too much uncertainty at this early point of the draft process – team environment and situation drives the success of running backs more than it does wide receivers. Lock up your No. 1 wide receiver for the next decade with CeeDee Lamb.
– Jarad Evans (@Jarad_Evans)

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