Buy or Sell: 2020 NFL Rookie Class

By Alex Kurpeski

In dynasty leagues we as fantasy managers are tasked with being our own scout, general manager, coach, and financial officer for our teams. This can make things quite difficult, particularly when evaluating the long term prospects of our young talent. This article is designed to help those of you who may be torn on the potential of your prospects. 

Buy: Jerry Jeudy as a future WR1

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

It’s a testament to Jeudy’s ability that he has managed to shine within the framework of a Denver Broncos offense that has been absolutely crushed by injuries this season. I can only imagine that Jeudy’s production will improve next season, with Courtland Sutton back in the Broncos lineup to take away some of the defense’s attention. Jeudy’s rookie campaign has been vastly underrated. His future is as bright as anyone in this year’s rookie class. 

 

Sell: J.K Dobbins as a future RB1

Sep 13, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (27) rushes during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Not only has Dobbins been largely unimpressive this season, but he’s also been outplayed by Gus Edwards, a plodding power runner who will be a cheap retain for Baltimore. As talented as Dobbins is, his role in this offense combined with the stagnation of Lamar Jackson’s development leaves me worried about his long-term upside. I’d recommend trading Dobbins now while he’s still a shiny prospect. 

 

Buy: Justin Jefferson as the Vikings WR1 of the future

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass as Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson defends during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Jefferson has been undoubtedly the best receiver in his class thus far, racking up four games with 100+ receiving yards. The fact that he’s done so while playing in an offense with the lowest pass volume in the league makes the feat even more impressive. I am as in as one could be on Jefferson as a long-term WR1. 

 

Sell: Jonathan Taylor as a three-down back

Taylor has been worse than Marlon Mack since taking over as the Colts starting running back, despite running behind one of the best offensive line units in the NFL. Though some blame can be attributed to the erratic play of QB Philip Rivers, the pandemic shortened offseason, and the team’s strange insistence on using Taylor out of shotgun sets, the rookie looks nothing like the dynamic bruiser we saw at Wisconsin last season. Taylor seems destined to be a time-share back like Mack, at least for the rest of this season. 

 

Buy: Joe Burrow as a QB1

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) calls signals during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

It’s great when a player is as good as advertised. While Burrow hasn’t been the record-setting passer we saw at LSU in 2019, he’s been damn good for a Bengals team that’s showing signs of life for the first time since 2015. With the emergence of Tee Higgins, it’s hard not to love the future of this Burrow-led Bengals offense. 

 

Sell: Tua Tagovailoa as a QB1

(ALLEN EYESTONE / THE PALM BEACH POST)

Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve really liked Tagovailoa so far. I simply don’t see the Dolphins offense ever allowing him to be a top tier fantasy QB. With a ground-and-pound philosophy, this simply isn’t a great fantasy situation for a player who doesn’t tend to test secondaries with his arm strength — yet. Right now I’ve got Tua projected to be a Jimmy Garopollo/Jared Goff type of fantasy producer. I could definitely be wrong though. 

 

Buy: Michael Pittman and Gabriel Davis as NFL starters

Though they haven’t been featured nearly as much as their fellow draft classmates, Pittman and Davis are two players who I could see becoming No. 1 receivers for the respective ball clubs. Pittman recently broke out with his first career 100+ yardage performance, looking dominant against an overmatched Titans secondary. Davis on the other hand has sprinkled in moments of greatness all season long despite sitting fourth on Buffalo’s depth chart. With John Brown (ankle) out for a few weeks, now is the time for the rookie out of UCF to cement himself as a starter. Both players are big targets with great athletic skill sets and terrific hands. You can certainly feel confident about their long-term prospects. 

 

Sell: Bryan Edwards and Van Jefferson as NFL starters

Two of the older players in this draft class, Edwards and Jefferson were seen as plug-and-play starters for the teams that drafted them. Instead, both players have fallen by the wayside, toiling as underutilized WR4s on low volume passing offenses. Their long-term upside is not very bright in my opinion. 

 

Buy Low: Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Believe it or not, I like Vaughn as a long term stash in dynasty. With Leonard Fournette an impending free agent, Vaughn could slide into a prominent role as Ronald Jones’s battery mate in Tampa next season. While his upside could be limited by Jones’ presence, there is a lot to like about Vaughn’s potential in an offense as explosive as the Bucs’. 

 

Sell High: James Robinson

Robinson has been a top-ten back all season long for the Jaguars. A smart fantasy manager would use this to flip him for a pair of first-round picks. The Jags are in for an overhaul, which could mean a lesser role for Robinson too.  His breakout campaign reminds me a lot of Jordan Howard’s in 2016 as well as Philip Lindsay’s in 2017. 

 

Stash: DeeJay Dallas

There’s a world where Dallas is Seattle’s starting running back next season. He can be had for a third or fourth-round pick at this point, so his upside as a three-down back is worth chasing. 

 

Pass: A.J Dillon

Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon (28) looks to get past the Atlanta Falcons defense during their football game Monday, October 5, 2020, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
Apc Packvsfalcons 1005200476

Dillon brings little to the table for Green Bay. He doesn’t catch passes or pass protect. He also doesn’t do much on the ground. I’m certain that Matt LaFleur is regretting his second round selection, just as many dynasty league managers are regretting theirs.

Agree or Disagree? Let us know!

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