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4 rookie sleepers for 2020 fantasy football

Some teams got some steals.

USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Well, it’s over. First we had the WNBA draft and then the NFL draft and now we continue to twiddle our thumbs in hopes for some new sporting event to captivate our interests. The 7 rounds of the NFL draft were a thrill to watch and I, like most, found myself perplexed on some picks (cough cough Jordan Love and the Bears current tight end situation) and found myself equally amazed at the value some teams ended up grabbing.

I am here to focus on the value picks, more specifically, the value picks that I think will be fantasy relevant. This essentially removes the defensive position as, shy of #2 overall pick Chase Young, I don’t see any single defensive player really jumping a defensive unit by a massive amount.

Denzel Mims (WR, Baylor) #59 overall by New York Jets

The Jets drafted Mims as the 13th WR off the board after trading down in the 2nd round and I think Mims has the potential to be one of the five best receivers in this class. I imagine Sam Darnold is equally excited for what this means for him this season. Mims had the 37th most receiving yards (1,020) and the 13th most touchdowns last season in the NCAAF (12). His 4.38 40 time was third fastest among receivers at the combine and he impressed at the Senior Bowl, flashing his impressive great catch radius. A healthy Sam Darnold with Le’Veon Bell and the addition of a quality wideout could be dangerous.

D’Andre Swift (RB, Georgia) #35 overall by Detroit Lions

The 35th overall pick was 28th last year in rushing yards in the NCAAF. Swift has good field vision, ability to advance after contact, and can be a major factor in the passing game. Oh and let’s look at the last handful of Georgia RB’s who were taken in the first two rounds: Sony Michel (31st overall in 2018), Nick Chubb (#35 overall in 2018) and Todd Gurley (10th overall in 2015). That’s pretty good company. Swift will be a perfect complement in Detroit to Kerryon Johnson.

J.K. Dobbins (RB, Ohio State) #55 overall by Baltimore Ravens.

Are you kidding me? Baltimore got the running back who rushed for the third most yards last year (2,003), the third most touchdowns (21), and an insane 6.7 yards per carry. As if Baltimore needed anymore weapons, I can only imagine how deadly Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown and Willie Snead are with Dobbins added to the mix.

Brycen Hopkins (TE, Purdue) #136 overall by the Los Angeles Rams

Not as flashy or well known, Hopkins, who was 2nd in NCAAF in receiving yards among tight ends, had a very respectable 830 yards with 7 touchdowns averaging 13.1 yards per catch last year for the Boilermakers. He was ninth tight end off the board in a class generally deemed to be short on talent due to a few red flags regarding his catching ability but as someone who didn’t start playing football until high school, Hopkins has continued to show hard work ethic, eagerness to improve and the ability to quickly create open space on the field. With Sean McVay and the Rams, he could be a breakout star at a position that is fantasy needy.

Bonus: Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia) #167 overall by Buffalo Bills

I will admit, I know I am probably in limited company on this one and he will likely won’t have any fantasy value in 2020 but I think Fromm could end up being one of the three best quarterbacks long term in this class. This is a three year starter at Georgia who outlasted Justin Fields (a likely top 10 pick next year) and Jacob Eason (122nd overall pick). He has maturity, was the highest Wunderlik score among the quarterbacks, and ended a three year career with 35-7 record including one playoff berth, 8,236 passing yards, 63.3 completion percentage, and 78 touchdowns to 18 interceptions. He isn’t elite physically, but he is elite mentally and that is crucial in the signal caller spot. The Bills GM Brandon Beane said he “wasn’t planning on drafting a quarterback today,” but Fromm was “too good to pass up” at that spot. He might not see playing time for a year or two but I think long term there is a big NFL asset here.