The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is a wrap, and we saw 11 offensive skill position players selected on Thursday. Joe Burrow was the first of four quarterbacks selected, Henry Ruggs III was the first of six wide receivers picked, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the lone running back drafted in the first round.
There will be plenty of impact players drafted in the remaining six rounds, but with one round under our belt, I wanted to talk about my two favorite picks from a fantasy football perspective: the Cowboys drafting wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with 17th overall pick and the Chiefs selecting Edwards-Helaire with the last pick of the round.
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
The Cowboys signed Amari Cooper to a mega-contract this offseason while seeing Randall Cobb depart for the Houston Texans. They entered the draft with Cooper and Michael Gallup as their top two receivers by a long shot. In 2019, Cooper caught 79 passes for 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns, while Gallup caught 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns.
Lamb faces competition and is primarily a dynasty and keeper league option as a rookie. For his own fantasy value, I suspect he’ll be a regular late round pick in re-draft leagues with some decent rookie upside in this offense. He’s not a starter, but there’s some flex value.
Where this gets really fun is with Dak Prescott. The Cowboys quarterback finished last season as the second ranked quarterback on an overall basis, and third on a per-game basis. Cobb was a decent enough receiver, but Lamb as the third receiver could be a huge upgrade. You could make an argument for drafting Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes, and maybe DeShaun Watson ahead of Prescott, but I would not be surprised to see some folks drafting Prescott as the second or third QB off the board. It’s going to be hard to overvalue Prescott heading into drafts.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
Edwards-Helaire was not expected to be the first running back off the board, but it is near consensus that this pick makes perfect sense for the Chiefs offense. Adam Schefter is reporting that prior to the draft Andy Reid compared him to Brian Westbrook, and given the draft capital invested, we can expect Edwards-Helaire to be a busy man as a rookie.
He broke out in a big way in 2019, rushing for 1,414 yards at a 6.6 ypc clip with 16 touchdowns, and added 55 receptions for 453 yards and a touchdown. He’ll need to work on pass blocking according to many analysts, but he’s got great moves and is a perfect fit for what the Chiefs are looking to do.
He won’t be a first round fantasy back, but he could become a solid RB1 option in PPR leagues by the end of the season, and a fringe RB1 in standard leagues. Damien Williams’ fantasy stock takes a big hit with this pick, although injuries and inconsistency had already lowered his value heading into 2020. Williams led the Chiefs with 498 rushing yards at a 4.5 ypc clip, and had 30 receptions for 213 yards. Edwards-Helaire should eclipse him in short order and will be a highly sought-after back in fantasy drafts. He’s got value, but in plenty of leagues expect him to potentially end up going higher than makes sense.