2020 Fantasy Football: Standard Scoring First Round Mock Draft

How would the opening round of fantasy football drafts in standard leagues play out if you were picking before the 2020 NFL Draft?
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The real 2020 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, but it's never too early to see how fantasy football drafts could play out over the summer. You can check out Frankie Taddeo's PPR first-round mock draft from earlier this week here. Below we'll look at how the opening round could look out for those playing in standard leagues. 

Please note that all stats below are for standard leagues with standard scoring between Weeks 1-16, unless otherwise noted.

1. RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

The clear-cut consensus No. 1 overall pick in every 1QB league, McCaffrey is coming off a truly remarkable 2019 season in all formats thanks to him finding the end zone 19 times. He was the No. 1 running back in standard formats, finishing with a whopping 87.9 fantasy points more than the No. 2 RB (Aaron Jones). McCaffrey's average of 22.6 FPPG was 5.5 points higher than the next-best RB (Dalvin Cook, 17.1). Although it's tough to imagine him having a better season in 2020 than he had in 2019, he's a pretty safe bet to provide elite production. He was the RB3, one-tenth of a point behind Saquon Barkley for the No. 2 spot in 2018, and is still the focal point of the Panthers offense. Don't overthink this pick unless you have plenty of shares of McCaffrey in other leagues and want to diversify. He had 2,392 yards from scrimmage in 2019 and sportsbooks project somewhere around 2,100 yards from scrimmage this season.

Betting Odds

  • Rushing Yards: Over 1,350.5 (-110) / Under 1,350.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec Yards: Over 2,099.5 (-110) / Under 2,099.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec TDs: Over 15.5 (+100) / Under 15.5 (-120)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals

AWAY: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington

2. RB Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

It was an up-and-down season for Barkley. He finished as the RB6 in average fantasy points per game (14.5) but played only 12 games for fantasy managers after suffering an ankle injury in the middle of the season. However, no running back was better over the final three weeks of the NFL's regular season (Weeks 15-17). Barkley averaged 28 FPPG in that stretch and reminded everyone why he was the popular No. 1 overall fantasy pick last season. We've only seen success from Barkley in his short career. He was the No. 2 overall RB in 2018 and was still an RB1 last season when on the field. Expect a high level of production yet again in 2020. Daniel Jones threw to Barkley less often than Eli Manning did (4.2 catches on 5.7 targets per game versus 5.3 catches on 7.2 targets per game), but that's a lot less worrisome in standard formats.

Betting Odds

  • Rushing Yards: Over 1,250.5 (-110) / Under 1,250.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec Yards: Over 1,749.5 (-110) / Under 1,749.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec TDs: Over 11.5 (-110) / Under 15.5 (-110)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AWAY: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks

3. RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Michael Thomas will be a popular pick here, but I still lean running back. Elliott's consistency over the last few seasons is hard to ignore. On a per-game basis, Elliott finished as the RB3 in 2016, RB2 in 2017, RB8 in 2018, and the RB5 last season. He has a reasonable path to being the No. 1 overall player at his position, but his ceiling isn't as spectacular as McCaffrey and Barkley's can be. Even if you consider the last two seasons to be slight disappointments for Elliott, only McCaffrey and Barkley averaged more points per game in that time frame. Elliott's floor is nine total touchdowns (his 2018 total) and he scored 14 last season. Sportsbooks see him scoring around 12-13 TDs in 2020. Let's hope that Mike McCarthy remembers to run the ball this go-around. Spoiler: He will, and Elliott will be great.

Betting Odds

  • Rushing Yards: Over 1,275.5 (-110) / Under 1,275.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec Yards: Over 1,734.5 (-110) / Under 1,734.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec TDs: Over 12.5 (+100) / Under 12.5 (-120)

2020 Schedule

HOME: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons

AWAY: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks

4. RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

In spite of how great of a season he had in 2019, I can see Cook being a bit of a polarizing player at the top of drafts in 2020. To be fair, you're always splitting hairs when dissecting elite talents. He was phenomenal last season, living up to and exceeding even the highest expectations. He finished as the RB2 in average fantasy points per game (17.1), only behind McCaffrey. The three names above him on this list are more proven commodities. While I don’t think it’s fair to label Cook as much more of an injury risk than most running backs, we still can't ignore the reason he wasn't going among the Top 5 RBs last season. It's hard to imagine him having a better season in 2020, but a repeat is certainly possible. Factor in a couple missed games, but he should still get around 300 touches. The Minnesota Vikings Maven recently reported that Cook is aiming for 2,000 yards in 2020.

Betting Odds

  • Rushing Yards: Over 1,160.5 (-110) / Under 1,160.5 (-110)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys

AWAY: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5. RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Henry finished his 2018 season on the highest of notes (585 yards and seven touchdowns from Weeks 14-17) and picked up right where he left off in 2019. The entire culture of the Titans changed after Ryan Tannehill took over as the starter in Week 7. Henry's value soared as well. If we include Week 17, Henry averaged 21.6 fantasy points per game with Tannehill, the best total among all running backs. Even if you take out the season finale, Henry was second only to McCaffrey among running backs in average fantasy points per game (19.5 FPPG). Henry is back in Tennessee and has Tannehill for a full season. There's no reason to believe he can't be a workhorse again this season, with the added bonus of him being a strong finisher during the fantasy playoffs.

2020 Schedule

HOME: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills

AWAY: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

6. WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

Thomas very much deserves to be the top player at his position after a historic 2019 season where he finished with an NFL-record 149 catches for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns. Thomas scored 31.8 more points than the next-best wide receiver (Chris Godwin) in 2019. He also bested Godwin by more than a point per game, if you want to factor in the Tampa Bay receiver's late-season injury. Some may consider his No. 6 overall ranking low, but I'll always prefer elite running backs to elite receivers on position scarcity alone. Plus, Thomas' lead over the rest of the field is more muted in standard formats because it doesn't account for his wide gap in receptions. In standard leagues, there's a gap between Thomas, Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, etc., but the drop off isn't as large as it is for the running back position.

Betting Odds

  • Receiving Yards: Over 1,500.5 (-110) / Under 1,500.5 (-110)
  • Rec TDs: Over 8.5 (-130) / Under 8.5 (+110)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers

AWAY: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Positive touchdown progression. That is the biggest thing working in Kamara's favor in 2020. Here's what I wrote in my way-too-early mock draft back in January:

After having 13 total touchdowns in 2017 and 18 in 2018, he had just six this past season. Despite his reception total staying at exactly 81 for the third straight season with right around 100 targets, he was far less productive with those touches. He had a career-low 533 receiving yards and a career-low one receiving touchdown. 

The receptions total part doesn't apply here in standard leagues, but the rest is important to highlight. As is this: Kamara averaged a touchdown about every 15 touches in 2017/18. He had only had one touchdown per 42 touches in 2019. In the hypothetical world where he had one touchdown per 20 touches rate and had 8.8 yards per reception (matching his 2018 mark) in 2019, he would've been the RB3 behind only McCaffrey and Cook. I'm betting on a bounce-back to elite form in 2020.

Betting Odds

  • Rushing Yards: Over 850.5 (-110) / Under 850.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec Yards: Over 1,549.5 (-110) / Under 1,549.5 (-110)
  • Rush + Rec TDs: Over 10.5 (+105) / Under 10.5 (-125)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers

AWAY: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

The strong finish to the 2019 regular season (494 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Weeks 14-17) piqued fantasy managers' attention after a disappointing start to the season. The biggest point of interest may have been his spike in carries, up to 24 per game in that time frame after having only one 20-plus carry game beforehand. Mixon was the RB37 in average fantasy points per game through Week 8 but ranked as the RB9 from Weeks 10-16 (and was the RB6 in total points). He scored 6.7 points per game more after the Bengals' bye week as opposed to before. I encourage you to check out Dr. Roto's write up on Mixon here. With the jumpstart to the offense that Joe Burrow and a returning A.J. Green can provide, big things should be in store for Mixon.

Betting Odds

  • Rushing Yards: Over 1,099.5 (-115) / Under 1,099.5 (-115)
  • Rush TDs: Over 7 (-120) / Under 7 (-110)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers

AWAY: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, Miami Dolphins

READ MORE: Is Mixon a Fantasy First-Rounder?

9. WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

The next three picks can go in any order, but I lean Hill here. I think the 2019 season is his floor, and it's a damn good floor to have. He missed a handful of games, causing him to finish outside of WR2 territory on an overall basis, but he ranked as the WR6 on a per-game basis with 11.3 FPPG. I don't expect Patrick Mahomes to miss time again in 2020 and I expect a better statistical season overall for the Super Bowl MVP. Hill and the Chiefs also get to five of the 10-worst passing defenses from last season (Miami, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Atlanta). Both of those things great news for Hill, whose game-breaking ability extends from the NFL field to fantasy football matchups. 

2020 Schedule

HOME: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans

AWAY: Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints,Las Vegas Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10. WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Adams suffered a foot injury early in the season that caused him to miss four games in 2019. But he still was a target monster when he played. He finished the season with double-digit targets in seven of his last eight games and was a monster in Green Bay's two playoff games against Seattle and San Francisco. He's Aaron Rodgers' favorite target, and gameflow may open up for him a little more if the Packers can bring in another viable offensive weapon—especially since their Super Bowl window is still open. Still, expect him to average double-digit targets for the third straight season in 2020. Also of note, he was the WR4 on a per-game basis in 2017 and the No. 2 overall player at the position in 2018. He had three straight double-digit touchdown seasons (12, 10, 13) before having only five in 12 games last season.

Betting Odds

  • Receiving Yards: Over 1,200.5 (-110) / Under 1,200.5 (-110)
  • Rec TDs: Over 9.5 (-110) / Under 9.5 (-110)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles

AWAY: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11. WR DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

Hopkins' calling card is his year-to-year consistency and the fact that he'll be leaned on just as heavily in Arizona as he was in Houston. Your best ability is your availability, and in his seven years in the NFL, Hopkins has missed only two games. He finished as the No. 6 WR overall and No. 7 on a per-game basis in 2019. Hopkins was No. 4 in both categories in 2018 and No. 1 overall and No. 2 on a per-game basis in 2017. Admittedly, this is erring on the side of safety. Still, I expect Kyler Murray to feature Hopkins heavily in an offense that will have plenty of time of possession and need to throw given their defensive deficiencies. Not convinced, let's look at this crazy stat Frankie Taddeo uncovered: Hopkins has averaged 101 receptions, 1,318 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns over the last five seasons. Only two players last season (Michael Thomas and Chris Godwin) scored more than Hopkins' average output last season.

Betting Odds: 

  • Receiving Yards: Over 1,180.5 (-110) / Under 1,180.5 (-110)
  • Rec TDs: Over 9.5 (-110) / Under 9.5 (-110)

2020 Schedule

HOME: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions

AWAY: Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks 

READ MORE: Fantasy Impact of Hopkins to Cardinals

12. RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

This might be the hardest pick of the first round. Nick Chubb is still on the board, as is Julio Jones. Top players at their position like Lamar Jackson and Travis Kelce are available. All of those players will be considered here, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. However, I like Jones here after his breakout 2019 campaign. Jones rushed for 16 touchdowns and caught three more as he became a significant part of the Packers’ overall offense. I expect some touchdown regression since only two players (Derrick Henry and Todd Gurley) have rushed for 12 or more scores in each of the last two seasons. Still, his prominent role in Green Bay will continue—especially if he's forced into the position of being Rogers' No. 2 option in the passing game again. He finished as the RB2 overall and RB4 on a per-game basis last season, and he shouldn't be too far off of that mark in 2020. 

2020 Schedule

HOME: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles

AWAY: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

MORE FROM SI:

Dr. Roto's 2020 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

2020 Fantasy Football: One-Man First Round PPR Mock Draft

What Fantasy Owners Want: Jonathan Taylor to Miami Dolphins

Can the Miami Dolphins Make the Playoffs in 2020?

2020 NFL Mock Draft: 6 Wide Receivers go in Round 1

Possible Post-Draft Fantasy Fallers

2020 NFL Draft Offensive Prospect Rankings