Good news, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed on COVID-19 amendments to the current CBA! I haven’t sifted thru all of the amendments yet, but I can only assume the NFL’s billion dollar attorney’s have convinced the NFLPA’s million dollar attorney’s that the players should play this season in exchange for oat milk coupons rather than money. On the plus side, this paves the way for a timely start to the NFL season. But what else does it mean for us fantasy fiends? Well, here’s a breakdown of what the new powder puff training camp will look like:

You’ll hear talking heads declaring that this scaled back training camp will drastically reduce preseason injuries. Then you’ll hear others state that poor conditioning will lead to more in season injuries and an overall poor on field product. Both might be right, both might wrong, both might be crazy. Only 8-pound, 6-ounce, newborn infant Jesus knows the answer. The one thing I’m sure of is the incoming tidal wave of NFL corona absences headed our way. Which should make each and every bench spot as valuable as a roll of March 2020 two-ply. I’ll be running for the hills at the first sign of preseason injuries, which is why Deebo Samuel was omitted from my top 40 and top 60 wide receiver rankings. But he did land a spot in my top 80 wide receivers for 2020 PPR fantasy football:

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As we head into draft season, everyone loves making their sleeper list and dreaming of being in on the next Austin Ekeler. However with all the chatter on social media and the endless stream of fantasy websites, “sleepers” have almost become extinct. There is no such thing as a mid-to-late round guy that no one is excited about. All your favorite sneaky plays are also your friends’ sneaky plays. Therefore you’ll have to reach up and take one a round early, which renders the pick less valuable.

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When I wrote about the top 25 defensive lineman, it was easy to get excited about it. There were players who got you revved up when thinking about their explosiveness coming off the ball, dominating the offensive lineman and putting a hit on the quarterback.  

Writing about the next 25 conjures up very little of those feelings. Historically, this is the shallowest position for IDP leagues as once you get past the top 10-20 players, there is very little difference in the next 30-40. Last year in my home league (scoring was 0.5/tackle, 3/sack/FF/INT, so big play skewed), Joey Bosa finished as DL22 with 4.16 ppg.  Brian Burns was DL51 with 3.12 ppg. That’s only 1 ppg difference between those two players. Is it better to have Bosa, well of course, but over a season, it probably made little difference in your record on a week to week basis. Now this may change a bit with the change in position designation by some sites as many OLBs will be designated at Edge and moved into the defensive line category. This will expand the choices at defensive line and make this group of 25 more interesting. I’ll cover this topic as we get more clarity as to what most sites will do.

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We’re gonna cut right to the chase here. If you’ve been following my offseason process, you know what I look for when ranking prospects. If you are a first timer please check out this article explaining my general rationale.

Additionally, you can see the ascent and decline of various WRs since February with my pre-combine rankings and post-combine rankings.

There are some shakeups in the top 15 now that we know draft capital and landing spot. The tiers stayed mostly intact, but there was a lot of movement inside each.

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As I watched the early parts of day two of the 2020 NFL Draft, the excitement began to build in my nether regions. Denzel Mims was slipping and my Bears were only a couple picks away in the second round. When the Bears were on the clock and Mims was still there my loins reached maximum tingle. But in a move which surprised absolutely no one, Ryan Pace drafted the Bears tenth tight end in Cole Kmet.

Seven picks later the Bears were back on the clock and Mims was still there! Of course, Mr. Pace again passed. Guess us Bears fans should just be happy we didn’t draft another tight end. That was the point where I decided watching a Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon with my imaginary girlfriend would be a less painful way to spend the rest of my Friday night. Later that night I went ahead and poked my eyes out. Anyway, I gave you my updated top 10 dynasty rookies yesterday, so here’s my updated top 20 rookies for 2020 PPR dynasty leagues: 

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As I crawled thru the barren-sportsless Corona Desert, desperately clinging to the last few precious ounces of my own bottled urine, a glorious oasis appeared on the horizon. Was it a mirage!? No! It was the the 2020 NFL Draft, and it was very real! And it was very glorious!

I leapt to my feet, slurped down the final drops of my warm pee rations and sprinted towards the only sports I’d seen in weeks—and likely the only sports we’ll see for weeks to come. There at the edge of the NFL Draft Oasis stood none other than Clyde Edwards-Helaire, waiting to welcome Donkey to the party (scroll to the bottom for my thoughts on CEH, I literally buried the lede). Anyway, here’s what else I saw during day one of the 2020 NFL Draft for fantasy football:

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The guys discuss the Brady and Gronk bromance getting back together. Bronk? Grady? Tob? Feels like there’s a shipper name here. Anyway, there are varying opinions on the impact that Gronk will make, and then, we talk about the adjustment to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin value.

Brady continues to show that old people can be good at social media.

After some Bronk talk, AL_FF_RED, double underscore, formerly known as Boof, walks us through his statistical approach to the rookies in the wide receiver class. B_Don and Donkey Teeth each take away a different point from those numbers to look into as they make their evaluations.

The guys then talk about some of the top 10-15 WRs from this year’s class including Justin Jefferson, Jalen Reagor, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Denzel Mims and Bryan Edwards. Boof provided the statistical approach while DT and B_Don take it from more of a film perspective. None of us agree on the order for even the top 5. Last, we look at a few 3rd day (maybe 2nd) receivers and try to figure out what they may be like at the next level. Get pumped! It’s draft day!

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Quarantine Day 22:

Yesterday was my girlfriend’s birthday. To answer your first question, yes, she is imaginary. But I still treated her to a special quarantine walk outside where we foraged for berries and I let her check the beaver traps. Even busted out a nice can of Spam for dinner. The good stuff, only 6 months past expiration. She was especially excited when I told her about my mock draft of players who haven’t been drafted into the NFL yet, for a fake football league that doesn’t exist and will never be played out. Best. Quarantine. Birthday. Ever.

So last week I gave you my dynasty rookie PPR mock draft recap where I acknowledged the mostly-meaningless nature of a pre-NFL draft rookie mock. But we have nothing better to do, so this week’s version was a 10-team, 4-round dynasty rookie mock draft for PPR, superflex leagues:

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In the pre-combine WR rankings I laid out the key factors I was looking for and why I ranked the players where I did. As a follow up I am now adjusting based on new information such as body mass index (BMI), speed and overall post-combine buzz coming out if Indianapolis.

There was a lot of movement within the WR rankings because so many players are very close and small details can cause big ripples. I did penalize the players who did not run at the combine because I think in a class so tight, that will matter on draft day, impacting projected draft round.

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With so many fantasy relevant wide receivers heading into the NFL draft, I had no choice but to list 30 incoming rookies that could be important at the next level and for our fantasy teams. I have previously discovered that receptions per game in college makes for a nice filter when identifying fantasy WR2s or better in the NFL. That, along with breakout age and projected draft capital, were the three-pronged criteria I used to rank this class. 

This article will feature the front of the class, WRs 1-15 by my ranking. Even the consensus studs have some warts (Jeudy/Lamb a low BMI, Reagor’s final season was meh, etc) but it is certainly very deep. There’s something for everyone, so take a peek and see who to flag as we proceed to the summer. 

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