A lot of focus has been put on the potential impact of first-round NFL Draft picks entering the fantasy football pool in 2020, and rightfully so, but it’s important to remember that impact players come from Day 2 of the draft as well. With the 2020 NFL Draft set to take place in less than two weeks, let’s take a look at five potential second-round picks that could make a fantasy impact in Year 1, using Sports Illustrated‘s latest mock draft.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State — Indianapolis Colts
Getting surefire fantasy football value from rookie wide receivers is asking a lot. They just take longer to acclimate to the NFL than running backs do. Still, there is some last-round flier material here with Aiyuk to Indianapolis. The Colts do need a No. 2 option behind T.Y. Hilton for new quarterback Philip Rivers. Right now that’s second-year WR Parris Campbell, but Aiyuk may be able to contribute right away. The former Sun Devil has the ability to stretch defenses vertically and frustrate them after the catch. Aiyuk underwent core surgery earlier this week, but should be ready to go for whenever teams are allowed to meet again. I wouldn’t draft Aiyuk before the final round of fantasy drafts, but he has a clearer path to playing time than most of the WRs that will be taken outside of the first round.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin — Los Angeles Chargers
This is a great addition for Los Angeles, but this may be a trap for fantasy managers. Austin Ekeler will still be the most productive back and Justin Jackson shouldn’t be ignored, but Taylor even being 60% as productive as Melvin Gordon was last season is worthwhile. Stick him on your bench or as your second flex and hope for the best.
D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia — Miami Dolphins
Swift can step in and have a significant role immediately alongside Jordan Howard. He may not get much goal-line work, but he’s an underrated pass-catcher that can play on passing downs and be a safety blanket for Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s worth a speculative add as a potential flex play, but could very well be hyped up draft boards.
Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado — Houston Texans
Shenault is no DeAndre Hopkins, but it’s a start after they let the Cardinals “steal” him away. He’s dynamic, can lineup all over the field, and has a chance to seize a significant workload with the oft-injured Will Fuller and Kenny Stills as his only competition. He’s a late-round fantasy flier or a guy you put on waiver wire speed dial.
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State — Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’m in wait-and-see mode here. While there is a clear path to some significant playing time in Tampa Bay, I’m not sure Dobbins is the best fit while Ronald Jones is still in the mix. Like Taylor, Dobbins is still worth grabbing as a high-upside bench/second flex option.
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