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Fantasy Football Draft Room Advice: 10 Team PPR Picking in the Middle
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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray took home the hardware last season despite a strong showing from Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. History could repeat itself in 2020 as No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow has already been handed the keys to the Bengals offense. Who could play spoiler to his rookie goals? 

CBS Sports breaks down the contenders for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

1. Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Unlike Los Angeles or Miami, there is no quarterback competition in Cincinnati. The job belongs to Burrow. The No. 1 overall selection has galvanized the locker room through his beliefs on social justice matters. Now, he is tasked with getting the Bengals back to the playoffs. The offensive line should be improved and his cupboard of skill talent has been stocked with Joe Mixon, A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. 

Burrow will start immediately and that gives him a leg up on his competition. Quarterbacks are the odds-on favorite to win any award with solid play. Although running back Josh Jacobs played well in every facet of the game, it was not enough to overcome solid play from No. 1 overall selection Kyler Murray. Burrow does not need to make history but he needs to show some semblance of growth in addition to helping the Bengals tack on another win or two from last season.

Andy Reid spent a first-round pick on a running back. Edwards-Helaire was going to receive the lion’s share of touches in Kansas City’s offense regardless of Damien Williams’ decision to opt out. The LSU product has a low center of gravity and a strong base. He is explosive in the run game and dazzling in the pass game. Patrick Mahomes will be able to trust him as a pass protector. There is an argument that the Chiefs will not want to push too much onto the plate of the rookie but the national champion can handle it.

Fellow running backs D’Andre Swift (Lions) and Jonathan Taylor (Colts) are in situations where they will likely have to share carries with a veteran. It is difficult envisioning a rookie running back getting the type of touches that it required for Jacobs to even be in contention last year. 

Lamb was my WR1 in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is electrifying after the catch. His body control down the field is second to none. Dallas has a lot of mouths to feed in that offense, which will limit the number of opportunities Lamb receives. It is the only deterrent to a stronger campaign for the Oklahoma product. Fans will be treated to a passing attack that few can match within the NFC. 

Denver’s strategy to keep pace with the rival Chiefs is evident. They spent significant draft capital on the procurement of Jeudy and KJ. Hamler. In addition to the rookies, the Broncos are loaded with tight end Noah Fant, running back Melvin Gordon and running back Phillip Lindsay. Will Drew Lock take the next step in his development as a professional as many expect? Will the makeshift offensive line hold up to protect him? Recent history has shown that rookies able to run precise routes succeed early in the league. Few are as polished as Jeudy. If he gets his fair share of targets, he will make an impact.

5. Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault

Shenault was most successful in Boulder used near the line of scrimmage. Simply put, he knows how to make plays after securing the catch. When healthy, he was one of college football’s most productive receivers. In a Jacksonville offense that lacks true threats, Shenault has an opportunity to endear himself to second-year signal caller Gardner Minshew. 

Kirk Cousins is flush with wide receiver talents like Adam Thielen and Stefon … errr Justin Jefferson. The first-round pick out of LSU is best used in the slot. Gary Kubiak will have no problems putting Jefferson in motion and creating mismatches for him on the run. His body control and ability to win downfield makes him invaluable to the Minnesota offense. If Jefferson produces similar output to Diggs, then he will have made a strong case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

Reagor is not off to the best start in Philadelphia as he is currently dealing with an injury. The reality is that the Eagles lack options at wide receiver. They turned to a former quarterback last season and hardly improved during the offseason. The first round selection is lightning in a bottle and can make plays in space. If he is able to stay healthy, then he will compile yards after catch at a rate reminiscent of an active slot machine. 

Similar to Reagor, Aiyuk is already dealing with injuries. For the fans struggling to envision how he can contribute to Kyle Shanahan’s system, look no further than last year’s second round pick: Deebo Samuel. Aiyuk and Samuel give San Francisco two of the more versatile offensive weapons in the game. What the unit lacks in size, they make up for in speed and elusiveness. The return game is another avenue in which the Arizona State product can deliver splash plays. 

Indianapolis was too one-dimensional when T.Y. Hilton was injured. A team with Super Bowl aspirations can not be so reliant on the health of one player. General manager Chris Ballard went to work this offseason to build depth on that side of the ball. The team traded their first-round pick to San Francisco in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Four of their first five picks were spent on the offensive side of the ball: Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, Washington quarterback Jacob Eason, Ball State offensive lineman Danny Pinter and Pittman. The son of former NFL running back Michael Pittman reinvented himself as a technician of the game and displayed his strength at the catch point last season.

Mims is another rookie receiver dealing with injury. New York, on paper, is one of the most talent deficient teams in the league. They are likely to find themselves behind in contests this season and will have to throw their way out of a deep hole. The collection of pass catchers at Sam Darnold’s disposal is limited, which means a heftier opportunity for the Baylor product. If he can stay healthy, then he should be able to build upon the pre-draft hype that he was able to cultivate for himself. 

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