In our final “Rookie Risers and Fallers” article, we will take a look at the fantasy rookie MVP candidates for 2020 and decide who deserves to take home the trophy. This request was made on a recent Heat Seekers live stream over on our YouTube Channel.   Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on all the great content.  In addition, engage with 1,900+ passionate dynasty players and let the RotoHeat content team know what topics YOU want to hear about by visiting our RotoHeat Facebook page.

Fantasy Rookie MVP – 2020 Rookie Risers and Fallers Finale

Candidates

Justin Herbert

Fantasy Rookie MVP
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 17: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers dives into the end zone for a touchdown to win the game 30-27 during overtime against the Los Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on December 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) Fantasy Rookie MVP

We weren’t expected to see much of Herbert this season as Tyrod Taylor was named the starter for Week 1. Through a terrible turn of events, Herbert was thrusted into the starting spot in Week 2 as a team doctor punctured Taylor’s lung pregame. It ended up being the best thing that could’ve happened for the Chargers as they found what seems to be their franchise QB.

He set multiple records this season including most completions by a rookie with 396 (previously set by Carson Wentz with 379), youngest QB in league history to throw for 30 TDs in a single season (previously set by Lamar Jackson last year), most passing TDs by a rookie with 31 (previously held by Baker Mayfield with 27), most total TDs by a rookie with 36 (previously held by Cam Newton with 32) and most 300+ yard games for a rookie with 8 (previously set by Andrew Luck with 6) among other records.

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He finished just 39 yards short of the all time rookie passing yards record, but all this is impressive considering he didn’t play in Week 1. He finished as the QB9 in fantasy as he cooled down towards the end of the year. He finished with 4,336 yards, 31 TDs and 10 INTs while rushing for 234 yards and 5 TDs. He makes a strong case to be the fantasy rookie MVP as he finished at the top of all rookies in scoring this season.

Justin Jefferson

Fantasy Rookie MVP
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 27: Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings scores a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Fantasy Rookie MVP

When you’re breaking records set by Randy Moss in his rookie season, you’re going to get some fantasy rookie MVP talk. He also had more targets than Adam Thielen with 125 compared to Adam’s 108. He finished his rookie campaign with 88 receptions for 1400 yards and 7 TDs; he did have 2 yards on his lone carry.

His 1,400 yards were the 2nd most for a rookie all-time behind Bill Groman who finished with 1,473 yards way back in 1960. This also broke the Viking’s rookie record set by Moss who finished with 1,313 yards on 69 receptions. Jefferson broke that too record too as he finished with 88 receptions on the year. He did pass Anquan Bolden’s record for most receiving yards by a rookie in Super Bowl era with 1,377 yards.

When it comes to fantasy football, Jefferson led all rookie WRs with 273.2 points and a WR6 finish. I’ve seen people claim Jefferson to be overrated, but his numbers don’t lie. He may be hitting the Griddy dance all the way to rookie fantasy MVP.

James Robinson

Fantasy Rookie MVP
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 20: Kristian Fulton #26, Kevin Byard #31, and Malcolm Butler #21 of the Tennessee Titans watch as James Robinson #30 of the Jacksonville Jaguars scores a touchdown during the second half at Nissan Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Fantasy Rookie MVP

From UDFA to a top 7 fantasy RB, Robinson exploded on the scene with Fournette going to Tampa Bay and Ryquell Armstead catching a bad case of COVID-19 keeping him on IR this season. Before missing his last 2 games, he was the RB4 on the year which you could’ve picked up off the waivers in 99% of leagues this year. He was viewed as a guy who could’ve won you a championship which didn’t happen because of injury, but he very well got you there.

He set the record for most yards from scrimmage by an undrafted rookie with 1,414 yards. He ended up finishing just 34 yards short of the undrafted rookie rushing record held by Dominic Rhodes who had 1,448 yards back in 2001. It’s not unrealistic to think he would’ve broke it with just one more game played, but he didn’t.

He finished with 1,070 yards rushing and 7 TDs while catching 49 of 60 targets for 344 yards and 3 more TDs. Will he go from UDFA and undrafted in most fantasy drafts to the fantasy rookie MVP?

CeeDee Lamb

Fantasy Rookie MVP
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – NOVEMBER 22: CeeDee Lamb #88 of the Dallas Cowboys pulls in a touchdown pass against Jeff Gladney #20 of the Minnesota Vikings during their game at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Fantasy Rookie MVP

One of the most coveted WR in the rookie class this year, CeeDee Lamb proved why he’s in contention for the fantasy rookie MVP in 2020. He finished with 74 receptions for 935 yards and 5 TDs while finishing as the WR22 overall and the 2nd overall rookie WR with 225.5 points.

Though he didn’t break any rookie records, it’s not crazy to think he would’ve if Dak never got injured. Unfortunately, the fantasy rookie MVP isn’t won on woulda-shoulda-coulda’s. He’s got quite the future and could find himself as the fantasy sophomore MVP next year, but he impressed enough to be a candidate with numbers like his and playing with backup QBs.

Joe Burrow

Fantasy Rookie MVP
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 13: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) spikes the ball after scoring a rushing touchdown in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 13, 2020, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Fantasy Rookie MVP

In the 10 games Burrow played in this year, he put up 300+ yard in half of them, including a 406 yard performance against the Browns in Week 7. Most would say he was leading the fantasy rookie MVP race before his injury. He finished with 2,633 yards, 13 TDs and 5 INTs while completing 65.3% of his passes. He added 142 yards on the ground and 3 TDs. He would’ve battled Herbert for the rookie QB records which would’ve been fun to watch, but we need to pray he heals up well and gets better through the process. He’s the future of the Bengals.

He finished the season as the QB25 with 194.72 points. The first overall pick in the draft deserves to be part of this Fantasy Rookie MVP article even with his season shortened.

Jonathan Taylor

Fantasy Rookie MVP
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JANUARY 03: Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts is tackled by Chris Claybrooks #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Fantasy Rookie MVP

JT finished as the top rookie RB this year with 252.8 fantasy points and as the RB6. In my Rookie Risers and Fallers: Week 11 article, I suggested to keep JT benched for the rest of the year unless he starts to get touches. Between Week 8-10 he averaged just 6.73 PPG, 29.33% of offensive snaps and 10 touches per game in that stretch. In the final 6 games, he turned it around averaging 24.28 PPG, 61.5% of offensive snaps and 22.2 touches per game. He finished the season with 1,169 yards and 11 TDs while catching 36 balls for 299 yards and an additional TD.

He set the Colts single-game rushing record in this final game as he ran for 253 yards. He also finished 2nd to Adrian Peterson for most yards in a single-game for a rookie as he rushed for 296 yards in ’07. He finished the season with a huge performance, but was it enough to be the fantasy rookie MVP?

Fantasy Rookie MVP

James Robinson

Fantasy Rookie MVP
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 13: James Robinson #30 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs the ball against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on December 13, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) Fantasy Rookie MVP

In a VERY close race for the fantasy rookie MVP title, James Robinson takes home the trophy. He may have been outscored by JT this season by 4 fantasy points, but Robinson played one less game. JT was expected to ball out averaging 16.9 PPG, but Robinson came out of nowhere averaging 17.7 PPG.

Every season, there seems to be one guy who shocks the world, and the UDFA, Robinson, was the guy in 2020. Though there were a lot of things that happened preseason for him to become the starter, he took off with the opportunity and never looked back. I expect him to have a repeat season next year with Trevor Lawerence, most likely, under center.


Thank you for reading Fantasy Rookie MVP – 2020 Rookie Risers and Fallers Finale. If you have any additional questions about someone I didn’t touch on, make sure to let me know in the comments below! For more articles like this visit RotoHeat. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!