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Fantasy: NFL draft instant analysis and projections – Round 1 – theScore

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Find positional rankings, additional analysis, and subscribe to push notifications in the NFL Fantasy News section.

theScore’s Justin Boone provided instant breakdowns of every fantasy-relevant selection in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals (1st)

Star potential: ★★★★★
2020 projection (16 starts): 4,074 passing yards, 20 TDs, 14 INTs
293 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 5 FUMs

In a draft full of uncertainty, Cincinnati selecting Burrow was the lone lock heading into the opening round.

Coming off one of the best statistical campaigns we’ve ever seen from a college quarterback, Burrow joins a roster with an underrated crop of skill position players in A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross, and Joe Mixon, as well as an offensive-minded coach in Zac Taylor. Don’t let Cincy’s questionable run-heavy play-calling down the stretch fool you, this is a team capable of producing through the air.

If tackle Jonah Williams, the team’s first-round pick last year, can return to full health – accompanied by a couple of more upgrades on the line – Burrow will get a chance to deliver immediately. He’s not fast enough to be a true rushing threat in the pros. But he’ll provide sufficient yardage on the ground to boost his fantasy value as a QB2 with some upside in Year 1, then develop into a possible QB1 down the road. Add him to your list of late-round quarterbacks to target in 2020.

Stock Up: Joe Burrow, A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, John Ross
Stock Down: Andy Dalton

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins (5th)

Star potential: ★★★★★
2020 projection (8 starts): 2,023 passing yards, 11 TDs, 8 INTs
89 rushing yards, 1 TD, 3 FUMs

The Dolphins used the fifth overall pick to select a player they hope can become their franchise quarterback. The only question will be how the organization approaches his return from a serious hip injury that brought a premature end to his college career in 2019. Having a stopgap veteran like Ryan Fitzpatrick on the roster will allow Miami to take its time with Tua, which is why we’re projecting him for only eight starts in his debut campaign.

Once Tagovailoa takes the field, he’ll have as much upside as any quarterback in this class, and the Dolphins boast a solid assortment of pass-catchers in DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki. However, the odds of Tagovailoa making a significant fantasy impact as a rookie are slim, especially behind a weak Dolphins’ offensive line. His limitations as a rusher could also cap his fantasy outlook since most top-10 quarterbacks run to enhance their numbers. Looking long term, he can develop into a low-end fantasy QB1 if he overcomes durability doubts.

Stock Up: DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Mike Gesicki
Stock Down: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers (6th)

Star potential: ★★★★☆
2020 projection (10 starts): 2,216 passing yards, 13 TDs, 11 INTs
260 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 4 FUMs

The Chargers have made it clear they want to slow things down offensively while using their rushing attack and defense to earn victories. Tyrod Taylor can execute their system and restrict turnovers, so Herbert won’t be handed the job in training camp. Expect him to eventually wrestle it away around midseason when the team realizes Taylor’s limitations.

Though Herbert is far from a perfect prospect, he could produce a Josh Allen-like impact in Year 1 with a similar combination of a big arm and sneaky rushing ability. While surrounded by one of the NFL’s best collections of skill-position talent – Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler – Herbert will be an instant fantasy QB2 the moment he passes Taylor on the depth chart. He may also break into the top 12 for stretches, as Allen did late as a rookie.

Stock Up: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler
Stock Down: Tyrod Taylor

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Raiders (12th)

Star potential: ★★★★☆
2020 projection: 55 receptions, 867 receiving yards, 6 TDs

The Raiders have a vacancy atop their receiving depth chart and Ruggs has an opportunity to become their version of Tyreek Hill. Though Ruggs doesn’t come with all the tools of an elite prospect, he’s more than just a field-stretcher, with 4.27-second 40-yard speed that would make Al Davis proud.

Ruggs can line up at multiple positions, makes great adjustments to the ball, and is tough enough to battle defenders on contested catches. The Raiders will use him as their No. 1 receiver, which means top-24 fantasy numbers are not out of the question even in his debut campaign. We’ll likely see some inconsistency, though, so it’s more realistic to value Ruggs as a fantasy WR3 with upside as a rookie.

Stock Up: Henry Ruggs III, Derek Carr
Stock Down: Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos (15th)

Star potential: ★★★★★
2020 projection: 63 receptions, 879 receiving yards, 7 TDs

Jeudy has the skills to be a team’s top receiver, so landing with a run-first offense that already features Courtland Sutton is less than ideal. Even so, Jeudy should enjoy a fairly seamless transition to the NFL – his route-running and ability to separate are pro-ready. Despite facing high-level competition in the SEC, Jeudy regularly had college defenders’ heads spinning as they tried to keep up with his cuts.

For Jeudy to reach his ceiling with the Broncos, he’ll need to show he can be more physical on contested catches and clean up some of the inexplicable drops he made in college. My early outlook places him as a high-end WR3 as a rookie with potential for more if he can overtake Sutton as Drew Lock’s first read – something that likely won’t happen in 2020.

Stock Up: Drew Lock
Stock Down: Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys (17th)

Star potential: ★★★★★
2020 projection: 51 receptions, 759 receiving yards, 4 TDs

Lamb was the top-ranked wideout prospect in my pre-draft rankings, but that’s going to change with this selection. The Cowboys are already loaded at receiver with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup – who both hit the 1,100-yard mark in 2019 – under contract for at least two more seasons.

Though Lamb has an elite ceiling to eventually emerge as the best of the bunch, he’ll face heavy target competition early in his career, making him a WR4 in fantasy until further notice. For him to climb higher, he’ll need to soak up the 83 targets vacated by Randall Cobb, while also cutting into some of Cooper’s and Gallup’s production – a tall task for any first-year pass-catcher.

The real winner of this pick is Dak Prescott. After scoring the second-most fantasy points among quarterbacks last year, Prescott now arguably has the best receiving trio in the league at his disposal.

Stock Up: Dak Prescott
Stock Down: CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Blake Jarwin

Jalen Reagor, WR, Eagles (21st)

Star potential: ★★★☆☆
2020 projection: 37 receptions, 346 receiving yards, 2 TDs

The Eagles drafted for need in the first round after an unprecedented wave of injuries demolished their receiver corps in 2019, and due to the uncertain future of Alshon Jeffery.

Reagor’s a dynamic playmaker and explosive return man who profiles as more of an inconsistent weapon rather than a full-time star in the pros. His route running isn’t technical enough for him to excel in the slot and he hasn’t shown the ability to beat press coverage on the outside. His production also dropped off dramatically in his final year at TCU, despite playing against a lower level of competition.

While this is a good pick for the Eagles’ offense on the whole due to its lack of speed behind DeSean Jackson, keep your expectations for Reagor in check. He could get off to a slow start like JJ Arcega-Whiteside did in his disappointing rookie campaign. Reagor will be a late-round target at best in redraft leagues, unless the team moves on from Jeffery before Week 1.

Stock Up: Jalen Reagor, Carson Wentz
Stock Down: Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert

Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings (22nd)

Star potential: ★★★★☆
2020 projection: 49 receptions, 681 receiving yards, 4 TDs

There’s nothing particularly exciting about Jefferson being drafted to a Minnesota team built around the run. He’ll slide into Stefon Diggs’ former role, but Jefferson isn’t the same type of player. The rookie actually profiles a lot closer to his new teammate Adam Thielen’s skill set – he has great hands and excels on his snaps out of the slot.

Jefferson posted an absurd 91% catch rate en route to 111 receptions, 1,540 yards, and 18 touchdowns last season at LSU. However, those numbers were inflated thanks to a great scheme and strong quarterback play.

While Jefferson has all the tools to be a high-volume NFL producer, he’s about to encounter the same problem that forced Diggs out of Minnesota – a lack of targets. His arrival also hurts the rest of the Vikings’ pass-catchers. Thielen will likely play more on the outside – the area of the field where he’s less efficient. Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph fall further down the depth chart.

Stock Up: Kirk Cousins
Stock Down: Adam Thielen, Irv Smith Jr., Kyle Rudolph

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers (25th)

Star potential: ★★★☆☆
2020 projection: 43 receptions, 649 receiving yards, 4 TDs

Incoming offensive prospects dream of ending up with the 49ers, where Kyle Shanahan has a track record of getting the most out of his players. Aiyuk’s versatile with big-play ability, but he’ll need to evolve in order to reach his peak in the NFL. Expanding and refining his route tree will be the first thing to address, and he’ll have to learn how to confront press coverage. If he can upgrade in those areas, he could be a productive asset across from Deebo Samuel.

Aiyuk just underwent core muscle surgery, and though he should be healthy in time for training camp, it’s unknown if the procedure will affect his rookie outlook. What we do know is San Francisco is searching for another playmaker at receiver and Aiyuk has the inside track on the job, significantly increasing his fantasy value. He should be on your list of high-upside, late-round targets.

Stock Up: Brandon Aiyuk, Jimmy Garoppolo
Stock Down: Jalen Hurd, Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne

Jordan Love, QB, Packers (26th)

Star potential: ★★★☆☆
2020 projection: Will back up Aaron Rodgers at least two years

History repeats itself, as the Packers wisely begin preparing for life without Aaron Rodgers by drafting his potential successor in the same way the two-time MVP was brought in to learn under Brett Favre.

Love is a natural thrower who flashes elite arm talent at times, but he struggles with decision-making. He’ll be a project for Matt LaFleur’s coaching staff, and spending a couple of seasons studying one of the greatest to ever play the position is excellent for his quarterback education.

It’s also good news for the long-term fantasy outlook of 27-year-old star wideout Davante Adams, since it improves his chances of having a quality starter replace Rodgers down the road.

Stock Up: Jordan Love, Davante Adams
Stock Down: None

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs (32nd)

Star potential: ★★★★★
2020 projection: 214 carries, 984 rushing yards, 7 TDs, 2 FUMs
41 receptions, 278 receiving yards, 1 TD

With the final pick in the first round, the defending champs had the luxury to go in several directions but elected to give Patrick Mahomes another weapon on offense.

Damien Williams, who performed extremely well when healthy, was a limited player benefiting from an outstanding situation. Now Edwards-Helaire will have a chance to show what a more talented running back can do when defenses are focused on slowing down the Chiefs’ passing attack.

Edwards-Helaire is a compact three-down rusher with excellent receiving skills, and he’s coming off a monster season at LSU. He’s extremely quick and dynamic in space, so expect the Chiefs to take advantage of his route running. It’s not hyperbole to say Edwards-Helaire has top-12 fantasy upside in this offense even as a rookie, though he’s likely to fall just outside of that range in my next update.

Stock Up: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Stock Down: Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson, DeAndre Washington

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Poll: Canadians OK with being benched as NHL playoff venue – Sports – Castanet.net

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It looks like hockey fans will be able to cheer on their favourite NHL team this summer but Canadians have issued a collective shrug about whether the Stanley Cup is hoisted on their home ice.

Less than one-quarter of those who took part in a recent survey said it was very important that a Canadian city be host to some of the playoffs.

The web survey, conducted by polling firm Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, found 47 per cent thought it wasn’t important that the puck drop in a Canadian arena.

The NHL plans to resume its 2019-20 season, brought to a halt in March by the COVID-19 pandemic, with games played in two hub cities.

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto are among the 10 possible locations, but Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for people entering the country remains in place and could scuttle the prospect of hockey north of the 49th parallel.

The survey was conducted May 29 to 31 among 1,536 Canadians and 1,002 Americans, 18 or older, who were randomly recruited from an online panel.

The hockey question, limited to Canadian respondents, revealed 24 per cent felt it was very important for a Canadian city to play host, while 20 per cent said it was somewhat important.

Thirty-five per cent said it was not important at all, 12 per cent felt it was somewhat unimportant and nine per cent didn’t know.

The fact the NHL plans to bar spectators from the stands during playoff games due to COVID-19 “probably cooled off a few respondents,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

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FIFA calls on organizers not to sanction in-game gestures supporting George Floyd – CBC.ca

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FIFA urged soccer competition organizers on Monday to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players for solidarity with George Floyd during matches.

The recognition of the “depth of sentiment” over Floyd’s death came in a rare statement by FIFA telling the global game to show flexibility and not enforce laws of soccer it helps to set.

Players used weekend games in Germany to reveal messages demanding justice for Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after he pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck in Minneapolis.

Germany’s soccer federation announced earlier Monday that it was assessing whether to sanction the players for breaking laws of the game that prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on equipment.

WATCH | German league players show support for George Floyd:

During Sunday’s Bundesliga action, Marcus Thuram takes a knee and Jadon Sancho unveils a shirt that says ‘Justice For George Floyd’. 0:40

“FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The application of the laws of the game approved by the IFAB is left for the competitions’ organisers, which should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.”

FIFA controls half of the eight votes on the International Football Association Board, with the other four held by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A law change in 2014 — proposed by England — led to players being banned from revealing personal statements on undergarments.

England winger Jadon Sancho was booked while playing for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday for removing his jersey — a yellow-card offence — only so he could reveal a T-shirt with a “Justice for George Floyd” message.

WATCH | Canadian athletes speak against racism:

Canadian athletes have been speaking out against racism and for change, including tennis youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, basketball legend Steve Nash, and Olympians Kia Nurse, Karina LeBlanc and Perdita Felicien 2:38

Borussia Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi displayed the same message on a T-shirt after scoring in the same game on Sunday but was not booked because he did not lift his jersey over his head.

Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Three other officers were also at the scene. Chauvin has been charged with murder and all four were fired.

In the Bundesliga on Saturday, American midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband over his Schalke jersey with the handwritten message “Justice for George,” and Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Mönchengladbach in another game.

On Monday, after the Deutscher Fussball-Bund said it was assessing the players’ actions, Cologne forward Anthony Modeste became the latest to make a gesture after scoring against Leipzig. He stood briefly with his right palm facing out and his left palm facing in to display the darker skin on the back of his hand.

Cologne said it was “a clear signal” against racism from Modeste.

WATCH | ESPN’s Howard Bryant reflects on Kaepernick’s preaceful protest:

ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant on the death of George Floyd and the resulting civil unrest. 4:19

DFB president Fritz Keller on Monday showed his respect and understanding for McKennie, Thuram, Sancho and Hakimi’s gestures.

“If people are discriminated against on the basis of their skin colour, it is unbearable. If they die because of their skin colour, then I am deeply distraught,” Keller said in a DFB statement. “The victims of racism need all of us to show solidarity.”

The expressions of protest are being investigated by the German soccer federation’s control body.

“As is the case internationally,” federation vice-president Rainer Koch said, “the game itself should remain free of political statements or messages of any kind.”

FIFA’s awareness of the depth of feeling over the racial inequalities highlighted by Floyd’s death comes amid ongoing criticism soccer is not doing enough to eradicate or punish racism.

“FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviours,” the Zurich-based governing body said. “FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices.”

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UFC star Jon Jones confronts vandals during George Floyd protest in Albuquerque – GIVEMESPORT

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UFC star Jon Jones took to the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday night to confront vandals at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Jones has made news in the UFC world recently by vacating the light heavyweight belt but turned his attentions to more pressing matters at the weekend.

The 32-year-old shared footage on his Instagram account that shows him approaching vandals who were spray painting the city.

The protests were sparked by the death of American George Floyd while in police custody last week.

The clip of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes shocked the world and has led to people challenging the injustice towards black people.

But Jones was eager for the protests to be peaceful and he was seen asking the vandals to hand over their spray cans.

He added a caption that read: “Is this s*** even about George Floyd anymore?!? Why the f*** are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!?? 

“As a young black man trust me I’m frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse.

“If you really got love for your city (505), protect your s***. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight.”

Several sports stars have paid tribute to Floyd, with Bundesliga football players making gestures in support of the American at the weekend.

On Saturday, Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore a ‘Justice for George armband’.

And on Sunday, both Marcus Thuram and Jadon Sancho honoured Floyd after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

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