There's been a running back with crazy high expectations in each of the past four rookie classes. There might be one in the 2020 class. 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs' first-round pick, is a cinch to be the first rookie drafted in seasonal leagues and more than likely in long-term formats. What makes him so good? You'll find out. 

The Lions, Colts, Rams, Ravens, and Packers also added running backs before the end of Round 2 in the NFL Draft. The Buccaneers and Bills are among the teams making splashes in Round 3. 

Which rookies will be great now? Which ones will be great later? It might be easy to say that the earlier a back is drafted, the more likely they can contribute as soon as October, but the truth is that circumstances will dictate every running back in the class. Why? Because they ALL were drafted to teams where they have at least one veteran back in front of them on the depth chart. 

As you check out the running back class of 2020, remember that this offseason was different than pretty much every other one before it. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, NFL teams were prohibited from holding minicamps. That includes the introductory rookie minicamps every team holds to help their new players get acclimated. Between the draft and the start of training camp, players are forced to work out on their own and meet virtually with their new coaches. It's highly likely that most of the 2020 rookie class will be affected by their limited offseason exposure in some way. 

Editor's notes: Players are listed in the order of Dave Richard's 2020 PPR rankings. Players ages are as of a presumed Week 1 date of Sept. 13.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

5-7 1/4, 207, 21 years old

After having to mix and match his backs throughout the past season, Andy Reid spent a first-round pick on Edwards-Helaire. Think of Edwards-Helaire as a Kareem Hunt clone -- stocky, physical and versatile with deceptively quick feet and the best receiving skills among running backs in the draft class. He also benefited from playing in LSU's amazing offense in 2019, rushing for 16 scores and just over 1,400 yards while adding 453 yards on a whopping 55 receptions in 15 games. He's a terrific fit for the Chiefs offense, one that's thrown at least 99 passes to its running backs in each Reid's seven seasons as head coach. It comes down to Reid committing to Edwards-Helaire as his main back, something he may be compelled to do after taking him with a first-round pick.

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: The Edwards-Helaire hype will lead to someone in every league taking him before Round 2 ends. It's a mistake if he's embattled with Damien Williams or someone else in the preseason. If he's clearly the Chiefs' top back, Round 2 might be too late.  

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: Even with all of the great receivers in this draft class, Edwards-Helaire is irresistible as either the first or second player off the board.

D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

5-8 1/4, 212, 21 years old

Since 2014, the Lions have finished 21st or worse in rushing and fielded just one running back with a PPR Fantasy points per game average good enough to finish in the top 15. This is the uphill climb Swift faces as the latest Lions running back. It helps that he's a quick one-cut runner with excellent balance and natural hands, affording him chances at picking up chunks of yards after contact and through the air. It's those skills that helped him put up at least 1,300 total yards and eight scores in each of his past two seasons at Georgia. Aside from Detroit's dreadful rushing production, the current coaching staff has preferred a multi-player approach, giving 15 or more touches to one running back in just half of their games going back to 2018. Swift will have to prove he's superior in order to buck that trend -- and if it happens, he'll probably also buck the trend of terrible Lions running backs for Fantasy. 

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: With Swift's situation comparing to Miles Sanders' last year, most will draft him as a fringe No. 2 running back with potential to morph into a No. 1. Round 5 would be the time. 

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: Expect him to go somewhere between third and sixth overall. 

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

5-10 3/8, 217, 21 years old

Life after Todd Gurley in L.A. will include Akers, the cut-back king of the 2020 draft class. Akers is one of three running backs in Florida State history to run for over 1,000 yards in each of three seasons, but he's the only one to do it annually behind a rag-tag offensive line. It's his lateral agility and quick acceleration that helped him attain his numbers. Sadly, he'll need every bit of those skills behind the Rams' unimproved O-line, ranked sixth-worst by Pro Football Focus in 2019. Akers will also lose touches, including possibly passing downs and at the goal-line, to second-year speedster Darrell Henderson and veteran pounder Malcolm Brown. His upside suggests being way better than both and clearing 1,200 total yards as a rookie, but his downside could be realized early if he puts the ball on the ground too much (10 fumbles in 36 games at FSU).

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: Akers' competition for playing time will fend off Fantasy drafters until Round 5, but there's obvious potential that makes him worth a top-60 pick.

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: Expect him to go somewhere between third and sixth overall.

Jonathan Taylor's biggest problem as a rookie might be the same as most of this running-back class -- touches.

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

5-10 1/4, 226, 21 years old

Taylor is the best blend of size, power and speed among his rookie peers. That's probably why the Colts traded up for the one-time track star and three-year dominator from Wisconsin. Taylor is the only player in FBS history to rack up over 1,900 rushing yards in each of three seasons, dashing past and through defenses with his sub-4.4 speed and relentless strength. He does have a history of fumbling (18 in 41 games), isn't an accomplished receiver and may have benefited from playing behind a great offensive line. However, the line he'll run behind in Indy is pretty incredible and the offense he'll play in should afford him chances to improve through the air. Finding massive amounts of touches is an issue in 2020 -- Marlon Mack should have a role,  as should passing-downs specialist Nyheim Hines -- but in time Taylor figures to become one of Fantasy's best running backs.

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: He might get overdrafted in Round 4. The better spot to wait for him is in late Round 5 or early Round 6.

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: He's worth one of the first two picks. If you can't overlook Edwards-Helaire's lack of speed, or if you're in a non-PPR format, Taylor should be the pick at No. 1. 

J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens

5-9 1/2, 209, 21 years old

Running backs in Baltimore have been fantastic since quarterback Lamar Jackson took over. That should help the speedy Dobbins put up great numbers once Mark Ingram gives up his grip on the starting job. Ingram, 30, won't give up many touches this year but could be a cap casualty in 2021. That's when Dobbins should take over, just as he took over Ohio State's backfield the past three seasons, gathering over 1,000 rush yards per year including 2,003 yards in 2019. Not only is he a terrific fit for Baltimore's pistol run game, but his receiving skills are clutch. About the only thing missing is consistent power in his runs, but the Ravens have been known to bring out the physicality in their players. The fear is we'll have to wait a while to get the best from Dobbins.

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: Frisky drafters will take Dobbins too soon. Round 9 is the absolute earliest time to take him, but you must promise yourself to be patient (or draft Mark Ingram three rounds earlier).

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: Bank on Dobbins going anywhere from third to seventh overall. I'd take him fifth.  

Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5-9 1/2, 205, 23 years old

Vaughn picked up tons of attention from the Fantasy universe when the Buccaneers took him in Round 3. He thrived in two seasons at Vanderbilt, chugging for over 1,300 total yards and 10 total touchdowns for the lowly Commodores, an impressive feat considering the competition in the SEC. Vaughn's good at evading and breaking tackles, catching passes and is good at blocking for his quarterback (a necessity now in Tampa Bay). To be great for Fantasy, he will need volume. To accomplish that, he'll have to push Ronald Jones into a bench role. The hunch is he'll begin the year as Tampa Bay's third-down back and could develop from there.

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: People are excited to draft Buccaneers now, but this one shouldn't get picked until late Round 6. 

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: Vaughn makes the cut as a win-now option in the late part of the first round. 

Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills

5-9 3/8, 223, 22 years old

Like Devin Singletary, Moss was a yards creator in college, using his physical nature and agility to find success. Moss ran for over 1,000 yards and scored at least 10 rushing touchdowns in each of his last three seasons at Utah. Unlike Singletary, Moss isn't an accomplished third-down back and comes into the pros with a laundry list of injury concerns (ankle, knee, shoulder, hamstring all hurt within the past three years). He also lacks breakaway speed and will get caught from behind. Bills GM Brandon Beane thinks he profiles as an early-downs grinder. That could translate to a dozen touches per week, along with some goal-line chances to begin the year. But at the first sign of struggle, Singletary (who is just three months older) will be there to absorb more touches.

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: Moss has rookie bargain written all over him if you can get him past 100th overall. 

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: Concerns about a short shelf life in the NFL should push him into the early part of Round 2. 

A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers

6-0 3/8, 247, 22 years old

A Derrick Henry clone, Dillon was a powerful rusher for Boston College, bowling over defenders for over 1,100 rushing yards in each of three seasons and over 1,500 yards in two of three. Running the 40-yard dash at 4.53 is no joke when you weigh over 240 pounds, plus he's proven to be durable and could develop contributions in the passing game. Green Bay's decision to take him in Round 2 suggests they have a plan to use him more than just a few times per game. Packers coach Matt LaFleur coached Henry during his breakout year and may use a similar blueprint for Dillon, pairing him with Aaron Jones this year and unleashing him as the main rusher in Green Bay next year.

2020 DRAFT OUTLOOK: Speculating with an 11th-round pick on Dillon might seem pricey, but there's potential being the burly backup behind Aaron Jones in the Packers run-preferred offense.

ROOKIE-ONLY DRAFT OUTLOOK: He'll get snared with a pick in the first half of Round 2. 

* * * 

Rookie-only rankings 

1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC
2. Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND
3. CeeDee Lamb, WR, DAL
4. Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN
5. J.K. Dobbins, RB, BAL
6. D'Andre Swift, RB, DET
7. Cam Akers, RB, LAR
8. Jalen Reagor, WR, PHI
9. Henry Ruggs, WR, LV
10. Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN
11. Joe Burrow, QB, CIN
12. Tee Higgins, WR, CIN
13. Michael Pittman, WR, IND
14. Laviska Shenault, WR, JAC
15. Denzel Mims, WR, NYJ
16. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB, TB
17. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, SF
18. A.J. Dillon, RB, GB
19. Bryan Edwards, WR, LV
20. Zack Moss, RB, BUF
21. Chase Claypool, WR, PIT
22. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, MIA
23. Antonio Gibson, RB, WAS
24. Anthony McFarland, RB, PIT
25. Van Jefferson, WR, LAR
26. Adam Trautman, TE, NO
27. Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, WAS
28. Cole Kmet, TE, CHI
29. Justin Herbert, QB, LAC
30. Darrynton Evans, RB, TEN
31. Tyler Johnson, WR, TB
32. Devin Duvernay, WR, BAL
33. K.J. Hamler, WR, DEN
33. Lynn Bowden, RB, LV
34. Joshua Kelley, RB, LAC
35. Jordan Love, QB, GB
36. Devin Asiasi, TE, NE
37. Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI
38. Gabriel Davis, WR, BUF
39. Lamical Perine, RB, NYJ
40. Eno Benjamin, RB, ARI
41. DeeJay Dallas, RB, SEA
42. Joe Reed, WR, LAC
43. John Hightower, WR, PHI
44. Quintez Cephus, WR, DET
45. Quez Watkins, WR, PHI
46. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, DEN
47. Raymond Calais, RB, TB
48. Jacob Eason, QB, IND
49. K.J. Hill, WR, LAC
50. James Proche, WR, BAL

So what Fantasy football sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which WR1 candidate can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that was all over Derrick Henry's huge season, and find out.