Fantasy Football Rookies To Watch
Rookie hype in drafting is a big deal. Most first year players don’t factor in, but the few that do influence the masses to roll the dice on guys that come up snake eyes more often than not. Let me underline this now: I do not see any rookie leading you to fantasy glory in 2016. I just don’t. Nobody is good enough or landed in a good enough situation to overspend on them. It doesn’t mean to ignore them either. But you can’t just look at the round they were drafted. Situation is everything. And just because I didn’t list someone, doesn’t mean to ignore them. Injuries are part of the game and open up doors to unforseen circumstances all the time. And undrafted guys sometimes play a role too. Here is an early look at what to expect from the fantasy football rookies.
1. RB Zeke Elliott, Cowboys
Should win the starting job in a crowded backfield. Depending on preseason could rank as high as a RB2 with upside.
2. RB Paul Perkins, Giants
Beating out Rashad Jennings doesn’t seem likely, but Jennings is oft-injured and Perkins could be next man up as a well-rounded back in a good offense. Possible late round pick depending on preseason or better if he can rise to be a 1B to Jennings 1A.
3. RB Alex Collins, Seahawks
Thomas Rawls looked great a season ago, but is an UDFA coming off surgery. Collins will remind some people of Lynch. Good spot to use a late round pick.
4. RB Kenneth Dixon, Ravens
Another good situation with an UDFA in Justin Forsett coming off of surgery and a lackluster rookie showing for Buck Allen. Could earn serious playing time.
Keep An Eye On This Summer
5. Derrick Henry, Titans
Why not higher? He doesn’t catch the ball and DeMarco Murray does, and Murray at worst is going to be a 1A in a split that plays on passing downs which limits Henry’s upside. Monitor it.
6. Jordan Howard, Bears
Good landing spot potentially, but no obvious role right now.
7. Devontae Booker, Texans
Could be stuck as a backup and nothing more, but can do everything so that could help him onto the field.
8. Deandre Washington, Raiders
Should jump in as the 3rd down back with possibility for more because of the quickness he brings to the table.
9. Keith Marshall, Redskins
Great combine sets him in a nice spot to be a backup to an injury prone second year starter. Could rise quickly.
10. CJ Prosise, Seahawks
Might earn passing back role or more. Hard to say right now.
11. Tyler Ervin, Texans
Like him, but crowded situation.
12. Kenyan Drake, Dolphins
Looking like a 3rd down back, but not a true backup which means little upside drafting him.
1. Corey Coleman, Browns
Quarterback situation might be very shaky, but only guy on this list that should be a team’s #1 receiver from day one. Opportunity trumps all in fantasy making him a possible high end WR3.
2. Sterling Shepard, Giants
Terrific situation where he’ll be no worse than a #3, and possibly win a starting job with a great quarterback. Could be a PPR-league dynamo much like Brandin Cooks was in New Orleans year 1.
3. Laquon Treadwell, Vikings
He could be Vikes top guy in year one, but upside appears lower based on QB-play and recent receivers (Diggs was barely top 50 last season). Still opportunity should yield possible WR3 results because of a better talent.
4. Tyler Boyd, Bengals
He’s refined enough to slide in as a starter next to AJ Green, but at worst should serve as a 3rd receiver. Keep an eye on the role because it could mean WR4 like Marvin Jones was last year.
5. Michael Thomas, Saints
Marques Colston is gone, leaving Thomas with the chance to earn a role behind Cooks and Willie Snead. It may only add up to a WR6, but the door is open for more and a chance to play with Drew Brees.
6. Josh Doctson, Redskins
Love the talent, but if Jackson and Garcon are present, hard to see a definable, dependable role here in year one. Dynasty leagues could justify him as top choice however.
Keep An Eye On This Summer
7. Will Fuller, Texans
So many wide receivers in Houston. He really has to earn a starting job to become relevant in my opinion.
8. Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots
Sneaky good opportunity here. Not sure he’s good enough to take advantage of it.
9. Pharoh Cooper, Rams
Not a great landing spot with Tavon Austin being the gadget player on the team, but look to see if he can carve out a role because he’s explosive enough to roster if he does in deeper leagues.
10. Aaron Burbridge, 49ers
A lot of bodies, but most of them are barely warm so he’ll have a shot to earn a role.
11. Cody Core, Bengals
Speed to burn. Could become deep threat on a team where safety is keeping an eye on AJ Green.
12. Leonte Caroo, Dolphins
Like him, but looking at being a #4 in year one.
13. Everyone else in Cleveland (Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Lewis, Jordan Payton, Seth Devalve)
Say it again with me, playing time equals opportunity. I have no idea who will emerge. Just monitor it.
Possible Backup In 2QB Leagues
1. Jared Goff, Rams
It’s a weak offense and supporting cast. Should go undrafted in standard 1QB leagues.
Keep An Eye On For 2QB Leagues
2. Paxton Lynch, Broncos
Unlikely to play this year, but currently an injury away from seeing the field and being surrounded by pretty good weapons. Don’t draft, but monitor his progress.
Nobody else is in a position to be drafted for fantasy leagues this season.
None should be drafted this year. Hunter Henry will serve as Antonio Gates understudy in San Diego and could have long-term success, but check out the lack of impact tight ends have in their rookie year and you’ll understand why you should look elsewhere.