I cannot remember another draft class with so many relevant rookies with legit fantasy upside. Last year was swell with Ezekiel Elliot, Michael Thomas and Carson Wentz making impacts right away and by right away I mean when they started getting serious playing time. For Elliot and Wentz that was right away, and both those players made a fantasy impact immediately, and were instant assets in the DFS game as well. Wentz tailed off at the end, but showed enough to be viable in dynasty leagues. Thomas started producing as soon as the Saints started depending on him. New Orleans was so optimistic they got rid of Brandin Cooks, while all the scouts and experts nailed Elliot. He was a rookie, who went in the top six (overall not rounds) of fantasy drafts without ever seeing an NFL snap and delivered like a freaking BOSS! Whoever drafted Zeke was rewarded mightily, but many don’t realize how seldom that happens in fantasy. In fact it simply doesn’t, both Wentz and Thomas were relatively undrafted or late rounders, and that’s how it goes with rookies. This year’s class however boasts a ton of upside so you need to take notice, because it would be a huge disservice to your fantasy team, if you didn’t embrace at least 1-2 of these potential playmakers. Let’s start with QBs and WRs first. I’ll do my best to break it down and give you some rational thought.
Pat Mahomes – it’s Mahomes in a boat race with this rookie QB glass. Andy Reid is great with QBs so he’s a dynasty much as early as the 10th round. But I don’t think he sees much of the field this year. If there are signs of trouble early, there will be a full fledged QB controversy. I feel for Alex Smith, but it’s you I’m concerned about, so keep your head on a swivel for this season, and draft for sure in keepers.
Mitchell Trubisky – He has a good set of weapons around him but pre-season can be fantasy fools gold. Whether he plays or not, I’m not touching him, but definitely a potential keeper.
DeShone Kizer – I’m as shocked as any, but I’ve always maintained that the Browns will shock the NFL world this season as well as their opponents. Looks like the Browns will roll with Kizer, which is ballsy, but they have nothing to lose. Don’t expect much this season, but Kizer is a must dynasty add, just because I think Cleveland is on their way.
DeSahun Watson – his college resume is as good as any but doesn’t appear that Watson is ready to transition that into the pros without further development. Everyone’s looking for the next Russell Wilson but I have my doubts, I’m rooting for him, I’m just not drafting him.
I heart Corey Davis from his college resume, to his combination of size, speed, hands and route running ability. The problem is that he’s been injured, which has left him undrafted in pretty much every league I’ve been in aside from dynasty leagues. He is a dynasty/keeper must, and has the super high ceiling. I’m going to wait until he becomes active in season-long leagues before adding.
… and Everyone Else – the next tier of WRs who haven’t taken a snap in the NFL are less than impressive, and few will even start. Here’s a short list, but none are worth analyzing more than the list below. It should be noted that inevitably one of these schmucks will be consistent and a viable WR3, but I’m not betting on it.
Zay Jones BUF – Jones will actually be a WR2 on the Bills so he could get 8 targets per game, which is amazing. This position is so deep in the 2nd and 3rd tiers I just can’t imagine taking a risk on him, unless you are in a deep dynasty league with a bunch of roster spots
John Ross CIN – a burner who also won the #2 spot. He’s just not worth the spend with Andy Dalton under center. Dynasty—check!
Curtis Samuel CAR – also keeper worthy and will get volume in Carolina. They already have 4 viable targets however, so he’s the 4th option, and that’s no including Devin Funchess
Adarius Stewart NYJ – who?? My point exactly, but he’s the WR2 for the Jets. Enough said, and they just traded for Jermaine Kearse so there’s that.
Kenny Goalladay DET – lame!!
Mike Williams LAC – buried in the depth chart
JuJu Smith-Shuster PIT – boring!!
Good Luck Gamers!!