By now you know my feeling on rookies as it relates to their dependable fantasy output. They are hard to peg, regardless of their college performance and pre-season of course. Look at college gods Vince Young and Johnny Manziel. Young will never be remembered for anything he did in the NFL, but he’ll be revered in Austin, TX forever. I’m constantly preaching value, and it’s too hard to identify value when you haven’t seen a decent sample size. Every now and then a Zeke Elliot, but the odds of finding a rookie that contributes right away, consistently while also being touted are so low Gary Coleman would look like a giant amongst men. Let’s proceed with RBs and TEs.
Dalvin Cook – He’s the most complete in this class AND he’s in the best situation. The Vikings defense will keep them in so many games and Vikings will keep the pace slow. He has a path of least resistance, and would gladly take him in the 4th if he fell to me and I had a solid RB1 already… 3rd round in Dynasty leagues.
Kareem Hunt – I know he moved up to the starting roll with the Spencer Ware injury, but how much is Kansas City really going to rely on a rookie RB. Most experts are saying to take him in the third round, but I’ll take Lamar Miller or Ty Montgomery instead.
Joe Mixon – he’s looks too good to ignore, but he’s still part of a cluttered back field. Cincy will use him consistently, but he’ll get less volume than both Cook and Hunt.
Christian McCaffery – love his versatility, but don’t like the offensive system, which isn’t designed to get the RB the ball through the ball. He’s fine between the tackles, but so is Jonathan Stewart. I see him getting 10-11 touches a game tops this season.
Leonard Fournette – his swag is a little too much for me, plus I don’t trust the Jaguars. A handful of defenses in the SEC shut Fournette, so I’m not sold that he’s a world beater, even if he claims he’ll be. Do you think he’s better than Todd Gurley?? How you answer that question will determine where you draft this guy.
David Njoku – I like his confidence and what he’s shown in camp this pre-season. I also like the relationship he and Kizer have developed thus far. Rookie QBs need and want TEs, so this could be the perfect storm. In Dynasty’s this is who I’m targeting and in season-long this is who’s on my watch list. Boom!
O.J. Howard – easily the most accomplished, but Cameron Brate is the red-zone target in this offense. He gets a good sized fade right now, and his injuries concerns from college are not to be ignored. Howard carries the greatest risk/reward factor, but he’s def a TE2 for now.
Evan Ingram – This kid is starting in a high powered offense with no running game, no o-line and below average blocking skills. My guess is that Eli Manning averages 35 pass attempts per game which means Ingram gets 6 targets per game, including looks in the red zone. He’s an every down TE… for now… but if he can’t block this won’t end well. His athleticism is sublime, and he should be on everyone’s radar, as he’ll get the most consistent volume of all rookie TEs.