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Post NFL Draft Rookie Rankings – Dynasty Fantasy Football
As is usually the case, the NFL Draft can have a huge impact on the fantasy football fortunes of chosen rookies. In Dynasty Leagues, it’s all about drafting rookies. Many rookie drafts begin immediately after the NFL Draft ends, with some waiting until later in OTAs, training camp, or preseason to provide the most opportunity to assess player status. For those writing quickly, it’s important to have opinions on the value of these rookies, so with that in mind, here’s my ranking of the top 12 rookies after the draft. This represents the first round in most rookie drafts. Let’s cut to the chase:
Todd Gurley (STL) – Gurley was a surprise pick for the Rams, but that makes a lot of sense. Jeff Fisher is an avid trainer and Gurley can handle the load much better than Tre Mason in the long run. In the short term, don’t be surprised to see Tre Mason start the year as the lead dog and continue to split the runs in the second half. As long as you think long term, Gurley is your man.
Amari Cooper (OAK) – Cooper finds himself in a very good situation. Strong young QB in Derek Carr, absolutely no competition for the WR1 gig, although it could also impact him with a lot of double teaming. There’s no reason to believe that Cooper won’t become the lead in Year One. In the PPR leagues, you can probably trade Cooper for Gurley and feel pretty good.
Kevin White (CHI) – Chicago has a lot of transition going on, so this choice is not without risk. Cutler is a solid QB but obviously won’t be around for long. John Fox is not known as an offensive coach, although he lit it with Peyton Manning in Denver. I don’t think this offense will have the same firepower. That said, Alshon Jeffrey will prevent the defenses from focusing on the Whites which will help him. In the end, his talent wins out here to put him in this slot.
Melvin Gordon (SD) – San Diego traded for Gordon and I have to say I love where he landed. While there are already some decent RBs on the roster, there’s no doubt that A) Gordon is more talented than all of them and B) San Diego wanted him badly. I think that makes for a terrific fantasy football storyline that could make Gordon the No. 1 producing rookie in the 2016 season.
DeVante Parker (MIA) – Another perfect fit. The Dolphins quietly cobbled together one of the best young receivers in the NFL. Parker is the perfect X end for Kenny Stills’ Z receiver and Jarvis Landry’s Y slot receiver. Add Jordan Cameron and you have guns. Tannehill is becoming a quality starter which makes this situation even better. The only risk here is that in recent years Fins receivers really haven’t produced much. This should change in the future.
Breshad Perriman (BAL) – Baltimore desperately needed a WR infusion and got it in the first round with Perriman. Perriman was one of those guys who was on the edge of the first round and is going to jump now that the Ravens have made that commitment. What’s not to like here is that he has a mentor in Steve Smith, very little quality competition and a solid QB situation. He will definitely need time to evolve in this role, it’s not a finished product, but the advantage is higher than it was before the draft.
Dorial Green-Beckham (TEN) – I would consider this repechage point as a breaking point. The top five are IMO dynasty money, Perriman has a very solid situation, here at #7 it starts to get a bit dependent on your tastes and needs. DGB has incredible potential and has been placed in a good position. Marcus Mariota will be his QB and as long as he grows, DGB will grow with him. I’ve never been impressed with the other WRs on the Titans, so if he keeps his head straight, DGB can be an absolute steal at this point in the draft. It’s a big IF though…
TJ Yeldon (JAX) – Another guy who, like Perriman, will move up the post-NFL rookie rankings IMO. Yeldon, while not the best athlete in the combine, is good enough to be three back in the NFL and the Jaguars drafted him to be that throwback. That’s good enough for me! With very little competition in that backfield and a solid group of young offensive players to build around, Yeldon could be Gordon or Gurley of the poor in this draft.
Nelson Agholor (PHI) – In the end, Chip Kelley tried but couldn’t trade for Marcus Mariota, so he sat down and took Jeremy Maclin’s replacement instead. Virtually identical to Maclin in many ways (height, weight, speed), Agholor should fit right into Chip’s offense and be a fantastic quality player. Why, you ask, do you rank him below two guys who went later in the draft? Good question, one of the reasons is talent, DGB and Yeldon are more talented than Agholor in their respective positions. Second, while being a receiver on Kelly’s offense is coveted, I’m not convinced Agholor will be the No. 1 receiver on this team, which to me limits his advantage. In PPR, I’d probably put it ahead of Yeldon, but that’s it.
Jameis Winston (TB) – Winston goes first round on my draw because of the guns he has. Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and now Kenny Bell. Winston and his immaturity is definitely a risk, but Cam Newton was too and he provided the fantastic ballers four consecutive top 5 fantastic seasons. I’m not 100% on it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Winston was doing the same.
Tevin Coleman (ATL) – Coleman is a warrior. He played half his senior season with a broken foot and still had a 2,000 yard season. He arrives in a situation where his only competitor is Devonta Freeman. Now, many will tell you that it’s now competition, but don’t believe it. Sounds like a committee to me for at least the first year as Colemen gets used to the pro stint and quick play. If he’s doing well just running the ball this year, look for- the to take over in year 2.
Devin Funchess (CAR) – This guy just sneaked into my top 12 by getting picked up by Carolina. Here’s the thing, if they play it at WR, which I think they will, then Cam Newton has the guns to pull it off. I think this offense has more potential than it has shown in the last two years and with a healthy Cam, Kelvin Benjamin on one side, Funchess on the other, Olsen in the middle and Stewart in the backfield, the cake may get a little bigger for everyone.
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