CommishKings: Impact Rookies You Should Target
Des - @boxscoreprophet
The time has come, and there is a lot of ground to cover, so let’s start with some low hanging fruit and take a look a some first year players that may or may not have and impact and why? I’m here for one reason only, and that’s to help you win your weekly matchup and ultimately your championship. This is going to mean stepping on some fantasy toes, which will likely include stepping on teams and players that you love. The goal is not to offend (most of the time), but to help you move towards the prize, whatever the prize may be. Cash, bragging rights, pride, the girl of your dreams whatever, let’s work together on this.
Let’s breakdown some opportunities that you may have with first year players because at the end of the day, fantasy experts know pretty much the same as you, they’ve just put in the work researching the metrics so you don’t have to. Rookies are tough to call gamers as the body of work is limited, and for every expert who says that Zeke Elliot is a sure fire first rounder, there’s an expert telling you to stay away. The general consensus however was that Zeke playing behind that O-line would dominate if healthy, and he did, but that’s not the point. The goal is to extract value, which was easy to do with Elliot, because he produced at a first round clip.
Let’s take a look at the QB position first, but know the best advice I can give you is to go with your heart first. If you feel strongly about a player, you’ll live in fantasy shame if you don’t pull the trigger, and if it doesn’t work out, at least you followed your convictions. So to be perfectly blunt, this year’s rookie class stinks like a gas station restroom and not only am I not reaching for any rookie QBs, I’m not rostering any this year. If you want to roster Mitch Trubisky with that limited body of work on a sucky team, you go, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. There’s no good reason to land the plane at the QB position, and if you look to last season you’ll understand why. Carson Wentz was nice... in real life, but useless in fantasy, but Dak Prescott was a top nine fantasy QB. The thing with that is, no sane person reached for him. He was a waiver wire pickup only because Romo got injured and someone in your league was desperate. Let’s be honest though, as good as he was, he wasn’t carrying a single worthwhile fantasy team. If there was one QB I’d guess to have a season like that it would Clemson’s own Deshaun Watson, who is in a perfect situation in Houston. I ain’t reaching though, so keep your eyes peeled.
At Wide Receiver, Tyreek Hill was ranked 15th as his position and had some monster games during the season. Hill got over five touches per game, but also lined up in the backfield a bunch as well. There is no WR in this year’s draft that versatile, so if it’s a rookie you want to roster, you’ll have to consider the one rookie that has every physical quality you would want, plus an eye for the end zone. Hands, speed, size, and route running ability are great, but if you’re not converting TDs than fantasy value is marginalized. Rookies like Mike Williams and John Ross have great physical ability, but neither put the numbers Corey Davis did. Davis averaged 15/88/1446 in his final three years at Western Michigan as he steam rolled the Mid-American conference. In terms of career stats, no WR in the MAC has even finished within 1000 yards of Davis’ receiving total including Antonio Brown. You have to love that Marcus Mariota is his QB too, so if there’s one rookie I’m reaching for at this position, it’s easily Davis who has top 15 potential in the right situation.
I have a better chance of getting a hug from Seinfeld on the red carpet than I have of nailing rookie projections at the RB position this year. There’s a bunch of them in good spots, but at the end of the day they’re still rookies, buried on depth charts and have ceilings and floor that are yet to be determined. My recommendation is to develop strong feelings for one of the big three I’m going to touch on take your best shot, as rostering more than one rookie RB is playing fantasy roulette.
Leonard Fournette is the obvious choice here, but I’m not reaching, and I can’t in good conscience advise you to do the same. Fournette has everything you need in a RB body, but he’s not playing on a great team, or behind a great line. Everyone will now be in a constant search for the next Ezekiel Elliot, but Fournette is not it. Do you like Fournette better than Todd Gurley?? If so, feel free to reach, but Gurley was better in college and will be as a pro. Remember every player is good, if you draft them at the right moment, and for Fournette, that moment is sometime after the 5th round.
Christian McCaffrey had over 2650 YFS in 2015 and another 1K in kick off returns, which are ridiculous numbers. He in my opinion is the Tyreek Hill of this season. He’s not as fast but who cares, his route running ability is the best of any drafted player in 2017 and he knows what to do when the ball is in hands. The son of former Bronco Ed McCaffrey, the younger Christian has top-notch football acumen to go with the pedigree. The best is he’ll get 15 touches per game out of the gates, which is what you need to be focused on. The volume will justify a reach in this situation, so don’t let the rookie tag scare you off. This Carolina Panthers offense if sublime, and I’m putting my stock in McCaffrey over any rookie this season.
I’ve been trying to land the plane on Joe Mixon since draft day, and let’s face it – no one is surprised that it was the Bengals who took the shot on him, after video evidence showed him caving in a girls face in a an excessive display of self-defense. Where is Ray Rice by the way? Mixon’s numbers per game were similar to or better than Elliot’s. His body measures out similarly as well. Much like middle school boy girl parties for me, Mixon wasn’t invited to the combine, but rumor on the street is that he is faster than Elliot as well. He’s drawn comparison to Matt Forte Le’Veon Bell, but its all relative if you don’t get good value. He’s in a time-share already and behind an O-line that isn’t even close to what Elliot has in Dallas. We are on that quest, but your search should continue if you want Elliot type production? Personally I fear the cloud that will reside over his head for a while, but I’m not reaching. I’ll take him after the 10th round, but not before I’ve rostered two solid and proven backs already. Here’s to second chances. Hit me up on Twitter to discuss further.