For the past few years it’s felt like Rookies are more impactful than ever in the NFL, and especially in Fantasy. Odell Beckham, Gurley, Zeke, Kamara and Kareem all had explosive rookie campaigns. This works out nicely as it’s always fun to buy into the hype and draft the new guys.
Would you rather take boring old Frank Gore, who is definitely good, or would you prefer a new and shiny Derrius Guice who definitely might be good. Maybe we’re suckers, but we always prefer the rooks. Luckily this strategy really worked for us this year as guys like the aforementioned Hunt and Kamara, ushered in a new era of Fantasy stars with their rookie cohorts like Fournette, Cooper Kupp, Evan Engram, JuJu, CMac and DeShaun Watson.
Last year was truly a special year for rookies, but let’s take a look at this years draft class and see who might be immediate contributors:
Saquon Barkley RB Penn State: Hype train is full steam ahead. Saquon is entering the NFL with more hype than either Zeke or Adrian Peterson. The way people are talking about him, anything outside of a 1st Ballot Hall of Fame career will be a let down. We’ll all be expecting a massive rookie campaign and immediate fantasy impact.
Derrius Guice RB LSU: Guice didn’t quite have the season that some projected for him but he could still be an immediate impact player in the NFL. LSU continues to churn out studs, even if Derrius Guice is more of a Jeremy Hill than a Leonard Fournette, he should be a good piece to have this season depending on his situation
Josh Rosen/Sam Darnold/Baker Mayfield/Josh Allen:
Quarterback is by far the hardest position to evaluate, especially from a fantasy perspective. We have no clue if any of these guys will even be starting come September. Rosen is likely the most pro-ready, with Josh Allen generating the most hype based purely off his physical skills. Baker Mayfield won the Heisman which has correlated negatively recently with NFL success.
Lamar Jackson QB Louisville: We thought LJax deserved his own space here because people are confusing him with just being an athlete, perhaps even moving to WR. That is the incorrect take. Lamar has had a storied college career and could be this years Deshaun Watson.
Calvin Ridley WR Alabama: Old Man Ridley feels like he’s been at ‘Bama for a decade. This should not stop him from being the 1st wide receiver off the board. Depending on the situation Ridley could slide right into a #1 role in a place like Baltimore. Hard to not draw Amari Cooper comparisons, for better or worse.
Courtland Sutton WR SMU: Can’t pretend to have watched a ton of Courtland Sutton this year, but his 6’4 215lb frame jumps off the screen when you pull up his highlights. In a weak WR class, Sutton could be one of the few high impact guys. Bears are probably picking too high for Sutton to land there, but who knows, could be a great spot for him.
Speaking of rookies, the NFLs meat market that is the Combine starts this week, here’s what we’ll be looking for:
Saquon Barkleys 40. If Barkley goes sub 4.4 at 230lbs he should probably go #1 overall, that being said, I don’t think there is any time that will keep him out of the top 5
Vita Vea’s bench press: he may not score you any fantasy points next year (unless you’re an IDP person **cringe**) but we expect big boy to tear up the bench press. We are here for the inhuman feats of strength.
Baker Mayfields field drills: Baker is not your prototypical quarterback. He’s a little guy, he can move, he can throw on the run. We’re excited to see what he looks like in a vacuum with pro scouts breaking down his mechanics.
Lamar Jacksons 40: Don’t be shocked if you see the takes “Lamar Jackson is TOO fast to play quarterback, he’s a wide receiver.” It might actually be to LJs benefit if he goes out there and dogs the 40, give us the Tom Brady 5.2.
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This post was written by Nick