The Rookie Report

By Matt Rudzik

Fantasy rookies are kind of like sports cars. They’re flashy, trendy, and more often than not they’re used to over compensate for other areas we’re lacking in life. Or for fantasy purposes, other areas are team is lacking. Nothing says championship like drafting Kevin White as your WR2 and him not playing a game all season. Instead, you should’ve drafted that trusty, old reliable, used Honda, Larry Fitzgerald. The point being, even though the rookies maybe more flashy and trendy the used Hondas tend to be safer and sometimes more reliable and the better pick. But this article isn’t about Hondas. It’s about the Ferraris; you know, the rookies. The ones who could potentially lead you to fantasy dominance, or at least help you get through that midlife crisis.
 
Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott – Cowboys – Big Zeke couldn’t have landed in a better spot than the Dallas Cowboys. According to profootballfocus.com, the Cowboys graded out as the best offensive line in football the past four years. This is the same line that enabled Darren McFadden to rush for 1,000 yards last year. That alone should sell you on Elliot. Besides all the measurables, what sells me is the fact that Jerry Jones used such a high pick on him. Jones runs this team, and he’ll make sure his newest investment gets the rock. I’d feel comfortable drafting him in the first round this season and you should too.

Derrick Henry – Titans – Henry being drafted by the Titans isn’t the most ideal situation, since they traded for Demarco Murray this offseason and he figures to be their workhorse back. However, what leads me to believe that Henry might actually be the guy this season, is the fact they acquired Murray. Murray isn’t a beacon of health, and if he goes down, Henry could fall into that similar workhorse roll. At worst he’s a handcuff player who might get 8-12 carries a game and vulture some goal line work.
 
Wide Receivers

Laquon Treadwell – Vikings – I’m not the biggest Teddy Bridgewater guy, but he’s serviceable, and with defenses keying in on stopping AP and Diggs. There will be early season potential for him to make an impact as he’ll be going up against softer coverages and number two corners.

Corey Coleman – Browns – It pains me to even write this, but I actually think Coleman could be somewhat of a steal in fantasy this year. RG3 is throwing him the ball, which is pretty awful. But what if we get rookie RG3? I know it’s a long shot, but he’s finally out of that toxic situation in Washington. Even if RG3 is terrible this season, besides Barnidge, he has no one else to throw too. Coleman will see plenty of targets and he is a play maker. He put up 74 catches, 1363 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns last season at Baylor. So regardless of how RG3 plays, I see Coleman getting a lot of targets. Whether he can turn those targets into fantasy production is another story, but I’m thinking he can.

Will Fuller – Texans – I like the spot Fuller landed in. Against Houston, defenses will have to account for DeAndre Hopkins, who’ll mostly see bracket coverage and Lamar Miller who could see stacked boxes. This means one on one coverage for Fuller, with his speed he could easily beat most number two corners and safeties in the NFL. I see him being similar to Mike Wallace when he played for the Steelers. He’ll put up some huge games with like 3 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns, then follow that up with a 1 catch for 10 yards game the following week. While he’ll probably be inconsistent this season, the speed and defensive schemes he’ll be facing make me think he worth a late flyer.