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 the rookies that are chosen. In dynasty leagues it’s all about the rookie draft. Many rookie drafts begin immediately after the NFL draft ends, some wait until later in OTAs, training camp or pre-season in order to provide the most opportunity to evaluate player situations. For those that draft quickly, it’s important to have opinions on the value of these rookies so with that in mind, here is my post-draft rookie top 12 rankings. This represents the first round in most rookie drafts. Let’s get right to it:
- Todd Gurley (STL) – Gurley was a surprise pick by the Rams, but it makes a lot of sense. Jeff Fisher is a run-minded coach and Gurley can carry the load much better than Tre Mason over the long term. Over the short-term, don’t be surprised to see Tre Mason start the year as the lead dog and still share carries in the second half of the year. As long as you’re thinking long-term, Gurley is your man.
- Amari Cooper (OAK) – Cooper finds himself in a pretty darn good situation. Solid young QB in Derek Carr, absolutely no competition for the WR1 gig, though that also could impact him with a lot of double teaming. There is no reason here to believe Cooper won’t grow into the lead role in year 1. In PPR leagues, you can probably swap Cooper for Gurley and feel pretty good about it.
- Kevin White (CHI) – Chicago has a lot of transition going on, so this pick is not without some risk. Cutler is a solid QB but obviously won’t be there for long. John Fox is not known as an offensive coach, though he lit it up with Peyton Manning in Denver. I just don’t think this offense will have the same fire power. That said, Alshon Jeffrey will make it hard for defenses to focus on White, which will help him. At the end of the day, his talent wins out here to put him in this slot.
- Melvin Gordon (SD) – San Diego traded up to get Gordon and I have to say I love where he landed. While there are decent RBs already on the roster, there is no doubt that both A) Gordon is more talented than all of them and B) San Diego wanted him very badly. I think this makes a terrific fantasy football scenario that could put Gordon as the #1 producing rookie running back in the 2016 season.
- DeVante Parker (MIA) – Another perfect fit. The Dolphins have quietly cobbled together one of the best young receiver corps in the NFL. Parker is the perfect X split end to Kenny Stills Z receiver and Jarvis Landry’s Y slot receiver. Add in Jordan Cameron and you’ve got yourself some weapons. Tannehill is developing in to a quality starter which makes this situation all the better. The only risk here is that in the last few years the Fins receivers really didn’t produce much. That should change going forward.
- Breshad Perriman (BAL) – Baltimore was in dire need for a WR infusion and got it in the first round with Perriman. Perriman was one of those guys that was on the outer edge of the first round and will jump up now that the Ravens have made this commitment. What’s not to like here, he has a mentor in Steve Smith, very little quality competition and a solid QB situation. He’ll need some time to grow into this role for sure, he’s not a finished product, but the upside is higher than is was pre-draft.
- Dorial Green-Beckham (TEN) – I would consider this point in the draft to be a break point. The first five are dynasty money IMO, Perriman has a very solid situation, here at #7 it starts to get a bit based on your taste and needs. DGB has incredible potential and has been placed in a good situation. Marcus Mariota will be his QB and as long as he develops, DGB develops 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. That’s a big IF though…
- TJ Yeldon (JAX) – Another guys who, like Perriman, will fly up the post-NFL draft rookie rankings IMO. Yeldon, while not the best athlete at the combine, is good enough to be a three down back in the NFL and the Jaguars have drafted him to be that back. That’s good enough for me! With very little competition in this backfield and a solid group of young offensive players to build around, Yeldon could be a poor man’s Gordon or Gurley in this draft.
- Nelson Agholor (PHI) – In the end, Chip Kelley tried but could not trade up for Marcus Mariota, so he sat back 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 quality fantasy player. Why, you ask, do you rank him below two guys that went later in the draft? Good question, one reason is talent, DGB and Yeldon are more talented than Agholor in their respective positions. Second, while being a receiver in Kelly’s offense is coveted, I’m not convinced Agholor will be the #1 receiver on this team, which to me, limits his upside. In PPR I’d probably put him ahead of Yeldon, but that’s it.
- Jameis Winston (TB) – Winston moves up into the first round on my board because of the weapons he has at his disposal. Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and now Kenny Bell. Winston and his immaturity is a risk no doubt, but so was Cam Newton and he provided fantasy ballers four straight top 5 fantasy seasons. I’m not 100% on it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Winston did the same thing.
- Tevin Coleman (ATL) – Coleman is a warrior. He played half his senior season on a broken foot and still had a 2,000 yard season. He comes into a situation where his only competition is Devonta Freeman. Now many will tell you that’s now competition but don’t believe it. This looks to me like a committee for at least the first year, while Colemen gets used to pass pro and the speed of the game. If he does well purely running the ball this year, look for him to take over in year 2.
- Devin Funchess (CAR) – This guy just sneaks into my top 12 in getting picked up by Carolina. Here’s the thing, if they play him at WR, which I think they will, then Cam Newton has the weapons to succeed. I think this offense has more potential than it’s 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 pie can get a little bit bigger for everyone.