Rookies can be true game changers when it comes to fantasy football. Having the top rookies in the league can separate a good roster from a championship roster. Often they’re drafted far below their end season value, making them great bargain picks. It’s even better to identify the key guys if you play in a keepers league.
This list is for pure fantasy football purposes. If you actually know what you’re doing you’ll know everything is relative. Obviously a QB will score more points than a RB, but compared to other QBs the trade-off isn’t as great. So let’s count it down, top rookies to target based on value.
5. N’Keal Harry
Harry has everything you want in a top-notch wide receiver. The problem(if you want to call it that)? He plays for the Patriots. Every year it gets harder and harder to trust Pats players in fantasy because of the wide distribution of the ball. Harry does manage to crack the list though because of the skill sets he brings to the team that no one else does. He could very well replace Gronk as the red zone target for Brady. He’s also more than a one-trick pony when it comes to receiver, as he can realistically lineup at either the X or Z receiver position. Bill loves versatility so it may be hard to take him off the field.
4. Kyler Murray
Obviously the number-1 overall pick in the NFL draft is one of the top rookies, but based on some of the reports coming out of camp, Murray could find himself in the top half of the league for QBs. Everything Murray does well is exactly what new head coach Kliff Kingsbury bases his offense around. Reports are the Cardinals have been practicing a lot with 5-wide sets, meaning they intend to throw the ball around quite a bit. Let’s not forget about that all important running ability Murray has. That’s always huge for a fantasy QB. I can very easily see Murray finishing the season with at least 6 rushing touchdowns.
3. Josh Jacobs
I’m sure if you watch Hard Knocks this year you’ll become familiar with Jacobs’ incredible life story, but he’s more than a slums-to-riches story. He’s a damn good football player. I think by mid-season at the latest he’ll be the starting running back for the Raiders. He’s a complete 3-down back too. So what keeps him from being higher on the list? I don’t particularly like the Raiders offensive line, even with the addition of Trent Brown.
2. Miles Sanders
I’m not gonna lie, this one is high-risk, high-reward. Sanders is a supremely talented back who was the heir apparent to Saquan at Penn State. His problem then, and now, is the persistent nagging injuries. They’re all minor little things that are certainly on the mend. Sanders also has the Eagles depth to deal with. He’ll be forced to split carries with Jordan Howard and Corey Clement, but if Sanders is able to get hot…….watch out.
1. David Montgomery
Montgomery was grossly underrated in the NFL draft, falling to the Bears in the third round. He’s a big back, 222lbs, who slipped tackles better than anyone else in college.
His PFF score was highest among all running backs in the past draft class, and by being taken in the third round he fell to a great situation. With Howard now gone his biggest competition for backfield work is gadget player Tarik Cohen, who really shouldn’t even take 50% of the load. Look for Howard to have a big year.