By: Fantasy Football Dude
Published: April 29th, 2018
1st round of NFL drafts are not the only rounds where rookies can make an immediate impact on teams this year, just look at players like Hunt, Kamara, Kupp, Golladay, Cook and JuJu. The list can go on and on if you go through the years some players land in ideal spots and others land in less than ideal spots. In this post hopefully we will be able to help you identify which guys are worth taking a gamble on in your fantasy league while staying clear of others.
- Nick Chubb, Browns
- Ronald Jones II, Bucs
- Kerryon Johnson, Lions
- Derrius Guice, Redskins
- Royce Freeman, Broncos
- Nyheim Hines, Colts
- Mark Walton, Bengals
- Ito Smith, Falcons
- Kalen Ballage, Dolphins
- John Kelly, Rams
- Bo Scarborough, Cowboys
Nick Chubb, Browns
Chubb is a guy I absolutely love as a player and has all the physical tools to be a successful running back as a pro. Getting drafted by the Browns is not the ideal situation but he might have the opportunity to spell Hyde here and there. He tested well at the combine with no lingering issues from his injury in college. Right now Chubb looks like a high upside handcuff and he might get a chance to play right away given Hyde’s injury history.
Chubb if given the opportunity has a real chance to be a productive fantasy player this year I could easily see him splitting carries with Hyde getting between 8-12 Carries pregame with no passing work, that will he handled by Duke Johnson. Redraft leagues is more of a handcuff late round pick, in dynasty leagues. I would say he is a late 1st round early 2nd round pick.
Ronald Jones II, Bucs
This might be one of the best situations for a running back not named Barkley, Jones was explosive at USC and has the ability to catch passes very well and make plays on all 3 downs which makes him very exciting. Along with playing with a stacked offense to be able give him room to run and use his playmaking ability to make plays in space.
The one issue I have with Jones is if his frame can hold up. He is 6 feet tall 200lbs and doesn’t have a thick lower body to maybe push piles or withstand consistent low tackles in the NFL. That being said I still love his situation given this frame.
In redraft leagues I would absolutely love taking a chance on him in the mid rounds as long as everything during training camp and the preseason goes well for him. In Dynasty leagues he has a great opportunity to make an impact the moment he steps on the field and to be a full time back for Tampa for a long time, for me he is no question a top 5 pick this year in dynasty drafts.
Kerryon Johnson, Lions
The Lions have had one of the worst running games in the last few years, but this is the year that it all turns around. Johnson has good versatility at his position and had good production while he was at Auburn catching passes and running between the tackles.
The Lions had a revamped offensive line last year but could never stay healthy enough to really showcase how good they could have been with Taylor Decker missing the first 8 weeks and everyone else on the line getting hurt at various points and time. This year they should be much better coming in healthy and with the addition of their new 1st round pick at center to make them even better.
Johnson will for sure have a role splitting time with Blount for carries and Riddick getting the 3rd down work and passing situations. He is for sure a late round flier in redraft leagues but in dynasty leagues he has the potential to be something special if he can showcase his ability in an offense that will for sure give him the opportunity to make plays.
Derrius Guice, Redskins
Washington has had running back problems for the last couple years, they for sure have gotten good production from their running backs at different points in time from the likes of Rob Kelly, Matt Jones (minus the fumbles), Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine. Guice has a chance to change all that with his strong and aggressive running style and also having some very good speed at his size.
Guice is going to have to compete with Perine & Kelly for carries but whoever comes out will get the majority of them. Washington usually over the last few years have always used 2 backs at most with Thompson being super effective as the change of pace and 3rd down back. And someone else being the hammer on 1st, 2nd and goal line downs.
Guice is definitely worth a pick around probably 6-7 round of redraft leagues of course depending on how his training camp plays out and he could for sure move up the rounds. In Dynasty league I would be sold on him you might not see a quick return in his first year but has the potential to take over and be good in Washington in the future.
Royce Freeman, Broncos
Freeman is one of my favorite running backs in this years class. He goes into a situation where they like to run the ball consistently and doesn’t have much competition going into Denver with Booker and Henderson as the only significant RBs there. Booker has shown to be good at points in time but can’t stay healthy and henderson is an undersized running back who may never get an opportunity to showcase what he can do.
Freeman Has the look of an every down back he 6 feet tall and 230 pounds. Then to go along with that he had amazing consistent college production running and receiving the ball at Oregon and can run between the tackles along having enough speed to do some damage at the 2nd level.
Freeman in redraft leagues could be around the 4-6 rounds of drafts if things pan out and he wins that competition which I expect him to do. In dynasty leagues he is for sure a top 5 draft pick.
Nyheim Hines, Colts
Hines another running back who landed in a good situation for playing time right away. The colts right now have the likes of Marlon Mack, Matt Jones, Christine Michael, and Robert Turbin. Marlon Mack will mostly likely keep his role from last year but mostly likely will not be the bell cow running back with the colts which turns the colts into some sort of RB committee.
Hines is an explosive player with great speed he is another undersized running back 5’8” and 198 lbs but will get a chance to share the workload with Mack. This situation is open to a lot of changes and will find out more when training camp rolls around
Hines is probably going to end up being either a really late round flier or undrafted in redraft leagues. Dynasty he is probably late 2nd, early 3rd pick in dynasty drafts this year.
Mark Walton, Bengals
He is another player I am not very high on because of talent and athleticism. Walton walks into Cincinnati having to compete with Mixon, Gio and Brian Hill for playing time all 3 running backs are very talented and Walton will start off the year as the 4th running back on this team.
In college he showed he can play and be able to catch passes and is best projected as a 3rd type player. He is a poor man’s Gio, which is pretty funny now that he will be backing Gio up this year.
Redraft leagues he is an undrafted waiver wire player. In Dynasty leagues I would stay clear of him but he will probably end up somewhere in the 3rd round of rookie drafts.
Ito Smith, Falcons
Ito Smith fits what Hines is, both players are undersized but have very good speed and athleticism. But Smith from watching tape on him is definitely the better player to me. Right now from everything I have seen he checks in at 5’9” just below 200 lbs. He was a playmaker in college just like Hines and i think both players could have 3rd down back roles with change of pace roles but might never get an opportunity to be carry the load for a season.
Smith walks into Atlanta as the 3rd or 4th running back Freeman and Coleman have their spots locked down and if Smith were to see any substantial amount of time it would be because of injury.
Smith is pretty much a waiver wire pickup and should not be drafted in redraft leagues. Dynasty league he is for sure worth a late 2nd early 3rd pick and you might have to wait until next year to see your return because Coleman’s contract expires at the end of next year. That is probably when you should expect to Smith get consistent playing time.
Kalen Ballage, Dolphins
Here is a player who tested very well at the NFL scouting combine and was very impressive, he has the look of a bell cow running back and just makes you think WOW, and he is for sure a player I have high hopes for. The issue with Ballage is that he had never been the workhorse back when he was at ASU. He played pretty much in a committee and for whatever reason was never given more opportunity in college.
He lands in a good spot with the Dolphins where I believe he won’t be asked to do to much which will help his development to become a 3 down back in the NFL. He gets a chance to learn from Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake looks to be the bell cow back in Miami. The one spot where he was very effective is being able to catch the ball like a WR that is where I see his value most in his rookie year but don’t expect too much playing time unless Drake goes down.
Here is another player who shouldn’t be drafted in redraft leagues. Dynasty leagues he is hard to project because Drake showed he could handle being the full time back last year and he is still very young which might cap Ballage upside for a number of years. That being said I think his stock might have dropped the most after the draft and see him as a 3rd round pick.
John Kelly, Rams
The Rams situation is very simple, feed Gurley early and often. Kelly was a good player last year at Tennessee, he runs hard between the tackles and does not go down easy. He also has good pass catching ability. The problem here is the rams drafted him and probably won’t see the field unless Gurley goes down.
Kelly is nothing more than a waiver wire handcuff in redraft league and I am being optimistic calling him a handcuff. Dynasty leagues he is another guy you will see come off at the 3rd round and would be just a flier to stash on the taxi squad for a few years. I expect very little out of Kelly this year.
Bo Scarborough, Cowboys
This was a draft pick that disappointed me on Saturday. I like Bo a lot coming into this year pre-draft he tested very well at the combine has the fame to handle NFL level tackles and has very good speed at his size on top of having pretty solid production at Alabama even though he was splitting time. Bo did have trouble staying healthy during his time at Alabama but was still productive.
Landing in Dallas in a real football perspective is great for him he can sit come in as a change of pace for Zeke and improve his game while making sure he can improve his body and help it get healthier. From a fantasy perspective it doesn’t look like he will see much to any time on the field plus given the fact that he isn’t the best pass catcher out of the backfield doesn’t help his chances to get on the field.
In your redraft leagues he is undraftable. In dynasty he is just a 4th round pick that you hope can at least be the 2nd back which isn’t even a given seeing as how well Rod Smith played last year. In your dynasty leagues I would avoid drafting him and try to find someone who might have a better opportunity.
- Michael Gallup, Cowboys
- Courtland Sutton, Broncos
- Christian Kirk, Cardinals
- Anthony Miller, Bears
- Equanimeous St.Brown, Packers
- Cedrik Wilson, Cowboys
- Dante Pettis, San Fan
- James Washington, Steelers
Michael Gallup, Cowboys
This was one of my favorite sleeper WRs before the draft and now he might not be such a sleeper landing in a prime spot for him to get significant playing time. Gallup showed well at the combine and is a 6’1” WR which is a plus. His time in college was very successful and he was able to put up great numbers, especially last year where he had over 1,200 yards and 14 TDs
Landing in Dallas could not have gotten any better for him his main competition for targets is going to be Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, & Fellow rookie Cedrik Wilson. Gallup has the opportunity to be the best WR in this class his rookie year. He has the height, speed and catching ability to make a real impact.
In redraft he would be a high upside late round pick but could rise up the rounds if he plays well this training camp and preseason. Dynasty formats he is my #2 WR behind DJ Moore and can see him being a late 1st early 2nd round pick.
Courtland Sutton, Broncos
The Broncos WRs are starting to get up there in age and this is the final year on both Sanders and Thomas contracts so they are for sure looking to infuse some young talent into this group. Sutton is the perfect guy to replace Thomas after this year and has the skills to be just as good when given the opportunity.
Sutton isn’t fast & quick enough to operate in the slot but I would assume he will be used inside the redzone in 3 or 4 WR sets this year. Another WR who killed it on the college level I would definitely keep my eyes on Sutton but his first year might be hard to get any consistency competing with Carlos Henderson and fellow rookie DaeSean Hamilton. Sutton most likely will get his chance next year to be an impact player.
Sutton doesn’t have much draft appeal this year for a redraft league. Dynasty however he is very appealing giving that sanders and thomas are both FA next year which will most likely open the door up for Sutton to make a major impact.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals
Captain Kirk to me was one of the better WRs in the draft he is a lot like DJ Moore but slightly smaller at 5’11” 200 lbs. Kirk during his time at Texas A&M was a playmaker always doing something with the ball in his hands. Last year in college he underachieved a little bit but no one questions his ability.
Kirk should be able to see the field on early with the Cardinals. Only Larry Fitzgerald is secure in his role. Kirk best attribute is being able to create yards after catch and with Bradford as his QB who likes to throw to the middle of the field mainly Kirk can do some real damage this year.
Kirk is a late round flier in redraft leagues. In dynasty league he is an early 2nd round pick and has a very good chance to see the field this year and take control of the Cardinals WR group if he plays well enough.
Anthony Miller, Bears
The Bears completely remade their offense adding a ton of new players like Arob, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton. Anthony Miller has a chance to be the Cooper Kupp or JuJu of this draft. Miller has all the traits you want from a WR besides the height. He has the hands, quickness, speed, ability to run every route and just beat people from anywhere on the field.
Miller is another one of these WRs who landed in a good spot, he won’t be asked to do to much and all that will be asked of him is to make plays. The Bears have the makings of turning into something special if Trubisky takes a 2nd year leap.
Like most of the WRs in this class Miller is another late round flier. In Dynasty leagues he is a early 2nd round pick on my board.
Equanimeous St. Brown, Packers
This player is a high upside player that most likely is just a stash and love his opportunity if he gets it. Equanimeous St. Brown landed in a great spot with the Packers and Rodgers. St. Brown is a 6’5” WR who has very good speed for his size running the 40 with a 4.48 time. The problem here is opportunity. As much as I love the talent there are a lot of WRs this year on the packers who are going to be fighting for playing time but if he can end up being the 3rd WR for the packers he can really turn some heads.
St. Brown’s breakout year with the Irish is when he had an actual qb throwing to him in Kizer, last year the Irish passing attack fell apart and so did his numbers which is why I believe the Packers Stole him at the spot they drafted him.
St. Brown only upside is in dynasty leagues given that he checks every box with his measurables. You should be able to acquire him with a late 3rd round pick in your rookie drafts.
Cedrik Wilson, Cowboys
Wilson landed in a great spot for a WR needy team like his fellow rookie Gallup he has the opportunity to get significant playing time right away. Wilson isn’t the same type of athlete as Gallup is but he was just as productive at Boise putting up back to back seasons 1,100 yards. Again competing against virtually no one in that WR group besides Allen Hurns WIlson and Gallup have an amazing opportunity to be fantasy relevant right away.
Wilson will most likely turn out to be a late round flier but in dynasty leagues expect to see him gone in the late 2nd round.
Dante Pettis, San Fran
Pettis landing in a good spot for a chance to play and show what he can do. The problem is I am not a fan of Pettis and feel like his contributions to San Fran will be mainly through special teams and some snaps at WR. My biggest problem with Pettis is that he was never able to show he could dominate a college season. His best year was 2 years ago when he had 822 yards and 15 TDs and those are pretty good numbers, but remember John Ross was there to open the field up for him and make his life a lot easier. The next year his number dropped 721 yards and 7 TDs, still solid numbers but I expected more from a WR who became the #1 option.
Pettis can prove me wrong and show that he is better than what he showed in his final year at Washington especially given the fact that Jimmy G is his QB now. He is just a stash in dynasty right now and looks like a maybe replacement for Pierre Garcon.
James Washington, Steelers
Washington is another player who I am just not high on. I feel like he is a one trick pony whose only asset is to go deep. At Oklahoma State he showed that he can win deep frequently but at the combine he didn’t show the blazing speed you want from a deep threat and to go along with that he has a running backs build listed at 5’11” 215 lbs. He might have decent moments being surrounded by such incredible talent in Pittsburg but is not a WR that I feel will ever make the leap you need to be a difference maker.
Mainly you are drafting Washington in dynasty leagues hoping he develops into a complete WR after a couple years I could very easily see him as a late 2nd early 3rd round pick just based on his upside and his wild production at Oklahoma State.
- Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
- Hayden Hurst, Ravens
- Mark Andrews, Ravens
- Dallas Goedert, Eagles
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
Mike Gesicki is by far the most exciting fantasy TE in this year’s draft. At the scouting combine he pretty much profiles as a 6’6” WR but like most TE the one thing that they need to be able to do is block. For Gesicki I don’t think the Dolphins will try and restrict his playing time just for being a below average blocker. He showed he has the athleticism to be a special player in the NFL, just look at how the Giants used Evan Engram last year. He wasn’t the best blocker but was a pretty polished receiver at the TE position.
Now TE is usually hard to predict especially when it comes to rookies but if you are someone who just streams TE week in week out then it doesn’t hurt to take a chance on Gesicki. For dynasty he should be going mid to late 2nd round of drafts.
Hayden Hurst / Mark Andrews, Ravens
When I saw the ravens draft Hurst with their 1st round pick I thought, “ wow this is a great fantasy spot”. Then when they drafted Andrews it messed it all up. Flacco over the course of his career has been glued to throwing to TE, Deep passes and check downs to running backs. Both TE are good players and both have almost the same profile the only difference is that Andrews was by far more productive. If I had to choose one of these guys it would be Andrews over Hurts. But this looks like they could be splitting time with each other and never being startable in fantasy unless one of them get hurt or one turns out much worse than the other.
Both players together in Baltimore don’t have redraft value unless one of them is getting the majority of snaps at TE. In your dynasty leagues I would take my chances with Andrews over Hurst just based on their college production.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles
Now here is the most interesting TE of the group, he comes from South Dakota State and was a monster while he was there and when you watch his tape of any videos of him he looks like a WR and he was used like that during his time at South Dakota State. His last 2 years had him put up numbers that are just unreal for a TE.
- 2016 – 92 Rec, 1,293 yards, and 11 TDs
- 2017 – 72 Rec , 1,111 yards, and 6 TDs
Now most of the time TE take a little bit of time to come into their own when they get into the NFL and I see the same thing happening for him. But lucky for him he will be behind Ertz and utilizing his receiving skills and creating mismatches, which is great for football but bad for fantasy because that generally means he will be out there at unpredictable times and can not be relied upon
That being said he is worth your last pick in dynasty drafts to just stash and hope maybe they have a bigger role for him next year when he has had a year to get acclimated to the NFL game.