Skip to main content

8 Undervalued Dynasty Rookies

May 11, 2016

Tyler Ervin

Tyler Ervin could provide immediate fantasy impact as a receiving threat out of the backfield

Rookie drafts for dynasty leagues are in the air and our consensus rankings lay out how the experts feel about the new class. It can be difficult to peg who the next Odell Beckham will be so we asked our featured pundits to do it for us.

We asked them two simple questions to help you find some diamonds in the rough. What rookie running back and wide receiver do the experts like for dynasty purposes? Find out below.

Undervalued Rookie Picks

Expert Site Undervalued RB Undervalued WR
Mike Tagliere Pro Football Focus Wendell Smallwood (PHI) Michael D. Thomas (LA)
The FFGhost Dynasty League Football Wendell Smallwood (PHI) Michael D. Thomas (LA)
Matt Franciscovich Tyler Ervin (HOU) Malcolm Mitchell (NE)
Dan Heins Dynasty Fantasy Warehouse Tyler Ervin (HOU) Tyler Boyd (CIN)
Jody Smith Gridiron Expert Paul Perkins (NYG) Michael A. Thomas (NO)
Eric Moody FFLockerRoom Paul Perkins (NYG) Kolby Listenbee (BUF)

Q1. What rookie RB do you feel is undervalued according to the our Dynasty Rankings and why?

Tyler Ervin (RB – HOU)
Overall Rookie Rank: #32
“Ervin is wildly underrated. He is my #4 ranked pre-draft and post-draft rookie RB. Other than Zeke his is clearly the best and most aggressive inside runner in this class. He is dismissed due to his sub-200 pound stature, but he plays well above his weight. Take the headaches (literal and figurative) away from Percy Harvin, and you have Tyler Ervin. Stud #1 RB? No. High-end PPR back like Gio… very possible.”
Dan Heins (Dynasty Fantasy Warehouse)

“As Lamar Miller’s handcuff in Houston, Tyler Ervin is a huge bargain at his current ranking of RB12 among rookies. He’s one of the fastest (if not the fastest) running back in the 2016 draft class, and had success as a return man in college. An attribute that naturally comes with being a good returner is vision in space. If Houston finds ways to get Ervin involved as a receiver and finds him space on screens and short passing plays, his big play ability will lead to fantasy value during the season even if Miller is the team’s bell cow.”
Matt Franciscovich (

Wendell Smallwood (RB – PHI)
Overall Rookie Rank: #38
“When talking about running backs, all you want to know is the situation they’re placed into. Well, maybe not only that, but it should play a major role in your decision. One of the best situations for any running back not named Ezekiel Elliott is Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood. He hits the hole hard without hesitation and is behind Ryan Mathews on Doug Pederson’s run-heavy attack. Mathews has played in all 16 games just one time in his six-year career. Opportunity is knocking for Smallwood. ”
Mike Tagliere (Pro Football Focus)

“For me, it’s Wendell Smallwood. he’s poised for a nice chunk of work very soon. With Sproles set to retire as soon as next season and Ryan Mathews being a walking band-aid, Smallwood has nothing but upside. At worst, he takes on Sproles and Mathews’ old role (as a complementary back) by next season, best case, he’s the lead back hands down in that same time. It will take some patience from fantasy owners, but there is very little downside.”
The FFGhost (Dynasty League Football)

Paul Perkins (RB – NYG)
Overall Rookie Rank: #15
“Perkins might have the easiest path to a potential starting role of any of the rookie rushers, with the exception of Ezekiel Elliott, who is currently being drafted in front of him. With only the pedestrian Rashad Jennings in his way, Perkins could easily win the starting gig in training camp, or take over after a few more underwhelming starts from Jennings once the season kicks off. Ben McAdoo is a smart offensive coach, and he knows that he’s going to have to get some balance into his offense to return the Giants to the NFC Playoffs.”
Jody Smith (Gridiron Expert)

Paul Perkins is in an ideal situation to become a fantasy difference maker this season. The Giants backfield is ripe for the taking. Perkins has very good vision, catching ability, and is a viable pass protector. His frame and play speed are the areas of opportunity. Fortunately, the Giants offensive scheme is a perfect place to kickstart his career.”
Eric Moody (FFLockerRoom)

Q2. What rookie WR do you feel is undervalued according to the our Dynasty Rankings and why?

Michael D. Thomas (WR – LA)
Overall Rookie Rank: #35
“Thomas is criminally underrated. His skills are superb and his athleticism is excellent. His ability to form a bond with Goff as rookies can help build trust between the two and the Rams’ wide receiver depth chart is one of the easiest to climb in the NFL. There is no way he should be going later than players like Peake, Sharpe or Higgins.”
The FFGhost (Dynasty League Football)

“While opportunity is key for running backs, talent almost always wins at the wide receiver position. The other Mike Thomas is walking into a situation where Kenny Britt and Brian Quick are the only guys ahead of him on the depth chart, which means he’ll see the field his rookie year, and maybe more than you’d think. If Jared Goff is the real deal, somebody is going to emerge as the No. 1 target in the coming years, and Thomas showed he is more than capable in his final college season. Both he and Goff have the chance to grow together, which is better than the No. 35 ranking he has right now.”
Mike Tagliere (Pro Football Focus)

Malcolm Mitchell (WR – NE)
Overall Rookie Rank: #21
“Mitchell’s path to playing time in New England isn’t a particularly difficult one. If he can beat out Nate Washington and Chris Hogan for snaps, and build a rapport with Tom Brady during training camp, the rookie could have a fantasy impact immediately. Yes, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski are ahead of him in terms of the pecking order for targets, but Mitchell should be able to carve out a role for himself as a down-field option, something New England lacked last season. Ranked as the WR11 among rookies, Mitchell is an under-the-radar option who could surprise a lot of fantasy enthusiasts this season.”
Matt Franciscovich (

Kolby Listenbee (WR – BUF)
Overall Rookie Rank: #NR
“A wide receiver that immediately comes to mind is Kolby Listenbee. He has good height, ball skills, and very good play speed to threaten defenses vertically. Listenbee needs to improve his route running, but is in a perfect position to fill the void that is the Bills’ number two wide receiver.”
Eric Moody (FFLockerRoom)

Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)
Overall Rookie Rank: #8
“Sticking with the “Tyler” theme here. Tyler Boyd is silky smooth and gets no love with Treadwell, Doctson, and Coleman. Most have him in that “next tier”. There is nothing “next tier” about Boyd. He is a class act that carries his pads on gameday. He has the ability to play inside or outside and he finds himself in a great situation in Cincy opposite A.J. Green.”
Dan Heins (Dynasty Fantasy Warehouse)

Michael A. Thomas (WR – NO)
Overall Rookie Rank: #6
“What we know about New Orleans is that they love to pass the ball, and Thomas could easily be the top scoring rookie wideout in this class this season. At 6-3 and 212 lbs., Thomas brings a size element that is currently missing from the Saints’ passing attack. With Marques Colston out, Thomas is likely to start in Colston’s vacated slot role, and that means he could easily lead the New Orleans receiving corps in red zone targets as a rookie. Thomas is being drafted after a handful of other first-year wideouts, but he enters a fantasy friendly system and could easily put up WR2 numbers at a deep discount.”
Jody Smith (Gridiron Expert)

Thank you to the experts for naming their undervalued dynasty rookies. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more advice this season.

Featured, Featured Pros, NFL