Skip to main content

Dynasty Rookies: Who to Target, Who to Avoid

May 25, 2016

Paxton Lynch may not have been the top QB drafted but his new team makes up for it

Paxton Lynch may not have been the top QB drafted but his new team makes up for it

The rookie class is assimilating and as dynasty drafts continue to take place, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right prospect for the long term. It’s safe to say that Ezekiel Elliott is the consensus favorite, but there’s a decent amount of debate beyond the number one pick.

It’s all about setting up your team up for that dynasty run and our featured pundits are here to help with just that. Find out who they’re targeting and avoiding.

Nail your draft with our free mock simulator >>

Q1. After the top 15 players in our consensus rookie rankings, who becomes your favorite rookie to target in a dynasty league and why?

Paxton Lynch (QB – DEN)
Rookie Ranking: #31
“The name that stood out to me by far was Paxton Lynch. His consensus rookie ranking is significantly low considering the QB was a first round draft pick by a very good Denver Broncos team. Quarterbacks have tremendous value in dynasty leagues because of their lengthy careers, compared to running backs for example, who have short-lived NFL careers. Lynch is a high-risk, high-reward rookie. The fact that most draft boards did not have him as a top-2 QB in this year’s NFL draft, and the Broncos having Mark Sanchez on their roster, definitely adds to the risk of drafting Lynch. The Broncos seemed very excited to trade up in the draft to get their desired QB; this isn’t a guy they just settled on. I believe Lynch will start Week 1 of the regular season, and if he doesn’t, he should take the starting job from Sanchez sooner than later in 2016. Paxton’s size and athleticism can get your fantasy squad some bonus rushing yards with the potential of scoring six or more rushing touchdowns his first season. Young, talented receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are huge boosts to Paxton’s value. My biggest worry with him is the depth behind those two wide receivers; I’m not confident in the Broncos WR3 position and who their primary pass-catching tight end is going to be. If a solid third pass-catching option can emerge in Denver, I see Lynch easily being a first round draft pick in rookie drafts.”
Huseyin Aksu (Fantasy Couch)

Keith Marshall (RB – WAS)
Rookie Ranking: #20
“I dig players who refuse to give up. Keith Marshall is one of those dudes. Fast AND strong, Todd Gurley’s former teammate is hard to take down and has the ability to accelerate past defenders with McLaren-like quickness. His college career was marred by injury, but he proved at the Combine that he was back, posting the fastest 40-yard-dash time (4.31 seconds) and managing 25 reps during the bench press. A formidable talent, Marshall has the potential to emerge as early as this season… and could develop for years to come.”
Liz Loza (Yahoo)

Tyler Ervin (RB – HOU)
Rookie Ranking: #30
“Tyler Ervin landed in a great spot where he is only a Lamar Miller injury away from becoming the feature back for the Houston Texans. We don’t really know if Miller can be a bell cow running back. Three coaching staffs in Miami wouldn’t give him that kind of workload. At the NFL level, he has only seen 200 or more carries once and in college, Tyler Ervin we know can carry a team. He touched the ball 339 (294 carries, 45 receptions) times last season as a senior at San Jose State. After the top options are off the board, Ervin begins to look extremely attractive in the middle of the second round of rookie drafts.”
Matt Price (Dynasty League Football)

Wendell Smallwood (RB – PHI)
Rookie Ranking: #33
“I like Smallwood as a value pick due to his potential path to playing time in 2016. He projects as the third option behind Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles in Philadelphia. Even though Smallwood’s build (5-foot-10, 208 lbs) and skill-set fits more of a change-of-pace type of mold at the professional level, he handled a bell-cow type workload last season with West Virginia (238 carries for 1,519 rush yards and nine touchdowns). Mathews doesn’t have the cleanest record in terms of durability and Sproles, who is more of a pass-catching specialist himself, will be 33 years old when the season begins. That means at some point, the Eagles are going to have to see what their fifth-round pick is capable of in coach Doug Pederson’s West Coast style offense—the same scheme that Charcandrick West (5-foot-10, 205 lbs) excelled in last season in Kansas City. ”
Matt Franciscovich (

Pharoh Cooper (WR – LA)
Rookie Ranking: #18
“One deep rookie receiver I’m really starting to like is Pharoh Cooper. He has a tremendous opportunity to shine with the Rams, and I expect him to immediately step into the team’s lead wide receiver role. He has great hands, he is smart, he can be used in option formations, and he is very effective in traffic, which is going to be almost a requirement for this team’s lead WR. He’s a playmaker. This is your deep sleeper pick of the draft, folks!”
Smitty (SleeperU)

Q2. Which rookie are you avoiding that is ranked inside the top 15 players in dynasty leagues and why?

Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)
Rookie Ranking: #6
“I am avoiding Derrick Henry in rookie drafts. The Titans are paying DeMarco Murray $12.5M guaranteed over the next two seasons which means that he is going to get $12.5M worth of touches during that time frame. This considerably limits Derrick Henry’s upside. The other factor here is how Henry relates to the Titans offense as a whole. The main value of a guy like Henry is in using him as a game finisher. Someone you can use while playing with a lead to bludgeon an exhausted opposing defense over and over again to run out the clock. How many games do you think the Titans offense will be playing in where they are leading in the second half and will be in a position to use Henry to close out a game?”
Matt Price (Dynasty League Football)

Leonte Carroo (WR – MIA)
Rookie Ranking: #12
“Carroo stands out to me as a guy who may have a difficult time making an immediate impact for fantasy owners due to his situation. The Dolphins already have three wideouts (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills) who will see plenty of playing time in a new-look Miami offense under coach Adam Gase. When you also factor in tight end Jordan Cameron as a candidate for targets, it’s clear that there are a lot of mouths to feed in Miami. Not to knock Carroo’s skills as a receiver—he’s extremely physical, possesses excellent ball skills and does well to win the ball on contested catches. But in terms of situation, Carroo’s landing spot with a team that already has a log-jammed wideout depth chart may stall his contributions as a fantasy asset until later in his career.”
Matt Franciscovich (

Kenneth Dixon (RB – BAL)
Rookie Ranking: #8
“I had it narrowed down to two players, WR Leonte Carroo and RB Kenneth Dixon. My final decision on the player I would definitely avoid is the Baltimore running back. The Ravens backfield is crowded with Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Buck Allen, Terrance West and even Trent Richardson. In a best case scenario, Dixon will be Buck Allen’s backup in 2-3 years. Think about all the things that must happen for Dixon to get a shot… Forsett would have to retire, then Dixon would have to surpass Tali, West and Richardson. These are all realistic scenarios, but scenarios that would likely take a good amount of time to play out.”
Huseyin Aksu (Fantasy Couch)

Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)
Rookie Ranking: #10
“Boyd just doesn’t do it for me. I’m admittedly impressed by his toughness, strong hands, and body control, but he’s slow and kind of stiff, especially when compared to the other similarly ranked receivers. I just don’t see him being enough of a factor in the red zone.”
Liz Loza (Yahoo)

Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
Rookie Ranking: #5
“I call him out not so much because I doubt his skill set, but to own him, it looks like you need to spend a top five overall rookie pick on the kid. Given he is the WR2 in New York, at best, I just don’t like the cost at this point. He could change my mind, again I’m not exactly calling him a bust, but I’m avoiding him at his going rate (1.04-1.05).”
Smitty (SleeperU)

Thank you to the experts for making their picks for the questions above. For more advice, be sure to give them a follow on Twitter.

What's your take? Leave a comment

1Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
2Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
3Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
4Michael Thomas (NO)WR
5Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
8Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
9DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
10Aaron Jones (GB)RB
 View All Rankings 
11Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
12Nick Chubb (CLE)RB
13Davante Adams (GB)WR
14Julio Jones (ATL)WR
15Chris Godwin (TB)WR
16Mike Evans (TB)WR
17George Kittle (SF)TE
18Travis Kelce (KC)TE
19Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
20Lamar Jackson (BAL)QB
21Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
22Kenny Golladay (DET)WR
23Amari Cooper (DAL)WR
24D.J. Moore (CAR)WR
25Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
26Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)WR
27Chris Carson (SEA)RB
28Allen Robinson (CHI)WR
29Miles Sanders (PHI)RB
30Austin Ekeler (LAC)RB
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Mike Trout (LAA)CF
3Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,RF
4Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
5Mookie Betts (LAD)CF,RF
6Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
7Trevor Story (COL)SS
8Gerrit Cole (NYY)SP
9Trea Turner (WSH)SS
10Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
 View All Rankings 
11Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
12Juan Soto (WSH)LF
13Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
14Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
15Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
16Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
17Jose Ramirez (CLE)3B
18J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
19Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
20Anthony Rendon (LAA)3B
21Rafael Devers (BOS)3B
22Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)SS
23Bryce Harper (PHI)RF
24Aaron Judge (NYY)RF
25Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
26Stephen Strasburg (WSH)SP
27Starling Marte (ARI)CF
28Yordan Alvarez (HOU)LF,DH
29Javier Baez (CHC)SS
30Jack Flaherty (STL)SP
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
 View All Rankings 
11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
19Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (CLE)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
26Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
Follow the Pros!

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyPros for exclusive advice and contests