4 Rookies the Experts are Targeting
Taking rookies early on in fantasy drafts can be a dangerous game, especially when there are plenty of rookies to choose from later on that could provide value. That’s not to say Ezekiel Elliott shouldn’t be drafted in the first or second round, but it’s still a risky proposition compared to taking David Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins or Rob Gronkowski who are being drafted right around Elliott in our Composite ADP. The point is, every year, there are a couple of rookies that seemingly have a fantasy impact who are taken in the mid-to-late rounds.
Now figuring out who those rookies are should always be something you factor into your draft preparation. For that reason why we’re asking our featured pundits to name the rookies their targeting based on their current average draft position (ADP).
Q. What rookie are you most likely to draft on your teams this year, keeping their ADP in mind?
Corey Coleman (WR – CLE)
Overall ADP: #101
“The rookie I am most likely to draft this season is Corey Coleman. His athletic profile and college production compare favorably to Odell Beckham. He is on a team with no real weapons outside of the one hit wonder Gary Barnidge. Josh Gordon won’t likely be reinstated. The NFL has to take a stand on these cases of rule abuse. Hue Jackson’s offense in Cincinnati had 505 pass attempts in 2015. The Browns had 609. With a win total line set at 4.5, I look for game flow to dictate at least 550 pass attempts despite Jackson’s propensity to run the ball. Travis Benjamin’s stat line last season was 68/966/5. I believe that is Coleman’s floor. He should settle in around 80/1,100/6 with some upside. He will be a target monster. With a current ADP of around 101st overall and WR41, I believe he represents great value. I am looking to acquire him in rounds 9/10 of all my redraft leagues. Best of luck to all this upcoming season!”
– Bill Latin (Dynasty Football Warehouse)
“I really like Corey Coleman’s value. He was the first rookie WR off the board in the first round of the NFL draft. We have seen six rookie WRs hit 1,000 yards in their first season over the past five years. I have questions about the Browns’ offense, but I think Coleman is the best bet to hit this mark in year one. Barring an unexpected return from Josh Gordon, Coleman is set to be a big target hog right away. That makes me really like his value at an ADP of WR41.”
– Zach Wilkens (RotoBaller)
“Many people will aim and take Ezekiel Elliot. For good reason too — he should put up some pretty fantastic numbers. I like to aim for guys that’s are being drafted in the WR3/4 range. Corey Coleman is the perfect candidate to return your value. Sure, the quarterback situation isn’t the best. There have been many of other guys who have performed with equal talent. Who am I joking, no team is as bad as the Browns. They should be down often and I expect for them to throw more and try to get back into games. Coleman is pretty much the only option at wide receiver for them.”
– Chris Heil (Fantasy Sports Rants)
“With no certainty over Josh Gordon’s future, Corey Coleman enters an ideal situation with the Browns in 2016. Cleveland snagged the 5-foot-11 rookie at 15th overall, making him the first wideout of the 2016 NFL Draft. Not since Demaryius Thomas ranked 22nd overall in 2010 has the top receiver been taken this late on draft day. The former Baylor Bear earned 20 touchdowns last year, three more than any pass catcher in Division I. Of all 32 teams’ top receivers, Coleman remains one of the five cheapest in fantasy today.”
– Dave Major (XN Sports)
DeAndre Washington (RB – OAK)
Overall ADP: #177
“When filling out the depths of my rosters this year, I will be looking hard at Oakland rookie running back DeAndre Washington. There were rumblings over the offseason that Oakland was looking to add another back after Latavius Murray’s 2015 campaign, but Washington was the only player added to this thin backfield. In late rounds, Washington is definitely worth a shot in a situation with no overwhelming competition and could explode with value if he jumps into a starting role.”
– Jeff Brubach (The Fake Football)
Michael Thomas (WR – NO)
Overall ADP: #177
“I seem to be ending up with Saints rookie WR Michael Thomas a lot in fantasy leagues so far, with a late-round ADP. The Ohio State product joins a Saints team that loves to throw the ball, and he could end up serving in the same “tall slot receiver” role that Marques Colston held down for years in Sean Payton’s offense.”
– David Gonos (DavidGonos.com)
Josh Ferguson (RB – IND)
Overall ADP: #248
“You’ll likely be able to draft him after the 10th round in most redraft leagues. He’s an explosive player that can create yards in the open field and catch the ball out of the backfield. He also plays behind a 33-year-old veteran in Frank Gore, which means he might have an opportunity to see meaningful carries if Gore loses a step. It also doesn’t hurt having Andrew Luck at quarterback and since the Colts will likely be a pass-heavy team in 2016, it means Ferguson’s receiving talents will be in demand.”
– George Banko (Fantasy Football Helpers)
Thank you to all the experts for naming their rookies to target. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for advice all season long.
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