It seems every season more NFL rookies are ready for primetime, which means they’re ready to contribute to our fantasy teams.
Last year, rookies Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Jeremy Hill, Tre Mason and even linebacker Chris Borland all performed well above what we expected on draft day.
Which rookies should you draft and stash or draft and start, let’s talk about the best rookie or two on each NFL team. Start him players should be drafted or put on waiver wire speed dial in all leagues because they will get opportunities early. Stash him players should be drafted with the intention of holding them for a year or two in dynasty and keeper leagues to see if they develop into stars.
Other impact rookies:
2015 AFC West impact rookies
The Broncos didn’t add an offensive skill player of note, but they did pick Missouri DE Shane Ray 23rd overall. Ray has been switched to linebacker and is a backup to veteran DeMarcus Ware on the outside. Ray was defensive player of the year in the SEC, one of the most prestigious conferences in college football. His 14.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss led the conference. Stash Him.
San Diego Chargers
Rookie running back Melvin Gordon is a polarizing figure in fantasy football this season. There are some camps who believe he is the best back in the class or at least on par with STL’s Todd Gurley. Gordon has been compared to Jamaal Charles and he is my favorite back of the class. However, buzz this preseason is that he’s going to need quite a bit more marinating, especially in the pass-blocking part of the NFL game. Still, he was picked 15th overall, and his 2,587 yards is second in Football Bowl Subdivision history to Barry Sanders’ 1988 season. And he is sharing carries with Branden Oliver and Danny Woodhead. Start him.
There are some who would say WR Amari Cooper, drafted fourth overall, was the best skill position player in the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s definitely in the conversation. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Cooper won the Biletnikoff Award, was a Heisman Trophy semifinalist and was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year. He led the nation in receptions and was second in receiving yards and touchdowns. While going to the Raiders isn’t an optimal scenario, it does mean he’ll get opportunities and those opportunities will be on throws by Derek Carr, considered by many to be an up-and-coming quarterback. Start him.
Kansas City Chiefs
There was quite a bit of buzz around WR Chris Conley during training camp. Conley killed it at the combine (4.35 40-yard dash and a 139-inch broad jump) after leading Georgia in receptions and touchdowns in 2014. He was picked third overall. He’s behind Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson and Jason Avant at least, but talent rises and explosive players get their shots in the NFL. It’ll be interesting to see if Conley can capitalize. Stash him.
Draft well. May variance be in your favor today and every day.