FF Tips

9 Rookies Who Will Help You Win in 2017

By Kevin English 8:07am EDT 7/17/17


Should you bother drafting rookies in redraft leagues? We tackled the question last year.

The answer? While TEs tend to be poor bets, RBs, WRs and even QBs can be worthy investments.

With that as a guide, let’s run through our top rookie targets this season.


Zay Jones, WR, Bills

Jones’ year-1 opportunity exceeds that of most 2nd-round rookies. Buffalo traded up to grab the East Carolina product, filling the void left by Robert Woods.

That last point alone isn’t overly enticing considering Woods saw just 76 targets in 13 games last season. But Jones brings greater athleticism than Woods. The latter recorded a 23rd percentile SPARQ score vs. an 88th percentile tally Jones.

Plus, there’s a new HC (Sean McDermott) and OC (Rick Dennison) in town. While the Bills project as a run-first bunch yet again, Dennison has shown a willingness to air it out. In 3 of his 9 years as an OC, he’s ranked top 10 in pass attempts. His QBs? Jay Cutler and 2 doses of Matt Schaub.

Jones racked up monster college numbers, too. He left school with a Division I record 399 receptions, adding 4,279 yards and 23 TDs. The poor TD rate (5.7%) is only a minor concern. His average yards per catch (10.7) speaks to how frequently he was featured on screens and quick-hitters.

Buffalo’s lack of meaningful activity in free agency also bodes well for the rook. They added Andre Holmes and Corey Brown, a duo best left as reserves. Holmes, now 29, popped in 2014 (47-693-4) but regressed with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree around over the past 2 years. Holmes owns just 28 total catches over the past 2 years.

Brown’s familiar with McDermott from their Carolina days. There’s not much to like beyond that, though, as he’s tallied 79-1,019-7 over his first 3 seasons.

Sammy Watkins remains Buffalo’s big-play, go-to threat. But we know his injury profile. He missed 8 games last year and 2 in 2015. He’s undergone multiple surgeries as a pro, including foot operations in April of 2016 and another this past January.

Even in a run-tilted offense, Jones makes sense as a no-risk late-round flier. He’s coming off the board 63rd among WRs.

Sorry, the rest of this content is reserved for DS Insiders.

Get instant access to read it all.

Get the insider information

Already a DS Insider? Login now

Share This!

Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments:

comments powered by Disqus

Related Fantasy Football

Premium Content Buy/Sell/Hold Report #1

Is it time to get out on A.J. Green? Or buy him on the cheap? What do we do with the red-hot Todd Gurley? We're digging into those guys and 10 others in the season's 1st Buy/Sell/Hold Report.

9:09am EDT 9/20/17 Read More
Fantasy Football Podcast: Week 2 Recap 9-18-17

Ouch! Week 2 knocked a bunch of key players out of games and out of fantasy lineups. Let's break down what we know and what we need to do before Week 3.

2:09pm EDT 9/18/17 Read More
Premium Content Week 3 Free Agent Focus

Are the Seahawks committing to Chris Carson? Should we? He leads a busy group of RB and WR pickups after another lineup-rattling week of skill-position injuries.

7:09am EDT 9/18/17 Read More
Fantasy Football Podcast Week 1 Recap 9-11-17

David Johnson' done for a while. Allen Robinson's done for the year. Carson Palmer and Eli Manning might just be done. Let's sort through the Week 1 NFL action and figure out where to go next.

5:09pm EDT 9/11/17 Read More
Premium Content Week 2 Free Agent Focus

David Johnson goes down. Allen Robinson goes down. The defending champs go down. After a wild Week 1, who's standing tall enough for you to target them on the waiver wire?

1:09pm EDT 9/11/17 Read More
DFS Podcast: Week 1 Yahoo 9-9-17

In our brand new Yahoo! Quick Picks, Matt throws out some of his favorite DFS buys for Week 1.

2:09pm EDT 9/9/17 Read More
Premium Content Week 1 FanDuel Advice

We're back for 2017 with cash-game plays, tournament targets and value options for Week 1 on FanDuel.

11:09am EDT 9/7/17 Read More

Read More Articles

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Download on Google Play