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

2017 Adjusted Yards Per Carry

Who were the most efficient RBs in 2017 if we factor in the offensive lines they ran behind?

3:05pm EDT 5/10/18 Read More
Fantasy Football Podcast: Dynasty Rankings Update 5-10-18

Youth suddenly dominates the dynasty RB rankings, and the QBs look impossible to sort out. Let's run through the biggest changes following the NFL Draft and look for some buy/sell candidates.

1:05pm EDT 5/10/18 Read More
2017 Reliability Rankings: RB (PPR)

We know the fantasy totals, but who delivered consistent numbers for us throughout the season?

9:04pm EDT 4/18/18 Read More
Fantasy Football Podcast: ADP Check 4-5-18

April just started, but best-ball drafts have been running for more than 2 months. Let's seek out the value plays, potential busts and winning strategies.

12:04pm EDT 4/5/18 Read More
2017 Reliability Rankings: QB

Who delivered the most fantasy football 'starter' weeks in 2017? Who posted the most high-end performances? And who do the numbers point to as a potential 2018 draft steal?

12:03pm EDT 3/27/18 Read More
Re-Ranking the 2017 Rookie Class

Before we dive into the incoming 2018 rookie class, let's take a look back and re-rank the impressive 2017 crop.

3:02pm EST 2/19/18 Read More
Early 2018 Fantasy Football ADP Check

Let's take a look at the ADP rankings from early best-ball drafting and see where you might be able to take advantage ...

11:02pm EST 2/13/18 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