FF Tips

10 Rookies Who Can Help You Win in 2019

By Jared Smola 8:07am EDT 7/16/19

Over the past 5 seasons, an average of 5.8 rookies have finished as fantasy starters (top 12 QB, top 24 RB, top 36 WR, top 12 TE). Here’s the breakdown per season by position:

We’ve seen just 1 rookie QB (Dak Prescott) and 1 rookie TE (Evan Engram) finish inside fantasy-starter territory over the last 5 years. But we’ve had multiple RBs rank top 24 in 4 of the last 5 years, including 3 in 2015 and 2018 and 4 in 2017. Six WRs from the historic 2014 class finished top 36 as a rookies. And the past 3 seasons have seen 3, 2 and 2 rookie wideouts rank inside fantasy-starter range.

The 2019 rookie class looks weaker than average on paper. But odds are that a handful of these guys will finish as fantasy starters this year.

Here are the 10 rookies with the best chance to finish inside fantasy-starter territory this season, listed in order from least to most likely.

10. Damien Harris, RB, Patriots

Harris’ path to fantasy relevance looks daunting at 1st glance. But let’s actually dive in to what’s in front of him.

Rex Burkhead has had trouble staying healthy in 2 years with the Patriots and averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. He’s keeping his roster spot mainly for his special-teams contributions.

James White is a pass-catching specialist. He averaged just 34.7 carries per season from 2015 to 2017. He carried a career-high 94 times last year, but 36 of those came in the 4 games Sony Michel missed all or most of. White averaged 4.8 carries in this other 12 games — a full-season pace of 77.

Speaking of Michel, he’s the current favorite for early-down work in New England. But he brings a lengthy injury history, including a torn left ACL in high school, a broken shoulder blade and multiple ankle injuries. He had fluid drained from that left knee last August, missed 3 games with left knee trouble as a rookie and then underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason that kept him sidelined all spring.

Harris took advantage of Michel’s absence. The rookie “had a strong spring” and “has a chance to earn a prominent role during the season,” the Athletic’s Jeff Howe wrote in June. That followed a college career that saw Harris, the #1 RB in the 2015 recruiting class, lead talented Alabama backfield in rushing in each of the past 3 seasons. He left school with a career 6.4 yards-per-carry average.

Anyone with a role in this Patriots backfield should be on your fantasy radar. New England has ranked top 12 in rushing TDs in a remarkable 15 straight seasons. That run includes 11 top-5 finishes. The Pats have also ranked top 10 in rushing yards in each of the past 3 years.

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 Stock Up/Stock Down Report (8-10 through 8-16)

A quick look at the 25 guys who moved up or down our rankings over the past week.

9:08am EDT 8/17/19 Read More
Podcast: Perfect Draft and Mailbag 8-15-19

Let's talk about perfect draft strategy, selecting keepers, budgeting for an auction and just generally starting your draft off right.

7:08pm EDT 8/15/19 Read More
Podcast: Preseason Week 1 Reactions

Did David Montgomery play well enough to rocket up the rankings? Is Terry McLaurin set for early stardom in Washington? Should we quit on Dante Pettis? Let's take some time to react -- or overreact -- to the 1st full round of NFL preseason games ...

3:08pm EDT 8/13/19 Read More
Premium Content Stock Up/Stock Down Report (8-3 through 8-9)

A quick look at the 28 guys who moved up or down our rankings over the past week.

9:08am EDT 8/10/19 Read More
Podcast: Training Camp Movers 8-6-19

Sony Michel. Miles Sanders. Curtis Samuel. Damien Williams. Let's look at how positive buzz, negative reports and injuries are impacting our fantasy football draft plans.

8:08pm EDT 8/6/19 Read More
FFPC Best-Ball Live Stream

Even while the DS crew is on the road for the NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement in Canton, we're still drafting. And we can't pass on the upside of Melvin Gordon where he's going ...

8:08am EDT 8/4/19 Read More
Premium Content 6 PPR WR Sleepers

6 WRs with sneaky target upside set to return big value in your PPR drafts.

9:08am EDT 8/2/19 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