2014 Fantasy Football: Drafting Rookies

I am not going to go into the history of drafting rookie players at quarterback, running back or wide receiver. There are years where you have an Andrew Luck or an A.J. Green, but rookies generally do not make a huge impact in fantasy football. The appeal of drafting a first-year player, however, is that there is a chance that at least one of them can crack into the top 10, and you probably didn’t have to spend a first, second or third-round pick to get him. You don’t want to be the guy who overreaches for these players though.

Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Bishop Sankey, Jeremy Hill and Carlos Hyde are all names you are going to hear about in the next few months. Most of these players will either be in position battles, or are part of offenses that are rebuilding and aren’t known for being explosive.

Just for a quick refresher, here are the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers that finished in the top 20 at their position in 2013.




Obviously having a quarterback outside of the top 10 isn’t that helpful to your team, and this quarterback class is not as NFL-ready as RG3 and Andrew Luck were. The rookie running back class was filled with valuable players, but Montee Ball was a huge bust for people who were taking him as early as the second round last year. Zac Stacy came out of nowhere and probably wasn’t even drafted in your league, and Gio Bernard and Le’Veon Bell were drafted ahead of guys like Chris Johnson and DeMarco Murray in some leagues. The most value in the rookie class was found with the running backs, but fantasy players found themselves going with the hype rather than proven options at times.

You can win championships by just having one top-20 wide receiver on your team, and Keenan Allen was the only rookie that made his way onto that list. Cordarrelle Patterson and DeAndre Hopkins made some noise last year, but players like Tavon Austin and Justin Hunter just couldn’t work their way into their respective offenses. Allen was also another player that you probably snagged off of waivers after his performance of 115 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown in Week 5.

So from the 2013 totals, rookie quarterbacks accounted for 5% of the top-20 quarterbacks, rookie running backs accounted for 20% of top-20 running backs and rookie wide receivers accounted for 5% of top-20 wide receivers.

You do look smart when you land a high performing rookie, but chances are you will completely whiff. I am going to draft Darren McFadden or Knowshon Moreno over Bishop Sankey or Terrance West any day of the week, and you should to.

Playing the lottery is fun, but very few of us become winners from it.

– Coach Jack


Categories: Fantasy Football

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