5 Rookies to Target, 5 to Avoid in your Re-draft League
Rookies that should be highly drafted in every re-draft league:
WR Christian Watson- Green Bay Packers
Watson is the big bodied receiver that Aaron Rodgers likes to take advantage of. He has elite speed and has improved his route running every year at North Dakota State. He has a large catch radius and great hands. Don’t expect him to be the next Davante Adams right away, but don’t be surprised if after one pre-season together he becomes Aaron Rodgers’s favorite target in year one.
WR Treylon Burks- Tennessee Titans
Burks is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. His combination of size and strength mixed with his ability to line up anywhere on the field allows him to utilize his excellent body control to get open for his QB. He received comparisons to AJ Brown before the draft, and after trading Brown away the Titans promptly selected Burks to be his successor. Expect Burks to make an impact in the passing game right away.
RB Breece Hall- New York Jets
The Jets were not shy about their goal of surrounding second year quarterback Zack Wilson with more weapons. 2021 rookies Michael Carter and Elijah Moore made an impact last year but did not possess the “home run” threat that they were looking for. The Jets front office addressed this deficit by selecting Hall in the second round this year. Hall was extremely proficient at Iowa State, and his elite speed combined with his exceptional vision resulted in 5 touchdowns of 75 yards or more in his college career. Expect Hall to supplant Carter as RB1 in New York early in the season, if not before week 1.
TE Greg Dulcich- Denver Broncos
The Broncos did not have a pick on day 1 of the draft as they gave up that right to acquire new quarterback Russell Wilson. They also gave up their number one tight end in that deal. To address this, GM George Paton used his third round pick on the UCLA product. Wilson loves to utilize the tight end down the seams, and that is Dulcich’s specialty. He has plus speed and the size to take on both linebackers and safeties. He needs to improve on route running but is excellent after the catch. Expect him to build a rapport with Wilson and be a top ten fantasy tight end this year.
QB Matt Corral- Carolina Panthers
Matt Corral fits perfectly into Matt Rhule’s system in Carolina. Sam Darnold does not. That experiment clearly failed last year and I do not expect them to try it again this year. Corral is decisive as a thrower and electric as a runner. He can utilize McCaffrey in the play action game and as a pass catcher out of the backfield. He has a legit deep threat and a couple of big-bodied receivers on the outside that will help cover some of his rookie mistakes. Expect him to be in the mix for offensive Rookie of the Year.
Honorable Mention: WR Velus Jones, Jr.- Chicago Bears
With Allen Robinson out of the picture, the door is open for Jones to receive a lot of volume in the Chicago offense that will be trying to keep up with the Packers and Vikings all year.
Rookies that should NOT be overvalued:
WR Drake London- Atlanta Falcons
There is no denying London’s skillset and ability as a receiver. However, without a definite quarterback to consistently get him the ball it will be tough for him to make a fantasy impact in year one. With Calvin Ridley being suspended for the year, London will receive a ton of attention from opposing defenses. His size will allow him to be productive, but I expect him to be over drafted. Just not by me.
QB Kenny Pickett- Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett was the first quarterback off the board in this year’s draft, and the only one in the first two rounds. The only problem is he inherits the mess that is the Pittsburgh Steeler’s offense. The Steeler’s offensive line ranked 26th last year, and that was with Roethlisberger’s insanely quick 2.2 seconds per pass, a number not likely to be matched by Pickett. This quick release masked some of the line’s inability to pass block, but I expect that to be exposed this year.
WR Tyquan Thornton- New England Patriots
Let’s be honest, the Patriots have never been good at drafting wide receivers. As talented as Thornton is, and he has ELITE speed and separation ability, it is unlikely that the Patriots utilize him correctly or find creative ways to get him the ball. I do not expect much of a fantasy impact out of Thornton in his rookie year.
TE Trey McBride- Arizona Cardinals
McBride was an exciting tight end prospect coming into the draft. He is a good blocker, which will simultaneously earn him playing time and limit his routes per game. He will be behind Zach Ertz in line to receive TE targets, not to mention the inexhaustible amount of wide receiver talent that Kyler Murray has to work with. Tight ends seem to have a tough go at it as rookies, and I expect McBride to get buried in the depth chart too far for him to make a real fantasy contribution.
RB James Cook- Buffalo Bills
The Bills are one of the most pass heavy teams in the NFL. And when they do run the ball, its usually Josh Allen carrying the rock. Trying to figure out who is the Bills’ primary ball carrier at the running back position has been a struggle for fantasy owners for the past few years, and the addition of Cook just muddies the waters even more. As dynamic as he is, I expect Cook to be underutilized in Buffalo.