There is a sect of fantasy owner that loves the excitement that comes with the unknown. They’ll be the ones reaching for rookies not because they’re in a good spot – but simply because they’re rookies.
We’ve already discussed the sizable first-year upside of Melvin Gordon, Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman and Tevin Coleman. Now let’s flip it to the negative side and identify the rookies to avoid in fantasy drafts.
Gurley a ghost
The Rams took Todd Gurley with the idea he’ll be their foundation back for the next 6-8 years. So they’ve already stated they won’t rush him back off his November ACL tear, a hint that he could open the season on the PUP list. Even once Gurley does get on the field, he’ll be dealing with a bottom-barrel offensive line, the presence of a competent backup in Tre Mason and a schedule that includes games against the Ravens, Cardinals, Lions and Seahawks between Weeks 11 and 16. Gurley’s big name makes him a lock to be overdrafted.
The Jaguars stink
The allure of the three-down back is hard to resist because it’s so rare in today’s NFL. Many people, myself included, fell victim to the promises of a massive Toby Gerhart workload last year. The biggest problem was a Jaguars offense that failed to sustain drives and provided so few scoring opportunities. They project to be better this year with the addition of Julius Thomas and a step forward from Blake Bortles, but it’s still an uphill battle for new feature back T.J. Yeldon. He’s a better Dynasty prospect than redraft as he grows with the Jags.
A cub among bears
Kevin White is a freak physical specimen, but it remains to be seen if that will immediately translate to the NFL. That concern is amplified when we add in other factors such as market share of targets and a conservative John Fox scheme that will be run-based in an effort to hide mistake-prone Jay Cutler. With Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte all ahead of White on the target totem pole, the No. 7 overall pick is a real threat to disappoint.
MLB Pickups of the Week
1. Brandon Barnes, OF, Rockies – With Corey Dickerson battling plantar fasciitis, Barnes will be getting valuable starts in Coors.
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2. Enrique Burgos, RP, Diamondbacks – It’s possible Burgos will run away with the closer’s job after Addison Reed’s demotion.
3. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles – The contract-year catcher finally appears close to returning from elbow surgery.
The NFL’s decision to move extra points back to the 15-yard line won’t affect fantasy scoring very much. Over the last two years, NFL kickers have made 96 percent of attempts between 31 and 33 yards. Although that four percent difference should make coaches go for two more often, in reality it won’t. The one team’s players that do get a slight boost are the Eagles, as we know hyper-aggressive Chip Kelly will be among the league leaders in two-point attempts.