NFL Preseason Week 3 – Rookie Roundup
As we enter the last days of summer, only three things are certain: preseason football, fantasy football drafts, and this week’s edition of the Rookie Roundup. This week’s edition features some smaller named rookies that can have a large impact on your fantasy team this season. To recap: “starters” are players I recommend you add to your team immediately. “Bench Players” are rookies that you may want to keep an eye on, even if you are not quite sold. “Practice Squad Players” are guys I suggest ignoring, as no value is really available from them, at least for now. Let’s begin with this week’s starters!
5. D’onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans
After signing a big contract prior to the 2016 season, Lamar Miller disappointed many. A down year in the books, Miller looks to improve after an underwhelming 2016 campaign. Miller’s fantasy value took a hit when in the third round, the Texans selected Foreman. The Texas back possesses a ton of talent and was expected to land in the second round. If Miller struggles again, do not be surprised to see Foreman gain an increasing amount of carries and potentially win the job. We’ve seen Houston get rid of big money free agents before, i.e. Brock Osweiler, and they will definitely split carries to start, even if it is not 50/50. I would pick up Foreman as a handcuff and watch as his numbers rise over the course of the season.
4. Carlos Henderson, WR, Denver Broncos
An underrated prospect in the draft, Henderson impressed during camp, though he has been injured thus far this preseason. Henderson looks to be the third receiver on this Broncos’ depth chart, and may split time in the slot with the superb Emanuel Sanders. Henderson has nice hands, impressive athletic ability, and is a precise route runner that can add to this Broncos offense. Bad QB play seems imminent and may limit his ceiling, but Henderson may put up good numbers in Mile High. I would acquire Henderson as soon as possible to add to your fantasy team.
3. Gerald Everett, TE, Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay was introduced as the head coach to this Rams team over the off season, making him the youngest head coach ever at 31 years old. This hiring was meant primarily for former first overall pick Jared Goff, who they hope is saved by this offensive genius. If Goff improves, which it looks like it has so far, the targets around him will improve as well. Tavon Austin, Cooper Kupp, and Todd Gurley should all see increased numbers with competent quarterback play. This may seem like a concern, along with the fact that he is currently listed as the second tight end behind Tyler Higbee. However, Everett is the best receiving tight end on the roster. Also, Sean McVay knows how to maximize his tight ends. He has been a tight ends coach for much of his career, including at Washington, where he worked wonders with Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, and Niles Paul. I would be extremely excited to see Everett play for my fantasy team this season, especially with Sean McVay as the head coach.
2. Ryan Switzer, WR, Dallas Cowboys
As a contributing member of the Ryan Switzer hype train, I feel obligated to place him among this week’s starters. Ryan Switzer was hurt for a large portion of camp, so he was unable to show off his ability. With Ezekiel Elliot being out for the foreseeable future, we may be seeing more of a pass-lead offense from Dak and co.. The Cowboys love rotating receivers in, so concerns about playing time are negated. Dallas looks to slot receivers as a major element of the air attack. Switzer can do a bit of everything despite his size, and will have a sizable role in that offense.
1. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Spencer Ware is out for the season, cutting him out of Kansas City’s running back trio. Kareem Hunt has been named the starter, and he should excel in this role. He is tremendously talented and has Howard-like upside from last season. The offensive line is average, but Hunt’s shiftiness and pass catching ability should propel him to be an amazing back this season. With no one ahead of him, Hunt is a back you should immediately add.
5. Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
The Packers quarterback position may be locked down for good, but the running back position most certainly is not. Ty Montgomery looks to be the lead back and main backfield pass catcher, but being a converted wide out may hurt his toughness as the season goes on. Aaron Jones is also partaking in the running back festivities, though as of now he has a minor role. The BYU standout has exemplified his talent so far, and could become the lead back sooner rather than later. The main concern I have with him is where he stands on the depth chart, so I would keep an eye out on him until he becomes a larger piece of that offense.
4. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
Two years ago, Jeremy Langford filled in for Matt Forte and was a fantasy savior. Last year, Jordan Howard gave him a taste of his own medicine, tallying up numbers that ranked him second among rookie backs in 2016. While Howard has sole possession of the starting role, Tarik Cohen has made some noise going into his rookie campaign. He looks to take a small portion of carries away from Howard, as well as many reception and red zone opportunities. Behind a solid offensive line, and with a ton of talent, Cohen is a rookie to watch this season, though I would not buy into him just yet.
3. Chad Williams, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Bruce Arians has came out publicly in saying he is massively disappointed by his receiving corp. What this could mean is more action for younger players as Carson Palmer looks to find both new and effective targets. Chad Williams was not on many’s radar going into this season and his low profile makes him an intriguing sleeper choice in your fantasy league. Anyhow, he has since shown up and has gained his coach’s confidence, as well as his quarterback’s. Williams should increase his role in the offense and rise up the depth chart, potentially as high as number two, behind the great Larry Fitzgerald. Until then, he is just a rookie to watch.
2. Joe Williams, RB, San Francicso 49ers
It was recently expressed that Carlos Hyde may be on the move and off of the ‘Niner’s roster. The youth movement is underway as Vance McDonald was traded in favor of rookie George Kittle. The third “Williams” in this week’s section, he may be the next rookie to take a starting role. In Shannahan’s offense, anybody can put up big numbers, and Williams may be the next example of this. The starting job may be his in a hurry, so I would definitely keep an eye on him.
1. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin left Penn State for the draft last season, and was selected by the Buccaneers. With an up-and-coming quarterback in Jamies Winston and talented receivers around him, Godwin has the ability to put up big numbers. If the Buc’s passing attack is o exceeds what is expected from them, Godwin will place himself among the best of this year’s rookie receivers. His time will be split between the slot and outside, along with speedster Desean Jackson. If he jumps Adam Humphries in the depth chart, his ceiling is sky high, making him a rookie I would watch for my fantasy team.
Practice Squad Players
5. Rodney Adams, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Rodney Adams was a day three pick by Minnesota last April, and is currently just a depth receiver. His talent is simply not on par with Diggs, Treadwell, or Thielen. In a run-happy offense featuring Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray, the situation just is not very good for him. He may end up on the practice squad, hurting his fantasy value even more. As of now, I would not look at Rodney Adams as a solid fantasy option.
4. Mason Schreck, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Another day three pick, Schreck looks to be a third string tight end, but fourth string is more likely at this point. In no way is he a roster lock, and the only way he will play is if the oft-injured Eifert falls once again. He has some talent as a receiver, so if he plays, he may put up numbers. As of now, I would not consider him as a rookie tight end option at all.
3. Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Washington Redskins
Sprinkle was a prospect I liked last year, but is behind a few tight ends in Washington. He may excel if once again, the injury prone tight end above him gets hurt. Unless that happens, Washington has itself a good depth tight end, but your fantasy team would not if he is your main option. Same player, different story. At this point in time, not an option in my eyes.
2. Noah Brown, WR, Dallas Cowboys
In terms of fantasy, Noah Brown is not a great option. To put it simply, he may be a preseason cut, and is at best, a depth receiver. He is shown to be a dirty player and that obviously does not help either. With Beasley, Switzer, Williams, and Bryant ahead of him, Brown does not look like a vital addition to your fantasy team.
1. Brian Hill, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Brian Hill is currently the third back on the roster. Behind the best running back combo in football, Hill’s playing time will certainly be limited. Shannahan’s mind isn’t in the ATL anymore, so opportnities for lesser skilled players are not very frequent. If someone goes down, Hill should step in nicely, but until then, Brian Hill is not a rookie to look at.
To wrap up, this week’s Rookie Roundup features some awesome prospects, some bench warmers, and a lot of “Williams”. If stars under perform, expect a lot out of some of the rookies stated. Hopefully, the rookies show up and show out over the course of this season. If you pick up a starter or bench player later in the year, they may help your playoff push or save your season. Whether it is for your team or not, rookies are important for fantasy, so hopefully you check back next week for more of the Rookie Roundup.