Rookie Roundup for Week 1 in NFL Fantasy Football
Fifteen games, fifteen winners, fifteen losers, and a ton of chaos in our fantasy leagues. Some broke out, while others (I’m looking at you Le’Veon Bell) underperformed. Though you may attempt to save your season, the fluky week one is not an ample basis to go off of. In this week’s Rookie Roundup, I will attempt to guide you through the arduous waiver wire period. To recap, “starters” are the rookies I think you should buy in on now, as they either will not be there next week or have immensely high value. “Bench Players” are interesting athletes who you should keep an eye on, even if you are not going to pick up said player. Lastly, “Practice Squad Players” are the rookies who may have received hype but are not anything special.
5. DeShone Kizer, QB, Cleveland Browns
My second ranked quarterback prospect in the draft, Kizer has emerged as the most talented Browns quarterback in years. On Sunday, he exceeded expectations and kept pace with the division front runner Pittsburgh Steelers. I would go after Kizer due to the flexibility he adds to your fantasy roster. He would be a low end to average starter due to his mobility and arm talent, similar to Carson Wentz a year ago. If you are okay with a questionable quarterback starting every week, the quarterback already on your roster can be used as trade bait. In deeper leagues, he is a good bench quarterback and makes your starter available to move.
4. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Ram
The Colosseum hosted one of the league’s biggest blowouts last week, as the Rams defended their turf against the struggling Colts. Though it was mainly a testament to how bad Indianapolis is without their star quarterback, the Rams showed promise as well. Jared Goff looked really good for once and Sean McVay’s offense is producing points. A product of this is Cooper Kupp, the Rams’ second round pick. Against a weaker secondary, Kupp had a great debut, totaling 76 yards and a touchdown. With Kupp’s 100 reception upside, he is easily a player I would go after if possible.
3. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
The fourth pick in the draft, it was time for Fournette to show why he was so highly touted. Against the best front seven in his conference, Fournette put up a hundred yards in his debut. If he keeps this up, he will climb into the low RB1 territory. The former LSU back, Fournette may have an OROY type season, so before he is overvalued, attempt to grab him.
2. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
Eerily similar to the situation a year ago, Chicago is drowning in fantasy football chaos once again. Jordan Howard astounded so many last year, and though his job is not necessarily in jeopardy, Cohen is still a threat to put up big numbers each and every week. The explosion against Atlanta’s defense may become a repetitive occurrence, and he should be on your team for when it happens.
1. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
I mean come on. Who else is supposed to be here! Kareem Hunt broke the yards from scrimmage record for a debut in the first game of the regular season. After Ware’s injury, he was drafted pretty high but this guy can be special. Trading for Hunt would be in your best interest if you can for the right price. If he continues at half this pace, he will be a top back this season, so I would definitely recommend acquiring the Kansas City back.
5. Ar’Darius Stewart, WR, New York Jets
One rookie that impressed me and exceeded my expectations was Jets’ third round pick, Ar’Darius Stewart. In the league’s worst offense, Stewart may become the top receiver in a matter of weeks. Whoever is throwing the ball at the time will have a reliable receiver, and he is not likely to gain much attention as well. I envision Stewart becoming a pretty good bench receiver for fantasy teams, especially in deeper leagues.
4. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Personally, I love watching James Conner succeed. An amazing story, his talent is getting revealed to all as he gets a decent amount of snaps per game. He has what it takes to be a quality player in the league, but time will tell if he gets his shot. Bell struggled this week, and after frustrations with the team, he may not play at his full potential. This leaves room for Conner to step in and produce. It is yet to be seen whether Bell will continue his struggles or dominate once again, and this question stops me from adding Conner just yet.
3. James Summers, RB, Arizona Cardinals
David Johnson went down against the Lions and it looks like he will be out for the long run. This leaves everyone scrambling for Arizona’s backup backs as a solution. A talented Cardinal who has not received adequate attention is James Summers. With Johnson out a while, Arians and co will be forced into finding a solution in the backfield. He does not look like a real candidate to get the job yet. But eventually, he may see some significant snaps.
2. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson was a late arrival onto my quarterback hive train, but he may climb to a household fantasy name quite soon. If he can evade the David Carr-esk circumstances around him, Watson will use his talent to win both you and the Texans some football games. Later in the season his schedule gets easier, and the offensive line should come back, so I would wait until then before picking him up.
1. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
The next Megatron? Honestly, it is not what I thought of him during the pre draft process, but he is certainly turning heads now. Golladay had a great game the other day and will look to improve. While Golladay may be this year’s stud rookie pick up, I would wait one more week to see how much his targets go up. If they do, and he matches Tate and Jones, he should be acquired as soon as possible.
Practice Squad Players
5. Rodney Adams, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Currently, Rodney Adams is locked into the fifth receiver spot on the Viking’s depth chart. Though he is talented, there is not much room for him to grow in terms of playing time, as the Vikings receivers played pretty well on Monday night football. The snaps just won’t be there for Rodney Adams, and his fantasy value is quite limited.
4. C.J. Beathardt, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Former Hawkeye C.J. Beathardt was drafted into Kyle Shanahan’s offensive mastermind of a scheme. While this does help him, the fact that Brian Hoyer is starting and most likely will start for the rest of the season plummets his fantasy value. If he gets a chance to play, I can see him succeeding in that scheme, but until then, I would ignore him for any and all fantasy purposes.
3. K.D. Cannon, WR, Free Agent
After bouncing around multiple teams this summer, K.D. Cannon was ultimately cut. Yet another talented piece, his attitude problems are what have been holding him back. Though he would most likely put up numbers when starting, the lack of a team to play for really shoots down his value. A wide receiver needy team with depth problems may look his way if things turn awry, and if so, Cannon may get his shot.
2. Donnel Pumphrey, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Pumphrey, a premier back in college, has fallen flat so far in his NFL career. Undersized, Pumphrey’s roster spot was in jeopardy and potentially still is. The fact that he is not even the best at his job (receiving) on his team is a major problem, and I would not look at him for fantasy points this season. There is simply too much competition where Pumphrey doesn’t even stand out.
1. Jamal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
This Green Bay committee is overcrowded with backs that simply aren’t very good. Williams only holds a small portion of the running back responsibilities, and if Ty Montgomery emerges as their guy that number will fall even lower. With Rodgers at the helm, this is still a pass first offense where Williams is not the best receiving back on the roster. I feel there are too many obstacles in the way of Williams, and would not look at him for fantasy production.
With week two emerging, it is ever important that you scour the market for assets, especially rookies, who provide unprecedented upside. This holds true for all facets of fantasy football, no matter your league type. It is even more important that you do not overreact after a fluky week one performance. Always look at circumstances, and use other resources (such as the Rookie Roundup) to make a final decision. I hope that this article helps you and that you come back next week for more on the Rookie Roundup.