Fantasy Impact Of 2015 Rookie Class
The "break" between the Draft and Week 1 of the regular season represents the least busy time of the year for the 365-day monster that has become the NFL. Unless you're a die-hard fan of a team to the extent that you monitor what takes place at every single training camp practice and take pride in preseason scores, there's just really not much noise at this time. However, hundreds of rookies are currently working their tails off trying to make a roster and eventually make a name for themselves in the league. We've seen some dynamic rookies make huge impacts from the get-go over the last few seasons, and with several exciting guys on the offensive side of the ball coming out of this year's draft, expect that trend to continue. Here's a look at some of the rookies fantasy owners will consider drafting in 2015:
Jameis Winston (1st, Tampa Bay) - the former Heisman winner has a couple of great weapons outside in Vincent Jackson and the rising Mike Evans, but he had issues with turnovers and his new offensive line won't help. Likely a day one starter, but he could end up as a nice QB2 if you want to roll the dice a bit.
Marcus Mariota (2nd, Tennessee) - obviously his mobility appeals to fantasy owners, but he may not even beat out Mettenberger for the job. Although his receiving options are limited, Mariota could be a weekly streaming option with the right matchup.
Amari Cooper (4th, Oakland) - definitely the most polished, pro-ready receiver coming out of the draft. If Derrick Carr continues to progress at quarterback, Cooper could put up numbers similar to what guys like Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, and Kelvin Benjamin have in recent years. A washed up James Jones caught 73 balls last season so 80-90 is very possible for the Biletnikoff Award winner. May very well end up on the WR2 radar.
Kevin White (7th, Chicago) - comes with a bit of risk as he only had one full season as a starter at West Virginia, but you can't teach size and Kevin White certainly has it. If Jay Cutler bounces back, the second receiver taken could reach the 1000 yard threshold himself as a rookie.
Todd Gurley (10th, St. Louis) - some major question marks coming off a torn ACL. While early reports seem to be fairly encouraging, running backs coming off major knee surgeries tend to struggle immediately upon returning. Owners should temper their expectations for his rookie season, but the sky's the limit afterwards.
Melvin Gordon (15th, San Diego) - just because he should be the workhorse in the backfield doesn't mean he will be. With Danny Woodhead returning from injury, Gordon's upside is capped a bit but he'll get a ton of volume on early downs. Should be a popular RB2 selection.
Nelson Agholor (20th, Philadelphia) - Jordan Mathews made a splash his rookie year so there's little reason to believe Agholor can't have at least the same impact in Chip Kelly's offense. With Jeremy Maclin moving on to Kansas City, the targets will likely be there for him and his versatility is appealing as well.
Breshad Perriman (26th, Baltimore) - brought in to replace Torrey Smith's deep threat ability. With Steve Smith likely taking a step back, Perriman could make for a nice sleeper pick as he catches passes from the big-armed Joe Flacco.
T.J. Yeldon (36th, Jacksonville) - safe to say he's a better runner than Toby Gerhart and he's already being touted as the project lead back for Jacksonville. The issue is the Jaguars remain a bad football team, so they'll probably be down big in plenty of games yet again. His potential this season is likely a decent RB2.
Tevin Coleman (73rd, Atlanta) - crowded backfield with last year's fourth round pick Devonta Freeman and deep threat Antone Smith already there so this will definitely be a training camp battle to keep an eye on. With new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan bringing his zone-blocking scheme to the Falcons, Coleman could end up being a nice weekly flex play.
Duke Johnson (77th, Cleveland) - the former Miami back is easily the most talented member of the Browns backfield. He might be a third down, change-of-pace back initially but he could be featured in a greater role as the season progresses.