NFL is less than three weeks away and we’ve got a TON of content in the works to help you get prepared for your drafts and DFS strategies.
We’ve been fielding questions on Twitter to get a better gauge on what content you guys want to read and I recently got a request at work to release my 2017 Rookie Rankings. So without further ado, this article goes out to two people; Tom Lacombe, the best Milwaukee Bucks mentor out there, and Zack Fahey, the worst iPhone 8-ball player in the entire Bucks front office, but a great dude nonetheless.
Here are my 2017 NFL Rookie Rankings for 2017.
1. Christian McCaffrey | ESPN ADP – 37.6 | RB15
I’m much higher on McCaffrey than most other analysts, but I believe it to be for good reason. He’s shown incredible explosion and quickness so far this preseason, recording 6.6 yards per carry, 1 touchdown and 39 receiving yards.
He’s reunited with running back coach Lance Taylor from Stanford, catering even more to McCaffrey’s strengths and the big-play potential he showed throughout his collegiate career. He brings 50+ catch potential to the Carolina offense (I think he could record even more but I’m going to play it safe here) and should be a great dump-off option for Cam Newton.
While Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton will definitely vulture some goal line carries, if McCaffrey can get off to a hot start, he should be able to carve out a great role in the offense and compete for the top rookie spot in 2017.
2. Leonard Fournette | ESPN ADP – 23.6 | RB9
Unlike McCaffrey, one player that I’m NOT all that high on is Leonard Fournette out of LSU.
The skill-set is there, don’t get me wrong. He should receive at least 20 carries per game and has incredible explosion, play-making ability and power out of the backfield, but his situation reminds me all too much of Todd Gurley’s sophomore season in Los Angeles.
The recurring injury issues, poor offensive line and quarterback play and lack of offensive options around him make me way too weary of using a second round pick on him. He’s worth a 3rd or 4th round pick, but his current ADP is a bit too high for my liking.
3. Joe Mixon | ESPN ADP – 57 | RB20
After recording 1,274 on 6.8 yards per carry with 10 touchdowns and an additional 37 catches for 538 yards and 5 touchdowns, Mixon brings a whole lot of potential to the Cincinnati backfield.
While Gio Bernard brings the passing down ability and Jeremy Hill the goal line ability to the offense, Mixon brings the perfect combination of both.
If he can overtake Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill early in the season, Mixon could be in for a massive fantasy season. Patience is a virtue in this situation, remember that.
4. Dalvin Cook | ESPN ADP – 49.7 | RB18
Cook posted a ridiculous 2,253 yards and 20, TWENTY touchdowns last season at Florida State and brings a ton of evasive and explosive ability to the Vikings offense.
I would rank Cook above Joe Mixon if it weren’t for the off field issues he’s become accustomed to over his career in college. Combine that with the fact that Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are still in Minnesota and there’s still reason to proceed with a bit of caution here. Cook should have no problem eventually overtaking the backfield, but again, patience is a virtue.
5. Corey Davis | ESPN ADP – 128.4 | RB48
My final rookie in my top 5 is Corey Davis, one that I’m again much higher on than other individuals, in part because of the rapid improvements of the Titans’ offense.
The Titans are the Milwaukee Bucks of the NFL – young, exciting and rapidly improving. Last season at Western Michigan, Davis posted 19 touchdowns and now gets the chance to learn under Eric Decker, a receiver with a very similar size and skill set.
There are other weapons in this offense, so Davis will take some time to carve out his role, but drafting him with expectations of getting yourself a solid WR3/Flex are definitely not out of the question.
Just outside of my top 5 . . .
- Kareem Hunt – ESPN ADP 118.9 | RB41
- John Ross – ESPN ADP 138.4 | WR59