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Dynasty League Rookie Round Up - Week 2


Each week, I'll take a quick look at the top rookies in dynasty fantasy football leagues. I'll review their recent performance (PPR scoring) and offer some thoughts about their upcoming games as well as their long-term dynasty value.

Last week, I ran through all the relevant rookies in order of their Week 1 performance. This week, I'll start ranking them by position. I'll assume a typical 12-team, PPR dynasty league.

One caveat -- rankings aren't gospel. They're a great starting point for your roster management decisions, but ultimately your team needs may make some players worth more or less than rankings suggest.

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Rookie Quarterback Rankings

  1. DeShone Kizer 
  2. Deshaun Watson 

 
In Week 2, Watson had the better performance, while Kizer missed some action due to a migraine. Kizer's ability to deal with migraines will be an important trend to monitor, but for now it's just a single data point that shouldn't affect his value.

In leagues that start just a single QB, it's generally not necessary to roster a rookie. If you're in a really deep league -- or a 2QB league -- then both of these guys have value. I still like Kizer's long-term prospects better. Part of that is player specific, but a big part of it has to do with the fact that Cleveland has a better cap situation next year, as well as more and better draft picks. That means they'll be able to do more than Houston in terms of adding talent around their QB.

 

Rookie Running Back Rankings

  1. Kareem Hunt 
  2. Leonard Fournette
  3. Dalvin Cook
  4. Christian McCaffrey
  5. Tarik Cohen 
  6. Chris Carson
  7. Joe Mixon
  8. Alvin Kamara
  9. Marlon Mack
  10. D'Onta Foreman

 
The running back position is so volatile. Between injuries and performance-related depth chart changes, player values are constantly in flux. For these reasons, RB values in redraft and dynasty leagues should be considered more similarly than many people do.

Kareem Hunt has the Chiefs backfield to himself and has performed very well. Forget draft capital -- he's a high volume starter on a good offense which makes him the most valuable rookie RB. There's nothing wrong with Leonard Fournette, it's just that his offensive situation isn't quite as good as Hunt's. Dalvin Cook has played well and shouldn't be threatened by Jerick McKinnon or Latavius Murray at all.

Christian McCaffrey has been involved as both a runner and receiver, but the Carolina offense is struggling a bit and he's still sharing time with Jonathan Stewart. Tarik Cohen is my favorite rookie so far. He's limited by a poor offense, but his early usage (and performance) is inspiring. Chris Carson lacks pedigree, but he's rendered both Eddie Lacy and C.J. Prosise irrelevant on the ground. Thomas Rawls is a potential concern down the road, but for now Carson has a clearer and more valuable role than the remaining rookie RBs.

Joe Mixon should eventually be the No. 1 RB in Cincinnati. But he's not... yet. He makes a potential "buy low" target if his owner is concerned -- and if you can wait for his potential breakout. Alvin Kamara already looks more involved than Adrian Peterson and could climb the ranks quickly. Marlon Mack and D'Onta Foreman are leverage plays; they don't have much immediate production, but could be workhorses if there's an injury in front of them.

 

Rookie Wide Receiver Rankings

  1. Corey Davis
  2. Zay Jones
  3. Kenny Golladay
  4. Cooper Kupp
  5. John Ross
  6. Curtis Samuel
  7. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  8. Mike Williams
  9. Taywan Taylor
  10. Trent Taylor

 
The wide receiver position is different than the running back position. Players take a little longer to develop, injuries are less of a concern, and player values aren't as volatile. That means the draft capital spent on a player matters more, and for longer.

Corey Davis saw just three targets in Week 2, but fear not. Tennessee won handily, and didn't need to pass as much, nor risk aggravating Davis' hamstring injury. He's still the most valuable rookie WR. Zay Jones didn't do much in Week 2 either, but is still my second-ranked rookie WR. He's got a decent draft pedigree and was a great prospect. Even better, he's arguably got less competition than any other rookie WR. Kenny Golladay and Cooper Kupp have shone flashes and both are valuable commodities. Golladay gets a slight bump for being in the better offense.

Neither John Ross nor Curtis Samuel have made an impact yet, but both are strong assets. Acquire at a discount if you can. Ross is a high first-round draft pick and Samuel also has a good draft pedigree. He should see an uptick in opportunity now that Greg Olsen is out for a while.

JuJu Smith-Schuster scored a touchdown in Week 2 but has just four targets through two games. He's a long term hold, but will struggle to get opportunities as long as Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant are around. Mike Williams has draft pedigree so he should hold his dynasty value quite well. But he's yet to see the field and like Smith-Schuster will struggle for targets in a stacked WR corps.

Taywan Taylor would have more value if he weren't buried behind Davis, Eric Decker, and Rishard Matthews. Hold in deep leagues but the long term outlook here isn't great. Trent Taylor is blocked this season, but could move up the depth chart either through performance (neither Pierre Garcon nor Marquise Goodwin are huge talents) or offseason attrition.

 

Rookie Tight End Rankings

  1. Evan Engram
  2. David Njoku
  3. Jonnu Smith
  4. Gerald Everett
  5. O.J. Howard
  6. George Kittle

 
Tight ends take the longest time to develop, and you may not need to roster a rookie tight end in shallower leagues. A favorite tactic of mine is to wait until mid-season or so, and acquire at a discount when a disgruntled owner is fed up with their lack of production.

Evan Engram has draft pedigree and immediate production value. He's the No. 1 rookie TE in my opinion. He's currently in the concussion protocol, but it appears to be for precautionary reasons. David Njoku may be the best prospect and has draft pedigree to support his value. He's not in a great offense though and has some competition from Seth DeValve.

Many readers will be surprised to see Jonnu Smith here, but he's got a number of things going for him. First, Delanie Walker is in the last effective year of his contract, and there's no other TE competition to speak of. He's tied to a good QB and a decent offense. He's also a good prospect. Consider that he averaged more targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns per game than O.J. Howard and Gerald Everett.

Everett was a decent prospect and has immediate opportunity. Howard was taken with an early draft pick, but is competing with one of last year's better TEs (Cameron Brate) and wasn't a major force offensively in college.

 

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