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Dynasty League Rookie Round Up - Week 6


This column features a weekly look at rookie performances from a dynasty fantasy football perspective. This week I'll look at a few wide receivers who've gotten a lot of usage so far.

I'll find other rookies from past seasons that have produced at a similar per-game pace, and see what stands out. Keep in mind that we're only five games into the season, so these comps could change. Still, five games are almost a third of fantasy season, and I think it can serve as a good milestone. We'll check back in later in the season to see which players have improved or fallen off the pace.

Most of the stats in the following tables are self-explanatory; I've included expected points as a way to give some context. It gives you a sense of how valuable the player's workload is and, by comparing it to PPR points per game, you can get a sense of whether or not the player is over or underperforming their expectations.

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Rookie Usage Rates

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

PLAYER SEAS AGE DRAFT GAMES EX.PTS. TRGS REC YDS TDS PPR
Cooper Kupp 2017 24 69 5 9.3 5.8 3.4 46 0.4 10.4
DeVante Parker 2015 22 14 8 11 6.2 3.2 61.8 0.4 11.7
John Brown 2014 24 91 16 9.6 6.4 3 43.5 0.3 9.2
Terrance Williams 2013 24 74 15 8.1 4.9 2.9 49.1 0.3 9.9
Ty Hilton 2012 23 92 15 9.6 6 3.3 57.4 0.5 12.1
Denarius Moore 2011 23 148 13 9.1 5.8 2.5 47.5 0.4 10.5

 
Cooper Kupp's most similar rookies, on a per-game basis, are quite good. I'm a little hesitant about the DeVante Parker comparison because Parker was both much younger and drafted much earlier, but the on-field results have been analogous. John Brown has been a very good fantasy asset when healthy, and TY Hilton has been a flat-out stud for most of his career. Denarius Moore fell off quickly, but averaged double-digit PPR points per game over his first three years in the league.

 

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT)

PLAYER SEAS AGE DRAFT GAMES EX.PTS. TRGS REC YDS TDS PPR
Juju Smith-Schuster 2017 21 62 4 8.5 5 3 40 0.5 10
Robert Woods 2013 21 41 14 9.2 6.1 2.9 41.9 0.2 8.4
Alshon Jeffery 2012 22 45 10 7.4 4.8 2.4 36.7 0.3 7.9
Titus Young 2011 22 44 16 8.6 5.3 3 37.9 0.4 9.1
Leonard Hankerson 2011 22 79 4 7.6 5 3.2 40.8 0 7.3
Dez Bryant 2010 22 24 12 10.1 6.1 3.8 46.8 0.5 11.4

 
Smith-Schuster is also pacing for some really interesting comps. Leonard Hankerson never panned out, but Titus Young was a very intriguing talent before his career went off the rails. Robert Woods has had situational utility as a spot starter throughout his career, and Alshon Jeffery and Dez Bryant have both been top fantasy wide receivers in multiple seasons. He looks like a firm hold in dynasty.

 

Trent Taylor (WR, SF)

PLAYER SEAS AGE DRAFT GAMES EX.PTS. TRGS REC YDS TDS PPR
Trent Taylor 2017 23 177 5 6.8 4.2 2.4 19.8 0.2 5.6
Rashad Greene 2015 23 139 9 6.6 3.9 2.1 10.3 0.2 4.5
Marvin Jones 2012 22 166 8 6.4 4 2.2 25.1 0.1 6.1
Juron Criner 2012 23 168 8 6.7 4.1 2 18.9 0.1 4.6
Jeremy Kerley 2011 23 153 12 6.5 3.9 2.4 26.2 0.1 5.9
Demaryius Thomas 2010 23 22 10 6.4 3.9 2.2 28.3 0.2 6.2

 
Taylor has garnered some attention because of his usage so far, and the lack of major competition around him. Despite that, his comparables aren't that exciting. Demaryius Thomas, of course, has been a multi-year stud. and Marvin Jones has been a useful fantasy asset, but neither Greene, Criner, nor Kerley has been useful, outside of a brief stretch for Kerley.

 

Zay Jones (WR, BUF)

PLAYER SEAS AGE DRAFT GAMES EX.PTS. TRGS REC YDS TDS PPR
Zay Jones 2017 22 37 5 7.5 4.6 1 13.2 0 2.3
Phillip Dorsett 2015 22 29 11 5.3 3.5 1.6 20.5 0.1 4.4
Devin Smith 2015 23 37 7 6.2 4 1.3 16.4 0.1 3.8
Markus Wheaton 2013 22 79 5 4.3 2.6 1.2 12.8 0 2.5
Jon Baldwin 2011 22 26 11 7.6 4.8 1.9 23.1 0.1 4.8
Golden Tate 2010 22 60 11 6 3.5 1.9 20.6 0 4

 
Yikes. I've been a strong advocate of Jones since before the NFL draft. He's been on the field and gotten plenty of usage, but has really struggled to produce, and that's reflected in his comps. Golden Tate -- eventually -- became a very good fantasy asset, and Wheaton has had a few occasions of usefulness. But Dorsett, Smith, and Baldwin can all fairly be called busts.

 

Takeaways

Based on the career trajectories of similarly performing rookies, the value of Kupp and Smith-Schuster should be on the rise. Both are definite holds if you have them and -- even though you might pay full price -- are worthy acquisition targets. If your dynasty team isn't contending this year, try and trade someone with more current production but less long-term potential.

Trent Taylor doesn't do much for me one way or the other. He probably deserves a roster spot in very deep dynasty leagues (say, 30 roster spots or more), but in shallower leagues, it doesn't look like you'll miss much if you leave him on the waiver wire.

As for Zay Jones, I'm torn. I still believe in his pedigree and potential, so I'm holding where I have him. On the other hand, even though his price is coming down a bit, I'm not looking to acquire him anywhere either. The early results are discouraging though, and warrant a close eye over the rest of the season.

 

More 2017 Dynasty League Strategy