Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Sophomore Slump - Rookies Who Will Underperform in 2019

The NFL had a number of rookies that performed well last year. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley totaled over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Multiple wide receivers become fixtures in their team's offenses. There were even some rookie tight ends that were able to make some noise for their respective teams. However, it's unlikely that they're all able to repeat those performances and those are the guys we're looking at today.

Barkley won't be on this list. His ability to make big plays happen combined with playing in an offense that will rely on him heavily just make it too unlikely that he struggles. He may not put up 2,000 scrimmage yards again, but he'll still have plenty of work. Even if he won't, there will be more than one guy that does. So, if you're relying on these guys to be heavy contributors this year, you would be wise to look in another direction for help.

Today, we're looking at just three players that fall into the sophomores that will be hitting the walls, but there will likely be more than just these few. You never know who can be trusted with just one year of production under their belt.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


Phillip Lindsay (RB, DEN)

Phillip Lindsay is an amazing story and he's a solid player. However, it's just far too unlikely that he's able to repeat his production levels from last season. He finished the year with 1,037 rushing yards with an impressive 5.4 yards per carry. Lindsay also finished the year with 10 total touchdowns. He was extremely efficient, and it's just unrealistic to expect him to repeat those numbers.

One thing that won't be helping his cause is that there will be four guys in new spots on the offensive line when the season starts. Three players are becoming starters, including rookie guard Dalton Risner, and guard Ronald Leary is switching sides. It takes time for offensive line groups to mesh together, and that will make life more difficult for Lindsay. This group could come together quickly, but there is more evidence against that than four it.

Additionally, Lindsay will have to contend with fellow second-year running back Royce Freeman for touches. Freeman received 130 carries compared to the 192 for Lindsay. Those numbers should be much closer this year, and this offense doesn't figure to be good enough to support two RB2 caliber players. Unless Lindsay is able to overcome all of that, being drafted in the third and fourth round like he is now will likely turn out to be a reach.


Gus Edwards (RB, BAL)

Similar to Lindsay, Edwards was an extremely efficient runner last season as he averaged 5.2 yards per carry. He played in 11 games, and he started just six of them. However, he made the most of his 137 carries with 718 yards on the year. He and quarterback Lamar Jackson showed off some good chemistry in the option offense that they were running last year once Jackson took over, but it's unlikely he'll put up numbers even close to that next season.

One major reason is the Ravens added former New Orleans Saints' running back Mark Ingram who is a better runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield. He's also good in the red zone with 18 touchdowns over the last two seasons. In addition to Ingram, the Ravens drafted running back Justice Hill as a possible future at the position. The room is crowded, and Edwards doesn't do anything overly special to command those touches.

Edwards caught just two passes last season. Those numbers may go up if he gets more workload, but he's also not particularly adept in that area. He's not being drafted as a legitimate contributor for this upcoming season, and he shouldn't be. He's talented, but he was a late-season push guy that won't be doing anywhere near the amount of work that he did last season.


Calvin Ridley (WR, ATL)

Ridley had a great season last year with 64 catches for 821 yards. His role next year should only grow in an offense that sees him as the second major receiver threat behind All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones. Yet, he's on a list of guys that should regress next year? Yes, he is. Ridley started the year strong, and he finished with a decent year. However, he finished slowly as the year went on.

In the first four weeks of the season, he had already accumulated 32.2 percent of the yards he would finish with, and he had six of the 10 touchdowns he would finish with. If you take away the first game of the season where he finished with no catches or yards, that means that a third of his production for the entire season came in just a three-game span. Is he going to be able to change that efficiency for next year, or will he still be largely reliant on scoring touchdowns?

For one, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu remains an active part of this offense. Sanu finished with two more targets than Ridley last season, and he's a consistent target for quarterback Matt Ryan. Tight end Austin Hooper's role has grown every season. Also, that Jones guy that was mentioned before, he's pretty good too. Ridley is a solid player. However, he's being drafted as the 22nd wide receiver on the board, and there are more consistent options available in the same range.

More ADP Busts and Avoids

More Recent Articles


Nine AL Rookies Ready to Leap Into Starting Lineups

Every year, there are those rookies who we expect to make a splash right away. Think Kris Bryant, Ronald Acuna, Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge--those guys. Once we make it through all the service time manipulation shenanigans, there are always youngsters ready to snatch roster spots immediately, and 2020 is no exception. Below are nine of... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Spin Rate

Spin rate has become one of the most recognizable Statcast metrics, with supporters of a given pitcher highlighting his spin rates to make their case. Unfortunately, the baseball world has done a lousy job conveying what spin rate really means. The result has been a ton of owners who know that spin rate exists, but... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Khris Davis

The Oakland Athletics finished 2019 with a record of 97-65, which was good for a second-place finish in the AL West and a second-consecutive wildcard birth. They did this despite a statistically down season from their superstar, Khris Davis. Davis struggled mightily in 2019 by slashing .220/.293/.387 with 23 HR, 73 RBI, 61 R, and... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis: Trey Mancini vs. Christian Walker

One of the most important skills in a fantasy draft is the ability to identify a player with similar value at a lower ADP. When you're able to find similar production at a lower cost, this allows you to use an earlier pick to fill out other areas of your roster, resulting in a stronger... Read More

MLB Closers and Saves: Fantasy Baseball Depth Charts

Saves are an important component for many fantasy baseball leagues. Closers are one of the most volatile positions in fantasy baseball, and one of the highest turnover positions in MLB. Each year, closers drop like flies and many MLB teams make in-season changes due to injuries or poor performance. Stay on top of all closer depth... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Bases Loaded Podcast - Relief Pitchers Preview

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is joined by Jorge Montanez, Zach Braff and Mike Simione as they jump into their relief pitcher preview! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Jose Urquidy

It's been a tumultuous winter for the Houston Astros. Not only were they embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal (which has, naturally, progressed apace to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about ever more sophisticated methods of cheating), but they watched staff ace Gerrit Cole sign a mammoth free-agent deal with the Yankees. Plenty of virtual ink has been... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Mark Canha

Mark Canha had a solid 2019 campaign and is one player that probably deserves more attention heading into 2020 than he is currently receiving. He finished the season hitting .273/.396/.517 with 26 HR, 58 RBI, 80 R, and 67 BB in 410 at-bats. It was a very productive line for a guy that played in... Read More

Four Prospect Sleepers for 2020 Redraft Leagues

Recently, Rotoballer launched a list of the Top 50 MLB prospects for the coming year. The top of the list was populated by names such as Gavin Lux, Luis Robert, and Brendan McKay. These players, among others, feature a promising combination of talent and favorable playing time projections to suggest they’ll be the cream-of-the-crop among... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis – Robbie Ray vs Trevor Bauer

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – C.J. Cron

As another fantasy baseball season approaches, we once again have the chance to discuss C.J. Cron as a fantasy sleeper. Cron will be playing for his third team in three seasons. It is tough to wrap one's head around the idea that a player of Cron's talent continues to be undervalued by professional and fantasy... Read More

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More

Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More