Rookies are no longer simply pawns in fantasy football. They can win you a championship. Odell Beckham’s 2014 rookie campaign was one for the ages
, but don’t forget about the impact
of Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and Sammy Watkins (that WR draft class, my goodness) that year. The following season, it was Amari Cooper and Todd Gurley transcending the league. Last year, Ezekiel Elliott somehow exceeded expectations as a consensus first-round fantasy pick, while Jordan Howard was an absolute monster down the stretch, and Michael Thomas had probably the quietest 92-catch, 1137-yard, 9-touchdown rookie year of all-time.
From a fantasy perspective, some of the aforementioned names were expected to be stars, some were surprises, but all were crucial in a lot of championship-winning squads. So, who’s it going to be in 2017?
The draft, obviously, will play a big part in answering that question. Most believed ‘Zeke would be good last year–and really, his talent would have helped him put up numbers in most places–but landing with the Dallas Cowboys where there was an opening spot at running back and a bulldozing offensive line was about as good as it gets for a rookie’s fantasy value. Nevertheless, while situation will be crucial in determining the rookie fantasy rankings for the 2017 season, a player’s long-term future (read: dynasty rankings) comes down more to talent. Situation will still be important, but the best players will ultimately rise to the top, no matter where they are.
With that in mind, you can click to the right
for my top 2017 fantasy rookies, ranked for dynasty purposes. (Getty)