With 2015 Fantasy Football drafts right around the corner, taking a look at the rookie wide-out landscape is now a must.
By Guy Rose
Fantasy Football is right around the corner and most of us couldn’t be more excited.
The wide receiver position will be a huge question mark, especially for last year’s rookies. They made a huge impact and people will wonder if they can duplicate the magic they made last year.
The previous incoming class had huge numbers, such as Odell Bekham Jr. (1,305 yards) and Mike Evans (12 touchdowns). Even receivers who were not considered as first round talent, like Jarvis Landry (84 receptions), did well.
If they don’t come through in 2015, the new rookies may have to fill their gap. This year, we have players like Amari Cooper, Kevin White and Devante Parker stepping up to bat.
Amari Cooper, Raiders
Cooper was the fourth pick in the draft and was taken by the Oakland Raiders. Standing in at 6-1, Cooper is a tall receiver and a huge target for Derek Carr, who led last year’s rookies in passing yards and touchdowns. He will have no problem adapting to the pros due to his experience in a pro style offense.
The Raiders also don’t have much talent at the wide receiver position with an always injured Michael Crabtree, who only had 698 yards last season, as their next best option. Cooper is a good draft pick as a flex or high bench player. He will get you the points you need to win games.
Kevin White, Bears
Kevin White is a player I am conflicted on. Although I feel like White will be a good fantasy value this year, he won’t be solid in the long run. At West Virginia, White was shaky his junior year, racking up 507 yards and 5 touchdowns. In his senior year he broke out and compiled a massive 1,447 yards.
I would question if maybe his senior year was a one hit wonder situation. This year he is a good fantasy value because he is alongside Alshon Jeffery. With Jeffery drawing the defense’s attention, White will be open in one on one coverage. White is a solid low bench player but nothing more, nothing less.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles
Nelson Agholor is a receiver that could go either way. The six-foot receiver is a good route runner with solid hands and a good target for Sam Bradford. Agholor is stepping into quite a crazy offense that he will have to learn under Chip Kelly. Some other problems will be that the Eagles three headed monster of a running game will take away from the possible receptions he would have gotten.
On the flip side, Agholor seems to be stepping into Maclin’s role who was opposite of Jordan Matthews. If the passing game can get off the ground, about 40 percent of the passes will most likely go to him. Even if there is a slight chance he could get 40 percent of the targets, I would draft Agholor in the very last rounds just based on his upside.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins
DeVante Parker will be the exact opposite of Kevin White. He is a bad fantasy value this year but will be good in the long run. Parker is coming off foot surgery and his timetable is still a question. Even if Parker came back Week 1, he would still be learning the offense because of his inexperience in the NFL.
I didn’t even mention the shiny new receivers the Dolphins acquired like veteran Greg Jennings, who averaged 12.6 yards per reception, and deep threat Kenny Stills, who barely missed the 1,000 receiving yards mark last year. They also picked up the massive 6-5 tight end Jordan Cameron, yet another target for the ever improving Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins also have their breakout receiver, Jarvis Landry, who had 758 yards and was Tannehill’s favorite receiver catching the most passes on the team. With all these factors and a solid running game there is no room for Parker to explode this year. Do not draft Parker for your fantasy team.
Breshad Perriman, Ravens
Breshad Perriman has the same problem as Devante Parker, they are both currently injured. Like I’ve said before, with the inexperience it would be hard for Perriman to get a hang of the offense that quickly. The Ravens also have a solid running game with Justin Forsett at the helm which means that the Ravens will be running the ball more.
Additionally, with the drafting of red zone threat Maxx Williams, there is less of a chance for Joe Flacco to throw touchdowns to Perriman. The good thing about Perriman is that the only other receiver that will be getting receptions is an aging Steve Smith Sr., who only had 6 touchdown receptions last year. He also had 1,044 yards and averaged 20.9 yards per reception as a senior. He may be a good pick up on the waiver wire later on in the year but he is not a safe pick for your fantasy draft.
Philip Dorsett, Colts
The final rookie wide receiver on this list is Phillip Dorsett. Dorsett has a huge do not draft sticker on him. Yes, he does have Andrew Luck as his quarterback, but how can Luck get the ball to Dorsett if he’s not on the field? The Colts picked up Andre Johnson and Frank Gore, giving them a number two wide receiver and running game, respectively.
With big names like Johnson and Hilton at the wide out position that leaves a very little amount of targets going to Dorsett. The run game will help take more pressure off of Luck which will let him throw less. Dorsett will be a small fish in a big pond and he should not be drafted this year even with Luck as his quarterback.
In the end will the new rookie receivers be able to fill the gap of last year’s rookies? Of course not, the 2014 rookies set records that most people couldn’t do on their Madden franchise. The 2015 rookies can, however, make an impact in your fantasy league. Good luck and safe picks.
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