Rookies are key to fantasy football. Every year, a few rookies come in and light up the league, and are incredibly hard to stop for a number of reasons. Last year, it was the running backs, from Alvin Kamara to Christian McCaffery, there were four running backs that finished in the top 10 for scoring in standard PPR leagues. Deshaun Watson was one of the top scorers before he got hurt, and JuJu Smith-Schuster showed he belonged in the Pittsburgh offense. Who do you need to draft to have that kind of impact in 2018?
Need I say more? Arguably the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson, Barkley is coming into the year with high expectations. Expect him to get a heavy workload from the Giants right away, and he should live up to some of those very lofty goals. He’s the Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite and is already rated inside the top 10 on most fantasy big boards.
A dynamic, do it all back, Guice might be a bit of a sleeper considering the fact that he fell to the second round of the NFL draft. His terrible combine interviews don’t play a part in fantasy football unless they get him benched, so don’t be afraid to pull the trigger and draft Guice. He’s a decent pass catcher and should open the season as RB1 in Washington. An injury history in college is a little concerning, but this guy is a star when he’s on the field.
This guy is a must have on your fantasy team no matter what kind of league you play in. A big, physical back with four years of college experience, he should get a ton of carries in the Broncos offense. He didn’t get a lot of looks as a pass catcher but still has the potential to be a sturdy one at the next level. He caught 79 passes during his career at Oregon and hopefully will get a chance to do some more at the next level. He’s a sneaky candidate for Rookie of the Year, as John Elway has already stated he’ll be RB1, and will see a ton of action.
Jimmy Garoppolo needed a receiver, so John Lynch went out and drafted a polished receiver in Pettis. An incredibly reliable pass catcher at the University of Washington, his game should translate to the 49ers offense quite well. One problem the 49ers had last season was not having an incredibly established receiving corps. Marquise Goodwin is a nice option to have, but bringing Pettis into the mix makes this team a lot better. He should also be able to steal you a few points this year returning punts, as he has big-play ability back there and can take one to the house.
The Falcons didn’t really need another wide receiver, but then the best one in the draft fell into their laps. Calvin Ridley is going to be a great option alongside Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones and should see his fair share of targets this season. He should catch 60-75 balls this season and could be in the mix for Rookie of the Year if Julio Jones stays healthy. As long as defenses keep turning their attention towards Julio, there’s going to be a lot of open space and one on one coverage for Ridley.