Fantasy Football 2018 : 25 NFL Rookies to Watch

ranking the quarterbacks prospects for the 2018 nfl draft banner 560x315The 2018 NFL Draft was loaded with talent, especially at the most important position on the field, the quarterback. The draft featured five quarterbacks taken in the first round, second most of all time. But it broke the record for the most quarterbacks taken in the top ten picks, four. While they should make an impact in the NFL for years to come, their Fantasy relevancy during their Rookie season may not be as clear.

Most experts agree that general managers in Fantasy Football leagues should never draft a rookie quarterback in the early rounds, regardless of the hype. Even Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions in his first year. When drafting your team, we recommend studying the rookies who play at the other skill positions, like running back, wide receiver, and tight end.

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The position that could end up having the greatest impact by rookies in the league this season is not going to be the quarterback. It is going to be the running back, which features multiple rookies that were taken in the first three rounds that might end up becoming their team’s starter before the season ends.

The 2018 draft was full of specially talented future stars that could make this one of the strongest drafts in a very long time. So let’s take a look at the rookies that are going to have the biggest fantasy impacts for the 2018 season. Enjoy.

25) Derrius Guice, RB (0.0 Points)

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  • Team: Washington Redskins
  • Outlook: Unfortunately, Derrius Guice was originally ranked third overall in our rankings but during his first NFL preseason game, he ended up tearing his ACL and will now be gone for the rest of the season. He remains on our rankings because he is going to end up being their future stud running back, just not this year.

24) J’Mon Moore, WR (77.4 Points)

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  • Team: Green Bay Packers
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 28 Rec, 314 Yards, 3 TD

23) D.J. Chark, WR (79.5 Points)

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  • Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 27 Rec, 345 Yards, 3 TD

22) Dallas Goedert, TE (78.6 Points)

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  • Team: Philadelphia Eagles
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 27 Rec, 275 Yards, 4 TD

21) Courtland Sutton, WR (78.9 Points)

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  • Team: Denver Broncos
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 29 Rec, 375 Yards, 2 TD

20) James Washington, WR (88.2 Points)

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  • Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 30 Rec, 400 Yards, 3 TD

19) Nyheim Hines, RB (101.2 Points)

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  • Team: Indianapolis Colts
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 321 Yards, 2 TD
      • Receiving: 28 Rec, 234 Yards, 1 TD

18) Hayden Hurst, TE (101.3 Points)

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  • Team: Baltimore Ravens
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 41 Rec, 423 Yards, 3 TD

17) Christian Kirk, WR (102 Points)

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  • Team: Arizona Cardinals
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 41 Rec, 490 Yards, 2 TD

16) Tre’Quan Smith, WR (115.5 Points)

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  • Team: New Orleans Saints
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 35 Rec, 565 Yards, 4 TD

15) D.J. Moore, WR (115.6 Points)

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  • Team: Carolina Panthers
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 42 Rec, 553 Yards, 3 TD

14) Kerryon Johnson, RB (123 Points)

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  • Team: Detroit Lions
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 490 Yards, 3 TD
      • Receiving: 27 Rec, 230 Yards, 1 TD

13) Mike Gesicki, TE (131.2 Points)

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  • Team: Miami Dolphins
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 51 Rec, 562 Yards, 4 TD

12) Nick Chubb, RB (131.4 Points)

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  • Team: Cleveland Browns
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 657 Yards, 3 TD
      • Receiving: 22 Rec, 197 Yards, 1 TD

11) Michael Gallup, WR (136.3 Points)

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  • Team: Dallas Cowboys
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 50 Rec, 623 Yards, 4 TD

10) Royce Freeman, RB (152.2 Points)

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  • Team: Denver Broncos
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 686 Yards, 4 TD
      • Receiving: 30 Rec, 236 Yards, 1 TD
  • Outlook: C.J. Anderson became the first 1,000 yard rusher for the Denver Broncos since the 2013 season when Knowshon Moreno rushed for 1,038 yards. But then he left town and now the Broncos are looking for a talented running back to take over and reach that total again, maybe in two years.

9) Sam Darnold, QB (160.5 Points)

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  • Team: New York Jets
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Passing: 2,750 Yards, 12 TD, 11 Int
      • Rushing: 125 Yards, 2 TD
  • Outlook: If there is one thing we know about rookie QBs, it is that they cannot be trusted to be great fantasy players. As they learn the pro game and begin to adapt, it takes time and many, many growing pains. Sam Darnold will eventually become the starter in New York but who is he going to throw the ball to is the big question.

8) Rashaad Penny, RB (162.1 Points)

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  • Team: Seattle Seahawks
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 769 Yards, 4 TD
      • Receiving: 29 Rec, 262 Yards, 1 TD
  • Outlook: The Seattle Seahawks need a running back like Marshawn Lynch. He was a perfect fit for Pete Carrol’s offense and they seem to think they have that with Rashaad Penny. The only issue is going to be whether or not he can produce with an offensive line that is in need of some big help.

7) Baker Mayfield, QB (175.7 Points)

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  • Team: Cleveland Browns
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Passing: 3,150 Yards, 16 TD, 10 Int
      • Rushing: 39 Yards
  • Outlook: Although we think Baker Mayfield will emerge as this draft classes top QB over time, in the Fantasy Football world, it is all about what you are doing this season. Since we are not sure when he will become their starter in 2018, we had to assume he would play in at least 13 games and go from there. He could beat out Tyrod Taylor in preseason and become their starter from day one, it’s too early to tell.

6) Josh Rosen, QB (179.2 Points)

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  • Team: Arizona Cardinals
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Passing: 3,150 Yards, 16 TD, 8 Int
      • Rushing: 40 Yards
  • Outlook: With an arm like Josh Rosen’s, the Arizona Cardinal fans should be excited for the potential he provides for the upcoming season. Joe Flacco might be the only arm in the league that can throw the ball farther than Josh Rosen so it could be interesting to see him emerge into a starter in a tough NFC West.

5) Calvin Ridley, WR (181.2 Points)

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  • Team: Atlanta Falcons
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 62 Rec, 890 Yards, 5 TD
  • Outlook: Although he was drafted in the first round, Calvin Ridley is anything but elite. But that is exactly what the Falcons were looking for. They already have Julio Jones, one of the top-3 WR in the NFL. They took Ridley because he has incredible upside as a complementary WR. For Fantasy Football, however, that could spell disaster in year one. We still love his chances to hit these numbers because Julio Jones is a defensive magnet.

4) Anthony Miller, WR (182 Points)

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  • Team: Chicago Bears
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats: 60 Rec, 800 Yards, 7 TD
  • Outlook: Chicago Bear fans are excited about Anthony Miller’s potential this upcoming season. He is not the biggest, and he does not have the speed to become an elite vertical threat, but he does everything else right and is excellent in other key areas. However, Mitch Trubisky has yet to prove himself and Chicago’s offense has a ton of athletes that will be fighting for targets this year (Allen Robinson, Tarik Cohen, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, and Kevin White). His success will be based on how quickly his QB develops in year two.

3) Sony Michel, RB (183.9 Points)

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  • Team: New England Patriots
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 754 Yards, 6 TD
      • Receiving: 33 Rec, 275 Yards, 2 TD
  • Outlook: The New England Patriots took Sony Michel with the 31st overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft because they plan on using him plenty this year. Sony Michel is very talented but will be in a system that throws the football far more often than they run it. We are projecting Sony with much optimism but Patriots history does not support any of this.

2) Ronald Jones II, RB (204 Points)

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  • Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 825 Yards, 5 TD
      • Receiving: 45 Rec, 345 Yards, 2 TD
  • Outlook: The second best fantasy rookie this season wass a toss-up because both Ronald Jones II and Derrius Guice have very similar situations where all it takes is a few big games to propel one over the other for the year. Then Guice pulled up lame, and the decision became easy. However we already planned to list Ronald Jones higher than Derrius Guice, based on the schedule and Jameis Winston’s suspension to begin the year. Both things give him a better chance at success.

1) Saquon Barkley, RB (283 Points)

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  • Team: New York Giants
  • 2018 Projections
    • Stats
      • Rushing: 1,213 Yards, 8 TD
      • Receiving: 57 Rec, 447 Yards, 2 TD
  • Outlook: With the second pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Giants rolled the dice and took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to become the missing piece on their offense that could turn their future around. Saquon Barkley has the size, speed, and athletic ability to produce some outstanding fantasy results in his first year, just like Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott did in their first years. Just like in Dallas, the Giants had one of those seasons where nothing goes right for them last year and ended up with the second pick. But they are anything but the second worst team in the league and he will get plenty chances to make owners happy.