There are plenty more fantasy relevant rookies like Sterling Shepard, Jordan Howard, Josh Ferguson and DeAndre Washington that you can read about along with other sleepers for 2016 right here!
RB, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn has retired and all the talk is “Thomas Rawls this” and “Thomas Rawls that.” Yes, Rawls was a fantasy hero at times filling in for Lynch last season, BUT he’s still coming back from a broken ankle and has never carried the load for a full season. Seattle used a third-round pick on Prosise out of Notre Dame and will be in the rotation at RB. Rawls’ grasp on the starting job isn’t as tight as everyone thinks, so this situation is worth monitoring as the season progresses.
RB, New York Giants
This fifth-rounder from UCLA that most of you have probably never heard of is secretly in the mix for the Giants. He’s stuffed down on the depth chart like the rest of these mid-round rookie rushers, but his situation isn’t nearly as bad. Rashad Jennings is a year older and often injured, Shane Vereen will play mostly on passing downs and Andre Williams has been a bust. It may take into the regular season, but Perkins — who averaged 5.7 YPC while racking up 1,343 yards and 14 TD as a junior — has a decent chance to work his way into a timeshare at worst.
WR, Washington Redskins
Even with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in place, Washington was still searching to add another elite long-term target for Kirk Cousins. That came in the form of a first-round pick in Doctson. In 10 games at TCU last season Doctson caught 78 passes for 1,326 and 14 scores. Obviously he’ll have to earn his way behind some experienced playmakers in the NFL, but the skills are there for Doctson.
WR, Minnesota Vikings
One pick after Doctson was off the board the Vikings pounced on Treadwell. The difference here is that Minnesota doesn’t have any WRs like Jackson or Garcon that really scare you away. Teddy Bridgewater is developing into a really solid QB, and Treadwell was drafted with the intention of being his main target for years to come. Treadwell broke out for 1,153 yards for 11 TD on 82 catches in the SEC last season. He’ll have every opportunity to be a big piece of the offense right away in Minnesota.
WR, Cleveland Browns
Coleman will fit in nicely as another Baylor product (RG3/Josh Gordon) in Cleveland’s offense. Like his fellow alumni, Coleman carries some risk as the 15th overall pick, but his toughness and history of playing his best when the spotlight is brightest has him drawing Steve Smith comparisons. Just look at his 15 grabs for 224 yards and a TD against Oklahoma last season. There’s a lot to like about Coleman’s situation, especially since he should be the WR1 in Cleveland until Gordon returns.
RB, Tennessee Titans
The big bruising back out of ‘Bama sounds like he’s going to be well worth his second-round price tag from what we’re hearing out of Tennessee. Of course, in fantasy land it’s easy to be scared off with DeMarco Murray in front of him. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner is just too talented and violent a runner to ignore. If Murray’s healthy, Henry will still carve out a role for himself. If anything happens to Murray… watch out.
WR, Chicago Bears
So White was drafted in 2015, but the No. 7 overall pick missed the entire season. He’s got a lot of hype to live up to now. Chicago isn’t the best fantasy situation to be in this season, but we still can’t ignore White’s talent. With Alshon Jeffrey’s health constantly in question, this kid is going to have opportunities to be Chicago’s top target in a lot of games that the Bears will be trying to throw their way back into.
WR, New Orleans Saints
Thomas was a second-round pick unlike all these other WR, but he’s already shown the ability to be a stud. Another difference is that he’s got Drew Brees throwing him the ball. The Ohio State product (and nephew of Keyshawn Johnson) had a nice preseason opener in New England — grabbing four of six targets for 67 yards. He lived up to the training camp hype of a legit downfield threat with serious playmaking ability. He could easily wind up the best fantasy WR in this draft.
RB, Dallas Cowboys
Hopefully you’ve learned something from this article and I’ve opened your eyes to a rookie you hadn’t heard of or wasn’t on your radar. ‘Zeke, however, is on everyone’s radar. We all know the Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in football and Elliot is one of the best RB prospects we’ve seen in years. All signs point to that turning into a deadly combo. Elliot is worth his mid-first-round investment that he’s currently going for in season-long drafts.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.