an article by Angel Maldonado
Every year, there are over hyped and overvalued Rookies that we expect to take us to the promised land and, every year, we are prone to be let down by these Rookies. Heralded rookies can make a big impact. Look at Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, and Saquon Barkley for proof. But these players aren’t the ones that win leagues by themselves. It’s the late round players that nobody expects to make an impact that win you your league. Ezekiel Elliott in the first round can be evened out by an opposing team with an elite RB1 they took the first round. But, getting a late round Alvin Kamara, Phillip Lindsay, or Kareem Hunt is where championships are won. Below are some under the radar Rookies you could target late in your drafts and reap the benefits from THIS year.
This one is easy to predict. The Ravens are one of the most run heavy teams in the league, partly due to the fact that their QB lacks the fundamental ability to throw a football. So, regardless of what happens, Hill will find himself in a position to get multiple carries a game. Who’s standing in his way of making a big impact? A 29 year old running back named Mark Ingram. Mark Ingram has earned respect throughout his solid career and is undoubtedly a good running back. But the odds of him being injured or ineffective rise significantly as he ages. Add in a solid rookie who has shown quick feet, get yards after contact, and the ability to handle a workhorse role, and suddenly Ingram has to look over his shoulder. Hill was not only a workhorse, he averaged 5.9 YPC his Junior year at college and more than 5.5 YPC every year. This situation is similar to that of the Browns last year, with Carlos Hyde being Ingram and Chubb being Hill. If you want a late round rookie to take a gamble on in the RB position, Hill is your man.
This may be a controversial one. The Bills backfield looks like a bigger mess than the Jets organization, so the value here may not be immediately obvious. With all of the fossils present, the Bills RB room resembles the dinosaur exhibit at your local science museum, which is exactly why Singletary might be the biggest value in this backfield. McCoy averaged 3.2 (yuck) YPC last year and lacked his trademark explosiveness and cutting ability, not to mention he is officially on the wrong side of 30. Frank Gore is a legend and I will never disrespect him. If anyone is going to take this job from Singletary it’s him. Seriously, the man has a Lazarus Pit somewhere. But he would be better off serving in a limited capacity as a mentor to the more explosive Singletary. While Singletary’s frame may prevent him from being a 20 carry back, he has shown the ability to get yards after contact while possessing excellent vision. He may not be the most popular pick, but Singletary has the talent and he is in a good situation with a rapidly improving Bills offense.
Death, taxes, and the Steelers being a WR factory. There are few certainties in life, but those are the 3 that I am EXTREMELY confident about. It seems that there’s always a fantasy relevant WR in Pittsburgh that is either in his first or second year in the league. Emmanuel Sanders, Martavis Bryant, JuJu Smith-Scuster, the list goes on. Diontae Johnson is looking to add his name to that list. Johnsin is a quick and dynamic receiver after the catch with the ability to get creative with the ball in his hands. His game is comparable to a certain former Steelers WR that dominated the WR landscape for years, so there’s precedent for Roethlisberger giving WRs with his skillset the opportunity to shine. He won’t cost you anything more than a late round pick and his upside is tremendous. He could easily be an extremely solid flex this year and, with AB leaving, someone will need to gobble up more targets, Diontae Johnson is a good bet to get some of those and make an impact in 2019.
So what do you think. Will any of these Rookies may your Redraft rosters? Who is our favorite? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to check out our Top Ten Dynasty Rookies!