Ranking 2015 Rookie Busts For 2016 Fantasy Football
Drafting rookies in Fantasy Football is kind of like reaching into a box of Mike & Ike’s – you hope you pull back a sweet cherry or strawberry, but you often end up with a handful of lemons.
But in this era of labeling Fantasy sleepers, we know that there’s good value to be had drafting from the post-hype second-year players.
So we’re going to rank the 2015 rookie busts from a season ago, but we’ll rank them according to how we think they’ll do in 2016 Fantasy Football. Brilliant!
2015 Rookies Busts With Sophomore Stud Potential For 2016
The term “bust” is pretty generic, but we’re basically referring to any rookies that got drafted in Fantasy leagues. That’s a bust. If we didn’t expect much from them last year, they wouldn’t have been drafted, right? We’re going to my 2015 rookie rankings from About.com, mostly because they were really, really not good.(Then again, ESPN’s Chris Harris’ rankings looked even worse, somehow.) I’ve ranked them in order of their bustedness last season – with their 2016 Fantasy ADP posted in parentheses.
1. Melvin Gordon III, RB, San Diego Chargers (7.01 ADP in 2016)
I’m a huge fan of MG3’s this season, as the former Wisconsin road-grader will be drafted among RB3s for the most part, yet he has big upside. Last year, he was injured, running behind a putrid offensive line that Pro Football Focus ranked as the worst in the NFL. This year, he’s healthy, the O-line should improve and he’ll definitely score more than zero touchdowns, which is how many he scored in 2015.
2. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (19.05 ADP in 2016)
Remember how excited we were about the USC rookie in Chip Kelly’s offense, now that Jeremy Maclin was in Kansas City? #SadTrombone. Agholor is expected to start across from Jordan Matthews, but the Eagles brought in Rueben Randle from the Giants. A new offensive system might just turn Agholor into a capable Fantasy player this year.
3. Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears (7.06 ADP in 2016)
One of the best stories coming out of the 2015 NFL Combine, White was going to be huge in place of Brandon Marshall – until he suffered a stress fracture in his shin during training camp. There’s plenty of upside to be had here, but you’ll have to spend a pretty valuable mid-round pick for a WR3 that hasn’t played a snap in the NFL yet.
4. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (11.10 ADP in 2016)
The thinking was – the Falcons drafted a rookie RB in 2015 because the rookie RB they drafted in 2014 (Devonta Freeman) wasn’t feature back material. Instead, Freeman ended up scoring the most points of any non-QB in Fantasy Football last year. Now, Freeman’s a first-round pick, Coleman is expected to take some of the load off, but the latter is a great handcuff that could produce early round value if Freeman gets hurt.
5. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions (7.02 ADP in 2016)
The Lions have a stable of running backs – all of which are mind-numbingly mediocre – and Abdullah looks to be the best of the bunch, really. He just has to handle the ball better in Year 2, but his 4.17 YPC should end up helping Fantasy owners at some point, as an RB3 draft pick.
6. Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens (11.12 ADP in 2016)
Perriman has a great pedigree, along with superb speed out of UCF, but he tore his PCL before the season started and he didn’t record one stat. The Ravens brought in Mike Wallace, and Kamar Aiken will probably see a good amount of targets opposite veteran Steve Smith, too, so Perriman will need to capitalize when he does have opportunities.
7. Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston Texans (22.03 ADP in 2016)
Things aren’t looking good for the second-year man out of Arizona State we all hoped would line up opposite DeAndre Hopkins. He was arrested in February for drug possession, and Houston was so unexcited about him – they drafted two more wide receivers in April.
8. Devin Smith, WR, N.Y. Jets (NA ADP in 2016)
Smith tore his ACL in December, which also crippled his 2016 Fantasy value, but he crippled it pretty good with a horrible rookie season with the Jets. If we hear anything from him this season, it will likely be late, as the Jets WR3.
9. Maxx Williams, TE, Baltimore Ravens (NA ADP in 2016)
When will people learn not to draft first-year tight ends? In 2016, Williams is also battling fellow young tight end Crockett Gillmore on the Ravens’ roster, and of course, Ben Watson, whom they signed this spring.
Melvin Gordon III Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey, Getty Images
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