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Way-too-early fantasy football rookie ADP report


You might've heard that the NFL had a draft recently. That means we get a whole new crop of football first-years infiltrating real and fantasy rosters this fall. Consider this an expanded freshman orientation. While the new guys are getting to know life in the professional ranks, we're getting to know them.

With the help of the good folks at Fantasy Football Calculator, I put together some ADPs (Average Draft Position) for some of the top fantasy-relevant rookies based on a standard 12-team redraft format ... with a little commentary of my own.

Before we get started, a word of caution ... it's May. What you see here will probably look quite a bit different when we get to July and August and start to learn more about players' roles in their respective offenses. If you really must rail against what you see here, there's always the comment section. Or you could just enjoy what you read, take a deep breath and realize that this is all temporary.


Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears -- 13.01 ADP: It seems certain that Trubisky will get an opportunity to challenge for the Bears starting job this year. Whether he beats out $45 million man Mike Glennon remains to be seen. There's little doubt that the rookie will eventually be the starter. We'll just wait to see how long it will take. Regardless, Trubisky will have a greater draft value in dynasty formats.

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans -- 14.07 ADP: Right now, the Texans are trying to suggest to anyone listening that Tom Savage is going to be the starter. Right now, much of Football Twitter remains skeptical. Right now, drafting Watson in redraft formats is buying a lottery ticket. Right now, I'd suggest you're better off using your late-round flier pick elsewhere.

Just off the list: Pat Mahomes, Davis Webb, DeShone Kizer

Running backs

Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars -- 5.07 ADP: The fifth round feels a tad low for Fournette and I suspect that number will continue to climb as we get closer to the start of the season. Fournette will be a workhorse back for the Jaguars and should be drafted accordingly.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers -- 7.12 ADP: Much like Fournette, McCaffrey's ADP will continue to rise. Considering his multi-threat ability and the hype that's building around the hybrid RB/WR, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him as the first rookie drafted in plenty of leagues.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals -- 8.12 ADP: This could be an interesting one. Mixon's talent and expected role within the Bengals offense suggest his ADP should go up. But with plenty of fantasy managers vowing that they want no parts of Mixon on their roster, his ADP might not rise very dramatically.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings -- 10.01 ADP: Here's one where fantasy managers are certainly waiting for more clarity on how the backfield opportunities will shake out. Cook seems like the favorite to be the primary back in Minnesota, but it would be nice to hear it from the coaching staff first.

Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins -- 12.09 ADP: Perine has the makings of a fantasy sleeper. His eventual ADP will probably rise into the single-digits but Washington's use of running backs in recent years -- combined with the presence of Rob Kelley and Matt Jones -- will likely have some people pretty wary.

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts -- 13.01 ADP: Mack is currently sitting in the range of deep sleeper and probably won't get a lot of run outside of deep (or hipster) leagues. He's solidly behind Frank Gore right now but has a decent long-term outlook.

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs -- 13.05 ADP: In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a Kareem Hunt fan. That's why I'm a little shook by this early ADP. I'm not mad at you, Fantasy Nation. I'm just disappointed. I know that soon you will all see the light and Hunt will get the draft day respect he deserves. I believe in you all. Don't let me down.

Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers -- 13.10 ADP: The drum beats are already pounding for Williams to push Ty Montgomery in the Packers backfield. We'll see when (or if) that happens, but anything more than a late-round pick-n-pray for Williams seems optimistic.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints -- 14.03 ADP: There might not have been another running back prospect in this draft class with a wider range of projected outcomes than Kamara. His skill set and college usage fit nicely with the Saints offense but with Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram already in tow, Kamara's role seems already limited and not worth more than a waiver wire pickup.

Joe Williams, San Francisco 49ers -- 14.03 ADP: I get it. No one's thinking about a little-known running back playing on a bad football team. But it's becoming evident that Williams is going to have a bigger role than many imagine. The Niners have already cut ties to several backs and rumors persist that the new coaching staff isn't in love with Carlos Hyde. Williams' ADP will definitely rise as we get through the summer.

D'Onta Foreman, Houston Texans -- 14.05 ADP: It's apparent that Foreman will have a role in the Texans backfield. It's just not certain how big that role will be with Lamar Miller still holding down the RB1 gig. There's also the matter of the quarterback controversy clouding what this offense could be. That uncertainty is enough to keep Foreman on the waiver wire for now.

Just off the list: Tarik Cohen, James Conner, Wayne Gallman, Aaron Jones, Jeremy McNichols

Wide receivers

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans -- 10.10 ADP: Davis is my pick to be the top rookie receiver in this class and while I might have reached a little bit for him in our recent staff mock I also think Round 10 is a little long to wait. He'll challenge Rishard Matthews as the team's No. 1 wide receiver right away and has solid WR3 upside.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers -- 11.07 ADP: If there's any such thing as a pass-catcher committee, the Chargers are putting it together. Williams has plenty of talent but with Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates occupying space in the offense, the rookie will battle for targets. He'll be worth a later-round pick but his week-to-week production could be frustrating.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers -- 12.08 ADP: Samuel's presence in the Panthers offense suggests a change in direction for Mike Shula's scheme. As for where exactly Samuel will fall in Carolina's offensive pecking order, well ... it's still a mystery. His skills are intriguing enough that I'd considering taking him in the final rounds but my expectations would be limited.

John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals -- 13.06 ADP: I'm pretty confused as to how Ross is currently behind Samuel on draft boards simply because Ross would seem to have a more certain role to targets in his respective offense. Ross' value could be greater in best ball leagues if he's limited to being a deep threat. Still, it feels like he's getting disrespected.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers -- 13.09 ADP: This feels about right and might actually be a little high. Smith-Schuster landing in Pittsburgh was a great move from a football standpoint but it's not likely to provide a lot of fantasy dividends. Take the chance, if you choose. But there are far too many other great options in the Steelers offense for Smith-Schuster to be a real impact fantasy player.

Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills -- 14.06 ADP: While Smith-Schuster might be a touch high in the ADP rankings, Jones is definitely too low. There are no true obstacles to the rookie being Buffalo's No. 2 receiver alongside Sammy Watkins. I believe Watkins' health and productivity will ultimately impact Jones' numbers but the opportunity will certainly be there. I'll be shocked if this number doesn't rise.

Just off the list: Isaiah Ford, Chris Godwin, Carlos Henderson, Cooper Kupp, ArDarius Stewart, Taywan Taylor

Tight ends

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- 12.02 ADP: Howard had the makings of the top rookie tight end this season. He still could be but his existence in a suddenly-loaded Buccaneers offense will make the task more difficult. He could have some occasionally nice weeks but the season-long production will likely be blunted.

Evan Engram, New York Giants -- 13.07 ADP: I have a hard time getting on board with anyone in the Giants offense not named Odell Beckham, Jr. Engram could be a very nice red-zone target for Eli Manning but nothing about Big Blue's offense in the past few years suggests they'll have any sustained use for the tight end position. I'll pass.

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns -- 13.10 ADP: Njoku feels like one of those players who looks like a steal in August and a disappointment in October. If that turns out to be the case, I'm not sure that it'll totally be Njoku's fault as the Browns offense looks to find itself. That's probably why I'd stick to grabbing him off the waiver wire.

Just off the list: Gerald Everett, Bucky Hodges, Adam Shaheen

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for His snapchat (marcasg9) is a mixture of fantasy football and shenanigans. He's really hungry right now and wants to get this thing published ASAP so he can go have lunch with his friends. He's not sure if he'll have chicken fingers or fish & chips. Regardless, it will be fried and delicious. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Twitter too.


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