Last season was the year of the rookie: breakout performances were showcased by Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr. and more. There is always a pique of interest surrounding a rookie during draft day. As an avid fantasy player, we want to take the risk and ride the coattails of said rookie to success. Well here are four rookies to keep an eye out for heading into the 2015 season; risk and reward included.
- Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon is the first rookie off the board in every draft room and rightfully so. The Wisconsin product boasts the coveted combination of talent and opportunity. Gordon sits atop the Chargers depth chart with little threat to unseat him. Danny Woodhead figures to be a factor on third down and passing plays which puts a cap on Gordon’s ceiling. However, Gordon will handle all the early work and goal line carries in the Bolts’ prolific offense. Grab Gordon as an RB2/Flex when the third round comes up.
2) Amari Cooper
With the No. 4 pick in the 2015 draft, the Oakland raiders select, Amari Cooper out of Alabama. If there is anything that the 2014 wide receiver class proved, it is the importance of having a young, stud receiver. That’s how much promise Oakland is instilling within Cooper moving forward. With the highest floor among all rookies, Cooper is expected to produce in large volume from week one. Unfortunately, Cooper’s ceiling is a bit daunting; he plays for the Oakland Raiders and Derek Carr is the quarterback. Nonetheless, Cooper will only get better as time goes on. Draft the rookie receiver confidently in the sixth round.
3) Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley is the rookie with the most intriguing questions swirling around the air. Nearing complete recovery from an ACL tear in November, Gurley is expected to miss all of the preseason, and a “couple of weeks” of the regular. No one knows exactly what a couple of weeks entail and conflicting rumors state that Gurley may not even be ready for the entire 2015 season. Regardless, the talent is there. Compared to the likes of Adrian Peterson, Gurley will be the focal point of a run-heavy Rams’ offense once fully healthy. Gurley is definitely worth a stash in dynasty, but for redraft leagues, take your chances with Gurley in the fifth/sixth round.
4) Nelson Agholor
Did you see what Nelson Agholor did in that preseason game! No? Well check it out. Even with an arid pass from Mark Sanchez, Agholor flashes the hands, speed, and big play ability needed by any wide out to stand out. Agholor is currently listed behind Riley Cooper and Josh Huff on the depth chart but it won’t take long for the rookie to leap frog them both and start opposite Jordan Matthews. There will be plenty of mouths to feed in this up-tempo, Chip Kelly offense but Agholor is sure to get his. Draft Agholor in rounds 6-8, wait for him to grow, and then reap the rewards.
5) Ameer Abdullah
Here’s a bonus for all you folks who just can’t get enough rookies. Ameer Abdullah was originally drafted for kick/punt returns and to back up Joique Bell. Well the rookie is making the most of his time while Bell nurses an injury. There have been great reviews and raves about Abdullah since the beginning of training camp. Well the hype was certainly bolstered when Abdullah ripped off a 47-yard run against the Jets during the preseason game on Thursday. Abdullah may take a back seat once Bell returns, but the rookie has most certainly made his case for a piece of the pie in the loaded Lions’ offense.