Rookie Wide Receiver Rankings for Dynasty Leagues
By Staff Writer John Belaska
The big question for fantasy football owners who play in keeper or dynasty leagues is always what rookies are going to be the best long term investment. Dynasty and Keeper Leagues are all about youth. You want the young guys who will be around for a while so you can get a bunch of good years from them.
The rookie wide receiver class is so deep this year. If there was ever a year to take a wide out in your keeper draft, this is it. There are going to be some great careers coming out of this draft. Best of all, unlike most rookie wide out classes, it looks like the number of busts will be very low. These guys are coming into the NFL as more complete players who are better polished than most players of the same position in recent memory.
10. Shaq Evans
Shaq Evans could end up being pretty good in time. The fourth round pick by the Jets is going to have a lot of time to get acquainted with Geno Smith. He has some knowledgeable veterans he will be learning from this season. The more passes he catches in practice from the second year quarterback the better. Evans is more of a long term investment that could pay some huge dividends down the road.
9. Marquise Lee
Marquise Lee was the Jaguars first of two wide receivers taken in the second round of the 2014 draft. He is a smaller wide out with great speed and good route running skills. He will developed a good report with the third overall selection of this year’s draft. The Jags also selected wide receiver Allen Robinson in the second round. This hurts Lee’s long term value a bit. Being that Lee is a smaller guy, he will more than likely spend his career as the team’s slot receiver. He has more long term value in PPR Leagues than Robinson does though.
8. Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham has a lot of potential to be successful right away. However, his long term outlook might not be as bright as the immediate future. The Giants are a run first team which does not bode well for second or third wide receivers. Victor Cruz is still fairly young and will remain Eli’s main target for as long as the two are together. However, Beckham is going to perform nicely right away since he will be the number two receiver for the Giants. He is definitely perfect for deeper leagues.
Davante Adams is another long term investment. His outlook does not look to good for the immediate future, but it usually takes wide receivers a couple years to develop anyways. The Packers’ second round pick has a lot of competition this year for touches, but as time goes on he will become one of the young stars on the team. It is always nice to have one of the best quarterbacks in the league throwing to him. After Manning and Brady retire, Aaron Rodgers will be the best the league has to offer. Adams is joining the locker room at the right time. He has some vets to learn from and will be on a successful team. All these factors point to a good future for this rookie.
As was mentioned earlier, Allen Robinson has a better future outlook than fellow rookie Jaguar, Marquise Lee. Due to his size, he should definitely be the guy on the outside of the field throughout the two players’ careers. Lee has more value in PPR Leagues, but Robinson will be more valuable in standard scoring formats; allowing him to rank higher on this list.
5. Mike Evans
Mike Evans has the best immediate fantasy outlook. However, it can be expected that some of these rookies will have better careers than him. The Buccaneers are committed to having Mike Glennon start at quarterback. This is a huge risk on the team’s part. If Glennon does not end up being successful, the team will be forced to draft a rookie quarterback at some point during Evans’ career. A rookie quarterback is never good for a wide receiver.
There was a bit of backlash because Brandin Cooks was not on the list of rookie fantasy receivers who will have an immediate impact. There is a reason for this. Cooks is competing with a lot of other guys in that locker room for touches. He also is going to be used as the Darren Sproles type player. Unfortunately, Cooks is not Sproles. The difference between lining up outside and in the backfield is huge. It will take some adjusting. However, once he does, Cooks will be a monster. There will be no ceiling to his value in PPR Leagues. He is a great long term investment, but he will need some time to get used to his new role.
Jordan Matthews is coming into a great situation. He is going to join Chip Kelly’s high powered offense and will be the team’s third wide receiver right away. One thing that makes him so appealing is that both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper only have one year contracts with the Eagles. If the Eagles decide not to resign one or even both of these guys next season, Matthews will take on a huge role in 2015.
Sammy Watkins is the most sure wide receiver on this list. For those of you who play conservative fantasy football, this is your guy. He will definitely be an impact right away and throughout his career. He only ranks number two on this list because of his quarterback situation. Depending on how E.J. Manuel develops he could easily be the number one guy. However, the being that he is on the Bills does not provide the ideal situation for him. The Bills are a run first team, which will affect Watkins’ value.
Kelvin Benjamin is the absolute best long term investment out of all the rookie wide receivers from the 2014 draft. He has Cam Newton as his quarterback. Cam is still young and the two will be able to form a good long term bond with each other over the years. He is also coming in as the number two or possibly the number one receiver on the team. He will get great experience right away. These are the type of things that make for a great future. That and the fact that he is a talented player.