Welcome back to Part 2 of our Rookie Preview, covering the breakouts and “scrubs” of the groups, instead of the studs and the sure things. (Part 1 can be read here.)

I’m keeping the same theme from the previous article, but instead of the studs who will be going early or in the middle of our drafts, I will break down the fantasy relevance of each prospect that has significant fantasy relevance, but should possibly fly under the radar, and maybe even talk about where we should draft them, if/when we find them in the draft.

You ready? Let’s do this!

They’re Gonna Win You Championships: WR Edition

I’m going to spend some time talking about rookie WR’s that could be drafted in the later rounds (especially because most of the attention will be focused on Treadwell, Coleman and Fuller). Here’s a few names to keep an eye out for-

Let’s go in order. I listed Fuller above in my “mainstream” WR list because of name recognition based on where he’s drafted, but Sterling Shepard could easily have a better year, as both are in similar situations (an argument could be made that Shepard is in a better one). Shepard comes into the Giants in a situation with a greatly improved O-Line from even last year with the addition of Ereck Flowers. We now see an offense with a solid O-Line, an improving defense, a great Head Coach who knows the offense from being the former OC, and raw talent in the forms of Shepard and other 2016 pick Paul Perkins to go along with OBJ.

Here’s the issue with Shepard. His fantasy potential all hangs in the balance with the availability of Victor Cruz. Many, including Cruz, thought he would be back to full health in mid-to-late May, but now that has changed, and his recovery timetable is anyone’s guess. If Cruz somehow manages to miss out on OTA’s/Training Camp/Preseason or even misses games, or, fails to return back to his former self and struggles a bit (which isn’t out of the question), then we’re looking at the Giants #2 receiver, and immediate fantasy impact.

Shepard has a great schedule in 2016, with plus-sized matchups in weeks 9 and 16 (Championship Week) against the Eagles, to go along with the other matchups against teams like the Steelers in Week 13, Baltimore in Week 8, and Cleveland in Week 12. Monitor Victor Cruz as Training Camp nears.

Next up is Michael Thomas, who is in another great spot, but is more of a sleeper than Shepard. Thomas has found himself in a very likely #2 role, which is very hard to believe, although he may find himself the #3 behind TE Colby Fleener. The Saints have had some disappointments at Wide Receiver apart from Brandin Cooks, as both Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman have been utter disappointments. Many reports have claimed that Thomas has taken over the “Marques Colston” role left by the former WR.

It can be seen that Thomas could only be the deep threat, but with the lack of good wideouts the Saints have, Thomas will find himself growing in the role, even with the great speed he has. The only bad thing about Thomas’ fantasy potential is the very hard schedule he faces, as the Saints face the Seattle in Week 8, Denver in Week 10, and Atlanta twice.

Finally, Kolby Listenbee, who is by all means a deep, deep sleeper, and should not be drafted at all. Listenbee is another Torrey Smith-like player we have on our hands. He brought tremendous ability to strech the field at TCU to compliment Josh Doctson, and should take over the deep threat role for the Bills. The best case scenario for Listenbee is a couple breakout games (which result in three straight weeks of 0 points) with the tremendous arm  strength of Tyrod Taylor. It also helps that the Bills will face the Steelers in Week 1, and Pittsburgh in Week 14 (Fantasy Quarterfinals).

They’re Gonna Win You Championships: HB Edition

Keeping the same theme from the previous section, as I’m going to list some rookie WR’s that should (possibly) fly under the radar a bit aside from Ezekiel Elliot. Seriously, it’s Elliot and then everyone else. That’s how big of a gap we’re dealing with here.

First up, C.J. Prosise. I love this man, and I’m very excited to what he brings to the table. With the departure of Marshawn Lynch in the offseason, with the addition to Rawls’ injury status being up in the air, Prosise has the ability to become the Seahawks’ featured back in Week 1. Again, it depends on Rawls and how he bounces back, if he bounces back, in Training Camp. Despite the fact that he is 220 pounds, Prosise feasted in his final year with ND, to the tune of 11 TD’s on only 157 carries, with a whopping 6.6 YPC. Again, he’s 220. It also helps that he’ll possibly have the 3rd easiest schedule amongst HB’s in 2016, with great matchups against Miami (Week 1), San Francisco (Week 3), Atlanta (Week 6) and New Orleans (Week 8).

Next up is Jordan Howard, who is in a similar position that Prosise finds himself in. With the departure of Matt Forte early in the offseason, the Bears organization picked up Jordan Howard in the draft. Now, it has to be noted that Howard is a 5th round pick, so by no means necessary is he a safe option nor a guaranteed option to start Week 1, but signs are pointing to the Coaching Staff giving Howard more time over Jeremy Langford. We won’t know for certain whether or not he’ll be a starter or a PPR option until Training Camp gets underway, but if Langford’s play stalls or he gets injured, Howard has potential to burst onto the fantasy scene. If all things are equal, at least pick up Howard as a handcuff.

One great story about Howard is the fact that he transferred to Indiana from UAB when their football program got shut down, and Howard says he’ll be playing for UAB on his sleeve when he’s in the NFL, which is a great thing to hear from a very fine young man.

Finally, we have Paul Perkins, who finds himself in a slightly similar situation that Howard is in, with the fact that not only is he the 3rd-down back as of now, but with an injury to Rashad Jennings, he should find himself the #1 option, with Shane Vereen most likely taking over on passing downs or 3rd downs if Perkins should find himself the starter. I don’t know when he should be drafted, if he should be drafted, but his situation should definitely be monitored when the Preseason kicks off.

A Whole Lotta Maybes: HB Edition

I’m going to keep it short, but here are some names to definitely look up if they intrigue you, but due to the fact that they shouldn’t see too many opportunities unless there is a lack of talent or injury, they don’t intrigue me at the HB position

  • DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders – Feel free to hit up Razzball’s own Stan Son on Twitter @Stan_Son for his thoughts as Razz’s only Raiders fan, but we’re banking too much on the fact that Latavius Murray will suck in 2016, and until he does, I don’t think Washington is worth our time
  • Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins have shown us that they like Jay Ajayi too much with the whole fiasco with Lamar Miller last year, and I highly doubt Drake changes anything coming into 2016. Also doesn’t help that Ajayi/Drake has the hardest schedule of any HB. No thanks
  • Tyler Ervin, Houston Texans – He’s talented, but Houston spent too much on Lamar Miller, and Alfred Blue should be their handcuff

A Whole Lotta Maybes: WR Edition

Like the previous section, I’m going to keep it short, but here are some names to definitely look up if they intrigue you, but due to the fact that they shouldn’t see too many opportunities, they don’t intrigue me at the WR position.

  • Pharaoh Cooper, L.A. Rams – Facing the Legion of Boom and Arizona twice a year in addition to Atlanta? No thanks
  • Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals – I could see him having an impact, but with the addition of Brandon LaFell in addition to Eifert, Green and Bernard out of the backfield, there are too many mouthes to feed
  • Leonte Carroo, Miami Dolphins – Eh. I don’t like the situation he’s in, behind Landry, DeVante Parker, and possibly Kenny Stills. I don’t care that Adam Gase in the QB Whisperer
  • Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City – The Chiefs aren’t loaded at the position, but I rather have someone else

A Whole Lotta Maybes: TE Edition

Like the previous section, I’m going to keep it short, but here are some names to definitely look up if they intrigue you, but due to the fact that they shouldn’t see too many opportunities, they don’t intrigue me at the TE position.

  • Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons – They hired a very impressive TE’s Coach early this year, but even though Hooper should find some targets, especially in the Redzone, there are too many other TE’s I would prefer over Hooper.
  • Tyler Higbee, L.A. Rams – He’s talented and young in a talented and young offense, and should find himself the #1 TE, but the same info about Hooper applies to Higbee.


  1. Zach

    Zach says:

    Just a quick note about the article-

    Had a typo under Kolby Listenbee. He’ll play Baltimore in Week 1, and Pittsburgh in Week 14. Delicious matchups, but still should keep in mind that you shouldn’t draft him, but he could be used as streamer option if you’re hurting at the position.

    Eifert hurt his tweaked in the Pro Bowl (give it up for the Pro Bowl, y’all), and it finally escalated after all this time to ankle surgery that he underwent a day ago, per Adam Schefter, and it’s looking like he will miss a few games of the season. This could possibly raise the value of Tyler Boyd. I’m higher than I was, but he’ll still have to compete with LaFell and Green for targets, and we shouldn’t want to draft or start WR3’s if we can.

  2. Dorian S. says:

    Hey Zach, thanks for the head’s up on Kolby Listenbee. I’m glad to have found out about him, because I didn’t have him on my watch list. Probably because of Doc.

    Could you give my dynasty team a look over? I think I’ve done pretty swell for myself, but I could be wrong. Considering how bad my team was when I took over from a previous owner. Rosters are 2QB/4WR/3RB/2TE/1WRT/1DEF/14BN.

    Starting QBs – Tyrod Taylor and Jameis Winston
    Starting WRs – Amari Cooper, Brandon Marshall, Pierre Garcon and Rishard Matthews
    Starting RBs – T.J. Yeldon, Melvin Gordon and James Starks
    Starting TEs – Charles Clay and Zach Miller
    Starting WRT – Sterling Shepard
    Bench QBs – EJ. Manuel, Case Keenum and AJ McCarron
    Bench WRs – Brandon Coleman, Terrance Williams, Kamar Aiken, Braxton Miller, Keyarris Garrett and Kolby Listenbee
    Bench RBs – Spencer Ware, Tevin Coleman and Paul Perkins
    Bench TEs – Crockett Gillmore and Vance McDonald

    While my bench is a lot of unknown properties, I think I’ve got enough there that it is okay enough that I can build on those guys and see if the come to fruition.

    I managed to trade away Fitzgerald and Devin Funchess to turn around during the 3rd to follow my pick with Paul Perkins with Braxton and Keyarris (<- I love that name). I wanted Braxton because I believe he will become a great slot receiver and I knew about Keyarris talent, so why not trade away Funchess for the guy who's likely to supplant him. I was actually amazed I got to trade Fitz, considering it is his last year. I figured I wouldn't be able to get him.

    Somehow, someone dropped Terrance Williams who's still the #2 WR there. Even better, he was on waivers for an entire week, and I still managed to scoop him up. Vance was also on waivers and I think he'll have TE1 over in 49ers country, here's hoping.

    Anyways, that's my team, what do you think? Oh and thanks about Listenbee again. Here's hoping he works out for me.

    • Dorian S. says:

      @Dorian S.: Ack forgot to add it was 14 teams, H2H. My bad.

      • Zach

        Zach says:

        @Dorian S.: Hey Dorian, thanks for the comment! My apologies that I couldn’t get back to it sooner, I was kind of swamped yesterday.

        To be truthful, it’s not sexy, but your team can get the job done. But it isn’t the worst, and from what you said, it seems like a major upgrade from the former owner. Looking at your team, it’s clear that your WR’s are the strongest part of your team, and QB’s are lacking a bit. But no worries, that’s pretty common in a 14-team league. Let me talk to you first about your QB’s.

        Jameis and Tyrod are not top QB’s, but they have upside (mostly with Jameis, he’s in a better position than Taylor) to get the job done, however Jameis does not have one of the better schedules among QB’s that we would like to see. They aren’t terrible options to have, especially in a 14-teamer, but here are a few other options that may be available in your league that I would prefer over them: Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco. Especially Joe Flacco; he’s gonna be this year’s Blake Bortles, so get him now while you can to start, with plugging in either Taylor or Winston in certain weeks when you can stream them. As for your QB’s, I get that you are looking towards the long term with them, hence that’s why you’re in a dynasty league, however I don’t think McCarron, Keenum and Manuel will do it for you, and I think you can find better options with Luke McCown, Cody Kessler, Jeff Driskel, and/or Dak Prescott if you’re looking towards the long term. All 4 of those guys are in better situations that the ones above, and I would prefer them.

        You’re strongest position on the team are definitely at the WR position, as Cooper and Marshall are two Top-15 wideouts, and you provided some good additional depth with Aiken, Listenbee and Rishard Matthews. However, if you could get them, some additional talent that could help you out could be: Michael Thomas, Demarcus Robinson (especially because he’ll be a viable option in maybe 2-3 years from now), Kevin White (Stud.), Breshad Perriman, and/or Chris Hogan, as those guys are in really good positions to help your team even now, or even 2-3 years down the road.

        I like your TE guys, as you are mostly set for the next few years with guys like Vance McDonald and Crockett Gilmore, and Zach Miller can provide some points in streaming scenarios. However, I have to say I am not thrilled with Charles Clay, but there are some great “under-the-radar” guys this year, in the form of: Hunter Henry, Eric Ebron (Stud.), Clive Walford, and if you want to dig deep, Virgil Green.

        Finally, HB’s, and to be honest, you put yourself in a good position in the future with Paul Perkins and Tevin Coleman (who could very well start for ATL this year), but I think your starters could use some work, and I think you should cut/trade James Starks and T.J. Yeldon. Some starters that you could possibly get could be: Ryan Matthews, Jay Ajayi, C.J. Prosise, Justin Forsett, Jordan Howard, and/or DeAndre Washington. They’re all in better positions than Yeldon and Starks. If you don’t like the list above, I would use Amari Cooper as a trading chip to land a RB1.

        Above all else, in perspective (a 14-teamer, not 10 or 12 teamer), your team looks in a good position, especially in the future. But, I would make a few changes, and hopefully some of the names I provided suffice.

        Good luck this year holmes!

        • Dorian S. says:

          @Zach: Thanks Zach, I appreciate it. Unfortunately most of those guys are currently on other team, so if I want to make a move, I’ll probably need to make a trade to land any of those guys. I’ll see if maybe I can coax someone into either Cooper or Marshall (probably Marsh first though) for some more talent.

          Thanks again and no worries about the late reply thing. I understand that everyone’s got lives to live. :D

          • Zach

            Zach says:

            @Dorian S.: Best of luck to ya, and hopefully you can convince some suckers

  3. Baseball Fan 2000 says:

    Where mare the tight end and wide receiver rankings that should have been posted already according to the schedule?

    • Zach

      Zach says:

      @Baseball Fan 2000: I’m not in charge of those, so I would talk to Jay about it. I do know that I’m finishing up a “QB Sleepers, Breakouts, and Busts” article that will be out soon.

      • Baseball Fan 2000 says:

        @Zach: Thanks for the reply! Comments were closed on his articles thats why I asked here. Looking forward to your QB article!

  4. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:

    haven’t read all the posts yet (have read the predraft ones). keepers due early in one dynasty league. 2 QB, half PPR, start 3 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, 2 T/W/R flexes, 1 kicker, 1 team D, 4 IDP flexes (any position). we do a 3 round draft (late july-august). comish is making us cut our chaf early though. 12 team league.
    QB – rodgers/rodfather/osweiler/keenum
    RB – forte/ivory/woodhead/ingram/mathews/forsett/hillman
    WR – jordy/k.allen/edelman/d-jax/r.matthews
    TE – ertz/j.thomas
    K catman (ARI)
    team D CAR
    IDP’s – david/d-jax (IND)/ogletree/collins/dansby
    so i have to cut at least 3 just to be able to draft one person. i draft out of the 4 slot in every round. i’m guessing the easy cuts are keenum/dansby (easily replaced as BN IDP)/hillman

    1. would you drop a 4th to grab a guy at pick 2.4? other than rookies best available players are Dion lewis, s.smith, wheaton, m.bennett, fleener, agholor, d.allen, sanu, clay, t.smith (SF), cameron (MIA), caepernick, bradshaw, j.bell, hankerson, kearse, k.robinson

    2. with that roster you are you targeting at pick 1.4?

    i’ll ask Jaywrong too, but his most recent post is comment closed.

    • Zach

      Zach says:

      @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: Thanks for the comment, and I love your username! Good stuff.

      I’m having a bit of trouble understanding what you mean by having to cut 3 to draft one person. I think I know where you’re getting at however.

      I wouldn’t drop a 4th guy, only because from all of those names you listed besides best rookie available, all should be available after the 2nd round by far, and you shouldn’t take those names too early. Unless there is a rookie that you really want at 2.4, it’s not worth it.

      At pick 1.4 for Rookies only, Ezekiel Elliot should be off of the board by then, as well the top WR’s, but you may be able to find a top rookie WR. Here are my “rankings” for WR: Treadwell, Coleman, Doctson, Shepard, and Michael Thomas. Depending on who’s available, I would look at one of those guys. If you are talking about non-rookies at 1.4, then you could draft anyone there, but based on current ADP at 1.04, I would look at guys like: Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, DeAndre Hopkins, or even Gronk.

      Hopefully this answers your question!

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