Pre-season is wrapping up soon and most of us have completed our rookie drafts. As we sit around and rosterba—- err, “admiring” what we have built, it’s easy to get carried away by pre-season hype. This is a volatile time of year to swap assets with other teams. We have seen countless rookies flash in pre-season only to bust when facing the 1st string, while others have zero preseason impact and break out all over the place. Here are a handful of rookies that are worth the hype.
Splash plays. All it takes for a player to begin building hype in the pre-season is a single splash play. Deebo Samuel had one of these plays on Monday night. He was targeted 4 times in week 1 and had a rushing attempt and in week 2 Deebo took his lone touch 45 yards, almost scoring. Despite Kittle being the clear #1 in this offense, the 49’ers are in desperate need of a WR to step up. It’s too early to give up on Donte Pettis, but Deebo Samuel will compete for WR1 duties in San Francisco and eventually surpass him. The Razzball Depth charts have Samuel projected for a 50% snap-share in 2019. He should have plenty of opportunities in his rookie year. Pass on Pettis in the 7th round and take the extreme value in Deebo, he has the ability to supplant both Goodwin and Pettis.
Thursday night’s game against the Ravens put JJ squarely on everyone’s radar. With a 2nd round rookie draft ADP and a start-up/season long ADP of FREE, I’m buying the hype. Plus it helps that this guy’s name is awesome. I don’t know if it’s pronounced are-SEGA-whiteside but I hope it is. Sega is battling Agholor for his spot in this offense and he has the talent to take it. Whiteside has taken some reps with the 1st team in camp. Look for him to eat into Agholor’s 60% snap share as early as this season. JJ is a great investment for the future. Nelson Agholor isn’t going to get it done, and Alshon Jeffery is approaching his cliff year. For season long I’d take more of a wait and see, but be ready to hit the waivers if JJ’s snap % increases.
Miles is another rookie WR that will have an immediate impact on his team. With Willie Snead and Marquise Brown leading the pack, the Ravens were in desperate need of a start-able receiver for Lamar Jackson to throw to. (Yes, Lamar Jackson can throw.) They seem to have found just that with Boykin. Boykin’s pro day measurables are off the charts. He is a freak athlete at 6’ 4” 220. Rudy’s tools have him projected for a 55% snap share but look for this to increase. In an offense that is thin at WR, Boykin will be able to capitalize. Boykin is slipping into the 4th round in rookie drafts but should be selected in the 3rd.
Which rookies are you targeting in 2019? Drop them in the comments and be sure to give Rudy’s Tools a one week free trial. They are excellent for projecting rookie opportunities!