Fantasy Football Rookie Predictions

Play episode
Hosted by
Patrick Yen

Just a guy trying to make a living doing what he loves, writing about sports. Eagles and 76er's fan, but currently live in Ohio so I have a soft spot for those teams. The Ohio State University graduate, Go Bucks! Come chat, always willing to talk sport, video games or my current love, Masterchef Australia!

It’s all NFL draft, all the time right now. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to predict the draft in its entirety as trades and crazy front offices of different scouting will shake things up. So for fun more than anything, let’s try to predict rookie performance for the upcoming draft case. It’s a talented class, so there might be more contributing rookies than usual. Players need two things for fantasy success, talent and opportunity. Let’s see who’s got it.

I’ll be using the latest CBS Mock Draft, sticking to first round offensive players. Of course, lots of players in later rounds can do well, see Chase Claypool or D.K. Metcalf, but after the first round especially mock drafts tend to fly out of the window. Why the CBS one? Well it’s the first one that came up when I typed in “latest mock draft” so there you go.

Pick 1: Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence is the assumed number one pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars and could have a Burrows-esque impact day one. James Robinson, D.J. Chark Jr, Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. (wow lot of Jrs) aren’t a bad group at all. Burrows was playable while he was healthy, but he wasn’t the best QB of the class in terms of fantasy. That’s where I think Lawrence lands as well. The line is average at best (PFF rated them 22/32 and they didn’t add any tackles) and this will be Urban Meyer’s first NFL job so I expect some growing pains.

Lawrence can run, but it isn’t his main game which doesn’t give him that nice cushion some other QBs have. He’s plenty talented though, and his supporting cast isn’t bad. This team is picking first for a reason however. They probably aren’t going to win a ton of games, and being a fantasy starting QB on a 4-13 team isn’t easy. In addition, I don’t think Meyer is going to have Lawrence sling it 40 times a game either. Maybe Lawrence and Meyer blow it out the park in their first year and Lawrence is a fantasy stud, but I think a more conservative season is likely. Somewhere in the QB 13-18 range, enough to be stream-able because of byes but not an every week starter.

Pick 2: Zach Wilson to the New York Jets

Whoever gets drafted by the New York Jets won’t be quite as lucky, and at this point it seems a foregone conclusion for it to be Zach Wilson of BYU. A dismal offensive line and a poor running game won’t help, and the receivers are deep in the fact they have a lot of average guys but none of them are true star material. Jamison Crowder had a nice season and Denzel Mims has potential, but this team isn’t very good. Combined with a first year, defensive-minded head coach in Robert Saleh and the outlook for Wilson’s rookie year seems rather bleak fantasy-wise.

He could be talented enough to overcome, and the total lack of a run game can be a good thing, or a bad thing. Regardless, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for Wilson being a fantasy contributor year one.

Pick 3: Mac Jones to the San Francisco 49ers

Jones could be a success for the 49ers and win games while not being a fantasy option. I think that’s the likely scenario for Mac Jones. The 49ers are a good team in win-now mode, but they love to run the ball and that will take precedence over Mac’s fantasy numbers. Jones has solid targets in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk along with a good offensive line but the volume will let him down. Under Kyle Shanahan they’ve been 2nd (outlier, and they didn’t win games) 20th, 29th (Super Bowl runners up) and 16th in passing attempts. They’ll want to get back to the game-plan that got them to the Championship which means play defense and run the ball. 

Jones also won’t add much rushing the ball, which combined with his likely below-average passing volume won’t let him put up the numbers he needs to be a top-15 quarterback in fantasy. Oh, by the way Jimmy Garoppolo is still here too. While the 49ers probably didn’t move up to three to grab someone to sit on the bench, is Jones going to be a clear enough improvement over Garoppolo for him to start day one?

Pick 4: Kyle Pitts to the Atlanta Falcons

Our first really juicy one, Kyle Pitts should be a starting fantasy TE right away. First off, that’s not terribly difficult to do considering how bad the TE position is outside of three people. Combined with the fact that the Falcons throw a lot, will be down a lot and have Matt Ryan who every few years will have a 30+ touchdown season along with Pitts being a generational pass catcher means really good things. The Falcons haven’t always had relevant tight end pass catchers, but when Ryan has had one (Tony Gonzalez back in the day and Austin Hooper in 2018 and 2019) he’s found them, so Kyle Pitts should be well-utilized. Even though it’s unbelievably rare to have a rookie tight end do well in fantasy, Pitts is a once-in-a-generation prospect going into a great situation. To the moon with this one. 

Pick 5: Ja’Marr Chase to the Cincinnati Bengals

This pick also has a lot of hype, but I’m a bit more cautious. Chase is a beast, and reuniting with his college QB should be a slam dunk, but I’m not sure it’ll play out that way. Chase walks into a room with Tyler Boyd, a proven No. 1 receiver and Tee Higgins who had a great rookie year. Throw in a healthy C.J. Uzomah who looked promising until his injury and you got a crowded receiver room. Not only that, but the Bengals might seek to be a little more cautious and run the ball a lot more, and with Joe Mixon returning that will be easier. I don’t doubt Chase’s talent here, but the situation might not allow him to see a ton of targets. 

That being said, Chase might just be THAT good and Burrows has a lot of experience looking for him. Not only that, but he will be on the field right away with how often three receiver sets are used. I could see anything from a near Justin Jefferson repeat to a WR 30+ performance due to low volume. 

Pick 6: Jaylen Waddle to the Miami Dolphins

I’d be somewhat surprised to see the Dolphins go with Waddle here, but if they do I don’t think that Waddle will be a contributor in fantasy year one. There is going to be too much competition there, and while he is a great talent he might find himself in a similar situation as the last time he played with Tua Tagovailoa. Buried under too many other options.

Will Fuller IV if he stays healthy and not in trouble has the chops to be a number one receiver. DeVante Parker had a 1200-yard season in 2019, and Mike Gesicki was a fantasy starter when healthy. Myles Gaskin also gives them a solid run game if he’s available. I don’t think the Dolphins want Tua slinging it 35+ times per game either, so the volume for Waddle seems low. Waddle will have a few games where he gets a 70+ yard touchdown, but there will be no way to predict it. 

Pick 7: Justin Fields to the Detroit Lions

Seven picks in and it’s still offensive skills positions! Unlike the first two QBs (and arguably Mac Jones) Fields road to starting isn’t clear. Jared Goff struggled at times for sure, but he also put together some good seasons. Combined with the fact that the Lions aren’t competing for anything and Fields needs some developmental time in reading and processing defenses, there’s not really a reason to rush Fields in there. 

Not to mention this roster is not great. The Lions offensive line is actually pretty good, T.J. Hockenson is an ascending tight end and D’Andre Swift could be the best Lions running back since Reggie Bush. After that though it gets a lot worse. The receivers are middling at best and the worst group overall in the league at worst. 

That being said, if Fields does get in he might be able to do some stuff. While Swift could easily be the focal point of the offense, Fields can run it himself, which always gives a lot of fantasy value. Not only that, but the Lions defense is putrid, meaning he will need to be in catchup mode a lot. That could be great or disastrous, but the potential is there. Fields might not see the field (heh) at all in 2021, or he could be like Lamar Jackson in his rookie year, a fantasy starter once he became the Baltimore Ravens’ starter. Fields’ combination of rushing ability and good outlets in Swift and Hockenson might be a winning one. 

Pick 12: Devonta Smith to the Philadelphia Eagles

We skip ahead a few picks for the next fantasy relevant position player. Smith will walk into this roster as the WR 1, and Nick Sirianni was a WR coach in Indianapolis so you’d hope he knows how to coach receivers up. The Eagles are in a weird spot of possibly competing for the playoffs or being a bottom-five team and it basically all rides on Jalen Hurts. The line, when healthy, is amazing and Miles Sanders is a good running back. The only thing they are missing offensively is wide receivers, but if Smith is great and Jalen Reagor develops in year two the offense actually looks dangerous. 

On the other hand, Hurts didn’t find receivers all that often in his few starts except against the Arizona Cardinals. He was also a rookie with no offseason though. Point is, Hurts and the Eagles can basically be anything, which means Smith will be hard to predict. I’d lean heavily on the lower side as the Eagles focus on running the ball with Sanders and Hurts but there’s sneakily a lot of potential here for Smith to make waves in year one.

Pick 15: Trey Lance to the New England Patriots

Bold pick, but this could be the Justin Herbert of 2021. There is data out there that shows one-year starters often struggle in the NFL, but the situation is just so good. Lance walks into a team with one of the best offensive lines and the greatest coach of all time in Bill Belichick. The Patriots got a few playable fantasy games with Cam Newton who basically cannot throw the ball, with one of the worst supporting casts in football.

Now the tight end room is one of the best in the league, with the coach that popularized two tight end sets. The wide receiver room isn’t great but it’s far from the worst in the league with the new additions and Damien Harris looked legit when available. Throw in one of the best receiving backs of the past few years in James White and baby, you got a stew going. 

This is a solid team, and I don’t think they are married to Newton as the quarterback. Cam may start a few games, but when and if this turns to Lance he can do some real damage. Lance ran for 1100 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. At this point, Lance should be a Cam Newton that can throw. Lance’s rushing will always give him a floor, which has immense value in fantasy. More than I trust Trey Lance though, I have utmost faith in Belichick. 

Pick 24: Travis Etienne to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Traditionally, the running back spot is the one that sees the most rookie success. Etienne is also coming into a great situation, with the starter in James Conner gone leaving only the unproven 2019 4th round pick Benny Snell Jr. in his way. The opportunity will be there for Etienne to seize this job and produce. He can also do his damage on the ground and in the receiving game, and we’ve seen well-rounded backs excel in Pittsburgh (Le’veon Bell). My only concern is what’s around him. 

This isn’t the same Pittsburgh offense of the past few years, they ranked just 24th in yards gained, although they were a better 12th in points for in 2020. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the same quarterback he used to be, and last year they were basically the worst rushing team in the league. The offensive line graded horribly in the run game, which obviously didn’t help. Etienne is probably more talented than James Conner, but it might not matter. 

That being said, Etienne theoretically hits the talent and opportunity crossroad that leads to fantasy success, but he’s not the obvious fantasy star of rookie RBs past. Still, the opportunity wins out here, and if Etienne goes to the Steelers he will undoubtedly cost a high fantasy draft pick. Will he be a Clyde-Edwards Helaire or a Saquon Barkley though? It’s all about cost in fantasy, and Etienne might be too rich for my blood. At the same time, with the volume he could get that puts him as a low RB 2 or flex at worst.

Pick 27: Kadarius Toney to the Baltimore Ravens

Another guy I think will help the team and could be a real life success without being a fantasy one. Toney is kind of a similar player to Marquise Brown. Both are explosive playmakers that rely on speed and athleticism more than size. That doesn’t bother me as much as the quarterback situation. Lamar Jackson is good, but he’s not going to light up the world throwing the ball. 

Marquise Brown has not been a consistently fantasy relevant player in his two years in Baltimore. In his career he’s finished WR 44 and WR 37. That’s with Lamar Jackson having the best year he probably will ever have in 2019. Adding another wide receiver isn’t going to help him or Toney in terms of pure counting numbers. Mark Andrews is still around, and there just won’t be enough volume for multiple guys to eat on this passing offense. Similar to Waddle, both guys will have games where they popoff, but knowing which game that will be is nigh-impossible. 

Pick 29: Rashod Bateman to the Green Bay Packers

This should be a slam dunk fantasy success. Talented first round receiver goes to an offense with one of the best QBs of all time. The past few years the Packers haven’t really been able to support two fantasy wide receivers, but that could be due to lack of talent. There have been multiple times in Aaron Rodgers’ career where two guys were able to perform exceedingly well. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver early in his career, then Jordy Nelson and Jennings, Nelson and Randall Cobb, a little James Jones here and there and finally Davante Adams and Nelson in 2016 as the last Packers pairing to make waves. 

While it’s been the solo Adams show for four years now, the Packers have infamously not spent high draft capital on the wide receiver position. Since drafting Adams in the second in 2014, they haven’t used a pick higher than a fourth on a wide receiver (Ty Montgomery played running back for the Packers) since. Bateman should be better than any of those guys, which gives him real potential. The one issue is that historically rookie wide receivers haven’t done too much on the Packers, even when they do end up being great. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams were pretty much non-factors in their rookie years. Still, we know Rodgers is good enough to have two top fantasy wide receivers, and Bateman and Adams might just be the duo to bring it back.

The Numbers, What Do They Mean?

At the end of the day, these predictions taken at face-value might not mean anything, as the draft will probably be wildly different from this mock draft. Except for the first two picks. The things I said about the each pick were more about the team they are going to than the player themselves though. This means that as long as it’s the same position a lot of this will still apply, no matter which rookie they grab. I think any QB that goes to the Patriots and plays will have success, while I think any receiver that goes to the Ravens will struggle with the lack of opportunity. While this article is more for fun, there is some predictive value that can be gleaned based on the team’s situation, which should be the final takeaway.

Join the discussion

  • Magnificent site. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!

  • Thx for your post. I’d like to say that the cost of car insurance differs from one plan to another, simply because there are so many different issues which contribute to the overall cost. Such as, the model and make of the motor vehicle will have an enormous bearing on the purchase price. A reliable older family vehicle will have an inexpensive premium when compared to a flashy fancy car.

  • Thanks for the recommendations you have contributed here. Another thing I would like to convey is that personal computer memory needs generally go up along with other improvements in the technological innovation. For instance, if new generations of processors are introduced to the market, there is certainly usually a related increase in the shape demands of all pc memory along with hard drive room. This is because software program operated by simply these processors will inevitably increase in power to make use of the new technology.

  • Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What a great site.

  • Thanks for the guidelines you have provided here. One more thing I would like to state is that computer memory requirements generally rise along with other innovations in the technological know-how. For instance, any time new generations of processors are introduced to the market, there is usually a corresponding increase in the shape demands of both the laptop or computer memory and also hard drive space. This is because the software operated simply by these processors will inevitably surge in power to make new know-how.

  • In the awesome pattern of things you’ll get an A with regard to hard work. Where exactly you lost us ended up being in all the facts. As it is said, the devil is in the details… And that couldn’t be much more true at this point. Having said that, let me inform you just what exactly did work. The article (parts of it) is actually pretty powerful and that is probably the reason why I am taking an effort in order to comment. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, despite the fact that I can notice the jumps in reason you make, I am definitely not confident of just how you seem to connect your details which inturn make your conclusion. For now I shall subscribe to your issue but trust in the future you connect the facts much better.

  • I’ve been surfing online more than three hours nowadays, yet I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours. It is pretty value enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet can be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  • I used to be recommended this blog by means of my cousin. I am not certain whether or not this submit is written via him as nobody else recognise such special approximately my difficulty. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  • One thing is that when you are searching for a education loan you may find that you’ll want a co-signer. There are many cases where this is correct because you should find that you do not possess a past credit ranking so the mortgage lender will require you have someone cosign the financial loan for you. Thanks for your post.

  • Thanks for the diverse tips provided on this site. I have noticed that many insurance companies offer buyers generous special discounts if they favor to insure a few cars together. A significant amount of households currently have several automobiles these days, in particular those with old teenage kids still located at home, as well as savings with policies might soon increase. So it pays off to look for a great deal.

  • As I web site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling fantastic , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  • Thanks for your publication. I would like to remark that the very first thing you will need to accomplish is to see if you really need credit score improvement. To do that you need to get your hands on a duplicate of your credit report. That should really not be difficult, because government mandates that you are allowed to get one absolutely free copy of your actual credit report annually. You just have to request that from the right people today. You can either browse the website for your Federal Trade Commission or even contact one of the main credit agencies right away.

  • I do enjoy the way you have presented this particular concern plus it does offer me some fodder for consideration. On the other hand, from what precisely I have personally seen, I only trust as the actual feedback pile on that people today continue to be on point and in no way get started on a soap box involving some other news du jour. Anyway, thank you for this exceptional point and whilst I do not really concur with it in totality, I regard the standpoint.

  • Thanks for your useful article. Other thing is that mesothelioma is generally caused by the inhalation of materials from asbestos, which is a extremely dangerous material. It can be commonly noticed among laborers in the construction industry who have long experience of asbestos. It is also caused by moving into asbestos insulated buildings for years of time, Genetic makeup plays a huge role, and some consumers are more vulnerable on the risk as compared to others.

  • You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  • Wow, amazing weblog layout! How long have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The full glance of your web site is great, let alone the content material!

  • Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness for your post is simply great and i could suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject. Fine along with your permission allow me to snatch your RSS feed to stay updated with drawing close post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  • This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  • I’ve observed that in the world the present moment, video games would be the latest popularity with kids of all ages. Periodically it may be unattainable to drag your kids away from the activities. If you want the very best of both worlds, there are many educational video games for kids. Great post.

  • Something more important is that while searching for a good online electronics retail outlet, look for online stores that are continuously updated, trying to keep up-to-date with the most up-to-date products, the top deals, and also helpful information on services and products. This will make certain you are doing business with a shop which stays atop the competition and provide you things to make knowledgeable, well-informed electronics expenditures. Thanks for the important tips I have learned from the blog.

  • A person essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish incredible. Excellent job!

  • Thanks for giving your ideas on this blog. Also, a fairy tale regarding the finance institutions intentions when talking about property foreclosure is that the loan company will not have my installments. There is a certain quantity of time that this bank can take payments occasionally. If you are way too deep within the hole, they are going to commonly require that you pay that payment completely. However, i am not saying that they will not take any sort of repayments at all. In the event you and the traditional bank can find a way to work one thing out, the actual foreclosure process may cease. However, in the event you continue to neglect payments within the new strategy, the foreclosures process can just pick up where it left off.

  • Another issue is that video games are typically serious naturally with the major focus on finding out rather than amusement. Although, we have an entertainment aspect to keep your young ones engaged, every game is normally designed to develop a specific set of skills or programs, such as math or scientific research. Thanks for your post.

  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  • One more thing. It’s my opinion that there are many travel insurance websites of dependable companies that allow you enter your journey details and find you the quotes. You can also purchase the international travel cover policy online by using your own credit card. All that you should do should be to enter the travel particulars and you can view the plans side-by-side. Simply find the program that suits your financial allowance and needs and then use your bank credit card to buy the item. Travel insurance online is a good way to check for a respectable company pertaining to international travel cover. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • It’s my opinion that a home foreclosure can have a major effect on the borrower’s life. House foreclosures can have a Several to 10 years negative relation to a client’s credit report. Any borrower that has applied for a home loan or just about any loans for example, knows that the actual worse credit rating is, the more difficult it is to acquire a decent mortgage. In addition, it could affect any borrower’s ability to find a quality place to let or rent, if that results in being the alternative property solution. Great blog post.

  • Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  • I have seen that currently, more and more people will be attracted to cams and the subject of digital photography. However, being photographer, you have to first shell out so much time frame deciding the exact model of digicam to buy and also moving store to store just so you might buy the most inexpensive camera of the brand you have decided to choose. But it will not end there. You also have to take into consideration whether you should buy a digital digital camera extended warranty. Thx for the good points I acquired from your website.

  • Thanks a lot for your post. I would like to comment that the expense of car insurance varies greatly from one policy to another, mainly because there are so many different facets which play a role in the overall cost. One example is, the make and model of the car or truck will have an enormous bearing on the price tag. A reliable ancient family automobile will have a more economical premium than just a flashy performance car.

More from this show

Instagram feed @meksdemo

Instagram has returned empty data. Please authorize your Instagram account in the plugin settings .


Episode 57