Five worst rookie fantasy landing spots
Earlier this week, I examined the top five rookie landing spots in the wake of the 2016 NFL Draft. Now, it’s time to break down the players who were drafted into less-than-ideal situations.
Each of these five players entered the draft with quite a bit of buzz, and for good reason. But when it comes to rookies in the NFL, as we’ve seen time and again circumstance often trumps talent. Keep in mind, none of this is to say that you should flat-out avoid these players when building your fantasy roster. Rather, expectations should be tempered given a variety of factors, which we’ll dissect here.
5. Jonathan Williams, RB – Bills
A foot injury cost Jonathan Williams the 2015 season, and Razorbacks teammate Alex Collins capitalized by rushing for 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns, marking his third straight season with more than 1,000 yards on the ground. However, a year earlier it was Williams who ran for a team-high 1,190 yards (5.6 YPC) and 12 touchdowns while proving effective as a blocker. During that 2014 campaign, Williams forced a missed tackle once every 3.2 attempts and posted PFF’s second-best elusive rating, putting him on track to be one of the top prospects in the 2016 draft class before the injury.
While still not quite 100 percent healthy, he effectively put the injury concerns to bed throughout the pre-draft process. He showed well during Senior Bowl drills, benched 225 pounds 16 times at the combine, and then posted a 4.59 40 time at his pro day. Williams also posted a 6.97 three-cone time and was clocked at 4.29 in the short shuttle, both of which represent strong times for a player listed at 5-11 and 220 pounds, let alone someone coming off a serious foot injury.
Unfortunately, Bills’ coach Rex Ryan last year traded for LeSean McCoy and then signed him to a five-year, $40 million contract ($18 million guaranteed). Make no mistake, Shady will tote the rock as much as he can handle, while touchdown dynamo Karlos Williams is still firmly in the mix after making a name for himself as a rookie last season.