The 5 fantasy rookies you should actually draft

Matthew Freedman breaks down the five 2015 rookies with league-winning potential.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

(AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

The 5 fantasy rookies you should actually draft

In fantasy football redraft leagues, the late-round rookie is an excellent investment. He is overlooked by rookie enthusiasts because he is unlikely to contribute immediately — say, within the first half of the season — and he is ignored by rookie pessimists because he is a first-year player. As a result, many promising late-round rookies are acquirable at discounts and high margins of safety.

For such rookies, this market devaluation affords them the opportunity to provide outsized returns (with minimized risk) for those fantasy general managers who invest in them with an eye toward their future (not their immediate) potential. Examples of such 2014 rookies are RBs Jeremy Hill and Tre Mason, WRs Jordan Matthews and Odell Beckham, and QB Teddy Bridgewater:

Player ADP Pos ADP Pos Rank H1 FP/G H2 FP/G
Jeremy Hill 125.92 41 10 10.74 14.44
Tre Mason 158.46 50 24 7.55 12.39
Jordan Matthews 128.49 50 24 8.16 12.93
Odell Beckham, Jr. 162.67 63 5 13.62 24.62
Teddy Bridgewater 176.59 26 22 13.24 19.10

Using 12-team point-per-reception redraft average draft position data from My Fantasy League and the first- and second-half production breakdown from the RotoViz Game Splits App, this table highlights the degree to which these players were inexpensive, productive in the second half of the season, and mispriced. As evidenced here, late-round rookies who peak when wins are at a premium exist.

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Matthew Freedman is a writer for PFF Fantasy and is (not) the inspiration for the character in The League who shares his name. He cohosts the College Daily Slant on PFF Radio. He can be followed on Twitter @MattFtheOracle.

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