First run of 2014 dynasty league rookie-only rankings

By Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer

Mike Evans, not Sammy Watkins, is the best receiver you can get in dynasty drafts. (USATSI)
Mike Evans, not Sammy Watkins, is the best receiver you can get in dynasty drafts. (USATSI)


After about a week's worth of study and evaluation, here's my Top 50 rank list for dynasty league owners looking for a little help in their upcoming rookie-only drafts.

(And, there's already been an edit in the Top 20.)


1. Bishop Sankey, RB, Titans
2. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
3. Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
4. Odell Beckham, WR, Giants
5. Eric Ebron, TE, Lions

Sankey has the perfect situation in front of him as a busy running back behind a strong O-line, not to mention the pick of a brand new coaching staff. ... I liked Evans over Watkins in the draft and still like him ahead of Watkins in Fantasy. Both are talented and can do a lot of great things but it feels like the Bucs are closer to having the direction of their team figured out than the Bills are. I'm kind of nervous about Watkins in Buffalo long-term. ... The Giants' track record with first-round picks and Beckham's exceptional skills make him an appealing target, more so than the dynamic Ebron, who could be a couple of years away from contributing a ton of yardage to the Lions.

6. Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers
7. Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints
8. Terrance West, RB, Browns
9. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
10. Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars

Hyde's the first rookie without immediate impact I'd take in a dynasty league. I'm assuming that the clock will hit midnight on Frank Gore's storied career soon and Hyde will be tabbed to take over. Knowing how the Niners coaching staff loves to run, he's a fantastic fit. We just have to wait to see it. ... Tough call at seventh overall but since I don't see another running back with the path to the starting lineup that Hyde has, I'm going with Cooks. We're all banking on him making an impact this year and beyond in the Saints offense. ... Real close call for me at 8th and 9th overall but I like West's game a lot. Freeman might end up starting for the Falcons in 2015, but that's not promised. West might take even longer to become a regular starter but once he gets there he shouldn't let go. ... Bortles is my favorite quarterback in the draft and the Jaguars could be in position to let him really soar come 2015. He's worth gambling on and waiting for.

11. Andre Williams, RB, Giants
12. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings
13. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers
14. Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles
15. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars
16. Davante Adams, WR, Packers

Williams is the last of the full-time running back candidates, though he's not as exciting as the other backs. I don't see any other running backs taken in the draft with the potential to shoulder a 300-touch workload over their careers, save for injuries opening up the chance for a few years. But I still would gamble on the running back before Bridgewater, who seems like a cinch to be a capable starter in the NFL. He's definitely capable of producing 20-plus-point Fantasy games, but I don't know if he can do it every single week. ... Kelvin Benjamin needs time to become a great receiver. I'm not sold on him becoming a regular for 1,000 yards -- his best spot might be as a deep threat receiver, not a do-it-all type. Matthews and Robinson, along with Adams in the next group, are much more do-it-all types. Matthews should start as the Eagles' third receiver and eventually get into a more prominent role, but it could take a few years. Robinson's flaw is that he doesn't have blazing speed, Adams' flaw is that he'll have to either impress in camp or wait patiently for the chance to show it regularly. Adams is one of my post-draft favorites.

17. Johnny Manziel, QB, Browns
18. Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars
19. Tre Mason, RB, Rams
20. Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals

The point in which a dynasty-league owner has to start taking chances on players comes very early in rookie-only drafts. This is that point. Manziel and Lee are both high-potential dynamos who could become elite point producers or flaming hot garbage on a stick. I prefer to take players I have strong convictions on before taking chances, which is why they've lasted this long in my rankings. Remember this on Manziel: He plays at a position that's loaded with elite talent, much of which is young talent. Think of what he'd have to do on a weekly basis in order to crack, say, the Top 10 of the quarterback rankings in two years. It's a lot. Hence the ranking. I feel the same way about Lee. ... I'm nervous that Mason won't ever be better than a part-time player in St. Louis. Sure, he had nine games with at least 20 carries in his last year at Auburn and displayed an electric running style, and he is two years younger than Zac Stacy, but it could take a while for him to become a regular part of the Rams offense. Frankly I have a hard time keeping him ahead of Hill but his versatility makes him a little more appealing. Hill also has the look of a career part-time player, though one who will hog goal-line work. ... Matthews might actually adapt quickly to the Eagles offense but it's going to be tricky expecting him to develop into a big-stats receiver knowing that offense will run a lot and spread the ball around a lot.

21. Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts
22. Cody Latimer, WR, Broncos
23. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings
24. Jace Amaro, TE, Jets
25. Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers

Moncrief, like Adams, is a major long-term sleeper for me. I liked his game a lot coming out of Ole Miss but he needs time to refine what he does. He's on the right team -- the Colts have a young Andrew Luck and a pair of old outside receivers in Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks. Moncrief could get some awesome opportunities starting in '15. The same goes for Latimer, who might not provide a huge impact this year but could finagle his way into a regular job lining up outside in the Broncos offense. Just remember: Peyton Manning won't throw to him forever. ... Adrian Peterson won't run forever, either. McKinnon strikes me as a possible replacement for AP in two or three years while serving as a third down back and primary backup in the interim. ... Amaron and Bryant figure to be potential Fantasy helpers in a couple of years.

26. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
27. Zach Mettenberger, QB, Titans
28. Tom Savage, QB, Texans
29. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Buccaneers
30. Josh Huff, WR, Eagles
31. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Patriots
32. Charles Sims, RB, Buccaneers
33. Shaquelle Evans, WR, Jets
34. Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens
35. Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins
36. Alfred Blue, RB, Texans
37. John Brown, WR, Cardinals
38. James White, RB, Patriots
39. Ryan Grant, WR, Redskins
40. Jalen Saunders, WR, Jets
41. T.J. Jones, WR, Lions
42. Robert Herron, WR, Buccaneers
43. Paul Richardson, WR, Seahawks
44. Jared Abbrederis, WR, Packers
45. Dri Archer, RB, Steelers
46. Kevin Norwood, WR, Seahawks
47. Bruce Ellington, WR, 49ers
48. Ka'Deem Casey, RB, Bears
49. Storm Johnson, RB, Jaguars
50. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Redskins

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