Fantasy owners target rookies every year as sleepers, hoping to nab the next Russell Wilson, Le’Veon Bell or Odell Beckham Jr.
That might work in some leagues, but truthfully, most fantasy owners are already going to know about the big-named rookies. If they target the top rookies too, then their ADP will rise considerably, thus not making them sleepers anymore.
Therefore, it’s important for owners to realize which rookies will be overdrafted and which ones that are still bargains. Here are three overhyped rookies heading into 2016 fantasy drafts.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee
It’s probably going to be tempting for some owners to grab Henry shortly after Cowboys rookie back Ezekiel Elliott, but that would be a mistake. There should be a pretty wide gap between when the first rookie running back and the second one are drafted.
Elliott is a consensus first-round pick in any league larger than eight teams. He’s ranked the No. 4 running back according to Fantasy Pros. Henry is the No. 40 running back on the same list and ranked the 111th-best player overall.
Henry ran very well in his first preseason game, but all signs still point to him sharing the backfield with DeMarco Murray. The upside is there talent-wise for Henry, but a timeshare limits it. He shouldn’t be taken before the 10th round of 10-team leagues.
Josh Doctson, Washington
Vikings rookie Laquon Treadwell is being hyped as the top receiver for dynasty leagues, but his initial value is limited due to Minnesota’s running centric offense. However, Treadwell didn’t make our list because he is correctly being ranked as the N0. 49 wide receiver and a 13th-round pick on Fantasy Pros’ rankings.
Doctson is rated the No. 60 wideout, but his current ADP at 141.0 isn’t much behind Treadwell. There’s more fantasy potential for Washington receivers, but quarterback Kirk Cousins still has DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, so Doctson is going to have to prove himself to get into the starting lineup. Plus, tight end Jordan Reed figures to be Cousins’ top target.
Furthermore, Doctson is currently dealing with an Achillies’ injury. Washington general manager Scot McCloughan said this past week it isn’t a long-term injury, but he’s still missing valuable practice reps with Cousins.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Although there is a great chance for upside with Shepard, his fantasy value at the moment is solely based on him starting and lining up on the opposite side of Odell Beckham Jr. That’s great, but it doesn’t automatically mean he will be a strong fantasy commodity. Just see Rueben Randle for exhibit A.
Shepard reeled in one of his three targets for 24 yards in his first preseason game, but that was with backup Ryan Nassib under center. He should do better with Eli Manning starting.
Even still, Shepard is listed as the No. 43 wideout and 103rd overall player, ahead of Henry, Treadwell and Doctson. Shepard is the top rated rookie wide receiver in redraft leagues and has a 94.0 overall ADP.
That would be a slight reach. Don’t target him until the end of the 10th round in 10-team leagues.