You know what’s better than playing fantasy football? Playing in a dynasty fantasy football league. Dynasty leagues give you the opportunity to run a franchise the way an NFL general manager would; you can trade your players for other players or trade them for draft picks. You draft players to replace aging ones on your team. You can do pretty much whatever you want.
We have some talented rookies entering the league this year who will make an impact this year and beyond. You already know some of the names of the rookies who will be targeted early; like Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and Jameis Winston. Just like in the NFL, you have to find players in the later rounds who can help turn around your franchise and win a championship. I want to give you the names of the best 2015 fantasy football rookies that aren’t too obvious. Hopefully you score one of these players and they help you win a ‘ship in your dynasty league.
2015 Fantasy Football Dynasty Rookies
Garrett Grayson, NO QB
Out of all the quarterbacks taken in the 2015 draft, I think Garrett Grayson will be at the top of his class when it’s all said and done. He will not have the pressure to produce right away like some other rookies because he will be learning from one of the best in Drew Brees. Sitting behind Brees will help the rookie learn what it takes day in and day out to be a successful quarterback in the NFL.
Grayson has a good arm and can make the deep throw; he uses his lower body to put some zip on his passes. He will sit in the pocket and make the throw knowing that a rusher is about to pummel him. He does need to work on his eyes, and he tends to focus on his primary receiver a lot. Areas that need work are his decision-making and throwing his receivers open. He can definitely improve on this by watching what Brees does and how he handles different situations.
Grayson will not be starting anytime soon, but when he does, he should be something to watch. Target Garrett in the middle rounds of your dynasty draft.
Honorable Mention: Jameis Winston, TB QB
David Johnson, Ari RB
The 7th running back taken in the 2015 draft may be the missing ingredient your dynasty team needs to help it contend for a title. The guy has the size (6’1”, 224 lbs.) that you look for in an NFL running back. He was a very productive player in college, rushing for 1,000 yards three straight years, culminating with a 287-carry, 1,553 rushing yards, and 17 rushing touchdown senior season. He also added 38 receptions for 539 yards and two touchdowns in his final year at Northern Iowa. In the four years with the Panthers he amassed over 4,600 rushing yards and 49 rushing touchdowns and had 141 career receptions for 1,737 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He has the potential to earn some playing time this season, as the projected-starter, Andre Ellington, has proven to be the team doctor’s best patient. You can count on Ellington going down at some point this year and Johnson getting some run. His long-term outlook in the NFL is bright, he has the potential to be a three-down back because of his rushing and receiving skill-set. Dynasty players should look to draft him in the middle to late first round.
Jay Ajayi, RB Det
In the last two years, you will be hard-pressed to find a college running back who was as productive as Jay Ajayi. At at Boise State, he amassed 3,200 yards and 46 touchdowns on the ground. He is a very effective runner between the tackles, has good speed (ran a 4.57 40-yard dash) and decent hands (72 receptions last two years).
He fell to the Dolphins in Round 5 because of some character concerns due to a 2011 arrest as well as concerns regarding his knee having osteoarthritis. He also had trouble holding onto the ball the last two years, having fumbled 11 times.
Even with some of the negatives I think he can right the ship and be a productive NFL running back. He doesn’t have much competition in front of him at tailback in Miami, as Lamar Miller and LaMichael James shown to be average running backs at best. He will get his chance to prove that he is a starting running back in the NFL and when he does I don’t see him relinquishing that role. Look to pick Ajayi in the end of the second/early third round of dynasty draft.
Honorable Mentions: Jeremy Langford, Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson, T.J. Yeldon, Ameer Abdullah
Jaelen Strong, Hou WR
I like the tools this youngster possess: size (6’2” 217 lbs.), speed (4.44 40-yard), jumping ability (42 in. vertical jump) and strong hands. He was a productive two-year starter at Arizona State hauling in 157 catches for 2,287 yards and 17 touchdown receptions.
When you see Strong on game film, you notice a receiver who goes up for the tough catches, someone who uses his body to his advantage, and someone who rarely gets out-muscled for the ball in the air. Strong does need to work on his route running but that should improve with NFL coaching and experience.
He got drafted by the Texans who are a run-oriented offense, so his numbers in his rookie year will not look good, but I see Houston going to a pass-first offense in the next couple of years with Strong and fellow wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins leading the charge. Look to draft Strong in the middle-to-late rounds of your dynasty draft.
Amari Cooper, Oak WR
Didn’t want to mention any of the obvious names in this article, but it’s kind of hard not to mention this guy. Everything about this kid, says future star; from his speed, to his hands, to his route running and not to mention the work ethic that he already displays as a rookie.
In his last season at Alabama, he won the Biletnikoff Award by compiling 124 receptions, 1,727 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns. He made a splash as a freshmen too when he had 1,000 yards receiving and 11 touchdown receptions.
He is not the biggest wide receiver (6’1” 211 lbs.), but he combines his speed (4.42 40-yard) and route running to get separation from defensive backs. He’s not afraid to make the tough catch over the middle or bully a safety for those few extra yards for a first down.
If you can somehow move up in your dynasty draft, do so, because Cooper will not last past the third pick.
Honorable Mentions: Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman, DeVante Parker, Phillip Dorsett
Clive Walford, Oak TE
With the second Oakland Raider on my list, you can say the future will be looking bright for the black hole.
Clive Walford comes to the NFL, by the way of the University Of Miami. The hurricane product had a solid career at Miami increasing his receptions, yardage, and touchdown total every year he was there. He has the strength to help the running game with his blocking while also helping stretch the seam. He has lined up in the slot, out the backfield and on the line; which will give him the opportunities to be on the field more and make more plays.
Walford should be targeted in the middle-to-late rounds of dynasty drafts.
Honorable Mentions: Maxx Williams, Tyler Kroft, Nick O’Leary
Top banner photo credit: Matt Velazquez