Fantasy football is starting to heat up. One way to win leagues is to pick the right rookie(s). However, they are a mystery to solve. There is the unknown with every player, but the solution to greatness is even more difficult with a first-year athlete. We all want that Ja’Marr Chase, Najee Harris, and Garrett Wilson. The goal is to get that rookie star on your roster but not overload it by reaching for the fences.
The draft’s first pick will perfectly fit Frank Reich’s offense. Bryce Young has the accuracy and decision-making to make the offense hum. Combined with his composure and full-field vision, he can be a Rookie of the Year candidate.
He does have an injury risk as his stature at 5-10, 204 pounds, makes his durability a huge question mark. However, the Panthers traded DJ Moore and picks to Chicago to get him. Carolina also surrounded him with weapons as they brought in Adam Thielen, Miles Sanders, DJ Chark, and Hayden Hurst. The Panthers also drafted Jonathan Mingo in the second round.
Bijan Robinson became the highest running back selected since Saquon Barkley. He will take over the backfield that featured Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson last season. He fits any scheme, and his size (215-plus pounds) makes him a bell-cow back.
There will be competition for carries, as Allgeier will retain a role after rushing for over 1,000 yards, and Patterson is a weapon near the goal line and as a receiver. However, Robinson has good hands and can be a weapon outside the backfield.
Even though there will be competition for Robinson, Arthur Smith loves to run the ball, and Robinson will get plenty of opportunities behind a solid offensive line.
Robinson projects to be a late first-round selection in fantasy drafts.
If it wasn’t for Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs would have been the highest-selected running back since Saquon Barkley. The Lions traded down their pick to grab Gibbs with the 12th selection. He will immediately step in for the recently traded D’Andre Swift (Philadelphia). The 200-pound runner will instantly bring his 4.3 speed and electric playmaking.
Gibbs’ upside is capped, and he will be a rotational starter with David Montgomery. While Montgomery will get goal line carries and be the guy at the end to close games. However, there should be plenty of opportunities to get the ball in Gibbs’ hands at least 200 times with his pass-catching ability. Look for Gibbs to bring in 50+ receptions.
Gibbs projects to be an RB1 with his PPR ability, but even in standard leagues, he should find a place to finish among the top12 running backs.
The Vikings let Adam Thielen walk (Carolina), and his replacement was the 23rd pick, Jordan Addison. Addison will be an immediate starter and have a chance to fulfill the 70 receptions and six touchdowns that Thielen leaves behind.
Addison was highly successful at USC as he compiled 3,134 yards in three seasons. He is a savvy route runner with good explosiveness after the catch and will complement Justin Jefferson. His slender body has strength and a great situation to prove his skills. Only KJ Osborn will battle him for secondary targets while Jefferson takes on double coverage.
Addison is a value pick as your WR4 and can finish in the WR3 range.
The Seattle Seahawks made Jaxon Smith-Njigba the first wide receiver off the board. His performance at the NFL combinecontributed to his success. His three-cone drill (6.57) and short shuttle (3.93) was remarkable.
Now Smith-Njigba comes into an offense that ranked ninth in points per game. He will join DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockettwill take away targets. However, Smith-Njigba will get his share working from the slot. By playing the slot, Lockett can return to being a deep threat, while Smith-Njigba can be that short-intermediate weapon.
Smith-Njigba will be utilized in this offense. The Seahawks didn’t spend a first-round selection to ignore his route running and footwork skills.