Cleat Geeks

2018 Rookies To Sleep On In Dynasty

Everyone falls in love with the new rookies every year. I can’t lie, I fall victim to this too. However, I’m taking a different approach this year. There’s a few rookies in this years class that I like a lot, but I’m going to like a lot better at their prices as 2018 winds down and as we head into 2019. In this article I’m going to take a look at a few guys who I think should be unloaded now, to be reacquired after disappointing rookie campaigns. All of these guys have the ability, and draft capital invested in them to be successful in the league, but for one reason or another I don’t expect to come anywhere near their potential in their rookie season.

The first guy I want to look at is Kerryon Johnson. It pains me as a Lions fan to sit here and advise people not to buy Detroit players, but it’s the smart move. The Lions invested in Kerryon by trading up to select him with the 43rd overall pick. They also invested picks in Frank Ragnow and Tyrell Crosby in order to beef up a sneaky good offensive line. That being said, I don’t think the opportunity will be there for him to succeed in his rookie season. Detroit is clearly making an effort to step up their run game, but with all of the weapons available to them in the passing game and their unusually high passing tendency, I expect it to be a slow transition into running the ball more often. When you look to the backfield, Detroit brought in a proven power back in LeGarrette Blount, who I expect to get a good amount of carries. Detroit will also still have Ameer Abdullah in the last year of his rookie deal. He’s been given multiple chances to succeed and I don’t see anything that makes me believe he won’t get one last shot. Kerryon will also be shut out of the receiving work more than likely. Theo Riddick has proven himself as one of the higher end receiving backs in the league, and there’s no reason for them to stop using him now, as he’s still under contract through the 2019 season. With all of these things considered, I think Kerryon will be largely disappointing this year. Dynasty owners tend to sour on players quickly, especially when they aren’t a top end, highly touted prospect like Corey Davis, who retains crazy value after letting everyone down in year one. From my experience, Kerryon Johnson has been a late first-early second round rookie draft pick this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you could acquire him for a package such as a mid-late 2nd and a 2020 3rd once next years rookie draft comes around. Look for Kerryon to ball out on your team from the 2019 season onwards with Ameer and Blount more than likely leaving the backfield next offseason.

Courtland Sutton is another player who I think will be much cheaper next off-season. Denver has a mediocre offense, with an average QB, rookie RB, and 2 talented veteran WRs to eat up a majority of targets. Sutton could not have gotten much worse of a landing spot for first year production. He’ll be stuck behind Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, who are both prolific receivers that will command 100+ targets each. Pair that with the fact that, at least for now, Case Keenum is the starting QB. Keenum worked wonders when called upon by the Vikings last season, but I don’t expect him to be quite so magical this year. The situation won’t get much better if Keenum is replaced, as some people think that Chad Kelly will take over at some point this season. Neither Keenum nor Kelly strike me as a QB who can propel three wide receivers into fantasy relevancy. Second year TE Jake Butt is expected to return to the field this year as well, and will be looking to carve out a role for himself, therefore further eating into Suttons potential targets. When you look beyond the passing game, Denver still seems determined to make Devontae Booker a thing. Possibly forcing carries to Booker could hurt Suttons ability to produce as well. The Broncos also drafted RB Royce Freeman in this years draft, which adds yet another offensive weapon for the Broncos to play with. All things considered, I think Sutton will struggle to produce this year. He’s already such a polarizing prospect, so I think he’ll be relatively easy to acquire for dirt cheap next off-season. Denver can get out of both Sanders, and Thomas’ contracts after the 2018 season. Both deals are pretty lucrative, so I fully expect Denver to part ways with at least one, if not both of the aging vets. The departure of even one of those guys will clear the way for Sutton to have his breakout season on your roster in 2019.

The third and final player to buy next year is Dante Pettis. Most of us were shocked when the 49ers traded up in the 2nd round to draft him. Around a month before the draft I mentioned Pettis on a podcast as a guy I was watching, and more than one person I was recording with hadn’t even heard of him yet. He quickly gained value once everybody saw him get selected there. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the hype. I’ve been high on Pettis for a couple years now, but I’m more than happy to miss out on owning him in his rookie season at his current price. Pettis is buried in the San Francisco offense. At the receiver position he’s behind veterans Marquise Goodwin, and Pierre Garcon. Not only does he have two serviceable receivers ahead of him, many people are expecting 90-100 targets to go to the extremely overrated Jerick McKinnon. Add in a fourth option in George Kittle, who many are expecting to have a breakout year, and there’s not many targets left for Pettis. That being said, I think Pettis is a good enough player that he will succeed in the NFL. By 2019, most owners who blindly rose on Pettis due to draft pedigree will be ready to give up on him as a dud. As soon as the season ends, you should be targeting Pettis for 3rd & 4th round picks. However, I don’t expect him to be cheap for long. The 49ers have the ability to get out of an expensive contract with Garcon, who at this time next year will be 32 years old. I fully expect the 49ers to move on from Garcon due to the amount of money they’ll owe him next year. This will open the door for Pettis to slide into the WR2 or even WR1 role in 2019.

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