Fantasy Football 2017: Rookie WR Rankings
2017 Rookie WR Rankings
Fantasy Football drafts don’t begin in earnest for another couple of months, but when it comes to projecting the best of the newbies, why wait?
Ben Standig ranks the top rookie wide receivers for the 2017 fantasy football season.
8. Kenny Golladay, Lions
College: Northern Illinois
Draft Pick: No. 96 Overall (No. 32, 2nd Rd.)
Several players could have landed in this final spot, including Carlos Henderson (Broncos), Chris Godwin (Buccaneers) and Amara Darboh (Seahawks), but let’s go with Detroit’s new options.
The 6-foot-4 Golladay brings red-zone size with 4.5 speed.
Marvin Jones faded over the second half of last season for the Lions.
7. Cooper Kupp, Rams
College: Eastern Washington
Draft Pick: No. 69 Overall (No. 5, 3rd Rd.)
No team needed a receiver in the draft more than Los Angeles, yet the Rams waited until the third round.
Patience paid off by landing Kupp, the all-time FCS leader in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns.
This call is more about opportunity – Robert Woods and Tavon Austin are the top two receivers – than expecting immediate production with quarterback Jared Goff.
6. Curtis Samuel, Panthers
College: Ohio State
Draft Pick: No. 40 Overall (No. 8, 2nd Rd.)
Carolina added a multi-dimensional threat with Christian McCaffrey and on Day 2 with Samuel, who may end up as the primary slot threat.
That McCaffrey exists could limit the exotic ways Samuel gets used, but we’re still talking about a dynamic chess piece.
5. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers
College: Southern California
Draft Pick: No. 62 Overall (No. 30, 2nd Rd.)
Martavis Bryant returns from his 2016 suspension and likely moves into the starting spot opposite Antonio Brown.
Based on his checkered past, nobody assumes he’s a lock to avoid further issues.
Pittsburgh, in need of receiver depth, benefitted with Smith-Schuster slipping to 62.
There’s opportunity either as the Steelers receiver or much more should Bryant slip up.
CSN Draft Room: Casserly ranks the top 2017 WRs
4. Zay Jones, Bills
College: East Carolina
Draft Pick: No. 37 Overall (No. 5, 2nd Rd.)
Sammy Watkins, when healthy, is good.
He’s also the only thing Buffalo had coming back of any consequence.
Enter Jones, who caught a staggering 158 passes for East Carolina last year.
Watkins becoming a free agent in 2018 adds extra appeal for owners in keeper leagues.
3. John Ross, Bengals
Draft Pick: No. 9 (No. 9, 1st Rd.)
There’s fast and then there’s John Ross fast.
The University of Washington standout ran a 4.22 40-yard-time at the NFL Combine, but don’t assume he’s just a fast guy.
Highly productive on the college level, now Ross gets to run routes opposite A.J. Green and likely do so against 1-on-1 coverage.
2. Mike Williams, Chargers
Draft Pick: No. 7 Overall (No. 7, Rd. 1)
The Clemson product entered the draft arguably the most complete receiver in the 2017 class with his size-speed combination.
That he landed with a veteran gunslinger in Philip Rivers will make transition easier.
That there’s nothing in his way from becoming Los Angeles’ No. 2 receiver bolsters his fantasy potential.
That he’ll play opposite the oft-injured Keenan Allen means the door for the top target could swing his way at any time.
1. Corey Davis, Titans
College: Western Michigan
Draft Pick: No. 5 Overall (No. 5, Rd. 1)
Quarterback Marcus Mariota impressed during his sophomore season and did so without a go-to wide receiver.
Tennessee took care of that by using the fifth overall selection on Davis.
The 6-foot-3 playmaker caught 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.
The two primary concerns entering next season: Can Davis quickly make the adjustment from Western Michigan to the NFL and Mariota’s status following a season-ending leg injury last December?