Catch your breath yet? Rookie drafts are underway across the world. My understanding of this rookie class will continue to evolve, but I’m ready to release a snapshot.
The Bloom 100 is ranked with the following type of dynasty fantasy football league in mind:
- Full IDP lineups including DT and CB
- PPR, start 3 WR
- Deep lineups and rosters
Of course, depending on your league scoring and settings, the placement of some positions can change, but the tier breaks and rankings within position should be good to use across all league formats.
Rookie Draft Strategy Tips
- Look to trade down in the first unless you are picking in the top 2, and make 2015 first round picks your targets. There is going to be a lot of variance on people’s boards in the top 15-20, and you are likely to like what is there in the mid-second more than you think you will, especially if you need QB or TE.
- A few of the marquee defenders took a hit and you should probably break ties against IDPs in the second round unless the offensive picks in the first and early second have been outstanding, picking the top tiers clean.
- I am liking a lot of the later running backs as late-round fliers because you can move on quickly to a rookie with more momentum if they don’t get a foothold on the roster.
- If you are hurting at running back, sit back in the weeds and go for Hyde or Freeman in the back half of the first round (or Mason in the second) instead of charging up the board for Sankey.
- Don't be attached to any rookie picks outside of the top 40 or so this summer. Being quick to pick up an overlooked player generating buzz or opportunity in camp/preseason is more important than standing by your deep sleepers.
Post Draft Bloom 100 (Pre-Draft rankings in parens)
1(1) Sammy Watkins, WR, BUF - Would hope for a better QB, but the offense should be aggressive and he is as good as advertised. Pray that Sankey goes #1 if you are holding #2.
2(2) Mike Evans, WR, TB - By the book. QB isn’t ideal, but adequate enough to make an instant impact. Pray that Sankey goes #1/#2 if you are holding #3.
STRONG CONTRIBUTORS, BUT LOWER CEILING OR HIGHER RISK
3(5) Brandin Cooks, WR, NO - I have some concerns about Cooks, but Drew Brees’ effect on his fantasy receivers’ stock is undeniable.
4(3) Odell Beckham, WR, NYG - The important thing is Beckham was seen as a borderline #1 talent in terms of draft stock, although QB is meh.
5(7) Cody Latimer, WR, DEN - The time with Peyton will be limited, but it could launch his career. Potentially lining up opposite Demaryius Thomas long-term doesn’t hurt.
6(9) Carlos Hyde, RB, SF - It was kind of heartbreaking to hear Marcus Lattimore admit loss of burst, but the 49ers aren’t mourning, they’re rebuilding the backfield. Hyde lands on a team that loves to run. I wouldn’t fault you for taking him #3.
7(8) Kelvin Benjamin, WR, CAR - Heaven or hell here, folks. He’ll be the only game in town with a solid QB, and he has the profile of needing a lot of targets to maximize his value. He also has no real mentor and will be counted on early, which is a recipe for a bust. Roll the dice!
8(12) Davante Adams, WR, GB - This was too easy in hindsight. Adams is a lot like James Jones, and he should provide a lot of the same value in the red zone and on backshoulder throws. Betting on Packers wide receivers in rookie drafts has been a profitable enterprise in recent years.
9(26) Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL - I love the landing spot. Freeman can scoot on that turf against defenses spread out by the Falcons pass offense. He can get on the field right away might be a feature back by the end of the year.
10(30) Bishop Sankey, RB, TEN - The offensive line might be good enough to make merely competent running backs very productive, which is what I think Sankey is. He’ll be long gone before this in most drafts, so the ranking here is really: pass.
11(4) Marqise Lee, WR, JAX - Enough people I trust have panned Lee since my initial 100 for me to back off of my optimism a bit. It doesn’t help that the Jags got Allen Robinson later in the second round. I’m very conflicted about Lee right now. Two years ago I would have jumped at him here.
12(11) Johnny Manziel, QB, CLE - I believe in Manziel, especially for fantasy, although he’s got very little to work with in year one now that Josh Gordon is facing a one-year suspension. The low positional value of QB hurts most here.
boom/bust second round rookie picks
13(21) Donte Moncrief, WR, IND - Hakeem Nicks is just signed on a one-year deal, and Reggie Wayne is an excellent example for Moncrief to follow. Andrew Luck is maybe the best quarterback in the league to land with when it comes to future dynasty value.
14(20) Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI - I wasn’t the biggest fan of Matthews pre-draft, but Chip Kelly knows how to get the most out of players. I still expect him to be gone in the first of every draft, so this is still a lukewarm ranking when compared to the consensus.
15(36) Tre Mason, RB, STL - I wasn’t a huge fan pre-draft, but the potential for Mason to shine behind an offensive line featuring his college teammate Greg Robinson is significant. He could easily be in a 1/1A situation with Zac Stacy that can support two fantasy-relevant backs.
16(6) Jace Amaro, TE, NYJ - Amaro didn’t land in Green Bay or New England. Opportunity is there on the Jets, but the offense isn’t very fertile soil for receivers.
17(10) Eric Ebron, TE, DET - On the surface, the top 10 status and landing place in Detroit looks fantastic, but I can’t get past the underachiever profile. Brandon Pettigrew just got eight million guaranteed, and Joseph Fauria can do damage in the red zone. I’m not sure I see fantasy stardom for Ebron. I’ll be surprised if he falls this far, so like Sankey/Matthews, the message is let someone else take them early.
BLUE CHIP IDPS
18(17) Aaron Donald, DT, STL - This destination supercharged his fantasy potential. Donald might be worth a late first in leagues where Geno Atkins is a desirable asset. Knowing your scoring and lineup implications on DT value is very important. if DT/DE are lumped together, Donald might not even be a top 30 pick.
19(15) CJ Mosley, LB, BAL - Some running backs and wide receivers landed in good enough spots to push Mosley down, but he’s extremely safe in IDP leagues. Exactly when to pull the trigger may come down your specific scoring and needs at linebacker.
more boom/bust second rounders + Bridgewater
20(22) Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT - Bryant is a boom/bust prospect. He landed with a good quarterback, but also fell a lot farther than expected and has to share with two very talented receivers in their own right. I tend to chase ceiling in my rookie drafts, so I might break ties in Bryant’s favor.
21(19) Allen Robinson, WR, JAX - I still like Lee better than Robinson, and I’m not necessarily picturing Blake Bortles as a prolific QB for at least two years. I wish Robinson had landed somewhere with a veteran receiver who can teach him to harness his considerable size advantage.
22(23) Teddy Bridgewater, QB, MIN - I love Bridgewater as an NFL QB, but as a fantasy QB, he might have trouble breaking into the top 10. In leagues where 16 or more QBs start, or scoring systems reward efficiency, Bridgewater might be worth a pick earlier in the second round.
23(40) Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN - It’s a great spot for Hill, although he’ll never be a #1 while Gio Bernard is on the roster. I’m not a big fan, but the Bengals OL can get the push Hill needs to succeed.
24(14) Isaiah Crowell, RB, CLE - The character issues made him not worth a pick in the NFL draft, but he is still one of the best running back talents in this draft. Ben Tate and Terrance West don’t scare me. I might take Crowell as high as the late second if I had a big RB need and they were drying up.
25(13) Lache Seastrunk, RB, WAS - Seastrunk is not going to take over for Alfred Morris, but he can get enough of a chance to shine as a change of pace to flash his high-end elusiveness and initial burst. I’ll be happy to scoop him up in the third if he’s there.
big drop in FF ceiling comes here (except Easley)
26(25) Paul Richardson, WR, SEA - Richardson’s talent might not translate to much production at first as a role player in a limited pass offense, but as Russell Wilson develops, he could start to climb the fantasy ladder. Patience advised.
27(18) Ryan Shazier, LB, PIT - Lawrence Timmons had stretches of brilliance inside in Pittsburgh, but the ride has been bumpy, and Shazier is very similar.
28(37) Telvin Smith, LB, JAX - Smith fell on draft day because of a drug test result at the Combine, but he landed in a perfect spot to turn his range and aggression into IDP production.
29(35) Blake Bortles, QB, JAX - He was taken as a franchise QB, and he has a fantasy-friendly profile, but low QB positional value makes it hard to put Bortles high on your shopping list.
30(34) Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, TB - The massive Washington passcatcher’s great workout numbers might push him higher in rookie drafts than this, but Seferian-Jenkins is in an offense with a lot of tall mouths to feed and middling QB play.
31(24) Jadeveon Clowney, OLB, HOU - I wish I thought there was a chance he’d be classified as a defensive end. I’d be a lot more willing to take the plunge in sack-heavy leagues.
32(16) Khalil Mack, OLB, OAK - I was hoping for Mack to land in Jacksonville and be Gus Bradley’s LEO. Oakland isn’t bad, and but the up and down scoring of IDP LB’s like Mack makes it tough to take him over offensive players with fantasy starter ceilings.
33(29) Jared Abbrederis, WR, GB - This is tough because Abbrederis landed in a prime, if crowded spot, but concussion worries clearly pushed him down the board a la Ryan Swope. After the way the Swope case turned out, I don’t want to take Abbrederis too early.
34(71) Christian Kirksey, LB, CLE - Kirksey projects as a three-down WILB in the same Mike Pettine defense role that made Kiko Alonso a fantasy star. You should be able get him a lot later than this.
35(32) Dominique Easley, DT, NE - Like Donald, your league’s specific value of DT should guide when to pull the trigger on Easley. By next year, he could be worth just as much because of the ability of the Patriots create good game scripts for pass rushers and good talent around him in the front seven.
36(UR) Colt Lyerla, TE, FA - Got a tryout with Packers, beat writer source says leaning towards signing him
37(72) James White, RB, NE - White is very competent, but not special, like so many of this year’s RB class. That’s enough to create fantasy relevance in New England’s backfield. Vereen and Ridley are both free agents next year. White is a favorite sneaky late pick.
38(48) Andre Williams, RB, NYG - I’m guessing Williams goes earlier in a lot of rookie drafts. I can’t get that excited about the Giants running game or Williams, even though he could get a shot to be “the guy” next year if Rashad Jennings falters and David Wilson isn’t right.
39(28) Jarvis Landry, WR, MIA - It’s hard to see how Landry could carve enough production in Miami to be startable, but things change quickly, and the new regime clearly loves him. Like the player, but the situation causes hesitation.
40(33) Storm Johnson, RB, JAX - He fell in the draft, but Johnson also landed with his college QB, Blake Bortles, and the Jags running back situation is only as settled as Toby Gerhart makes it this year. Definitely worth a late pick.
41(31) Kadeem Carey, RB, CHI - Carey is stuck behind an entrenched starter, which is a problem because he could see his team draft a more talented back once Matt Forte is falling off. In the meantime, he could have great temporary value if Forte misses time.
42(41) Marion Grice, RB, SD - Grice is capable and competent, and that could be enough to have a nice role in 2015 if Ryan Mathews doesn’t earn an extension this year.
43(38) Anthony Barr, LB, MIN - Another IDP who took a hit by landing in a linebacker role, Barr is certainly worth a lot right after Clowney and Mack in sack-heavy leagues, as early in the late second if the scoring is right.
44(51) Chris Borland, LB, SF - A likely opening day starter due to Navarro Bowman’s injury, Borland can help your fantasy team immediately and solidify his dynasty value, even though the wait for entrenched value could be a long one.
45(62) Terrance West, RB, CLE - The Browns obviously like West, but I still see him as the third, if not fourth most talented back on the roster. Let someone else reach for him.
46(49) Josh Huff, WR, PHI - Huff is reunited with his old college coach and offense, and his run blocking skills will help him get on the field. With Jeremy Maclin a free agent next year, his time as the #3 receiver in Philly could be coming soon.
47(43) Bruce Ellington, WR, SF - The pass offense in San Francisco isn’t all that robust, but Ellington’s high ceiling makes him worth a pick in the 4th/5th round range.
48(69) James Wilder Jr, RB, CIN - I’m not sure Jeremy Hill is a better runner than Wilder, or better suited for Hue Jackson’s offense. I love taking longshot RBs with late rookie picks because it’s easy to move on quickly if they don’t start strong, but the upside is significant if they do.
49(55) Jeff Janis, WR, GB - Speaking of upside, Janis has the physical profile to be a very good NFL wide receiver, but he is also part of a terrific crop of rookies that will be hard to overcome. Stash him away and hope for camp/preseason buzz.
50(61) Calvin Pryor, S, NYJ - I’m not a huge fan of taking safeties with rookie picks, but Pryor is set up to maximize his big play profile behind the Jets front seven.
51(39) Charles Sims, RB, TB - Like Carey, just a solid injury handcuff because of his destination, but those have value, too.
52(63) Kyle Van Noy, LB, DET - Limited FF upside, but possible LB3/LB4
53(67) Logan Thomas, QB, ARI - FF-friendly profile and best young QB on Cards roster for now
54(44) Jeremy Gallon, WR, NE - Reliable and tough, lots of injury-prone guys ahead of him
55(45) Brandon Coleman, WR, NO - Marques Colston-in-waiting?
56(59) Tim Flanders, RB, NO - I’m not betting against the Saints when it comes to UDFA RBs
57(54) Troy Niklas, TE, ARI - Path to starting job open, but not in a TE-friendly offense
58(UR) Joe Don Duncan, TE, FA - Medicals making his name mud. Trying to catch on with Colts
59(53) Quincy Enunwa, WR, NYJ - Great raw talent and opportunity, poor pass offense
60(UR) Jerick McKinnon, RB, MIN - Didn’t love his film, but could be Peterson’s backup soon
61(42) Kevin Norwood, WR, SEA - Will be worth a lot more for NFL than fantasy
62(47) Robert Herron, WR, TB - Nice contrast to trees, but doomed to Harry Douglas path
63(65) John Brown, WR, ARI - Liked him more than most, like Herron, set to be a speedy #3
64(UR) David Fluellen, RB, PHI - I’m willing to gamble late on any Eagles back
65(UR) Roy Finch, RB, NE - Supercharged Kevin Faulk potential?
66(UR) Avery Williamson, LB, TEN - Could contend for ILB spot early in career
67(UR) Lamin Barrow, LB, DEN - MLB is wide open, even if Barrow might be ill-suited
68(UR) Khairi Fortt, LB, NO - Should get a chance at ILB in year 2 or 3
69(58) Shaq Evans, WR, NYJ - Likely tops out at #3 upside, but you never know
70(52) Matt Hazel, WR, MIA - Dolphins wide receiver corps is so crowded…
71(64) Derek Carr, QB, OAK - Being ticketed to start at OAK QB has some value, but not much
72(UR) Demarcus Lawrence, DE, DAL - Opportunity early in a 4-3 is enough for a very late pick
73(UR) Antonio Andrews, RB, TEN - A stubborn back who can do a Shonn Greene impression
74(UR) Kapri Bibbs, RB, DEN - Another grinder who can do the dirty work
75(UR) Richard Rodgers, TE, GB - Rodgers never jumped off of the tape, but situation is king
76(78) Deone Bucannon, S, ARI - Great fit and IDP potential, but safety is like kicker for IDPs
77(75) Kyle Fuller, CB, CHI - Talent and situation intersect well, but stashing CBs is costly
78(UR) Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, BAL - Tape failed to move me, but Ravens loved versatility
79(UR) Tarik Black, TE, FA - Power forward recruited by Aaron Rodgers. Hope he picks NFL
80(82) De’Anthony Thomas, RB, KC - Some PPR potential as McCluster came alive in 2013
81(66) Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, NE - Some speculative value, but I don’t like sitting on QBs
82(UR) Zach Mettenberger, QB, TEN - Late pick for chance he competes to start in 2015
83(81) Dri Archer, WR, PIT - Not convinced he’s more than a gadget player
84(99) George Atkinson, RB, OAK - Speedy slasher in backfield with no entrenched starter
85(UR) Willie Snead, WR, CLE - Lacks flash, but reliable hands UDFA WR on WR poor team
86(UR) Chandler Jones, WR, CLE - See Snead
87(92) Tyler Gaffney, RB, CAR - Uninspiring, but could get opportunity in 2015
88(60) Michael Campanaro, WR, BAL - Love hands/ball skills, but probably a role player
89(UR) Corey Brown, WR, CAR - Little speedster at bottom of poor WR depth chart
90(68) Kofi Hughes, WR, WAS - Physical talent, could be developed as strong #3
91(76) Geraldo Boldewijn, WR, ATL - Like Hughes, flashed tools to do more, hope for early buzz
92(88) Stephen Houston, RB, NE - Great tools, Patriots have opportunity coming soon at RB
93(95) TJ Jones, WR, DET - Prolific pass offense, but merely competent talent
94(96) Devin Street, WR, DAL - A real chance to become Cowboys #3 long term
95(UR) Tevin Reese, WR, SD - Rail thin, but big play specialist on team weak at WR
96(85) Aaron Murray, QB, KC - Possible stash to see if Alex Smith is re-signed
97(86) David Fales, QB, CHI - Landed with a great QB guru, worth monitoring
98(91) Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, S, GB - Same opportunity, but lower FF upside than Pryor/Bucannon
99(94) Dee Ford, OLB, KC - Sack-heavy league special
100(UR) Marcus Smith, OLB, PHI - See Ford
Note: If any starting QB has currency in your league, AJ McCarron, Tom Savage, and maybe even Garrett Gilbert might be worth picks.