Dynasty League Football


2015 Dynasty Rookie Rankings: Consensus First Round


Editor’s Note: Make sure you’re ready for your fantasy league draft by checking out our ORANGE Report, the Rookie Draft Board, the IDP Rookie Draft Board our new multi-part Rookie Draft Study, our Rookie Draft Cheat Sheet and our archive, featuring over 100 in-depth articles already this year. Dominate your leagues, people!

Every year we see risers, fallers, surprises, disappointments and the out of nowhere picks that define a draft.  This year’s version finally brought us some running backs taken in the first round and also featured a whole host of talented receivers being picked early.  Intrigue and promise with those running backs and top notch receivers will keep excitement high much longer than normally is the case.

The 2015 top twelve features a clearly defined top tier of four players – these four will likely be taken at the top of virtually every dynasty league draft. I can’t recall a year where it seemed the top four were so set in stone. Though the order may change based on team needs, it would be an upset for any other player to jump ahead of this group that includes Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper, Melvin Gordon and Kevin White.

After that, it gets really interesting.

The rest of the round is littered with running backs who have landed in good situations, receivers who have talent (but not elite talent) and one major shot in the dark. We can split hairs all day long on the ranking of the eight players below the top tier, but this is the list created from our consensus group of rankers and it’s hard to argue the general draft area for the individuals.

Let’s get to this year’s top twelve:

1.01 = Todd Gurley, RB STL

GurleyGurley has been the top prospect for this draft for a couple of years now. The only difference now is the gap between 1.01 and 1.02 is much closer due to his ACL injury. St. Louis was a surprise landing spot and it comes with pros and cons. On the plus side, he’s going to a team dedicated to running the football and one featuring a defense capable of allowing their offense to run it in every quarter. On the downside, he has to deal with some fierce defenses in that division and the offensive line still needs some work.

There is no doubt the Rams see Gurley as their “Eddie George-like” workhorse moving forward and it’s rumored he was the second player on their overall draft board. He’ll be given every opportunity to supplant incumbent Tre Mason (who will undoubtedly be relegated to only giving Gurley a breather or straight-up backup duties) and be the bellcow for the Rams to give them the running game they’ve lacked since Steven Jackson was in his prime.

There is obvious risk with taking Gurley first overall, but he could very well be the next Adrian Peterson and that’s going to be worth the gamble for a whole host of owners this Summer.

1.02 = Amari Cooper, WR OAK

If you’re risk averse, Cooper makes for the safest bet we’ve seen in years. He cruised to a 124/1,727/16 line at Alabama last season, topping 200 yards in a game on three different occasions. When you consider his competition was some of the best in the country, you can’t help but salivate over what he could be able to do in silver and black. His short area quickness is going to make him a PPR beast and make him the undisputed WR1 for Derek Carr and the Raiders. If there’s one player you can bank on being a star in this draft, it’s Cooper. While he may not put up the rookie stats of Odell Beckham, Jr. or Randy Moss, the floor for his career is probably somewhere similar to Torry Holt – we’ll take it.

1.03 = Melvin Gordon, RB SD

[inlinead]There were some better spots for Gordon to end up (Dallas), but San Diego is just fine as well. If you want bona fide production, Gordon’s your man – he recorded 549 carries, 4,196 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns in just the past two seasons at Wisconsin. While he needs to show he can catch the ball (he had only 22 receptions in college), he’s more than adequate to be the long-term replacement for Ryan Mathews and could possibly be the best tailback the Chargers have had since LaDainian Tomlinson.

The only real concern with Gordon is the possibility he loses third down work to Danny Woodhead (or others in the future) because he finds it too difficult to become a better pass catcher. Still, you can see him posting great numbers as an early down back and winning you a lot of fantasy games late in the day as San Diego typically plays in the afternoon.

1.04 = Kevin White, WR CHI

Could White be the next Terrell Owens or Julio Jones? It’s unlikely, but it’s possible and that’s what make him a very intriguing pick this year. The only real concern with White (outside of Chicago traditionally not supporting two fantasy receivers unless they’re really good) is the fact he was such a late bloomer. He posted a ridiculous 109/1,447/10 line at West Virginia last season and showed some amazing athleticism along the way. He tore up the NFL Scouting Combine and certainly looks the part of a total star. White could very well have the highest ceiling of any player in this year’s draft and makes up the last of the four-man top tier in this year’s rookie draft – let’s just hope he becomes the permanent replacement for Brandon Marshall and fares better than other recent West Virginia receivers.

1.05 = DeVante Parker, WR MIA

Parker headlines the list of “the rest” as he comes it at 1.05 on our big board. Blessed with big time ability, he finds himself in a decent (though not ideal) situation with the Dolphins. Time will tell just how good Ryan Tannehill is and just how the targets will shake out, but joining a depth chart that already boasts young receivers in Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry (along with veteran Greg Jennings and new tight end Jordan Cameron) means Parker will not be force-fed the ball. Still, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him as the best receiver in Miami in a few years – owners are likely going to have to be patient, though.

1.06 = Nelson Agholor, WR PHI

AgholorOne of the draft’s fast risers, Agholor landed in a potentially great spot for fantasy production. Taking him this high means you’re likely taking situation over talent since a few receivers below him on this list are likely a little bit better than he is, but that doesn’t mean he’s a slouch in any way. Agholor is good at most everything, but not really elite at any one thing outside of his route running ability. However, that precision should make him a fine target in Philadelphia and he could very well be the replacement they’ve been looking for since Jeremy Maclin bolted for Kansas City. There’s some major league upside here.

1.07 = Breshad Perriman, WR BAL

Now here’s a very interesting pick. Perriman was another of the draft’s fast risers and you could argue this was the single best fit for any one player in the entire draft. In fact, this situation reminds me a ton of the opportunity Kelvin Benjamin had last year.  He is bound to catch a ton of deep balls from Joe Flacco, who excels at throwing them. With a depleted receiving corps and a spot in the starting lineup open with Torrey Smith’s departure, the sky’s the limit for Perriman. Unfortunately, he’s going to have to work on eliminating drops and proving to fantasy owners he’s not simply the next DeSean Jackson – a player with similar explosiveness who is known for posting a monster game followed by a serious clunker.

1.08 = Tevin Coleman, RB ATL

Speaking of great landing spots, Coleman found a nice one of his own in “Hotlanta.” With a depth chart featuring Devonta Freeman as the only real threat to featured carries, he should compete for snaps right away and possibly start in week one. Coleman is lightning fast and can turn just about any play into a touchdown. The only limitations for him are the fact the Falcons will still likely be a “pass first” team as long as they have Roddy White, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones around. Still, we saw what Antone Smith could do in limited opportunities and Coleman is a far superior talent, though just as explosive. This pick is pretty exciting for a fantasy team needing running backs.

1.09 = TJ Yeldon, RB JAX

The debate between Coleman and Yeldon to be the third running back off the board will likely rage all the way through the upcoming preseason. You could easily make the case for Yeldon, who will ironically find the depth chart in Jacksonville much less threatening than what he’s used to at Alabama. While not an elite talent, Yeldon’s path to playing time has him only beating out Toby Gerhart and Denard Robinson. While Robinson had his moments last year, he’s more of a gadget player than a pure running back. While not as explosive as Coleman, Yeldon should be a predictable performer during most weeks of the season and is the first true candidate to replace Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville.

DGB1.10 = Dorial Green-Beckham, WR TEN

I love this pick for those who consider themselves “Riverboat Gamblers.” I have little doubt in my mind DGB is either going to be the steal or the bust of this draft – I just can’t decide which it’s going to be and I’m positive there won’t be any in between. Blessed with both talent and a plethora of off-the-field issues, Green-Beckham arrives in Tennessee with the potential to be the mustard to Marcus Mariota’s ketchup, but he could just as easily be that rancid Miracle Whip stuff. If you have courage, roll the dice here.

1.11 = Ameer Abdullah, RB DET

Likely in the third tier of running backs (Yeldon and Coleman likely make up the second in most leagues), Abdullah finds his way to a desirable spot in Motown. He needs to work on protecting the football (and his quarterback), but he has a ton of upside. Most believe he’s not suited to be a true featured runner, but if “most” are wrong, this could be a really good value in the late first round.

1.12 = Jaelen Strong, WR HOU

Strong is going to battle the likes of Devin Funchess, Duke Johnson, David Cobb, both quarterbacks and a whole host of others to make it into the first round of rookie drafts this Summer. His upside is that of a WR2, but playing opposite DeAndre Hopkins should work out well for him. He needs to work on his separation ability and stop disappearing from games, but the talent is surely there.

We’ll bring you the rest of the top rookies later this week!


Ken Kelly
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Zac Griffin
7 years ago

Haha good thing I love Miracle Whip ’cause I love me some DGB.

7 years ago

Great article – I’m sure I can speak for everyone that we are thankful to see a summation of the rookie ranks so quickly – with detailed write-ups no less. Great job!

Regarding the draft:

Its hard to believe there are actually 2 or 3 foundation backs available so late in the first round. I cant remember a time this was the case, since maybe ’09 (I dont count last year’s Freeman and Mason as such). Thats gonna mean theres gonna be a ton of value with those late round picks, with impact in year-one possibilities.

Thomas Bonafair, II
7 years ago

I happen to own the 1.01 in an upcoming rookie/FA draft AND happen to be the not so proud owner of Tre Mason. I traded for Mason a month ago, expecting RB2 numbers with a smattering of RB1 depending on the matchup. Now he’ll presumably play second fiddle to Gurley, once he’s healthy.

So am I overthinking the decision between Cooper and Gurley at the 1.01? As a Mason owner, taking Gurley seems like the obvious choice but I’d like to hear from others. I’m thinking with Gurley, Mason’s diminished value would be offset a bit because he’d start while Gurley is on the PUP and then provide solid handcuff value going forward.

I would mention my roster depth at RB or WR but in the 1st round I normally draft for value as opposed to need. This is a full PPR scoring league as well. Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Reply to  Thomas Bonafair, II
7 years ago

Mason should have absolutely nothing to do with your decision. I would take Cooper, but regardless, don’t let Mason factor into the equation of who you draft. I would also recommend not trading for RB’s just before the draft, next time. Learn your lesson and move on, but don’t let the bad taste of that trade affect your 1.01 pick, by trying to find a silver lining. If you really think Gurley is the pick, great, but if not, go with Cooper.

Thomas Bonafair, II
Reply to  fantasyFreak
7 years ago

Thanks for your advice, I’m totally on the fence between Cooper and Gurley. I have two months to decide, and plenty of news/reports to digest before I have to pull the trigger.

Reply to  fantasyFreak
7 years ago

Sorry Freak, I don’t agree that trading for Tre or any RB is a mistake. Nobody saw the Gurley pick coming. I too traded for Tre a couple of months back, expecting him to be one of my starters this year along with Gurley. I have the 1.02 pick and the guy with the 1.01 is seriously lacking at WR so I figured there is a very good chance Gurley will be available. What a difference that Ram’s pick made to the potential of my team though. I’d still rather have Gurley on my team than not. Even if I did over pay for his backup.

Reply to  Thomas Bonafair, II
7 years ago

Simply pick who you like best.

Id very confidently take Gurley, but thats because I have him higher than any other player. I think he is this years best player. Having Mason is a nice bonus since that will cover the handcuffing, which is always nice if you want to remain competitive and not have to worry about covering a starting spot on your roster. That is a minor bonus however, as the main opinion should always be selecting the best player, which again I feel is Gurley.

7 years ago

Just curious, why does the author feel that Gurley “could very well be the next Adrian Peterson”, but White will “unlikely” be the next Julio?

I’ve heard and read that Gurley is the best RB prospect since Peterson, but I haven’t heard anybody say he is as good. I think it’s highly, highly unlikely that he is the next Adrian Peterson.

Reply to  Ken Kelly
7 years ago

I may be in the minority thinking, but couldn’t White’s sudden progression have anything to do with the coaching he got at WV as opposed to the JUCO level? Maybe all it took was for a “real” coach to have him realize his talents. I just can’t see a JUCO coach who churns out Julio Jones type players staying at that level.

7 years ago

I am really surprised that Coleman, Abdullah and Yeldon are as high as they are especially since I am assuming the rankings are based on ppr stats. However all 3 are in great positions to succeed so hard to argue I suppose. I guess I expected DGB ahead of all 3 of them.

Jacob Brooks
Reply to  DJB
7 years ago

I think Yeldon and Coleman can be argued to be ahead of DGB just because DGB hasn’t played football in 2 years, and he’s got a rookie QB throwing him the ball and Wright, Walker, and Douglas to split targets with. Long term he could be a monster but there’s a lot of moving parts with DGB. How will Mariota fare, how soon can DGB round into form, can he keep his head on straight etc.

Yeldon and Coleman have very little competition standing between them and a starting rb gig. Abdullah is in a good spot but he’s going to be a committee back at least for a year or two and even then you never know if he’ll be a feature back so I can see having him below DGB. As always though, it is just personal preference for most of these guys.

Reply to  Jacob Brooks
7 years ago

I can see what you are saying Jacob, but on the other hand, I see 3 average talents that are simply being boosted because of their situation as I see it and a downgrade for DGB based on his situation. Either way I love the “mock” so to speak, the variety of opinions is great and makes for an interesting discussion. Looking forward to the next group of rookies!

7 years ago

Just landed Gurley with the 1.3(Cooper and White went 1/2). Fielded some trade offers but nothing exciting. Pretty pumped!

Reply to  Neo
7 years ago

Thats pretty impressive that he fell to 1.3.

You should enjoy that pick for a while

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