Editor’s Note: Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by checking out our 2018 Rookie Draft Guide, our current Dynasty Rookie Rankings and our convenient Rookie Draft Cheat Sheet. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football draft preparation.
This year’s rookie draft is pretty exciting based on the perceived depth of the running back position. In fact, you can make a strong case that 1/4 of the teams in the NFL found a new starting running back in the draft, including the Giants (Saquon Barkley), Redskins (Derrius Guice), Browns (Nick Chubb), Seahawks (Rashaad Penny), Patriots (Sony Michel), Buccaneers (Ronald Jones II), Lions (Kerryon Johnson) and Broncos (Royce Freeman). While many of those backs will likely find themselves in a committee and history showing us some will simply be busts, this is a first round that’s going to be dominated by the talent at the ball carrier position. If you’re a contending team from last year and have a late pick, it’s also looking like a great year to need a receiver as the depth of the running back class will likely push pass catchers like DJ Moore, Calvin Ridley, Courtland Sutton and more down further than you could get them in most years. In short, the depth of this class looks solid. The challenge is there’s a lot of debate (more than any year I can remember) in terms of what order players should be ranked from right around 1.02 through 1.07. We’ll be working all Spring and Summer to sort it out!
Let’s dig in with this year’s top twelve, as comprised by our initial consensus rankings. Keep in mind, these will continue to fluctuate throughout the off-season as we get news from rookie minicamps and see some more free agents sign. For more information on all of these players, make sure you click on them and view their initial rookie profiles.
The tiers and commentary I’ll make on this post are my own, comprised of my opinions. Tier one is comprised of one player, and one player only.
1.01 – Saquon Barkley, RB NYG
As we’ve said all off-season, Barkley is in a tier of his own. There have been a few running backs over the past ten years or so who have generated excitement like Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette and Reggie Bush, just to name a few. However, nobody has taken rookie drafts by storm like Barkley since Adrian Peterson so many years ago. There are high (likely unrealistic) expectations for Barkley but he’s truly talented and physically gifted in every area. He landed with the Giants who should give him the keys to the offense from day one. Barkley will be the 1.01 in virtually every rookie draft this off-season and will likely be a top ten selection in dynasty start up drafts as well. The only risk you take with taking Barkley is turning your back on some amazing trade offers that will come your way.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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