The 2018 class started out like most previous classes with four rookies finishing inside the PPR top-12 QBs/TEs or top-24 RBs/WRs. The 2010 class was the only class in this series to have less than four, which was the average per year. It’s interesting to note that two of those, Nick Chubb and Phillip Lindsay, weren’t starters at the beginning of the season. This isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. Most recently, we saw Jeremy Hill, David Johnson, and Alvin Kamara take over after starting the season second or third string on the depth chart. Le’Veon Bell finished RB15 after missing the first three games of his rookie year. Historically, rookie WRs have been a poor bet to finish in the top 24. Rookie RBs have hit twice as often as WRs.
Here is the 2018 dynasty rookie class. If there’s blank space following a player’s name it means they didn’t finish inside the top-12 quarterbacks or tight ends or top-24 running backs or wide receivers in PPR that year. This table shows the first two rounds of 12-team dynasty ADP, plus any players drafted after Round 2 that finished top at their positions.
Saquon Barkley is the 1.01 in most formats and he should be.
Career plays of >49 yards
Barkley should be the 1.01 in every league format.
— Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) January 18, 2019
Barkley, Chubb and Lindsay are three of 42 RBs to finish in the top 24 as rookies. They’re in excellent company and should experience productive careers if they follow the majority of their rookie year predecessors.
Calvin Ridley joins a mostly elite group of WRs. Since 2000, only 19 rookie WRs have finished in the top 24. Only 3% of rookie WRs drafted have accomplished this feat. This doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t produce. It does suggest rookie WRs probably shouldn’t be relied on as every week starts though. The grid that follows shows their career and the targets they had as rookies. Ridley got his finish mostly on a large volume of TDs. Anquan Boldin never saw as many targets again in his career as he did as a rookie.
D.J. Moore didn’t finish in the top 24 but his rookie year was by all standards very good.
I’m buying DJ Moore
91 tar, 52 rec, 802yds, 2TDs
82 tar, 55 rec, 788yds, 2TDs, 172ruyds
— Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) April 12, 2019
Time will tell if Moore will be another Hopkins. For now, Moore is ranked as a top 30 dynasty pick by RotoViz writers.
Several more from this class will certainly hit sooner than later. Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Lamar Jackson all flashed as rookies despite not finishing in the top 12. Mike Gesicki should improve. Sony Michel has some nice historical rookie year comps. First-round pick Rashaad Penny has the draft capital to expect more opportunity at some point.
Here’s a list of all the draft classes in this series.
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