By Zach Attack @FFChalupaBatman
We are amid rookie fever as dynasty players have their rookie drafts. There are several strategies to construct a winning dynasty team, and drafting rookies with high upside is one strategy. Every rookie with upside will not hit their potential, but when they do on your roster you have a young asset in their prime. Below are three rookie running backs or wide receivers with enormous upside that you should acquire in drafts.
RB Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
Javonte Williams was drafted 35th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the third RB off the board. There may not be immediate upside since Melvin Gordon is currently on the roster, but in dynasty, you need to project into the future too. Gordon’s contract ends after the 2021 season, and he is not expected to be re-signed by the Broncos. The Broncos have built a young, talented offense and their offensive line is continuing to improve. They may only be a QB away from a high-powered offense or we could see Drew Lock improve his development this season. Williams has great all-around RB skills that project him to be a three-down RB when he takes over the backfield. That is rare nowadays in the NFL. Williams is also a young rookie since he just turned 21 years old at the end of April. All of these factors give Javonte Williams a high upside, and you do not even need to draft him at 1.01!
WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Jaylen Waddle was drafted 6th overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the second WR off the board. Waddle’s junior season at the University of Alabama was cut short due to an injury, but he is expected to be fully healthy going into his rookie season with the Dolphins. Waddle did not run the 40-yard dash during his pro day, but everyone knows he is a speedster and can run an extremely fast 40-yard dash. Several analysts have compared Waddle to Tyreek Hill because of his size and speed, and this may be a lazy comparison but only time will tell to see how productive Waddle can be on the field. The Miami Dolphins have been collecting first-round picks for several years and they now have a good, young team and have more first-round picks in the next couple of seasons. Tua Tagovailoa, who played with Waddle in college, did not have a stellar rookie season, but he was coming back for a significant hip injury. The offensive coordinator has changed, and the team has extreme speed on the field this year after signing Will Fuller and drafting Jaylen Waddle. Tua will improve this season and Waddle will develop with this younger team. Waddle has the skill set to be a big play waiting to happen on any play. If he can be consistent with big plays then he can be a WR1 in fantasy football. Just like Javonte Williams, Waddle is capable of being a dominant player for many years to come and you do not need to have the 1.01 pick to draft him.
WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Rondale Moore was drafted 49th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the sixth WR off the board. Moore had an incredible freshman year at Purdue University with 135 touches, 1,471 scrimmage yards, and 14 total TDs in 13 games! Unfortunately, due to injuries Moore only played 7 games total for his sophomore and junior year. He is only 5’ 7”, but insanely explosive with a 4.29 40 yard dash and 42.5” vertical jump! Moore joins a dynamic passing offense led by QB Kyler Murray. He may start as the third WR on the depth chart behind DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green, if healthy, but he will get at least 60% of snaps. If A.J. Green does not perform well this season then he can be cut next offseason after 6/1 without a dead cap hit and a $2.5 million savings for the team. Moore is going to develop alongside Murray, who appears to be an exciting and dynamic young QB. Rondale Moore has the skill set to capitalize on big plays in this offense for many years to come. As with most rookie WRs, you may not get a lot of fantasy points this year, but there is so much upside for him to be at least a WR2 for several years soon.