Splitting the Camp – Rookies I like Better than RotoViz
War! Since the publication of the RotoViz Rookie Rankings, the RotoViz Slack channel is filled with attacks against writers by other writers. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere…well, not really. But it is evident that certain writers have stronger feelings towards some players than others.
To this end, I want to draw your attention to some of the players that I think more highly of than my fellow writers. I love them all dearly (the writers I mean), but they’re wrong.
Robert Davis, WR, Washington Redskins
RotoViz Rank: 45.6 — My Rank: 31
The Redskins spent a sixth-round pick on Robert Davis out of Georgia State, adding him to a wide receiver corps that includes Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder, among others. Blair Andrews does a fine job breaking down what kind of player the Redskins have picked up, making mention of his athletic prowess, while also factoring in a lackluster college career. To quote Andrews:
There is another way to spin his less-than-stellar production, which I suggest is the more accurate way: Davis didn’t produce great numbers because his offense was just plain terrible.
In my review of the NFC East draft, I noted that he may have presented a less-than-favorable range of outcomes from a player comp point of view (at least in terms of production). But Player Profiler’s closest comp for him was Donte Moncrief. I also pointed out that:
(Davis’) breakout age, speed score, burst score, and catch radius are darned impressive, and given the almost constant turnover at the WR spot with the Redskins, his is a name to remember for the future.
I’m not expecting Davis to be a Randy Moss-style rookie of the year. But with a player in Doctson who has yet to live up to his draft billing 1 and another in Pryor who has been a full-time WR for one year, there are no superstars keeping Davis at bay. The Redskins went with three WRs on the field 73 percent of the time last season, and a cut-price Moncrief could certainly help in the red zone.
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
RotoViz Rank: 42.1 — My Rank: 30
The signing of LeGarrette Blount by the Eagles may have put something of a dampener on the selection of Donnel Pumphrey, but I remain undeterred. Pumphrey was never drafted with a mind towards making him the workhorse back in an offense that badly needed one. Rather, he was brought in to serve as a complimentary piece of the offense. I wrote that he is probably being groomed to take the place of Darren Sproles, and given Blount’s less-than-impressive contributions in the passing game, there are plenty of receptions to be had by the other Eagles backs. RBs accounted for nearly 20 percent of the Eagles targets last season, and Pumphrey should see some opportunities in this area, even if he is rarely entrusted with important carries.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
RotoViz Rank: 26 — My Rank: 16
Regular readers of any of my scribbling here will know that I’m something of a fan of Kenny Golladay. I even gave him the affectionate nickname of The Moment (which I’m prepared to offer up in single combat against the great JJ Zachariason’s effort to name him). Writing in March, I speculated that if he were to land on the Lions, it would be something of a match made in heaven, so imagine my delight when it actually happened. Golladay is already being projected as the third WR for the Lions. Considering they went with three WRs on 75 percent of their offensive plays and passed on 65 percent of them, not to mention the fact that he towers over stablemates Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, he could see plenty of opportunity this year and beyond.
Brian Hill, RB, Atlanta Falcons
RotoViz Rank: 43.8 — My Rank: 36
This may seem like a lonely old hill to die on, but bear with me. Again, I’m not saying that Brian Hill is going to run away with rookie of the year awards from all major outlets. But I do think his college production merits some attention. Granted, as Matt Wispe points out, his landing spot could hardly have been worse. The Falcons have Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as one of the league’s best 1-2 punches at RB. But Coleman did miss three games in 2016, as well as four in his rookie season. If he were to miss time, Hill could certainly ensure that his production could be continued. However, if he does make good on any chances he gets, it could create that most hated of things in fantasy football, namely, a three-headed committee at RB.
Gerald Everett, TE, Los Angeles Rams
RotoViz Rank: 33.7 — My Rank: 26
Gerald Everett, a former basketball player, enjoyed a much more productive college career than some other former basketballers turned tight ends 2 could boast, as I pointed out when writing about him in early April. In that same piece, I wrote that
(Everett’s) numbers have shown that he is a play maker, and assuming he can acquire a need and greed for touchdowns, he’ll be someone that in years to come you’ll be glad you listened to Ol Dutts about. I’m that confident about him.
I was not overjoyed when Everett was drafted by the Rams. But he has been projected to win the starting job by some writers. Given the past work of Rams head coach Sean McVay as both an offensive coordinator and a TE coach, it is possible that he could make some early noise. Jordan Reed became a stud under the careful supervision of McVay with the Redskins, and I mean, who else have the Rams got? Despite still not exactly loving the fit, I just can’t quit Everett.