For my rookie wide receivers rankings, I wanted to rank players who had the best chance of making an impact on 2015 Fantasy Football teams.
You can argue that Sammy Watkins was the best rookie receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft, but that didn’t mean he was going to make an impact with Kyle Orton as his quarterback.
A rookie receiver needs to use his talent to make the most out of the opportunities presented to him, but if he doesn’t receive enough opportunities for success, he isn’t worth drafting in season long leagues.
In my rookie wide receiver rankings, I take into account some of the aspects behind the scenes that Fantasy players may not consider.
So without further ado, let’s get to the rankings.
Top Five Rookie Wide Receivers Rankings
1. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 6, 2015
While Cooper may be one of the best rookie receivers entering the 2015 season, there is still a stigma that adding any player from the Oakland Raiders to your Fantasy team is a death sentence. While it’s true that there hasn’t been too many reasons to get excited about this team in the past, this a new offense that needs to be on Fantasy Football players radars.
Quarterback Derek Carr finished with the seventh-most passing attempts in the NFL last season, and he has a full year of playing experience under his belt. I think his stock is much higher than most people think, but Carr and the previous aura around Oakland is causing Fantasy Football players to shy away from Cooper. The ball was spread around a lot in this offense without a clear WR1, but with the release of James Jones, Cooper is the top target on Day 1.
2. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles
Unlikely Riley Cooper from the video, do not overthink this. Agholor is praised for his route running, and if you can follow the system, you are going to be a star in Chip Kelly’s offense. With Jordan Matthews slated for a possible bump in productivity, I can see why some Fantasy players may not think Agholor deserves such a high spot in my rookie wide receiver rankings.
I’m not sure who Chip has in mind to take the reigns, but the top receiver in Philadelphia the past two seasons has put up terrific Fantasy numbers. In 2012 DeSean Jackson totaled 82 receptions, 1,332 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. In 2103 , Jeremy Maclin totaled 85 receptions, 1318 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. This doesn’t mean that Matthews or Agholor will have similar seasons, but I’m willing to draft Agholor to find out. Agholor’s stock is rising on FantasyFootballCalculator.com, but you won’t have to pay as steep of a price for him as you will for Cooper or Kevin White. While Cooper is an eighth-round pick and White is a ninth-round pick, you can still land Agholor in Round 11.
3. Kevin White, Chicago Bears
Kevin White measured 6′ 2.5″ at NFL Combine w/ a 4.35 40. Last player w/ a 40 that fast at that size? Calvin Johnson. pic.twitter.com/1Y75e2iZZf
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 1, 2015
White offers a great mix of size, speed and strength. While not considered as polished as Copper, he is still a tremendous talent who can have a long and productive NFL career.
With that being said, I don’t feel comfortable drafting him. Here are the reasons why I am not big on him in 2015 leagues.
- Eddie Royal
The addition of Royal will cut into White’s Fantasy value more than people may believe or realize. Over the past two seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Royal has averaged 704 receiving yards and 7.5 touchdown catches. Of course, that doesn’t mean he will bring the same type of numbers to Chicago. What is interesting to note, however, is that Adam Gase is the new offensive coordinator for the Bears, and he was Royal’s wide receiver coach in Denver for one year.
- Matt Forte
Matt Forte had an insane 102 receptions for 808 receiving yards last year. That is a ton of receptions, and Forte actually finished the 2014 season with more receptions than Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett.
- Jay Cutler
Speaking of Cutler, what if this is it? What if he has a complete meltdown, and Jimmy Clausen is the new starting quarterback?
- Big Mouths to Feed
Jeffery and Bennett are big targets, and Cutler will not focus on White just to help your Fantasy Football team. Bennett received a boost in value when Marshall was not in the lineup, so it will be interesting to see what happens now that White is now in the picture.
It was inevitable that White wouldn’t make it past the 10th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but his value in year one with the Chicago Bears hurts his stock in my rookie wide receiver rankings.
4. Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 7, 2015
I would probably have Perriman higher than White, but analysts seem torn between Perriman’s upside and his perceived rawness. RotoViz has a great article about how it can be difficult to judge the 20-year old receiver.
Perriman is entering an offense in transition, and there will be plenty of opportunities for him to step up and become a leader in receiving yards for Baltimore. From 2011-2014, Torrey Smith averaged 53.25 receptions, 897.75 receiving yards and 7.5 touchdowns. These aren’t WR1 numbers, and it isn’t guaranteed that Perriman will replicate these numbers in year one. If you’re in a league that starts three wide receivers, however, Perriman is a cheap option to stash on your bench for depth to find out what he can do in 2015. He is currently going at the end of Round 11 on FantasyFootballCalculator.com
5. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
Best 1st round pick of the 2015 draft: •Kiper – DeVante Parker – MIA •McShay – Malcom Brown – NE
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) May 4, 2015
There is no denying Parker’s talent, and as a 6-foot-3 receiver, he offers a nice target for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Unlike Cooper, Parker will not waltz right into a situation where he is the best receiver. The Dolphins have done a great job at adding weapons for Tannehill, as the signal caller now has Kenny Stills, Jordan Cameron, Jarvis Landry, Parker and Greg Jennings at his disposal. Parker has a great offensive coordinator in former Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor, who helped Tannehill and Lamar Miller reach Fantasy Football relevance last season. Although talented, the current situation for Parker is too crowded for me to rate him too highly in my rookie wide receiver rankings.
Best of luck in your 2015 Fantasy Football drafts — especially if you pick up someone from among our top five rookie wide receivers rankings!
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