Fantasy Thoughts Rookie-Watch

By Chad Stapley
Chad Stapley DeAndre Washington might be stealing fantasy football points from Latavius Murray sooner than anticipated. Washington ran the ball eight times for 43 yards, he caught a 32 yard pass, and he returns kicks. He can be a great FLEX option from day one if he continues to shine through the remainder of preseason.

Alex Erickson might find a way to make the Cincinnati Bengals roster if he keeps making things happens when the ball is in his hands. Erickson caught a three yard TD pass and he returned a punt 80 yards for a TD. Not bad for an undrafted guy just trying to make the roster.

Jake Rudock might win himself the backup QB job in Detroit if he keeps having steady outings like his first preseason game. Rudock went 8-11 for 72 yards and a TD and looked every part capable of running an NFL offense. Keep an eye on how the rest of his preseason plays out, Matthew Stafford isn’t the most stable of QB’s when it comes to injuries.

Jakeem Grant is going to score oodles of fantasy football points, he is an electrifying man with the ball in his hands. It looks like the Dolphins are trying to do that early and often as his first NFL game he went bonkers. Grant caught four passes for 68 yards, he returned two kickoffs for 53 yards, and he returned four punts for 60 yards. Grant is going to have games where he scores on special teams and on offense and he is a wonderful option for the FLEX position.

Michael Thomas looks like a steal of a second round pick as he caught four passes for 67 yards and looked like the go to WR the Saints have been looking for in his first NFL action. Thomas and Drew Brees should produce a truck load of fantasy football points together if this first game is any indication of what Thomas has to offer. Thomas is a big, tall, fast WR who has a knack for scoring.
The Patriots might have gotten a diamond in the rough in the form of their fourth round pick, Malcolm Mitchell. The product of Georgia caught four passes for 55 yards in his first preseason game. If he can continue to get open and make things happen, the Patriots will find a way to keep him on the field.

Kenneth Dixon looks like a rookie out to take someone’s job on the Ravens RB depth chart. Dixon ran the ball nine times for 44 yards, both which were team highs. He can catch passes out of the backfield and he can return kicks. Dixon will probably be stuck behind a few guys on the depth chart for the beginning of the season, but he is absolutely a rookie you want to keep an eye on early because once he gets an opportunity he is not going to disappoint.

Washington has a backup plan in case they cannot eventually resign Kirk Cousins, and his name is Nate Sudfeld, the rookie out of Indiana. Sudfeld lit up the college stat books as he is a tall, big armed QB and he proved that in game one of the preseason. Sudfeld went 10-15 for 89 yards and a TD. He can easily step in and offer the same type of value as Cousins and having a rookie “redshirt” season might be exactly what Washington has in store. This guy has the future makings of a fantasy football star.

Cardale Jones is going to be a starter in the NFL within a few years, he has all the tools to flourish in the league. In his first NFL action he put those talents on display by going 11-21 for 162 yards with one TD and he ran the ball four times for 34 yards. Standing at 6’5 and weighing 250 lbs he is huge for a QB and he is athletic. Jones will eventually light up the scoreboards, however, the Bills just resigned their starting QB Tyrod Taylor to an extension so Jones might be the starter for a different team when his time comes due.

Hunter Henry looks every bit the part of NFL TE, and if the Chargers are smart they will run double TE packages early and often to utilize his height and strength on the field. Henry can be the starter at TE for about 28 other NFL teams, he is just stuck behind eventual Hall of Famer, Antonio Gates. Henry grabbed three passes for 43 yards in his first NFL game action.

Dak Prescott is giving Cowboy fans something to look forward to as his absolutely tore it up in his first preseason game. Prescott went 10-12 for 139 yards and two TD passes. This guy looks like he can be the day one starter and take the Cowboys to the playoffs, except he is sitting behind Tony Romo. He might be a good guy to put on your bench for the first few weeks of the season because it is inevitable that Romo will get hurt at some point and they will call for Prescott to play. The Cowboys are loaded on offense and a QB that his type of abilities can come in and score tons of fantasy football points right away.

Nelson Spruce is going to make the Rams roster as an undrafted WR and he is going to get a decent amount of playing time early. Spruce absolutely destroyed the Pac-12 for the last two seasons and his first NFL preseason game was much of the same as he caught six passes for 51 yards and a TD. The Rams have nothing at the WR position outside of Tavon Austin so the opening is there for Spruce.