ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Now that you've had a chance to see most of them a little bit, which rookie will have the best career?
Deshaun Watson by a mile. As a Browns fan, I was distressed when the team passed up on drafting Carson Wentz by trading down with the Eagles. Week by week, he's proving that he is a franchise QB with Philly. This year, I was hoping (praying) that Deshaun Watson would be available at pick 12, but was stunned when the Browns once again traded down allowing Houston to swoop in and grab him. Even if Watson doesn't play another down for the Texans, he has already become their franchise leader in TD passes in just a few short weeks. We all know Watson's incredible backstory, and how the Browns and other teams downplayed all of that is baffling. Analytics can measure, but not accurately predict future performance. This past Sunday's Browns vs. Houston matchup proved that point irrefutably.
With two perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring LIVE Talk & Text Advice. He won the 2011 and 2016 Experts Auction League and also the 2012 Fantasy Index Experts Poll.
That’s a tough one given the amazing play of so many rookies. I will say as a foreword, and I’ve been beating this drum for years, it’s long-since time for people to stop overlooking rookies as they come in much more ready to roll (and that can include quarterback -- like Deshaun Watson -- or tight end -- like Evan Engram). Over the course of a career, it’s hard not to say Deshaun Watson at this point, though I answered an earlier question with Patrick Mahomes and still think he will challenge as a top fantasy player but we shall see. Short-term, it’s Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette and if we were re-drafting today it’s possible both players are top three picks. Of those two, I’d go with Hunt mainly as Fournette’s style seems more prone to injuries due to big hits (he takes, and delivers).
Satterlee is the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast. Satterlee first started playing fantasy football in 1990.
Leonard Fournette. I am old school: really love the workhorse running back. The Jags do not seem to have anyone else and no other weapons in the arsenal. And are most likely not to get any real weapons in the foreseeable future. Many will take Kareem Hunt but I am still trying to justify my sell-high call from a few weeks ago.
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.
If I were in a dynasty draft and given the option of selecting any rookie from the 2017 draft class, I would run to the podium with card reading, “KAREEM HUNT”. There are plenty of other good rookies, but he’s both a runner and a pass catcher and fits really well into that offense. He plays the most coveted fantasy position, and he looks like he’s going to crank out a number of successful seasons.
Allan is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. A co-founder of Fantasy Football Index in 1987, he generates most of the writing, player rankings and analysis for that publication. His work can be seen in Fantasy Football Index magazine and also at www.fantasyindex.com.
Deshaun Watson. He's a special talent, one that will shine for years to come.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its newly re-designed web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. He's also won in excess of $20K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kareem Hunt is the rookie I believe will have the best NFL career, provided he stays in an Andy Reid offense. As a dual-threat back, the 3rd-round pick from Toledo should thrive in this RB-friendly system. Running backs do not typically have the longevity of other positions, but barring a major injury, Hunt could have a Hall of Fame caliber career.
L.A. Hale is the Founder and President of Fantasy Gives, a 501c3 charitable organization that provides financial support to non-profit groups through fantasy sports.
I am convinced that Deshaun Watson is going to be a top quarterback for many years to come. He can run but doesn’t unless he needs to. He has accurate passes into unbelievably tight coverage for a rookie that is only now reading NFL defenses. He is a high character guy that possesses all the intangibles. And he has a talented set of receivers that he actually makes better. Playing for a national championship team at Clemson already honed him for the big stage.
Dorey is the co-founder and lead NFL analyst for The Huddle and author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. He has projected and predicted every NFL game and player performance since 1997 and has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television.
It is a shame this question wasn't asked before Dalvin Cook blew out his knee. He'll probably come back strong, but there's always a little uncertainty. So Kareem Hunt looks like the guy who'll be carrying fantasy teams to titles for the next several years, or at least on a lot of champions. Running backs like that are just set up to be huge fantasy difference-makers. I could also make a case for Deshaun Watson, but there's generally better depth at quarterback, and we also need to see him face some tougher defenses than what he's had the luxury of enjoying so far. But he looks like a difference-maker, too.
Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.