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: Which incoming rookie (other than Saquon Barkley) are you most interested to watch this preseason?
Washington landed a first-round talent in Derrius Guice (pictured). Chris Thompson is a satellite back -- he won't challenge Guice for a starting gig -- and the depth behind that pair is thin. Running backs have a much flatter learning curve than other skill positions. Guice has a chance to move the needle in 2018, but some visual confirmation would be nice. I'm also eager to see how ready Anthony Miller looks in Chicago; rookie wideouts are often dicey bets (2014 the legendary exception), but maybe Miller can be this year's Cooper Kupp.
Pianowski has been playing fantasy football for 20 years and writing about it for 17. He joined Yahoo! Sports in 2008 and has been blogging 24/7 on RotoArcade.com ever since.
I have a subjective formula of sorts for measuring the potential of a player—talent + opportunity = success. This year there are several hot rookie running back prospects and everyone is talking about Saquon Barkley. Personally, I like Kerryon Johnson of the Lions. This outstanding 2nd round draft choice and 2017 SEC Player of the year joins a team where there has been virtually no running attack since Barry Sanders retired. The Lions' last 100-yard rusher was in 2013 and they have had only two 1,000-yard rushers this century. LeGarrette Blount, Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner strike fear into the hearts of nobody. Look for a combo of Johnson and Theo Riddick dominating the team’s running back touches in 2018.
Mike Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. He is a writer for Big Guy Fantasy Sports. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime and during the football season follow him @mikeinsights.
I’m excited to see what Nyheim Hines’ rookie season looks like. Will he replicate Tarik Cohen’s 2017? Will he make more of a rushing impact than Cohen did? Can he be a consistent source of receptions for PPR teams? Or will he flash on our bench and then frustrate in our lineups? I love Hines’ college tape and his immediate opportunity. I hope his ADP stays in the double-digit rounds and that he doesn’t post a big preseason outing to ruin that.
Schauf is a senior analyst with DraftSharks.com. He has been covering fantasy football since 2002, producing content for outlets such as Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon and Football Diehards before landing with DS. Draft Sharks has been online since 1999 and is a 4-time winner in the FSTA’s annual fantasy football projections accuracy contests.
Nick Chubb. I think he’s the best pure runner in the class and I can’t wait to see if he can force himself on the field despite how much the Browns are paying Carlos Hyde.
Price is a Senior Writer for Dynasty League Football. He also hosts the DLF Dynasty Podcast and the Dynasty Game Night podcast. DLF was started in 2006 to provide the first dynasty-focused website to a small niche community of dynasty players. The site continues to be one of the leading sources of analysis, rankings and projections to that same growing community.
Derrius Guice went over 250 yards three times at Louisiana State. In those games, he looked like a top-10 talent. There are also reports suggesting he’s a much better pass catcher than he ever got a chance to display in that offense. So I will be very interested to see where he fits into Washington’s offense and what he looks like. If they can keep him healthy, he could be better than almost all of the six running backs chosen before him.
Allan co-founded Fantasy Football Index in 1987. He and fellow journalism student Bruce Taylor launched the first newsstand fantasy football magazine as a class project at the University of Washington. For more than three decades, Allan has written and edited most of the content published in the magazines, newsletters and at www.fantasyindex.com. An exhaustive researcher, he may be the only person in the country who has watched at least some of every preseason football game played since in the early 1990s. Allan is a member of the FSTA Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame.
D.J. Moore. He's the best ROY material for 2018. Not much competition in Carolina, and with Cam Newton at quarterback and bouncing back, I love Moore’s potential. Lets see what he does early.
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.
I like Seattle running back Chris Carson this summer, so I'm excited to see if rookie Rashaad Penny can take the starting job away from him during the preseason.
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 email@example.com.
Mostly out of boredom I did a couple of days’ worth of film study ahead of this year’s draft, and by the end of the process I had pretty much fallen in love with Baker Mayfield. He was deadly accurate in college (granted: his receivers were often wide, wide open), and what looked like nervous feet in the pocket on first impression turned out (I think) to be a way of dancing his way into better downfield options. He looks like a supercharged Jeff Garcia to me — and though Garcia was much-maligned, he did have a couple of excellent NFL seasons. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the quarterbacks debut, partly to learn just how worthless I am as a scout, but Mayfield is my guy.
Eleff hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast, available in the iTunes Store now. He has worked for Fantasy Index off and on all century.
I am very interested in Sony Michel who landed in what seemed an inopportune spot – the ever-changing backfield in New England. But Bill Belichick and company are inarguably one of the best drafting teams and spent a first-round pick on a running back instead of just grabbing some average Joe who looks great for one year. Michel has to avoid fumbling as he did in college, but any time the Pats draft a fantasy skill player with their first pick, it deserves attention.
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.
That’s a tough one -- I pretty much want to see all the rookies. Perhaps more than anything with preseason games, that’s my number one goal -- see the new talent in the NFL, gauge their role and help to influence my part-gut / part-analysis view of them heading into my drafts. I feel pretty confident in Derrius Guice and have him slotted as a solid pick in the late third / early fourth. After that, it’s a slew of potentially high upside rookie running backs in Ronald Jones, Sony Michel, Royce Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, Rashaad Penny, Nick Chubb and Nyheim Hines (right now in that order for me). If I have to pick one, I’ll select Sony Michel. The upside ultimately could be so high here with Michel (albeit we know New England likes to seemingly frustrate fantasy owners by randomly rotating backs). It’s possible Bill Belichick wants his version of Alvin Kamara and perhaps Michel could be that player.
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.
I'll be watching Ronald Jones. The Bucs return Peyton Barber, but Charles Sims was re-signed only as an afterthought; it's likely to be a Barber-Jones backfield. If Jones looks good, I expect he'll have every opportunity to take on a featured workload. If he struggles, Barber becomes the significantly underrated running back who I'll be happily selecting with a late pick in fantasy leagues. The Bucs took Jones early in the second round, so they'd probably like him to take that job. We should find out early on if their faith is warranted.
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.