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Fantasy Football 2017: Where to Draft the Rookie Wide Receivers and Tight Ends


When thinking about drafting rookies for you fantasy football teams in 2017, the quarterbacks and running backs are the way to go. The average draft position (ADP) of running backs is higher than the wide receivers. The first rookie wide receiver to be drafted isn't even going until the 10th round. The lesson here is to wait on rookie wide receivers. No one is jumping out as an impact player in terms of re-draft fantasy leagues right now.

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Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans

The first rookie wide receiver off the board is Davis, going early in the 10th round. That seems a little early for someone who has already missed all of the preseason to this point with a hamstring injury. Sure, the Titans drafted him early, but how much value he has is undetermined. Eric Decker, Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews all are more likely to get targets over Davis. He's an intriguing prospect, but the 10th round is a little early.

Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills

Jones has a legitimate chance to make a fantasy impact this year. However, keep in mind he is playing for the Bills. While Sammy Watkins did have fantasy value in this offense when healthy, no one else stepped up in his absence to be worthy of a solid fantasy start. Jordan Matthews and Jones will likely be the two top wide receivers but how much value either will have is up in the air. Jones is being drafted in the 11th round and that seems about right.

Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions

Even with Matthew Stafford throwing the ball all the time, Golladay is still not worth his 11th round ADP. He's competing with Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron for targets (not to mention the running backs). Golladay is behind Tate and Jones on the depth chart, and doesn't show signs of passing either of them just yet.

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Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Currently going late in the 12th round, some fantasy owners might shy away after Kupp missed the third preseason game. However, he might have value at some point this year, even though he does play for the Rams. He's been dealing with a groin injury, but all signs point to it not being serious. Kupp is worth a late-round draft pick, but also keep in mind the Rams aren't going to be a high-powered offense.

John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

After missing the offseason with a shoulder injury, Ross finally played in a preseason game. However, he didn't do anything to make fantasy owners excited about drafting him. He didn't get a catch on his two targets, but at least he was on the field. He'll be a late-round flyer in deeper leagues.

O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Time and time again, fantasy owners are burned by rookie tight ends. The reality is tight ends rarely make an impact in their first year in the NFL. Howard is being drafted early in the 12th round, and that's too soon. Don't reach for him at that spot. He's going to spend the early part of the season blocking and watching Cameron Brate get the ball.

Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants

The other rookie tight end that is being drafted is Engram. He's going in the 14th round, which is reasonable. However, he's still a rookie. He'll likely see some looks in the red zone and the Giants don't have another solid tight end on the roster, but Eli Manning doesn’t lack for other options to throw to. Engram is worth consideration in the later rounds, but don't bank on him making a huge fantasy impact in 2017.

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

(Cooper Kupp photo courtesy of; Corey Davis photo courtesy of