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Before the draft last year and afterward I did a series of articles called The Final Countdown and Revisiting The Final Countdown. In the articles I counted down my ranking of the rookies at each skill position. Now a year later I am going to re-rank them according to what has happened so far. Part 1 as the QB’s and RB’s while Part 2 is the WR’s and TE’s. Let’s begin!

 

Wide Receivers

1. Keenan Allen (Chargers) – Previously #3

My previous analysis of Keenan Allen was that he was an NFL ready WR on a team with a weak WR corps. What I hadn’t anticipated was him taking full advantage of this and being Eddie Lacy’s only competition for rookie of the year. Keenan had 71 receptions, 1,046 yards, 8 TD’s, and 2 fumbles for 219 PPR points. With San Diego making the playoffs this year, it looks as of Philip Rivers or their new coach isn’t going anywhere. This is good new for Keenan Allen owners as he should only improve next season.

2. Terrance Williams (Cowboys) – Previously #12

I didn’t say much last year about Williams since I didn’t see anything overly impressive in his rookie tape. However, I did foresee him taking the WR2 spot in Dallas due to a predictable Miles Austin injury. Sure enough that is what happened and Williams finished with 44 receptions, 536 yards, 5 TD’s, and 2 fumbles for 146 PPR points. Tony Romo will still be the QB in Dallas but who knows what will happen with Miles Austin? Then again does it really matter with the way he keeps getting injured? I believe with a solid off-season that Terrance Williams will take hold of the WR2 spot in Dallas and hopefully a spot in Romo’s heart.

3. Robert Woods (Bills) – Previously #5

While Woods didn’t score as many points as a few people that are below him on this list, he showed that he can succeed with good WB play. With EJ Manuel under center, Woods averaged 9.82 PPR points a game. Without EJ under center he only scored 5.6 PPR points per game. Woods missed 3 games due to injury but when him and EJ were playing together then it was not uncommon to see double digit PPR points for Woods. Robert Woods finished the year with 42 touches, 603 yards, and 3 TD’s for 120 PPR points. EJ will be back again next year and Doug Marrone will still be coaching in Buffalo. If EJ can stay healthy then expect big things for Woods.

4. Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings) – Previously #4

For the first 12 weeks of the season, Patterson was practically a non factor. Then in week 13 the Vikings staff realized that maybe there are other ways to get Patterson the ball rather than they do for a traditional WR. He averaged 6.45 PPR points per game through week 12. In week 13 a shift happened as they got Patterson involved in other ways. From then on out Patterson scored 22.3 PPR points a game. I had seriously doubted Patterson last off-season because I didn’t see a WR as I saw more of a joker player. He ended up finishing the year with 57 touches, 627 yards, 7 TD’s, 1,393 return yards, and 2 return TD’s. This netted him 162 PPR points for the season. I am not sure what will happen in Minnesota with a possible QB change and new head coach in Mike Zimmer.

5. DeAndre Hopkins (Texans) – Previously #2

I LOVED DeAndre Hopkins last off-season. I found him to be the most NFL ready receiver and saw him as the Texans WR2. What I had not anticipated was a total collapse on the Texans part that resulted in Matt Schaub losing his starting job and the head coach being fired. Hopkins dominated his first 3 games with 11, 24, and 12 PPR point performances. After that he suffered along with the QB play, netting him only two more double digit performances. He finished with 52 receptions, 802 yards, 2 TD’s, and 1 fumble for 142 PPR points. His value next season will be dependent on the Texans moves at the QB position this off-season. An acquisition of Teddy Bridgewater would make Hopkins a viable flex play next season with lots of upside. A bad QB signing would only hurt Hopkins value. Keep an eye on him during this free agency and NFL Draft.

6. Tavon Austin (Rams) – Previously #1

Austin was the best offensive weapon in last years draft and the Rams moved up to draft him at #8. They seemed to have not watched him in college as they misused him for most of the season until he was out due to injury. It didn’t help that Sam Bradford went down with a season ending injury after only 7 games. Austin finished with 49 touches, 569 yards, 5 TD’s, 4 fumbles, 372 return yards, and 1 return TD for 130 PPR points. Sam Bradford should be back next season and I believe another off-season will help Austin develop along with giving the Rams more time to figure out how to use him.

7. Kenny Stills (Saints) – Previously Unranked

I didn’t think much of Kenny Stills last off-season because I saw him catching a lot with his body, which resulted in a lot of easy catches being drops, and he would waste too much time trying to shake a defender. Turns out Drew Brees liked to just chuck the ball deep to Stills and it worked. Stills averaged 20 yards a catch. He was unreliable for fantasy but knowing he is playing with Brees gives you hope that he will become a more complete receiver and become another WR you can start, even if he never goes beyond WR2 at best. Stills finished the year with 35 touches, 651 yards, and 5 TD’s for 127 PPR points. Drew Brees and Sean Payton are not going anywhere and therefore Stills has an opportunity to show that he is ready to be a starter alongside Marques Colston.

8. Aaron Dobson (Patriots) – Previously #11

Dobson was a lot higher on people’s boards last year than he was on mine. I saw a receiver who could make big plays but was wildly inconsistent. Others saw Tom Brady’s only good receiver. Turns out Dobson may have been one of Brady’s few options but he was wildly inconsistent. He had 9 dropped passes on the year, which by the way is a lot for a wide receiver. He disappeared after week 11 due to injury and only had 2 catches after that week 11 game. He finished the year with 37 catches, 519 yards, 4 TD’s, and 9 drops. I am not sure what New England will do at WR this off-season but if they do not draft another top wideout, then expect Dobson’s value to continue to rise.

9. Ace Sanders (Jaguars) – Previously Unranked

Ace Sanders ended up being a pleasant surprise for anyone who drafted or picked him up. Everyone anticipated Denard Robinson making the impact in Jacksonville but I would say Ace made the biggest impact as a rookie. He finished with 53 touches, 488 yards, and 2 TD’s. He really stepped up when Justin Blackmon was busted once again for drugs. I expect more from Sanders in the future as a slot receiver. Hopefully the Jags get a better QB this off-season so the team can stop suffering from the Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert duo of doom.

10. Kenbrell Thompkins (Patriots) – Previously Unranked

Thompkins was the other half of the rookie duo that Tom Brady was throwing to during the first half of the year. But just like Dobson, Thompkins fell to injury in week 9 and week 13 till the end of the season. While he didn’t have any performances to write home about, outside of his week 6 game, he did look solid. He finished the year with 32 receptions, 466 yards, and 4 TD’s for 112 PPR points. Just like Dobson I believe his future is dependent on the Patriots off-season moves.

Tight Ends

1. Jordan Reed (Redskins) – Previously #5

I wasn’t sure what to make of Reed last off-season due to him being more of a WR rather than a TE. However I saw him as one o RGIII’s few options and being able to overtake Fred Davis. Reed showed that as a matter of fact he is better than Fred Davis and became a favorite target of RGIII. He finished with 46 touches, 517 yards, and 3 TD’s for 114 PPR points after only 11 games. He went down with a season ending injury during the week 11 game which soured an otherwise impressive season. RGIII will still be in Washington next season so expect a return to form by Jordan Reed next season.

2. Tyler Eifert (Bengals) – Previously #1

For a TE2 who was in an offense with a whole lot of weapons. I would say Eifert performed pretty well. It is too bad Jermaine Gresham is in Eifert’s way. Eifert showed why he was the best overall TE in the draft with his good blocking and receiving skills. He finished the year with 39 receptions, 445 yards, and 2 TD’s for 95 PPR points. He only missed one game all year. I am not sure Dalton will get better than what he currently is, however Eifert will get better. I fully expect Eifert take over as the TE1 in Cincinnati next season. Buy him now while he is valued low.

3. Zach Ertz (Eagles) – Previously #2

Ertz was seen as a pass catching TE coming into last season. That seemed to be dead on as he was the Eagles best pass catching TE, topping Celek. He didn’t do much with Vick under center but once Nick Foles took over, Ertz started to flourish. Ertz finished the year with 36 receptions, 469 yards, and 3 TD’s for 107 PPR points. With Foles improving and now solidified as the starter, all Ertz needs to do is prove he is better than Brent Celek to lock himself down as the TE1 in Philly.

4. Joseph Fauria (Lions) – Previously Unranked

This was a surprise as the Lions already have a TE1 in Brandon Pettigrew. However, their WR corps was decimated outside of Calvin Johnson that anyone healthy became an option for Stafford. Fauria was on and off again all year. One week he would be held catch less and the next week he would explode with 3 receptions with 3 TD’s. This resulted in an uneven season where he could not be trusted as a starter but was stashed with the hope he would become consistent. Fauria finished the year with 18 receptions, 207 yards, and 7 TD’s. I am not sure what to make of him at the moment. I would say stash him unless someone wants to throw someone of more value at you for him.

 

After those 4 TE’s, no other rookie TE made an impression. Vance McDonald was the next best TE with only 34 PPR points and was buried on the depth chart.

 

Questions, comments, concerns? Let me know in the comments below!