Last week I did 2020 rookie price checks on some under the radar prospects who have shown more through the first month of their inaugural season than what people expected from them. This week, I am going to flip it around and price check some underperforming prospects that were viewed as rock-solid first-round picks during draft season.
Seeing as how the season is still so young and the rookies had very little offseason to acclimate to the NFL, I highly doubt owners are ready to jump ship on any of these rookies for bargain prices. Unless you are willing to reimburse current owners for the draft capital they initially used on these struggling rookies, most owners will elect to hold for the time being. Instead of doing buy/sell prices that revolve around picks as I did last week, I am going to propose buy/sell prices with comparable veterans.
Cam Akers (preseason rookie ADP – 5)
So far this year, the Rams backfield has been a seesaw between Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson. Brown has paced the Rams running backs in weeks 1 and 4 while Henderson led them in scoring in weeks 2,3, and 5. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Cam Akers is still trying to get his footing in the NFL after being knocked out of the lineup for a few weeks by that pesky separated rib cartilage. Coming off of the injury, Akers only received 19% of the Rams’ offensive snaps. Henderson is obviously more of a concern for Akers owners than Brown as he has been more productive of late, is younger, and garnered decent draft capital in his own right. Thanks in large part to a 40+ yard run in garbage time last week, Akers yards per carry sits at a respectable 4.35. I love the upside of Akers in this offense a little bit more than I hate the low weekly floor he has given the committee he is in. This makes him a perfect buy right now if you started slow out of the gate this season and have turned your attention toward 2021.
Buy Price– Robby Anderson + a future 2nd
Sell Price– Allen Robinson
Jalen Reagor (Preseason rookie ADP – 8)
Reagor saw four targets in each of his first two weeks, catching a single long bomb in week one before looking like a possession receiver in week two with 4 catches for 41 yards. Somewhere along the line, Reagor picked up a thumb injury that required surgery and could miss up to 8 weeks of action. This Eagles wide receiver group is extremely desperate for talent, as the twice cut Travis Fulgham is now immortalized in Eagles lore for his week 5 performance. If Fulgham can draw 13 targets from Wentz and turn that into a 10/152/1 line, I cannot help but wonder what Reagor would be doing in this offense if he never caught the injury bug. A trend is going to develop where I rarely recommend selling struggling or IR dwelling rookies this early, and Reagor is no different.
Buy Price– David Johnson
Sell Price– Cooper Kupp
Henry Ruggs (Preseason rookie ADP – 10)
Ruggs was the very first receiver taken off the board in a draft absolutely loaded with wide receivers. Unfortunately, fantasy football and actual football are not the same. Ruggs has speed for days and can be a game wrecker if he is able to run underneath a couple long ones for scores, similar to how Tyreek Hill has been terrorizing defenses for the last few years. However, if you ever wondered what Hill would look like playing with Derek Carr instead of Patrick Mahomes, you might just get to find out. Speed kills in the NFL but time and time again it just doesn’t translate to fantasy. If Ruggs’ presence on the field keeps safeties out of the box every play so Jacobs can churn yards and control the clock, then Ruggs has served a very valuable purpose without so much as recording a catch. I do not believe Ruggs is John Ross but I think he would only be Tyreek Hill if he also played for a coach like Andy Reid and with a quarterback like Mahomes. Ruggs will have huge games but most likely will struggle with consistency, i.e., Hollywood Brown. I do not believe Ruggs has really disappointed, but I do believe he was always being slightly over-drafted.
Buy Price– Darrell Henderson
Sell Price– Jarvis Landry
Ke’Shawn Vaughn (Preseason rookie ADP – 12)
Vaughn is similar to Akers in the sense that while owners were hoping he would take the reins week one and not give them back, it was always a likely timeshare early on. Then the Bucs signed Fournette and the timeshare turned into a redshirt year. With Fournette dealing with a lingering ankle issue, Vaughn has seen the field a little bit the last few weeks. On the plus side, he has a touchdown on only 7 touches. On the other side of that coin, however, he also has a fumble on only 7 touches. Having logged more receptions than carries to this point in the year, it is hard to tell if they like Vaughn as a pass catcher or if they just really dislike RoJo in that role. With Jones running the ball well so far this year, it is certainly possible that Vaughn becomes a footnote in Buccaneers’ history books. Vaughn seems to be arguably the biggest loser from the offseason to now. I am not saying you should actively look to jump ship but if a good offer comes your way, it is worth looking into.
Buy Price– Julian Edelman
Sell Price– Hunter Henry
That wraps it up for the price check on the 1st rounders that are still getting off the starting block. Hit us with feedback on all our content and let us know what you think.