When considering historical success of rookies at the receiver position, there’s one common denominator. The best rookie wideouts were taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.
Not a wild revelation, I know.
The 20 best rookie receiver performances in fantasy football from 2008 to 2017 came from 19 players drafted in those top three rounds. The two exceptions were Mike Williams, a Buccaneers ‘ fourth-rounder, and Tyreek Hill, a player whose talent warranted early consideration but his draft stock suffered due to domestic violence charges.
Beyond that glaring correlation, there were a few commonalities. They played with good quarterbacks, who tended to chuck the ball a lot. But that offense was lacking in receiving options (and, in many cases, running options) Naturally, the rookies generally jumped into a role as one of the two top targets in their passing offense.
Keeping those factors in mind, here are five rookie wide receivers who appear are in the right position to excel in 2018.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott has averaged 3,495.5 passing yards and 22.5 touchdowns per season in his first two years in the league. If he can keep that up, then Cowboys receivers will continue to play beneficiary. It’s just that the receiver and tight end positions aren’t stocked with talent. Because of that, Gallup has drawn hype, and has quickly jumped into the discussion to be the team’s top option at receiver.
In two seasons at Colorado State, he had 2,685 yards and 21 touchdowns. That’s an absurd amount of production, even when considering CSU isn’t in a power-five conference. If Gallup can get on the field early, there’s no reason why he won’t get targeted often.