2017 Fantasy Football Prospect Rankings

Is your dynasty team 0-5? Are you already thinking of what players to take in next year’s rookie draft? Are you contemplating making a trade for a draft pick for next year’s draft or auction to get a top rookie?

If you’re in one of these scenarios for next year, how to you research the top players at this point? You can check out top prospect rankings like those provided by ESPN’s Mel Kiper and other prospect/NFL draft gurus. But those rankings are not usually oriented toward fantasy leagues that primarily only care about skill players. Looking at college football stats can be very misleading since marginal prospects can put up eye-popping numbers in favorable schemes or conferences that de-emphasize defense. And while some fantasy sites may have keeper rankings for next season, there’s no vibrant market to measure the wisdom of the crowds.

At least until now. Ottoneu’s fantasy football game, now in its second season, allows you to draft and keep college prospects. These prospects can be added and dropped during the season. As a result, it’s a good snapshot of who people feel will be the top fantasy football rookies for next season.

Here’s Ottoneu’s current top 10:

Name Position Ottoneu AAV Yahoo Equivalent ESPN Equivalent Ottoneu Own%
Leonard Fournette RB $8.82 $5.88 $5.51 100.00%
Christian McCaffrey RB $4.53 $3.02 $2.83 100.00%
Nick Chubb RB $5.13 $3.42 $3.21 94.10%
Deshaun Watson QB $4.56 $3.04 $2.85 94.10%
Dalvin Cook RB $4.13 $2.75 $2.58 94.10%
JuJu Smith WR $2.43 $1.62 $1.52 82.40%
Mike Williams WR $2.00 $1.33 $1.25 64.70%
Royce Freeman RB $2.00 $1.33 $1.25 47.10%
Lamar Jackson QB $2.43 $1.62 $1.52 41.20%
Brad Kaaya QB $1.86 $1.24 $1.16 41.20%

The Ottoneu AAV and the Yahoo and ESPN auction price equivalent are from auctions that took place before the start of the NFL season. The ownership rankings rise and fall during the season.

The top three players are running backs, which make sense because a top talent landing the right situation has the most upside. Although the fear is a situation like Derrick Henry where a top talent like the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner lands in a backup role. Henry could be a top fantasy player this season if he’d landed on a team with a clear starting job.

Since the Ottoneu market is dynamic, this data should get more meaningful later in the season. I know my team in the keeper format doesn’t currently have any college football players. But later in the season if I don’t make the playoffs or can drop some reserve players, I plan to pick up a few college prospects ahead of 2017. I’ll be sure to look at Ottoneu’s current ownership data to figure out how the market is ranking my options.

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