Yahoo Fantasy analyst Matt Harmon makes the case for Chris Olave, Drake London and Breece Hall as the top NFL rookies to target in your fantasy draft.
MATT HARMON: I'm Matt Harmon of Yahoo Fantasy here to bring you three rookies to target in your fantasy drafts this year.
Everybody's loved the rookie receivers the last few years, so we're going to start off with two pass catchers here. First of all, Chris Olave of the New Orleans Saints-- man, I love Chris Olave's game. I thought he was easily, no question, the best route runner in last year's class. He was a polished pro.
Reminds me a guy like Calvin Ridley coming out of Alabama several years ago where you watched them in college, and they know how to run NFL routes. They know how to set up defenders. They know how to get down the field and get on top of cornerbacks in man coverage on the outside.
That's great news for the Saints because they're going to need Chris Olave to play right away. I mean, Michael Thomas is on the PUP list right now. He's still kind of up in the air in terms of what his impact is going to be. It's been a long time since we've seen Michael Thomas operate at his peak form. And I think Chris Olave's game just overlaps so well with Jameis Winston because Chris Olave can get down the field, win balls in tight coverage.
And we know that Jameis Winston wants to be aggressive and wants to push the ball down the field. I expect Chris Olave to challenge my next pick here to be the best wide receiver in fantasy this year, and I frankly think he was an underrated draft prospect. And I'm glad the Saints made such an aggressive move to trade up for him.
My second pick here-- Drake London, the wide receiver who actually was first off the board in April's draft. Drake London just checks so many boxes as well. Look, I think he was a guy that can absolutely separate. This whole narrative that he's a big receiver, he can't get open-- that was nonsense to me. You see Drake London win against man coverage. You see him just be one of the smartest guys, to know how to sit down and find holes in zone coverage as well.
That's going to be huge in this offense with Arthur Smith. Arthur Smith loves to get those big wide receivers running crossing routes, running big routes against zone coverage over the middle of the field on play action throws. Even with some of the quarterback questions in Atlanta, it's just such a natural fit in this offensive system for Drake London, a guy who could win after the catch despite being such a big player.
Again, Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder-- not the greatest quarterback situation in the world for Drake London, but he's about to walk into a ton of targets because he's the clear alpha number one wide receiver on this team. The dropoff from him to Bryan Edwards or Auden Tate or Olamide Zaccheaus is huge. I think that Drake London could easily come compete with Kyle Pitts to be the most targeted player on this team. I'm locking him in for 120 targets and a top-40 wide receiver finish this year.
Lastly, it's Breece Hall. This is the obvious one. I saved the most obvious one for last. The first running back off the board in the NFL Draft usually a pretty good pick to be good in fantasy, and I think Breece Hall will be that this year. There's some questions with Breece Hall. How good is the offense going to be in New York? I'm OK with investing in the Jets offense this year. I trust Mike LaFleur and the coaching job that he did last year. I love that they invested in the offensive line in each of the last two offseasons. They really made a commitment there.
And I think coming from this Shanahan coaching tree, they want to run the ball. They want to establish it in that way. So again, as long as Zach Wilson is average, I think that all of these Jets picks are going to be undervalued this year. Michael Carter, a second-year running back, is going to factor in a bit as a pass catcher, but I don't think that's enough to take the ceiling off of Breece Hall. I'm really comfortable with his ADP right now. I think he's going in a good range where you can take an aggressive stand on him and potentially get him as your RB3. And at that point, you're really just talking all upside with Breece Hall this year.