The NFL season officially kicks off tonight as the Philadelphia Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons at 8:20 pm EST on NBC. Here, we give you 10 rookies that you should consider adding to your collection or investing in now! The 10 rookies on this list aren’t all top picks or “sure-things.” The list is a mixture of sleepers and picks that aren’t necessarily getting all of the attention Mayfield and Barkley are getting heading into the season.
Let us know what you think of our picks and if you pick up any of their cards!
10) Calvin Ridley – WR – Atlanta Falcons (Alabama)
Ridley comes to Atlanta with an impressive college resume where he hauled in 19 touchdowns over three seasons at Alabama. But, in Atlanta, he will be fighting for touches behind Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu. Invest in Ridley early on the off-chance the Falcons lose Jones or Sanu to injury. They’ll need their rookie receiver to step up fast and in a big way!
9) J’Mon Moore – WR – Green Bay Packers – (Missouri)
Moore is the investment pick on this list without question. The return-on-investment could be huge as his cards are not far from the dollar boxes. But, by midseason, his card values could easily see the biggest increase among all NFL rookies. With Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Geronimo Allison ahead of him on the depth chart, the departure of Jordy Nelson leaves a hole in the offense that someone needs to fill. There is a good chance that Aaron Rodgers picks Moore to step into that spot.
8) Christian Kirk – WR – Arizona Cardinals (Texas A&M)
With a veteran and rookie quarterback competing for the starting gig in Arizona, Kirk will obviously need some time to adjust to the new system and the possibility of catching passes from either Bradford or Rosen week to week. However, Kirk is slotted behind Larry Fitzgerald on the depth chart. Fitzgerald can undoubtedly drop some knowledge on Christian as the season progresses.
7) Michael Gallup – WR – Dallas Cowboys (Colorado State)
Gallup is a talented receiver from Colorado State who can make an instant impact in Dallas with no clear WR1 on the roster. Yes, Hurns is currently slotted there on the depth chart, but his last two seasons have been lackluster leaving plenty of room for a fresh face to emerge.
6) Kerryon Johnson – RB – Detroit Lions (Auburn)
The inclusion of Johnson on this list is very much an investment decision. The Lions have struggled in recent years with the top running back draft picks not really panning out or becoming the top-tier performer they were hoping for. The committee approach in Detroit will continue into the 2018 season with the addition of veteran LeGarrette Blount and top rookie Kerryon Johnson.
5) D.J. Chark – WR – Jacksonville Jaguars (LSU)
Chark will bring his LSU pedigree to Jacksonville where he could easily be the top pass catcher by Week 4. He caught 3 touchdown passes in his senior season at LSU and he can easily top that number by midseason with Bortles as his team’s quarterback.
4) Anthony Miller – WR – Chicago Bears (Memphis)
Anthony Miller looks to be the WR3 or WR4 heading into the Week 1 matchup against the Packers behind newly-acquired Allen Robinson and Justin Gabriel. But, the #1 receiver spot in Chicago is really anyone’s to slide into depending on their Week 1 performances as the top four all have something to prove.
3) Courtland Sutton – WR – Denver Broncos (SMU)
Sutton will begin his rookie season as a WR3 behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Having two star receivers in front of him will allow him to acclimate himself to the NFL game and learn from two of the best. The Broncos will have an explosive offense with many players begging for touches!
2) Royce Freeman – RB – Denver Broncos (Oregon)
Oregon has almost become a running back factory and the most recent product to come out of Eugene is Royce Freeman. Denver is looking for their next franchise rusher that can become a landmark similar to how Terrell Davis was. Many believe Freeman is that guy. He’ll have a tough test in the season opener at home versus a strong Seahawks defense.
1) D.J. Moore – WR – Carolina Panthers (Maryland)
With a young offensive nucleus in Carolina already somewhat established, D.J. Moore will fit in nicely with his skillset. Moore caught 17 touchdown passes for just shy of 2,000 yards in his three year career at Maryland. It’s only a matter of time before Moore overtakes the WR2 spot ahead of Torrey Smith and his card values soar!
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