Top rookies for dynasty leagues

Sammy Watkins tops list of 2014 draft picks with long-term fantasy value

Updated: May 12, 2014, 1:24 PM ET
By Matt Williamson | ESPN Insider

Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks and Mike EvansGetty ImagesSammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks and Mike Evans can contribute right away.
The 2014 NFL draft is in the books, with 256 players having gone off the board. While there is a lot to consider in terms of fit and situation, as well as looking at how players perform in training camp and the preseason, now is as good a time as any to examine potential fantasy impact.

When putting together a dynasty ranking for fantasy football, it's important to think about the big picture and positional value. For example, finding starting-caliber (for fantasy reasons) running backs is much more difficult than finding quarterbacks to start on a weekly basis. And while obviously success this year is important, owners should keep an eye on each rookie's long-term value beyond 2014.

Assuming a standard format, this is how I value the incoming class of rookies for dynasty leagues:

1. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

Watkins is a great wide receiver prospect. He doesn't have ideal height (6-foot-1) like an A.J. Green or Julio Jones, but he does have everything else you look for. Even as a rookie, he should be an every-week fantasy starter and shouldn't take too long to develop into much more. That is, unless QB EJ Manuel holds him back.