Fantasy Football: How Did the 2017 Rookie Class Fare?

Alvin Kamara was a breakout star this past season. Who else stood out among first-year players?

This season was a huge year for rookies in fantasy football. Many fantasy owners in redraft leagues were carried to the playoffs by first-year players, and Alvin Kamara, in particular, was a league-winning asset for a lot of folks.

ESPN's Tristan H. Cockcroft took a look at the most popular players on fantasy football finalists and found that four rookies frequented the rosters of those teams in Week 16 title matchups. Kamara was rostered on nearly half of all teams that made it to the fantasy finals, and that is even more amazing -- or odd, I guess -- when you consider that Kamara was injured early in the first quarter of his Week 14 game.

In total, Kamara finished the year with 233.4 standard-league fantasy points, making him the RB4. He was joined by fellow rookies Leonard Fournette and Kareem Hunt as top-10 fantasy backs, and Evan Engram was a difference maker at tight end.

Player Percentage of Leagues Fantasy Points
Alvin Kamara 48.3% 233.4
Leonard Fournette 29.6% 194.2
Kareem Hunt 29.4% 242.2
Evan Engram 29.4% 109.6

While rookie running backs provided a stellar return for their owners in 2017, owners who spent high draft capital on rookie wide receivers were less fortunate. Corey Davis and Mike Williams did very little and spent large chunks of time out injured. John Ross somehow managed to finish the season with negative points after fumbling his only touch of the year, and he was held without a reception.

Let's recap some of the top fantasy rookies from 2017, looking at their end-of-season fantasy points as well as their average draft positions (ADP) in dynasty league rookie drafts. All ADP data comes from and includes drafts held after August 1, 2017, and all references to fantasy points are for standard leagues unless noted otherwise.