FANTASY PLAYS: Top NFL rookies; Guerrero's MLB outlook

Now that the NFL draft is complete, a ranking of the top rookies for fantasy football this season beckons.

Don't expect projections for any of the quarterbacks, as none of the rookie signal callers appear worthy of a top 20-25 spot for 2018. But there is opportunity for several first-year players at other position to deliver for fantasy leagues.

1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants: He'll be gone by the end of the third round. Don't be surprised if he's nabbed in the mid to late second round. Barkley is a low-end RB1 whose value is stronger in PPR leagues. Expect Barkley to hit 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 8-10 TDs.

2. Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins: First-round talent at a third-round cost, Guice is a vicious combination of speed and power that will scatter the crowded backfield in Washington. He's a motivated workhorse who makes a solid RB2 that will be gone between the fifth and sixth rounds.

3. Royce Freeman, RB, Broncos: Like Barkley and Guice, Freeman should walk into the starting role in a Denver system that's suited for his skills. The 230-pounder isn't much of a receiver, yet should get enough touches to flirt with 1,000 rushing yards. Consider him a mid-range RB2.

4. Rashad Penny, RB, Seahawks: The Seattle O-line is sketchy, but Penny is the back that should bring the offense back toward a more run-oriented style. He falls into the low-end RB2 spectrum.

5. Sony Michel, RB, Patriots: New England stayed at 31 and picked Michel, and that speaks volumes about his projections. At the least, he's LeGarrette Blount 2.0.

6. Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys: Consider this a hunch. Dak Prescott lost 45.1 percent of his targets with Dez Bryant and potentially Jason Witten gone. Gallup could play his way into being the WR1 in Dallas quicker than most expect.

TEENAGE DREAMING

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. may only be 19 years old, yet is swinging the bat like a grown man. Guerrero's slash line of .380/.442/.582 in Double-A is raising suspension that the Blue Jays may be ready to bring him up. Fantasy owners rightfully giddy with anticipation should consider — if possible — stashing him on their roster if there's a spot for him.

Keeping a roster spot warm for Guerrero Jr's arrival makes sense if you have a spot you can be flexible with on the bench. In leagues that will require FAAB to acquire him, consider up to 25 percent of your budget on a bid for him.

OH, DOMINGO...

Considered a potential breakout candidate, Brewers RF Domingo Santana has yet to homer entering Wednesday's play. Santana is batting a mere .236 with six RBIs and seven runs scored with only one stolen base following a 2017 in which he swiped 15 bags.

It might be time to consider dumping Santana in single-season leagues. Christian Yelich will continue to eat into Santana's playing time, especially in games where Ryan Braun is in left and Jesus Aguilar is at first. A risky owner could buy him low in hopes of a surge.

STRONG AT THE TEE

Success at Quail Hollow, site of this week's Wells Fargo Championship, will depend on flexing muscle off the tee. This could play well for Paul Casey, who looks to rebound after missing the cut for the first time in 2018 at last month's RBC Heritage. Ranked in the top 10 in total driving, Casey is a strong play who has finished in the Top 20 in 16 of his last 18 tourneys.

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This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com

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