Rookies are as big of a gamble in fantasy football as they are in their real NFL teams. And why? They have yet to prove themselves on the main stage. Below are a number of rookies who I believe will have some fantasy value throughout the 2012 season. I have split them into three categories:
- Draftable - rookies who should be a lock to be drafted by league managers in the top half of the draft;
- Sleepers - rookies who have been put in a situation to potential shine but are generally only worth late round draft picks as backups; and
- Pickups - rookies who have great chances of becoming starters by mid season and should be picked up by league managers as the season progresses.
Draftable[caption id="attachment_16229" align="alignright" width="238"] Trent Richardson should be the first rookie off the board.[/caption] 1. Trent Richardson (RB - Cleveland Browns) - Easily the top pick of the rookies from a fantasy perspective. He should be the Browns' No.1 running back and they will not be afraid to use him. I'm expecting a 300+ carry season. The only downside is teams are going to stack the box against him as the Browns don't have much else going on in their offence. Potential 2nd round draft pick. 2. Robert Griffin III (QB - Washington Redskins) - Not only can he throw a beautiful spiral but he can scramble with the best of them. He may not replicate Cam Newton's numbers but he should hold his own and will be a valuable draft pick. I would rank him as sitting on the cusp of being a top-10 fantasy QB. 3. Doug Martin (RB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - I like his chances of beating LaGarrette Blount as the No.1 tailback but in all likely hood they will split carries. Martin is by far a better catcher out of the backfield so I think he's a solid second running back option for fantasy managers.
SleepersCoby Fleener (TE - Indianapolis Colts) - A great prospect as a catching TE with his college QB at the helm. His downside? Hhe will be splitting TE duties with another draft pick, Dwayne Allen. Fleener is a potentially good, bye week pick up or backup tight end. Kendall Wright (WR - Tennessee Titans) - Will be the No.3 receiver behind Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. Britt is coming off an ACL and MCL injury last season and is still an unknown at this point so it's hard to know how this will effect Wright. Either way he will have a good QB throwing to him and hopefully a solid run game which will give him a great chance as the season progresses to have some opportunities. Justin Blackmon (WR - Jacksonville Jaguars) - Blackmon was the top WR taken in the draft and will quickly make his way to the top of the Jaguars recieving list, so he will get footballs thrown his way. But these balls will most likely be thrown by Blaine Gabbert and that is not an ideal situation. Blackmon could be a handy starter against weak secondaries but it is unlikely he will consistently produce big numbers. Michael Floyd (WR - Arizona Cardinals) - Floyd probably won't crack the starting lineup at the beginning of the season as he will most likely be the No.3 behind either Andre Roberts or Early Doucet. He will benefit greatly from Larry Fitzgerald being on the field getting all the coverage, allowing him more one-on-one situations and opening up some great chances in the red zone.
PickupsDavid Wilson (RB - New York Giants) - Will be your man if Ahmad Bradshaw goes down at any point during the season. Brian Quick (WR - St Louis Rams) - Has a chance to do something special with Sam Bradford throwing him the ball. It's unlikely he will see a large number of targets early on but as the season progresses I see him becoming the No.1 receiver in the Rams line up. Rueben Randle (WR - New York Giants) - The Giants need a replacement for Mario Manningham and Randle could well be that guy. This is again someone to look into further as the season gets underway. Mohamed Sanu (WR - Cincinnati Bengals) - Should see considerable field time opposite A.J. Green who will be getting the bulk of the coverage. Sanu should get opportunities to put up some deccent numbers. Alshon Jeffery (WR - Chicago Bears) - Will be unlikely to start for the Bears initially but it wouldn't be suprising if he is starting opposite Brandon Marshall by mid season. I think Jeffery has a great chance at poaching red zone touchdowns.
Have a different opinion? Think there's another rookie out there who should be drafted? Let us know!