Top Ten NFL Rookies to Draft in Fantasy Football
Learn About the Ten NFL Rookies You Should Consider in Your Fantasy Draft
2014 NFL Off-Season
Happy June, people! Only 13 more Sundays until the NFL returns, which means it’s time to start thinking fantasy leagues. I got my first fantasy football email of the year over the weekend, so I assume many of you did too. Today, we’re going to take a brief look at ten rookies who are worth a shot in your draft. As always, we can’t know for sure how they’ll perform until the season gets underway, but I like these guys’ odds.
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1. As a general rule, rookie WRs aren’t top fantasy picks (not that you would know that from this list…exception to every rule, y’all), but Sammy Watkins has a chance to make a big impact with the Buffalo Bills this year. QB E.J. Manuel had about as many weapons as Geno Smith last year, so Watkins could quickly earn the No. 1 wideout position on this squad. I’d take him at a WR3, or even a WR2 spot, in fantasy.
2. RB Bishop Sankey had the good fortune of being drafted by the Tennessee Titans, who are desperately in need of help at this position. The odds are definitely in favor of Sankey starting this year, so he’s worth drafting at least in a flex spot in fantasy. Try not to let the fact that Jake Locker is Sankey’s QB color your perception of his fantasy value too much.
3. Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron should get lots of shots to rack-up yardage and TDs during the upcoming season. Ebron’s height and natural athleticism have him poised to become a fantasy starter within the next year or two at most, but I wouldn’t bank everything on him as a rookie. Take Ebron at a TE2 spot.
4. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mike Evans will have a chance to put-up some big numbers during his rookie season if he plays his cards right. Evans’s size is his biggest advantage; hopefully for fantasy owners, it’ll translate to lots of time in the end zone. Evans is probably a safe WR3-4 choice.
5. As we’ve discussed at length, the Carolina Panthers made the somewhat inexplicable decision to let almost their entire receiving corps walk this off-season, opening the door for rookies to make an impact early in their careers. WR Kelvin Benjamin has a shot to become a solid starter right off the bat, though I probably wouldn’t take him higher than a WR4 spot.
6. Though the Cleveland Browns signed veteran RB Ben Tate during the 2014 off-season, I still like rookie RB Terrance West as a fantasy pick. Tate has struggled with injuries throughout his career and there’s little doubt that he will share duties with West from the get-go during the upcoming year. West is an excellent RB3 candidate.
7. The Cincinnati Bengals' rookie RB Jeremy Hill appears poised to take over the Law Firm’s spot on the roster. Current RB Giovani Bernard’s fantasy value shouldn’t suffer because of Hill, but I think both players are decent draft choices. Hill’s a good RB3-4 bet.
8. If the Minnesota Vikings decide to start QB Teddy Bridgewater, I like him as a QB3. Bridgewater’s fantasy value is improved by the fact that he’s an incredibly hard worker and by the fact that RB Adrian Peterson will keep him from having to pass constantly.
9. As you might remember me saying, New York Jets QB Geno Smith had a decided lack of targets during the squad’s 2013 campaign. TE Jace Amaro could aid this situation. If Smith utilizes Amaro properly, the young TE will have the chance to make a fantasy dent from Week 1. I’d take him as a TE2-3.
10. Yup, I had to include him. Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could be a good fantasy pick, depending upon how he holds-up in the pros (and if he even starts in Week 1). Y’all know how I feel about Manziel personally, but there’s no denying he could be an explosive player if he can keep from getting hurt right off the bat. If you’re going to take this gamble, draft him as your QB2-3.