Each and every year, a rookie comes out of no where to become a fantasy hero. Last season, it was the Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best and the Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin the year before that.
Who will it be this season?
Here’s a list of which rookies you should keep your eye on as you begin day-dreaming about your fantasy draft.
By: Nick Grays
Caution: Due to the tedious labor negotiations and absence of team-organized work-outs, I’m not personally high on drafting rookies in my fantasy draft, but I still won’t deny the fact that there will be a couple who have very productive years during the upcoming season.
1.) Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green
The 4th overall pick jumps out as the most-ready of the this year’s draft class to have an immediate impact. The only problem is speculating on who will be throwing to the youngster next season. With Carson Palmer dwindling on the edge of playing in 2011, who knows if fellow rookie Andy Dalton goes under center of if they make a move for a veteran?
If a somewhat decent QB makes his presence in Cincinnati, I see no reason Green doesn’t go drafted in pretty much every fantasy draft around the country. After the elite and second-tier wide-receivers, I can see Green going as early as the fourth or fifth round in deep leagues. As he should because Green projects to be a Calvin Johnson like talent and Johnson has done nothing but excelled in a similarly bad fantasy environment.
2.) New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram
Saints’ Head Coach Sean Payton loves to mix things up on the offensive end and Ingram should surely get his fare share of carries. The only question-mark will be in Ingram’s ability to catch the ball and block, two facets of his game which need some work. If Ingram doesn’t protect QB Drew Brees, he could realistically ride the bench for a season or two.
Here’s another rookie who will most likely go drafted in pretty much every fantasy league. Unlike Green, Ingram will project to be more of a flex play or injury replacement. Ingram should be in the last class of half-backs drafted and will most likely go after the tenth round in most fantasy drafts.
3.) Detroit Lions WR/KR Titus Young
Here’s a guy who could have a Percy Harvin kind of rookie year. Young projects to be third on the depth chart behind Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson. With opposing defenses throwing double-teams towards Johnson, Young could be the guy reaping all the benefits.
I don’t expect Young to be drafted in most leagues, but he could be a great sleeper pick in a late round.
Just outside of consideration:
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton
Arizona Cardinals RB Ryan Williams
St. Louis Rams WR Austin Pettis
Washington Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson
Baltimore Ravens WR Tandon Doss
Wouldn’t touch in the fantasy draft (possible free-agent pick-ups later):
Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder
Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu
Indianapolis Colts RB Delone Carter
Atlanta Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers
What do you think of my fantasy rookies to consider? Did I miss anyone? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.
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