My preseason top 10 NFL Rookies in fantasy football

Posted: 05/19/2012 by levcohen in Football

Here are my top 10 rookies for THIS year, and then afterwards the top 10 for DYNASTY leagues (keeper leagues)

1. Trent Richardson, CLE RB   Most scouts have called him the best running back since Adrian Peterson. He was picked #3 overall, higher than Peterson. #3 overall is extremely high for a running back, as the top RB’s in the draft usually go around 10-20. We know the Browns really like him, as they traded a lot to move up 1 spot to nab Richardson. With Peyton Hillis gone, he will be the #1 back in Cleveland. He will likely get 300 carries, and with his skills he could easily be a top 10 RB in his first year.

2. Doug Martin, TB RB    Martin was picked #31 overall by the Bucs. This is a great situation for Martin. The current starting running back in Tampa is LaGarrette Blount. Blount is a decent runner, but he isn’t electrifying and can’t catch balls out of the backfield. On the other hand, Martin is a guy is fast, has great moves, and is a complete running back. In the last 2 years at Boise State, he caught 56 passes for 900 yards. He has a chance to immediately start on the Bucs.

3. Robert Griffin III, WAS QB   RGIII was picked #2 overall by the Redskins. While he is a great talent, he won’t have great guys to work with in Washington, as the WR core isn’t great. However, they did sign Pierre Garcon in the offseason, and Santana Moss returns, so there is hope there. Griffin is also here because he can run with the ball. That is a great trait for a rookie QB. The Skins will depend on him, and he should be able to become a top 15 fantasy QB immediately (although not as good as Cam Newton a year ago).

4. Andrew Luck, IND QB  With the #1 overall pick, the Colts picked Luck, a QB out of Stanford. The Colts are going to have to lean on him, since they have no run game. They also drafted Stanford’s TE, Coby Fleener. The Colts also retained Reggie Wayne, so Luck will have a few weapons to work with. Expect him to have a season similar to Peyton Manning’s rookie year; not that great (3,700 yards, 26 TD, 28 INT).

5. Michael Floyd, ARI WR   Floyd was drafted in the middle of the first round by the Cardinals. This is a guy who has better overall talent than the first WR off the board (Justin Blackmon). He is faster, bigger and stronger than Blackmon. Floyd will not get many double teams, since defense’s will need to double team Larry Fitzgerald almost every time. Kevin Kolb is the QB, and he hasn’t really proved himself. Expect Kolb to get better this year, and Floyd to develop into a solid WR2 with WR1 upside.

6. Justin Blackmon, JAG   Blackmon was the first WR picked in the draft, and will immediately become the WR1 on a Jags team that also signed Laurent Robinson, making a solid combo. However, the QB will be Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert is probably the worst QB in the NFL right now. Blackmon is talented, but on that team we have to temper our expectations.

7. Coby Fleener, IND   Fleener was the first TE picked in the draft, early in the second round. He will be reunited with his old QB, Andrew Luck. Luck loves throwing to Fleener, so expect a lot of catches. Fleener is a really underrated guy, as TE’s don’t really get a lot of love. He is probably a fringe fantasy starter this year in 10 team leagues. I would probably rank him around 12-14 in my TE ranks, which means he will be valuable during bye weeks.

8. David Wilson, NYG   The final running back on this list is David Wilson, who was the last pick in the first round. Wilson won’t start, but the starter, Ahmad Bradshaw, is injury prone. Wilson will get a lot of carries this year.

9. Alshon Jeffery, CHI    Jeffery was picked in the middle of the first round by the Bears. The Bears made a big effort to improve their WR, signing Brandon Marshall and adding Jeffery. Jeffery doesn’t have great speed, but could be a red-zone target for Jay Cutler, the Bears QB. He should have a decent amount of TD’s this year.

10. Brandon Weeden, CLE  Weeden is unusually old for a rookie QB (28), as he played minor league baseball for a while. That tells us that the Browns won’t want to wait to start him. He will most likely start immediately for a team with a couple of decent deep threats. With Trent Richardson, team’s won’t be able to defend some of the talent wide receivers who haven’t been able to get open in other years (for example, Josh Cribbs). On the other hand, the addition of Richardson will limit Weeden’s pass attempts, which will limit his fantasy potential. He will be a solid #2 starter in fantasy.

Dynasty rankings:

1. Andrew Luck, QB IND
2. Trent Richardson, RB CLE
3. Robert Griffin III, QB WAS
4. Doug Martin, RB TAM
5. Justin Blackmon, WR JAG
6. Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA
7. Isaiah Pead, RB STL
8. Michael Floyd, WR ARI
9. David Wilson, RB NYG
10. Coby Fleener, TE IND

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