Fantasy Football 2012: 10 Rookies to Watch in Your Fantasy Football Draft
Have you recovered from your NFL draft hangover?
Over a week has passed since last week’s NFL draft, where teams tried to upgrade their rosters with some exciting, young talent in the ultimate hopes of getting to the Super Bowl.
Savvy fantasy owners should take notice too, as several rookies are sure to make an impact. Sometimes all it takes is a rookie to push you over the top. Just ask owners of Cam Newton last year.
There will be no shortage of impact rookies to make an influence in fantasy circles next year.
So, without further ado, here are the 10 most promising rookies to watch next year for fantasy squads.
Trent Richardson: Cleveland Browns
There may be no team in more need of a dazzling playmaker than the Browns and they selected a player in Richardson who should revitalize the struggling franchise.
Richardson is an immense talent who is blessed with great size, speed and strength, and he’ll no doubt be the primary ball-carrier in Cleveland. Much of the offense will likely revolve around Richardson.
Richardson is no doubt at least a No. 2 running back for your fantasy squad and should be drafted in the third or fourth rounds of fantasy drafts.
Justin Blackmon: Jacksonville Jaguars
For a team in need of some major receiving threats, the Jaguars accomplished that goal with the selection of Blackmon.
Blackmon’s success will be tied to the improvement quarterback Blaine Gabbert can make in his sophomore season. Regardless, Blackmon has the raw athleticism to make an impact no matter who’s throwing him the ball.
With Laurent Robinson opposite him, Blackmon will get enough targets to make for a solid wide receiver. Blackmon should be considered as a high-end No. 3 wide receiver, but don’t be surprised if he makes a contribution along the same lines A.J. Green and Julio Jones did last year.
Andrew Luck: Indianapolis Colts
What was known for a long time became a formality last Thursday when Luck officially became a Colt.
While Luck may experience some bumps along the way, he’ll at least have the comfort of having a veritable veteran in Reggie Wayne to count on while also having his safety vale at Stanford in Coby Fleener on board as well.
Luck is at least a No. 2 QB in most leagues, with upside for much more.
Robert Griffin III: Washington Redskins
Just like Luck was a lock for the Colts, Griffin was certain to be the Redskins new quarterback.
Griffin will have a few more options at his disposal than Luck and there is no reason why Griffin can’t have a successful rookie campaign. Just don’t expect Newton-like numbers.
Griffin will also be a high-end No. 2 QB, with potential for rapid growth.
Doug Martin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With LeGarrette Blount having a disappointing season, the Bucs felt the need to upgrade at running back.
With Blount more suited at getting the tough short yardage, goal-line touches, Martin will probably benefit by getting the carries in between the 20s, as he has the more versatile game.
Martin will more than likely receive more carries than Blount next year and as such he should be drafted as a No. 2 or No. 3 running back in fantasy leagues.
David Wilson: New York Giants
Ahmad Bradshaw now has new competition.
For a team that lost Brandon Jacobs in the offseason, and with Bradshaw never a sure thing to play a full season, the Giants felt compelled to nab Wilson at the end of Round 1.
Wilson will be a dynamite fit in the Giants’ explosive offense and will get enough carries to make his mark in fantasy.
Wilson should be drafted as a third or fourth running back in standard leagues. In keeper leagues, Wilson’s value will be higher as he has the tools to take over as the Giants primary running back in the next couple of years.
Michael Floyd: Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals and Floyd make for a perfect fit.
With Larry Fitzgerald still around, expect Floyd to get a lot of single coverage. That kind of scenario may lead to Floyd putting up some crooked numbers.
Floyd has a world of potential and once he realizes how good he is, there is no ceiling for this youngster.
Coby Fleener: Indianapolis Colts
With the way Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have made immediate impacts in years past, there is no reason to think Fleener can’t have a similar impression.
As I mentioned earlier, Fleener will have the familiarity of working with Luck and the two could hook up for a lot of scores.
Fleener should absolutely be drafted and don’t be surprised to see him as a top-10 tight end in most standard fantasy leagues by the end of the year.
Rueben Randle: New York Giants
The rich get richer.
The Giants went ahead and made their prolific offense even more dangerous with the selection of Randle at the end of Round 2.
Randle has the size and athletic ability to come in right away and gel with Eli Manning. With Mario Manningham departing, the Giants will look to Randle to replace him as the team’s No. 3 option in the passing game.
With the way Manning spreads the ball around, there will enough targets for Randle and he should be rostered as a No. 4 or No. 5 wide receiver for your fantasy squad.
Kendall Wright: Tennessee Titans
Wright is an athletic freak and it’s only a matter of time before he makes his presence felt.
Just ask Robert Griffin III how good Wright is, as the two of them made for a harmonious pair at Baylor.
The speedy Wright will now likely hook up with Jake Locker and the pair have the potential to do some damage. There may be some growing pains at first, but Wright’s upside makes him worthy of being a No. 4 or No. 5 wide receiver on your fantasy team.
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