Fantasy Football 2012: Rookies Who Will Be Studs in Week 1

Justin Welton@JustinWeltonAnalyst IISeptember 9, 2012

TAMPA, FL -  MAY 4: Running back Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks to the media after a rookie practice at the Buccaneers practice facility May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It's that time again, folks. With the 2012 NFL regular season ready to fully get started Sunday, it also marks the true beginning of fantasy football.

Five rookie quarterbacks and several other impact rookies will be making their debut in Week 1 but which players will have the most fantasy impact?

Here are three who will provide a great fantasy impact:


Robert Griffin III

Washington might not go to New Orleans and earn victory in a hostile environment, but quarterback Robert Griffin III will prove to be exactly what people expected when the Redskins jumped up in the NFL draft to select his services.

Like Cam Newton of a year ago, Griffin probably won't turn his Redskins into a playoff team, but he will be a fantasy stud with his ability to pass and rush the football.

If your league is one point per 10 yards rushing and one point for 25 yards passing, then expect RGIII to shine. 

New Orleans' defense gave up 260 yards per game passing in 2011 and 109 yards per game on the ground. Newton averaged two touchdowns per game against the Saints last year, for example. 

The Saints have been known to score in the 30. Therefore, Washington will need to attempt to match. Griffin will have plenty of opportunities to put points on the board and rack up yardage passing and rushing.


Doug Martin

Doug Martin's fantasy status will soar after Week 1 when he racks up well over 100 yards combined. He is a dual-threat out of the backfield. 

According to Michael Fabiano of, the Carolina Panthers gave up the second most fantasy points in the league in 2011. 

Carolina allowed 131 yards per game on the ground last year and 247 yards through the air. Martin will have a great chance to do multiple things on the field, making him a valuable fantasy piece throughout the duration of the year.


Chris Rainey

Pittsburgh Steelers' fifth-round NFL draft pick Chris Rainey has found a home in the NFL. With new offensive coordinator Todd Haley calling the shots, there is finally a chance you will see screen plays to the running backs to throw off the blitz of defenses against Ben Roethlisberger in the Steelers' arsenal. 

Rainey is perfect on third downs for the Steelers as he can catch passes out of the backfield and take any play to the house with his speed, acceleration and vision. 

Aside from catching balls out of the backfield and rushing the ball on occasion, Rainey is explosive on special teams. He had two punt return touchdowns called back in the final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. 

Rainey has dynamic speed and explosion. It's up to Roethlisberger, Haley and head coach Mike Tomlin to put him in situations where he can succeed against the Denver Broncos.