Early Power Rankings for Fantasy Football's Top 50 Rookies

Alex DunlapContributor IMay 3, 2013

Early Power Rankings for Fantasy Football's Top 50 Rookies

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    The 2013 NFL draft has come and gone, and the league's 32 teams all have big plans for their new additions.  So do prospective fantasy football owners.

    As the month of May wears on, dynasty league players and thought-leaders in the fantasy industry will begin dipping their toes in this new stream of NFL talent—identifying where fantasy value may be getting overlooked in the backwater. 

    Early rookie drafts in dynasty leagues have already started, and while things are sure to change as training camp developments occur, here is an early primer. Now that we know the team destinations of these skill-position rookies, we can begin evaluating their situations and projecting their fantasy worth come September. 

    Dynasty Rookie Draft ADP (Average Draft Position) via MyFantasyLeague.com. All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise noted. All Rankings based on standard (non-PPR) scoring.  

1. Montee Ball, RB Denver Broncos

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    6

     

    Measurables:

    5'10", 214 pounds

    4.66 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB Willis McGahee

    RB Knowshon Moreno 

    RB Ronnie Hillman

     

    Outlook:

    No one is sold on Ronnie Hillman as a feature back. Willis McGahee has maybe one good year left and could be cut soon anyway. Knowshon Moreno is clearly just a guy.

    It's good to have stock in the Broncos offense, and Montee Ball is a known workhorse commodity. We've seen that racking up fantasy points in a Peyton Manning-led Broncos offense as a running back is just a matter of getting time on the field, and Ball should see plenty in 2013—and even more beyond.  

2. Tavon Austin, WR St. Louis Rams

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    1

     

    Measurables:

    5'8", 175 pounds

    4.34 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Chris Givens

    WR Brian Quick

    WR Stedman Bailey

    WR Austin Pettis

    TE Jared Cook

     

    Outlook:

    A dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands, there is a reason the Rams traded up in the 2013 NFL draft for Tavon Austin. He will be an immediate contributor, but he could experience some up-and-down growing pains for fantasy owners in redraft leagues. Austin has greater value in leagues that also award points for return yards. 

3. Le'Veon Bell, RB Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    5

     

    Measurables:

    6'1", 230 pounds

    4.6 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB Jonathan Dwyer

    RB Isaac Redman

    RB Baron Batch

     

    Outlook:

    Bell is the type of big, bruising back that Pittsburgh loves. He will obviously be a contributor right off the bat, but the exact level of his contribution depends on whether or not the team can get Jonathan Dwyer moved prior to the 2013 season. Bell should be considered the "back of the future" in Pittsburgh until further notice.  

4. DeAndre Hopkins, WR Houston Texans

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    7

     

    Measurables:

    6'1", 214 pounds

    4.57 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Andre Johnson

    WR Lestar Jean 

    WR DeVier Posey

    WR Keshawn Martin

    TE Owen Daniels

     

    Outlook:

    Hopkins comes in as the preeminent "No. 2" WR in an offense that desperately needs one. If all goes according to plan, Hopkins will be an immediate contributor and a player likely to see 70-80 percent of offensive snaps right away. While not an Andre Johnson replacement, Hopkins is a great complement, and could optimally turn into a Hakeem Nicks/Roddy White-type producer at the NFL level.

5. Zac Stacy, RB St. Louis Rams

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    17

     

    Measurables:

    5'8", 216 pounds

    4.55 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB Isaiah Pead

    RB Daryl Richardson

     

    Outlook:

    Zac Stacy is a powerful spark plug of a runner who has no problem getting in between the tackles. He should flourish behind an improved offensive line in the Rams' inside zone power scheme.

    Steven Jackson has gone to Atlanta and while the organization has high hopes for Pead, he was consistently disappointing when given chances as a rookie last season. Daryl Richardson is not a serviceable feature back in the NFL, either. If the Rams do not bring in a veteran runner in free agency, Stacy could be one of the biggest early contributors of all fantasy rookies in 2013, thanks to the situation he currently finds himself in among a seemingly (and suddenly) loaded offensive attack. 

6. Eddie Lacy, RB Green Bay Packers

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    3

     

    Measurables:

    5'11", 231 pounds

    4.57 40-time (Pro Day)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB DuJuan Harris

    RB Johnathan Franklin

    RB Cedric Benson (currently a free agent)

     

    Outlook:

    The best running back prospect in the 2013 draft fell in just the right place, and he is one of the top picks in dynasty leagues for 2013 while also having terrific upside in redraft formats. The enthusiasm about Lacy was curbed somewhat, though, when Packers GM Ted Thompson took UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin in the same draft, indicating a probable time-share that potential owners must keep an eye on. 

7. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Minnesota Vikings

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    4

     

    Measurables:

    6'2", 216 pounds

    4.42 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Greg Jennings

    WR Jarius Wright

    WR Jerome Simpson

    TE Kyle Rudolph

     

    Outlook:

    Cordarrelle Patterson has the most upside of any wide receiver in the NFL draft, but his value in redraft leagues will depend on how he adapts to the playbook and route tree of an NFL offense. It's hard to love anything connected to Christian Ponder's arm at this point, but Patterson won't have much competition for balls on the routes he'll be asked to run.  

8. Keenan Allen, WR San Diego Chargers

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    11

     

    Measurables:

    6'2", 214 pounds

    4.71 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Danario Alexander

    WR Malcolm Floyd

    WR Robert Meachem

    WR Eddie Royal

    WR Vincent Brown

    TE Antonio Gates

     

    Outlook:

    Allen's horrible 40-time is not indicative of his on-field performance, in much the same fashion as Anquan Boldin. Allen runs terrific routes and will catch right on in San Diego, where the WR corps looks loaded but is packed with injury concerns.  

9. Gio Bernard, RB Cincinnati Bengals

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    2

     

    Measurables:

    5'8", 202 pounds

    4.58 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

    RB Bernard Scott

     

    Outlook:

    Bernard is a hard runner at 202 pounds, but plays with a quick shiftiness that is generally reserved for scat backs. He'll come in as an immediate contributor, but needs to refine his skills as a pass blocker to be completely effective as a three-down player. With no real talent at the RB position in Cincy, Bernard is sure to get his share of touches in 2013, but he is obviously more valuable in a dynasty format than in a redraft format. 

10. Tyler Eifert, TE Cincinnati

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    8

     

    Measurables:

    6'5", 250 pounds

    4.58 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    TE Jermaine Gresham

    WR A.J. Green

    WR Mohammed Sanu

    WR Marvin Jones

    WR Andrew Hawkins

     

    Outlook:

    Eifert is a pass-catching weapon that will be utilized in a number of ways during two tight-end sets and possibly even as an H-back. Jermaine Gresham's rookie deal will be up after the 2014 season, so look for the team to begin getting Eifert involved early in his career.

11. Markus Wheaton, WR Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    14

     

    Measurables:

    5'11", 189 pounds

    4.45 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Antonio Brown

    WR Emmanuel Sanders

    WR Jerricho Cotchery

     

    Outlook:

    Wheaton is a high-upside speed burner that loves running the 9-route and can track the ball with elite focus while separating—no wonder he reminds so many evaluators of former Steeler Mike Wallace.

    Wheaton comes into an offense that knows how to utilize players with his skill set on the outside, and if he shows improvement getting off the press, he could pick up somewhere close to where Mike Wallace left off. Wheaton is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft, and the situation he fell to was optimal.  

12. Robert Woods, WR Buffalo Bills

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    12

     

    Measurables:

    6'0", 201 pounds

    4.51 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Steve Johnson

    WR T.J. Graham

    WR Da'Rick Rogers

    WR Marquise Goodwin 

    WR Marcus Easley

     

    Outlook:

    The situation in Buffalo is entirely unclear at this point except for one thing: the situation is entirely new. Woods comes in as a prospect built for the pro game, though, and has an NFL skill set that was coveted by professional evaluators much more so than by those in the media. Woods should come in and assume an immediate No. 2 role in an offense that will utilize his ability to both dig inside and separate towards the sideline in the intermediate passing game.

13. Aaron Dobson, WR New England Patriots

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    18

     

    Measurables:

    6'3", 210 pounds

    4.40 40-time (Pro Day)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Danny Amendola

    WR Michael Jenkins

    WR Donald Jones

    WR Julian Edelman

    WR Josh Boyce

    TE Aaron Hernandez

    TE Rob Gronkowski

     

    Outlook:

    We've seen X wide receivers flourish in the Patriots offense, and we've seen them get cast aside in favor of two athletic TEs and underneath weapons like Wes Welker. In Dobson, the Pats get a long, tall playmaker with long arms and sneaky speed. Dobson will represent a prospective high-upside flyer-type selection in 2013 redraft leagues, but a developing player in a Tom Brady offense will surely be much more coveted in dynasty rookie drafts where his current ADP of 18 (Pick 2.06) represents a phenomenal steal. 

14. Johnathan Franklin, RB Green Bay Packers

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    9

     

    Measurables:

    5'10", 205 pounds

    4.49 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB Eddie Lacy

    RB DuJuan Harris

    RB Cedric Benson (currently a free agent)

     

    Outlook:

    Johnathan Franklin ends up in a great spot for his career—in a platoon with fellow-rookie Eddie Lacy, which should be a sustainable force for the Green Bay Packers for the next four years. For fantasy owners, this situation unfortunately limits Franklin's statistical upside. The positional battle between Franklin and Lacy will be an interesting one to track throughout the preseason. These two players are clearly the Packers' future at the position. 

15. Justin Hunter, WR Tennessee Titans

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    10

     

    Measurables: 

    6'4", 196 pounds

    4.44 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    WR Keny Britt

    WR Kendall Wright

    WR Damian Williams

    WR Nate Washington

     

    Outlook:

    The Titans traded up for Hunter, and they obviously covet his skill set as a lanky outside receiving weapon. The club's optimal outcome would surely be Hunter and Britt operating out wide, while Kendall Wright would turn into a true vertical threat out of the slot. Hunter should see time on the field and adapt well, but much like with Britt and Wright, when thinking about drafting Hunter, you have to remember his performance is connected to Jake Locker's arm.

16. EJ Manuel, QB Buffalo Bills

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    16

     

    Measurables:

    6'5", 237 pounds

    4.65 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    QB Kevin Kolb

    QB Tarvaris Jackson

     

    Outlook:

    New Bills head coach Doug Marrone didn't put his reputation on the line in drafting EJ Manuel with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 draft just to let him sit on the bench for long. Manuel possesses elite physical gifts and should flourish in the conceptual intermediate passing attack that Marrone's hybrid West Coast offense brings. While he may experience growing pains, Manuel should be an instant option for fantasy teams as a QB2 with upside to bloom through the season in 2013, in much the same way Russell Wilson did in 2012. He is worth a late-round add in redraft leagues and an early selection in dynasty formats.

17. Marcus Lattimore, RB San Francisco 49ers

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    13

     

    Measurables:

    5'11", 221 pounds

    40-time: N/A

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB Frank Gore

    RB LaMichael James

    RB Kendall Hunter

     

    Outlook:

    After suffering the most devastating knee injury many have ever had the displeasure of witnessing in live-game action, Marcus Lattimore is working to rehab his way back to the elite talent that he was prior as the consensus No. 1 RB in the 2013 draft class.

    Owning Lattimore will be a risky proposition for 2013 redraft leagues, as the 49ers will not rush Lattimore back and likely think of him as a long-term replacement for the aging Frank Gore. Lattimore is a huge-upside stash for dynasty taxi squads, however, and he should be drafted accordingly in this format. 

18. Joseph Randle, RB Dallas Cowboys

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    22

     

    Measurables:

    6'0", 204 pounds

    4.63 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB DeMarco Murray

    RB Phillip Tanner

     

    Outlook:

    DeMarco Murray has shown that he is a good NFL back when healthy, but the problem is, he can't stay healthy. With Felix Jones gone, and with only Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner manning the running game behind Murray, Randle comes in as an immediate must-own handcuff for Murray owners. He is a player who may even get some 2013 run in redraft leagues when Murray eventually tweaks something and misses time.

19. Mike Gillislee, RB Miami Dolphins

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    29

     

    Measurables:

    5'11", 208 pounds

    4.55 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    RB Lamar Miller

    RB Daniel Thomas

     

    Outlook:

    Reggie Bush has gone to Detroit, leaving the Miami backfield in the hands of Gillislee, Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Miller has shown sparks of elite potential in college and a rare flash or two during his 2012 rookie season. Daniel Thomas has been in the doghouse for fumbling when he hasn't been in the training room for a cascade of different injuries. Gillislee is a tougher runner in between the tackles than he is given credit for, and with no real "veterans" in front of him, it will be every man for himself during the 2013 installment of the Joe Philbin offense in Miami.

20. Geno Smith, QB New York Jets

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    Current Dynasty League ADP:

    15

     

    Measurables:

    6'2", 218 pounds

    4.59 40-time (Combine)

     

    Competition for touches:

    QB Mark Sanchez

    QB Greg McElroy

    QB David Garrard

    QB Matt Simms

     

    Outlook:

    After taking a fall in the draft that lasted past the entire first round, Geno Smith ended up getting his name called by the Jets early in the second round and is clearly the future of the franchise.

    While there will be a competition to start the season, coach Rex Ryan will surely realize that any chance he has of lasting past the 2013 season in New York will involve hitching his wagon to his new QB as opposed to stubbornly sticking with Mark Sanchez. Smith has the skills to be a starting QB in the NFL, but don't let his athleticism fool you—owners are unlikely to get the type of rushing production out of Geno Smith that is so valuable in other young "dual-threat" QBs such as Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick.  

21-30

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    21. Quinton Patton, WR San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh already loves his wide receiver of the future. Patton is off to a much better start than A.J. Jenkins was last year, too. 

     

    22. Josh Boyce, WR New England Patriots: He could end up being the sneaky player that steals a lot of the rookie action that Dobson owners will be hoping for. 

     

    23. Zach Ertz, TE Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles will have a new offense this season that calls for more athletic, field stretching options. The Eagles have a void to fill at the TE position, and Chip Kelly's spread offense will open things up through the middle for Ertz. 

     

    24. Conner Vernon, WR Oakland Raiders: He ran the best dig route of any WR in the 2013 class through Senior Bowl and Combine evaluation. A Duke grad, Vernon was undrafted, but he is smart as a tack and likely will catch on quickly in a slot role. 

     

    25. Theo Riddick, RB Detroit Lions: Jahvid Best has been done for years due to his concussions, and Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell are both one-dimensional in their own ways. Riddick could carve out a niche between the 20s early in halves to start in rotation with Reggie Bush—and that could yield RB3 dividends. 

     

    26. Andre Ellington, RB Arizona Cardinals: This is not the best situation for Ellington, hence the low grade. Ryan Williams will be returning and Rashard Mendenhall is a former first-rounder, so the competition will be stiff for the rookie out of Clemson. 

     

    27. Terrance Williams, WR Dallas Cowboys: This was a great spot for Williams to land. The best possible scenario is for him would be to land a 2011 Laurent Robinson-type role, which is not out of the question. Williams needs some refinement, though, and it could be halfway through the season before he starts receiving 40 percent or more of offensive snaps. Also, if Miles Austin gets injured, things could get interesting. 

     

    28. Ryan Swope, WR Arizona Cardinals: Swope is a great speed addition to a Cardinals aerial attack that will be much improved with a very serviceable Carson Palmer taking over the reigns at QB. Expect bounceback seasons out of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd in 2013, with Swope being the slot complement.  

     

    29. Matt Scott, QB Jacksonville Jaguars- Blaine Gabbert needs to show major progression this season or his days in Jacksonville could be numbered. Matt Scott had the second-best throwing performance at the combine, and he brings a rare mobility that could be brutal in a backfield with Maurice Jones-Drew. He was signed as an undrafted free agent, but he could be worth a stash if you don't believe in Blaine Gabbert. 

     

    30. Christine Michael, RB Seattle Seahawks: A terrific athlete that would have been a ridiculous steal had he gone somewhere else falls into a backfield with an elite veteran in Marshawn Lynch and sturdy second-year stud Robert Turbin ahead of him. The Seahawks also took Spencer Ware in the 2013 draft who is reminiscent of LaGarrette Blount. Marshawn Lynch may serve his suspension for his 2012 DUI incident at some point in 2013, though, and if someone will need to step up, Michael has the goods to do it. 

31-50

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    31. Da'Rick Rogers, WR Buffalo Bills

    32. Travis Kelce, TE Kansas City Chiefs

    33. Stedman Bailey, WR St. Louis Rams

    34. Kenny Stills, WR New Orleans Saints

    35. Gavin Escobar, TE Dallas Cowboys

    36. Kerwynn Williams, RB Indianapolis Colts

    37. Stepfan Taylor, RB Arizona Cardinals

    38. Chris Harper, WR Seattle Seahawks

    39. Marquise Goodwin, WR Buffalo Bills

    40. T.J. Moe, WR New England Patriots

    41. Joseph Fauria, TE Detroit Lions

    42. Ray Graham, RB Houston Texans

    43. George Winn, RB Houston Texans

    44. Uzoma Nmachukwu, WR Houston Texans

    45. Aaron Mellette, WR Baltimore Ravens

    46. Ace Sanders, WR Jacksonville Jaguars

    47. Tyler Wilson, QB Oakland Raiders

    48. Allen Bonner, WR Houston Texans

    49. Jordan Reed, TE Washington Redskins

    50. Rodney Smith, WR Minnesota Vikings 

     

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