2013 Fantasy Football: 5 Rookies Worth Drafting for Your Fantasy Team
2012 was a season to remember for rookies. We saw guys like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Trent Richardson and Doug Martin step on to the scene and perform as if they were veterans.
While the 2013 NFL draft class is not nearly as deep, it is almost certain that guys will step in and put up solid numbers.
Cordarrelle Patterson might be one of the most explosive players coming out of college, but the lack of talent at quarterback in Minnesota in addition to the number of carries Adrian Peterson will get each game puts success out of his hands. With this in mind, Patterson is not as valuable as the guys placed on this list.
If the Green Bay Packers were to have just drafted Eddie Lacy or just Johnathan Franklin, one of these guys would certainly be on this list. The complete uncertainty of the running back situation in Green Bay brings up red flags for both of these talented rookies.
Here, we take a look at five guys who can potentially help your fantasy team bring home a league championship.
5. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
If the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to have success this season, they are going to need loads of production from the running game. Le'Veon Bell is the guy to carry the load. In a three-year span at Michigan State, no one in the history of the alma mater put up more rushing yards and rushing touchdowns than Bell in that time frame.
He's a big-bodied back who will plow through you with his size and isn't afraid to hurdle over you either, as we saw on a few occasions while he was in college. He is probably the closest thing the Steelers have had since Jerome Bettis retired, not that the two can be compared yet.
4. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
The New England Patriots jump-started a shift of a successful personnel grouping in the NFL, the Ace. The Ace personnel, for those who don't know, is when the team lines up with two tight ends, two wide receivers and one running back. The Cincinnati Bengals will certainly bring this formation to the forefront in the upcoming season.
The Bengals already have Jermaine Gresham, but lining up Eifert with him and A.J. Green makes their offense much more attractive.
Eifert brings a matchup problem for linebackers and safeties, especially in the red zone. That's where he should have most of his success. His successful training camp thus far is proving one thing: Eifert is going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses this season.
While there is a shortage of productive tight ends available for the upcoming fantasy season, expect Eifert to quickly become one of Andy Dalton's favorite targets and one of the top-10 most productive tight ends in the league.
3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Hopkins hauled in four catches for 52 yards and a Randy Moss-esque touchdown grab in his preseason debut, proving why he was deserving of being one of three receivers taken off the board in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. He is a perfect complement to Andre Johnson as Houston's No. 2 receiver and will often see the opponents' second-best coverage, as most of the focus of a defense will be on Johnson.
Hopkins has the potential to haul in 1,000 yards worth of catches, as Matt Schaub is not afraid to go deep. It wouldn't surprise me to see Hopkins as a top-20 receiver in fantasy this season.
2. Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams
Tavon Austin is just a stud. He has the speed to be the fastest player in the league. He's got terrific hands. He's also a threat to run the ball out of the backfield or on a reverse. The St. Louis Rams would not have traded up to the eighth spot in the draft if they didn't have plans to have success with Austin.
Sam Bradford is now considered a veteran in this league and finally has a receiver to help him show off his talent. Expect Austin to do big things this year.
1. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Giovani Bernard has a solid chance of taking control of most of the reps out of Cincinnati's backfield. He is one of two rookies likely to make a significant impact on the offensive side of the ball. He will especially be solid in PPR leagues, as he is a dual threat to run and catch the ball out of the backfield.
Look for Bernard to become a solid running back in the NFL as well as make a significant impact in fantasy this year.