Fantasy Football 2013: Rookies to Avoid at All Costs
When preparing for your fantasy football draft, you have to know which rookies are worth their weight in gold and which of those are just too overhyped or just not ready for prime time.
The following rookies (listed alphabetically) in this slideshow might be feeling the love of some fantasy players, but they just don’t seem ready to make an immediate impact. Whether it’s the fact that they are just, obviously, inexperienced or lagging behind on the depth chart, these rookies should be avoided on draft day.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Kent Horner/Getty Images
While he is moving up the Chargers’ wide-receiver depth chart with the injuries to Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd, Keenan Allen may be too wet behind the ears to make an immediate impact.
Allen himself has had his issues with injuries, missing the last three games in college due to a PCL injury. With the Chargers’ offense a work in progress, Allen may need the necessary time to get caught up to the speed of the NFL.
It’s not like Allen is tearing it up in the preseason, as he has just four receptions for 40 yards and one lost fumble. So, buyer beware on draft day.
Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
Between holdovers Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams eating away at Andre Ellington’s chances, not to mention fellow rookie Stepfan Taylor, Ellington very well may be a spectator on the sidelines this season.
Although Ellington enjoyed a solid career at Clemson, his draft-day stock plummeted and it may take him a while to get up to speed. In his first preseason action against the Cowboys on Saturday, Ellington hardly looked the part, rushing for only 24 yards on 10 carries.
Even for handcuff purposes, Ellington is a risky pick.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
While fellow rookie tight end Tyler Eifert is impressing in his chances, Zach Ertz may just need time to realize his full potential.
Although the Eagles love Ertz’s upside—and when you use a second-round pick on a tight end, you better—Ertz may have a hard time adapting to Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offense. There should definitely be a learning curve for Ertz, and it may take a year or two before he really breaks out.
Besides, the Eagles still have a quality tight end, Brent Celek, and unless he gets injured, Ertz may not see the field enough in 2013.
Johnathan Franklin, Green Bay Packers
Although the Packers spent a fourth-round pick on Johnathan Franklin, they have a jumbled mess at running back, and it appears Franklin is falling out of favor given the fact that he has rushed for only 23 yards on nine carries through Green Bay’s first two exhibition games.
Eddie Lacy, who was the Packers' second-round pick, has the inside track and did well in his first game, rushing for 40 yards on eight carries. The Packers also have veterans Alex Green and James Starks to call on.
So, with the depth the Packers have at running back, Franklin would have to do a lot in the preseason to catch up and warrant a selection on draft day.
EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
EJ Manuel has been looking good in the preseason, completing 26 of 33 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns in two games.
However, as the AP reports, Manuel suffered a knee injury in the Bills’ preseason game against Minnesota and will be sidelined for the rest of the preseason. Even if Manuel had not been injured (he should be fine by Week 1, regardless), playing for the Bills and their uninspiring offense, Manuel was not ready to make a steady impact.
Manuel is more of a deep keeper-league, dynasty selection.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
No doubt, Cordarrelle Patterson is opening some eyes this preseason, and the 2013 first-round draft pick definitely has limitless potential.
However, playing in the Vikings’ pass offense may limit that potential, at least initially. With Christian Ponder as his quarterback, Patterson may struggle to get on the same page as Ponder. Patterson, through all his upside, is still a bit raw, and Ponder may not be the type of quarterback to get the best out of him right away.
Patterson makes for an excellent keeper or dynasty-league selection, but for standard leagues, Patterson is nothing more than a late-round flier.
Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Randle is another back-up running back, who is not likely to get his number called a lot this season.
With DeMarco Murray looking good in camp and Tony Romo admitting he has to have more trust in the running game, all signs point to Murray being the Cowboys’ workhorse back. Besides, with Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar also behind Murray, the Cowboys could look to those veterans to replace Murray at first, if in fact Murray gets injured.
In any event, Randle is not exactly lighting up the board in preseason, as he has 16 carries for just 32 yards in his first two preseason games.
Geno Smith, New York Jets
The much-maligned Geno Smith, who was bypassed by many teams in April’s NFL draft, has not stood out in camp and is not looking like he is ready to save the Jets’ franchise just yet.
Jets coach Rex Ryan recently described Smith as brutal in practice. In fact, Smith did not even play in the Jets’ preseason game against the Jaguars on Saturday night, but that had a lot to do with his ankle injury.
Even though Jets incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez will not be hard to overtake at some point, Smith is miles away from making a legitimate impact.
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon