Fantasy Football Rankings 2013: Rookies You Shouldn't Overrate on Draft Day

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 08:  Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 8, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If you were planning on winning your fantasy league on the back of this year's fantasy studs, perhaps you should think of a different strategy.

Last year, you had Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Doug Martin all breaking out and having huge seasons.

This year, it's anybody's guess as to who will be the guys to come close to repeating that quintet's success. You didn't see a ton of great weapons getting drafted in the early rounds. As a result, there aren't any quarterbacks, running backs or wide receivers that you can confidently say will be fantasy studs in 2013.

When trying to decide which rookies you're going to roll the dice on, make sure you don't gamble too much on these three guys.

Note: Player Rankings courtesy of


Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers—No. 37 OVR; No. 19 RB

Eddie Lacy was already projected to be one of the top fantasy rookies in 2013. His value is only going to increase as it was reported DuJuan Harris has been placed on injured reserve (h/t's Rob Demovsky). It's important, though, to make sure expectations are somewhat tempered on Lacy.

You're better off trying to snag Lacy as your third running back. That way, if he does have a huge season, it will be an added bonus. If he struggles, you don't have much on the line.

Until Aaron Rodgers gets hurt, this will still very much be a pass-first offense. Lacy won't be getting a ton of carries every game.

Mort importantly, he's got some tough competition in the backfield. Alex Green and James Starks shouldn't be major threats, though they could steal some carries. The biggest roadblock could be Johnathan Franklin. He's a different type of runner than Lacy, so he could be put into the game to be that change of pace.

It'll help the Packers, but it won't help your fantasy team.


Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals—No. 73 OVR; No. 29 RB

If you're in a keeper league, Giovani Bernard would be a great guy to maybe reach for. It's a pick that could pay massive dividends down the road. On the other hand, if you're just drafting for 2013, you'll want to use caution when looking at the rookie running back.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis promises to get the lion's share of snaps when the Cincinnati Bengals are on offense. He's a better blocker in the passing game, and his inside running style is more suitable to the AFC North.

There's also the problem of A.J. Green. The Bengals have one of the best receivers in the game, and they're sure to continue making him the focal point of the offense. Andy Dalton could take a big jump this season, as Mohamed Sanu and Tyler Eifert offer more options in the passing game.

Bernard will have his moments, but they won't be enough to make a huge fantasy impact. If you do draft Green-Ellis, the rookie would be a great handcuff, though.


Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings, WR, Minnesota Vikings—No. 198 OVR; No. 67 WR

It's a shame if you did your fantasy draft before the preseason started. Prior to the Minnesota Vikings first game, you might have thought Cordarrelle Patterson would be a sleeper for 2013.

Instead, he's caught eight passes for 84 yards and generally looked far from being an impact player. More accurately, Patterson has looked like the raw prospect many scouts labeled him as going into the draft.

Even with the departure of Percy Harvin, Patterson doesn't figure as anything more than the Vikings' third receiver right now. He's not jumping Greg Jennings or Jerome Simpson in the lineup.

It's hard enough to justify drafting any Minnesota wideout as long as Christian Ponder is the quarterback and Adrian Peterson is the running back. If you're even thinking about drafting the Vikings' third receiver, you're nuts.

Much like Bernard, Patterson could be a good keeper pick. Down the road, he could be top weapon in Minnesota's passing offense. That's not going to happen in 2013.