In a potent offense led by All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning, rookie running back Montee Ball should get plenty of opportunities to score. He has the bulk and instincts to be a potent back near the goal line, and Ronnie Hillman, the Denver Broncos' other possibility at the position, hasn't conquered his fumbling issues.
Ball could be a touchdown machine and a fantasy football stud this year. He should be seriously considered in the middle rounds of any fantasy drafts in last-minute leagues. Of all the rookies in the NFL, Ball has the most fantasy football promise.
Here's a look at the rookies who rank second and third, and chart to round out my top 10.
WR Tavon Austin - St. Louis Rams
As a slot receiver, Austin has big-time fantasy potential. If he shows the ability to read zone defenses and find the open areas, he's capable of having a season similar to the one Randall Cobb produced for the Green Bay Packers in 2012.
Cobb caught 80 passes for 954 yards and eight touchdowns. Most fantasy owners would be jumping for joy if they got that type of production from Austin. The rookie from West Virginia has a similar build and skill set as the Packers receiver who is heading into his third year in the NFL.
As explosive as Austin is with the ball, his ceiling is likely even higher than Cobb's. Austin is the type of player who is a threat to score almost every time he touches the ball. He's another rookie who should garner consideration in the mid-to-late rounds.
RB Giovani Bernard - Cincinnati Bengals
Who will make the biggest fantasy football impact in 2013?
If BenJarvus Green-Ellis wasn't in Cincinnati to get many of the short-yardage attempts, Bernard would probably be the top rookie RB from a fantasy standpoint.
As of now, Bernard will have to split time with the veteran, but that won't completely curtail his explosiveness. Bernard is the future of the Bengals' backfield, and we'll see a glimpse of what's to come this season.
He brings a big-play element that BGE doesn't. It will be hard to keep the rookie off the field.
|1||Montee Ball||RB||Denver Broncos|
|2||Tavon Austin||WR||St. Louis Rams|
|3||Giovani Bernard||RB||Cincinnati Bengals|
|4||Eddie Lacy||RB||Green Bay Packers|
|5||Kenbrell Thompkins||WR||New England Patriots|
|6||E.J. Manuel||QB||Buffalo Bills|
|7||Geno Smith||QB||New York Jets|
|8||Zach Sudfeld||TE||New England Patriots|
|9||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Minnesota Vikings|
|10||Joseph Randle||RB||Dallas Cowboys|
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