NFLZone's Top 10 Impact Fantasy Rookies For 2009

Brett KContributor IJuly 19, 2009

TEMPE, AZ - MAY 2 :  Chris Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals runs during a team minicamp at the team training facility on May 2, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Willey/Getty Images)

Looking for a late round rookie for your 2009 NFL Fantasy draft? Searching around looking for this year’s Matt Ryan, Chris Johnson or Eddie Royal? While look no further because we’ve got what we expect to be the top 10 offensive rookies for 2009. Try to remember that rookies do not always make huge impacts in their first years.

Last season the top rookie wide receiver only had five touchdowns. The top rookie running back only had ten touchdowns and the top rookie quarterback had 16 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Rookies are good late round steals and cannot always be counted on to perform. One week they’re up, the next they’re down.

Still, just as ESPN loves to say during the NFL Draft, fantasy football players need to “Go deep into the draft” if they expect to win their league. With that being said here is our top 10 for the 2009 NFL season.


10. Matthew Stafford – Quarterback – Detroit Lions

The Lions have yet to announce if they will start Stafford from day 1 or not. The problem with Stafford during his collegiate career was his accuracy and decision making. Stafford finished his career with 33 interceptions. Life isn’t about to get any easier in Detroit for Stafford.

If Stafford is the starter from the beginning of the season at least 10 touchdowns is possible, especially with Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew in Detroit for him to throw to. The biggest downfall for Stafford will most likely be the interceptions.

Detroit’s o-line won’t give Stafford a lot of time to make good decisions and 20 interceptions are not out of the question.

Our final projections for Stafford: 1,800 Yards, 12 Touchdowns and 19 Interceptions.


9. Kenny Britt – Wide Receiver – Tennessee Titans

The Titans finally went ahead and picked a first round receiver. Kerry Collins found a way to keep the Titans in a lot of their games but did not throw for a lot of touchdowns (12). His touchdown numbers might increase a bit this year with the addition of Britt and Nate Washington.

It’s unknown where Britt sits right now on the Titans depth chart but he has the skills to be a No. 2 guy this year and possible their No. 1 next year. Britt won’t burn past too many NFL cornerbacks, but he has the height and weight to make up for that.

We would not be shocked if Britt became Collins’ favorite target by the end of the season.

Our final projections for Britt: 52 receptions, 523 yards and 6 touchdowns.


8. Hakeem Nicks – Wide Receiver – New York Giants

I’m going to get a lot of hate from the New York Giants fans but Nicks will not be the star this year in New York. He will likely become a legit No. 1 in a season or two but this year won’t be as great as certain fans think it will be.

The Giants do have a lot of potential weapons on offense but Nicks may not rise and be able to fill Burress’ shoes as some think he will. Whether or not Nicks will even be a starter this year has not yet been announced but we think he will start.

This isn’t just blatant hate for Nicks because I think the kid has the skills to become a star. This year should see ups and downs for Nicks, just as it does for all rookies.

Our final projections for Nicks:  48 receptions, 588 yards and 5 touchdowns.


7. Brian Robiskie – Wide Receiver – Cleveland Browns

With the soon to be suspended Donte Stallworth most likely out for the season, the Browns will need one of their rookie Wide Receivers to step up and become a No. 2 receiver. Robiskie should be that guy.

It is still unclear as to who will be the starting quarterback for the Browns but either quarterback should feel comfortable throwing to Robiskie. He’s got good height and decent enough size that he should pull in 60+ receptions, especially if he becomes the Browns No. 2 receiver.

If Jamal Lewis can become the running back of old, the passing game should open up.

Our final projections for Robiskie:  62 receptions, 629 yards and 5 touchdowns.


6. Chase Coffman – Tight End – Cincinnati Bengals

Word out of Bengals OTAs is that the Bengals are excited to have Coffman on their team. The tight end coach thinks highly of Coffman and Carson Palmer will finally have something he has yet to have in his career, a tight end.

With Chad Johnson (I refuse to call him Ochocinco) and Laveraneus Coles as legit targets for Palmer, Coffman is going to benefit. Two tight ends broke the 500 yard mark last year in the NFL and Coffman should easily do the same thing.

Our final projections for Coffman: 55 receptions, 608 yards and 6 touchdows.


5. Darrius Heyward-Bey – Wide Receiver – Oakland Raiders

Could the Raiders finally have found their Wide Receiver? Heyward-Bey’s reception numbers might not be as high as the top rookie receiver next year but he should have a few big plays. Whether or not the Raiders’ fans will be happy with Heyward-Bey may take some time to figure out but he should do just fine in Oakland.

Heyward-Bey’s yards and touchdowns will be the reason he stands out. JaMarcus Russell’s arm and Heyward-Bey’s speed should combine for some pretty nice numbers.

Our final projections for Heyward-Bey: 49 receptions, 625 yards and 7 touchdowns.


4. Donald Brown – Runningback – Indianapolis Colts

Joseph Addai has had injury problems for two years in a row and would be better off being platooned with another runningback. Brown will be the answer for the Colts and should start all 16 games, barring any injuries. Brown’s numbers could be amazing or they could be decent.

The Colts obviously have the offense firepower to help Brown get quality numbers. It will be up to Brown whether or not he lives up to the hype given to him during the draft.

Our final projections for Brown: 675 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns, 23 receptions, 125 yards and 1 touchdown.


3. Knowshon Moreno – Runningback – Denver Broncos

Knowshon Moreno could easily be the offensive rookie of the year, especially in Denver. Kyle Orton may need to rely on Moreno from time to time and his rushing numbers should soar because of this.

New coach Josh McDaniels may enjoy runningback by committee but Moreno will end that idea quickly. Knowshon has the ability to make big plays. Moreno had some great numbers at Georgia and should do the same in Denver.

Moreno will come close to breaking 1,000 yards in Denver and should become a fan favorite rather quickly.

Our final projections on Moreno: 908 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns, 28 receptions, 238 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.


2. Michael Crabtree – Wide Receiver – San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers definitely have the weapons to make Crabtree one of the best rookie receivers in the game. Frank Gore, Vernon Davis and Issac Bruce will all ease the pressure on Crabtree. We think this year’s Eddie Royal will be Michael Crabtree.

He was a big play receiver at Texas Tech and while some think he was a product of the system we think he will shine in San Francisco. While Heyward-Bey will do well in Oakland, the Raiders will most likely be kicking themselves over Crabtree.

The starting quarterback of the 49ers has yet to be determined but Frank Gore will open up the passing game regardless of who the quarterback will be.

Our final projections for Crabtree: 77 receptions, 883 yards and 6 touchdowns.


1. Chris “Beanie” Wells – Runningback – Arizona Cardinals

Wells may not be the most shocking number 1 pick for offensive rookie of the year but he should be a quality starter in the desert. Wells was a quality runningback in Columbus and may be the answer to the Cardinals runningback problems.

With plenty of offensive weapons in Boldin, Fitzgerald and Pope, Wells should benefit. Kurt Warner will provide a steady passing game, which will open up the running game. Beanie Wells will be this years Chris Johnson.

The road back to the Superbowl, let alone the playoffs will be tough for the Cardinals but Wells may make it a little easier. A thousand yards rushing should not be shocking for Wells.

Our final projections for Wells: 1,037 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns, 23 receptions, 158 yards and 2 touchdowns.


There you have it, our top 10 fantasy rookies for 2009. We would like to note that we think Percy Harvin will have a good season in Minnesota but with the quarterback situation up in the air as of right now he can’t crack our top 10.

If Brett Favre announces he’ll be back in Minnesota this year, Harvin will be in our top 10, bumping Stafford out. We are not feeling too confident on this year’s rookie quarterbacks which is why only one is in our top 10 list.

Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman could be starters for their teams but we doubt they’ll put up good numbers. Shawn Nelson and Brandon Pettigrew are our picks for late season rookie stars.

They may not put up amazing numbers all season but should definitely have solid second half numbers. Both could be potential tight end stars in the league for years to come. Enjoy and leave comments on who you think should be the top 10 offensive rookies for 2009. Our top 5 rookie defenders will be on the way soon!


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