We’re just weeks away from the regular season and most drafts are in the books.
For dynasty league players, this is the time to cross your fingers and hope the young players you’ve invested in heavily this offseason come through for your dynasty squad.
While many rookie draft picks project as long term projects, some will make an immediate impact in fantasy leagues.
We take a moment to place our own betting odds on who we think will win the coveted distinction of Offensive Fantasy Rookie of the Year.
You’ll notice this order is a little different from our rookie rankings. The answer to that is obvious. The rookie rankings reflect the short and long term value of all these players. This list looks strictly at their first year production.
Without further delay, here are our 2010 betting odds for Offensive Fantasy Rookie of the Year:
Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
ROY Odds: 3:1
Mathews has already shown the Chargers he can play at the NFL level.
Through two preseason games, he has 103 rushing yards on just 21 carries. If he can maintain that 4.9 yards per carry average, he’s going to have a monster year.
With defenses focused on Philip Rivers, Mathews will have every opportunity to make his mark on the league and has to be considered the odds on favorite for Offensive Fantasy Rookie of the Year.
Jahvid Best, RB, DET
ROY Odds: 5:1
Best has looked great for the Lions so far.
His yards per carry average of 5.6 this preseason likely won’t hold up once the real games start. However, he’s shown an explosive playmaking ability the Lions haven’t had at running back for a long time.
Best may just be the most talented player in all the rookie class. If he can stay healthy, he should give Mathews a run for his money.
Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
ROY Odds: 6:1
It’s very early, but it looks like Dallas got the steal of the draft.
Bryant has been on his best behavior in “Big D,” but that’s not the big story from Cowboys camp. His dominance in practice is even more noteworthy at this point.
The ankle injury he sustained is unfortunate because he was well on his way to unseating Roy Williams to start on opening day.
If his practice performances carry over to the field, it’s just a matter of time until he reaches elite fantasy status.
We’re just going to have a wait a little longer to see him because of the injury, otherwise he’d be right up there with Mathews on this list.
CJ Spiller, RB, BUF
ROY Odds: 6:1
Spiller would have been even lower on this list, but injuries to Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch have opened the door for him to shine earlier than expected.
His 31-yard touchdown scamper on Friday night showed off his elusiveness and elite talent.
Being on the Bills tempers our expectations some, but the truly great backs can rise above a bad situation.
We’ll see just how good he is in the next few weeks.
Mike Williams, WR, TB
ROY Odds: 8:1
No rookie has vaulted themselves higher than Williams this offseason.
Known primarily for his off the field behavior, he’s quickly made the Bucs believe they will be rewarded handsomely for taking the risk on him.
His rise to the top of the depth chart in Tampa Bay has been quick and decisive, just like his route running.
If Josh Freeman can come back for week one and continue to develop, the sky’s the limit for Williams.
His long term outlook is even better. Frankly, that’s pretty scary based on what we’ve read so far.
Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE
ROY Odds: 12:1
Hardesty was making strides to be the featured back in Cleveland before he was injured earlier this offseason.
With Hardesty, durability is always going to be the big question. If he can stay healthy, he has a chance to be a very special back.
In the short term, it’s going to be tough for him to break through and be the bellcow this close to the beginning of the season.
If you want to put money down on a double digit underdog, he’d probably be the one, though.
Sam Bradford, QB, STL
ROY Odds: 15:1
Bradford’s learning curve is going to be steep. Through two preseason games, it’s obvious the Rams are going to have a very tough time keeping him upright during when the real games begin.
He’s going to have a very rough season, but he’s shown enough so far to make the Rams believe he has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback.
Just don’t expect franchise fantasy numbers in 2010.
Dexter McCluster, WR, KC
ROY Odds: 20:1
McCluster’s incredible talent trumps his smallish frame.
He’s already shown an explosive ability for the Chiefs through just two preseason games. There’s no doubt he’ll have a significant role for Kansas City this season and beyond.
The question with McCluster really revolves around his role being significant enough this year to get him enough touches to merit being on this list.
ROY Odds: 30:1
There are a number of other players who could rise up and surprise fantasy owners in dynasty leagues this year.
Some names you could make a case for could include all the following:
Golden Tate, WR, SEA
Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
Anthony Dixon, RB, SF
Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
Jordan Shipley, WR, CIN
Jimmy Clausen, QB, CAR
Colt McCoy, QB, CLE
There will also be more who rise up during the season as well.
ROY Odds: 100:1
It’s not happening.
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