Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings 2010: Breaking Down the Rookies
We've gone through all of the major offensive positions for Dynasty leagues this year, and now we're down to arguably the most interesting group: the rookies.
What does the future hold for Tim Tebow, Jordan Shipley, Mardy Gilyard, and all the others? Read on for the top five rookies at each offensive position in fantasy football for 2010 and beyond:
1. Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams)
Bradford is basically guaranteed to start off his career early in week one this year, and based on his solid performance in his third preseason game, there is actually hope for a decent season.
2. Jimmy Clausen (Carolina Panthers)
Matt Moore is still the starter, but Clausen has shown enough command and control to step up if he is needed. There's a 50-50 chance he'll be the starter before the season is up.
3. Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos)
Kyle Orton has looked solid in preseason and Tebow was okay in his only preseason game. His athleticism and versatility should make him valuable in certain packages, but not enough to be in the top two.
4. John Skelton (Arizona Cardinals)
Matt Leinart may be on his way out of Arizona, while Derek Anderson can't be a safe pick to last more than half the season. Skelton or Max Hall (who also has been mildly impressive) could have a shot at the starting gig before the season is up.
5. Colt McCoy (Cleveland Browns)
McCoy turned in a solid performance in game three of Cleveland's preseason action after putting in pathetic performances the first two weeks. He doesn't have a realistic chance of playing in 2010, and might be more than a year away from even sniffing the field. While that may be dispiriting news, he still has a better chance than any other rookie quarterback below him.
1. Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers)
Mathews will take over full time for the departed LaDainian Tomlinson and should get 250+ carries right away in his rookie season. He has all the talent needed to make a huge impact in year one, and should be considered a top-15 overall fantasy back.
2. Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions)
Kevin Smith is back and near 100%, but it simply won't matter. Best might lose some short yardage or goal-line work, but he's much too versatile and explosive to be kept on a leash. He should be a quality RB2 in 2010.
3. C.J. Spiller (Buffalo Bills)
Spiller, just as explosive and versatile as Best, should benefit from Fred Jackson's hand/ankle injuries, as well as Marshawn Lynch still being in the doghouse. Spiller has already displayed awesome big-play ability throughout the preseason, and he should get a crack at the starting gig in week one.
4. Montario Hardesty (Cleveland Browns)
Hardesty has battled injuries ever since he got drafted, and he won't have a clear-cut role heading into the 2010 season. If he does end up beating out Peyton Hillis and James Davis, however, his value sky rockets.
5. Toby Gerhart (Minnesota Vikings)
Gerhart hasn't blown anyone away so far in preseason, but he still runs with toughness and power, and is a near-lock to serve as Adrian Peterson's top back-up. If AD were to ever go down, Gerhart could leap-frog Mathews for the top spot in these rookie rankings.
6. Anthony Dixon (San Francisco 49ers)
Dixon's value as a rookie could easily be off-set by the addition of the veteran Brian Westbrook, although we all saw his talents in an impressive 120+ total yard game in San Francisco's second preseason game. He has some serious competition for a significant role this year, but if he beats out Westbrook, he could be a quality handcuff to anyone who owns Frank Gore.
1. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)
Bryant is still battling injuries and we haven't been able to see him in action this preseason, but we can't imagine Roy Williams holding him off for long. If he ever gets a solid role in the Cowboys' potent pass offense, he'll earn this top ranking.
2. Mike Williams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Williams will be starting the season as the number one guy in Tampa Bay, which could mean he'll be the stud of the rookie receiving class, or that he's just another guy on a bad team. His ability to make plays will give him a great chance to end the season as the top rookie receiver, although his ceiling ultimately hinges on Josh Freeman's development.
3. Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos)
If he can overcome missing the preseason with a bum foot, he could easily emerge as Denver's number one receiver. Until then, however, this as high as he goes.
4. Mardy Gilyard (St. Louis Rams)
The loss of Donnie Avery vaults Gilyard to the top of the pack in St. Louis, although he has yet to claim a starting role. Even a starting gig in an unproven offense won't guarantee success, however.
5. Jordan Shipley (Cincinnati Bengals)
It's looking more and more like Antonio Bryant may not ever play a down in Cincinnati, and even if he does, the shifty Shipley has impressed enough to maintain some type of role in year one. If Bryant is indeed going to be released or placed on IR, Shipley should be able to slide comfortably into a solid role in the slot.
6. Golden Tate (Seattle Seahawks)
Tate hasn't been too impressive over the offseason, but he's not going up against much competition. Seattle is just waiting for a reason to unload Deion Branch, which should leave Tate operating out of the slot, at the worst.
1. Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati Bengals)
Gresham struggled early in camp, but has since given Carson Palmer a tall, reliable target over the middle. If he continues in his growth process, he could give the Bengals a receiving threat from the tight end position that they haven't had in over a decade.
2. Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)
The Patriots don't have a great history in the Bill Bilichick era of utilizing their tight ends, but they will probably make an exception with Gronkowski and fellow rookie tight end, Aaron Hernandez. Both tight ends have been impressive and fairly involved in the offense during preseason, although Gronkowski's better blocking ability should see him on the field more.
3. Aaron Hernandez (New England Patriots)
Gronkowski has the narrow edge due to his blocking ability, but Hernandez is just as valuable as an exceptional pass-catching tight end. Hernandez has soft hands and great athleticism, which will force the Patriots into using two-tight end sets often.
4. Ed Dickson (Baltimore Ravens)
Dickson brings something to the table that Todd Heap hasn't brought in years: speed and potential. He looks to have the edge on fellow rookie tight end Dennis Pitta, and could be in for some action if Todd Heap sustains one of his usual injuries.
5. Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)
Graham doesn't hold much value in New Orleans until Jeremy Shockey and/or David Thomas are gone, but his athleticism and speed is very intriguing.
6. Dennis Pitta (Baltimore Ravens)
Pitta is currently behind Dickson, but is a talented receiver and could be in for some action if Heap were to go down.
For weekly fantasy football advice throughout the 2010 NFL season, check out NFl Soup.
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