It's not uncommon that there is one person, sometimes a few people, that buy in to rookie hype and let it affect their Fantasy Football Draft. Not every rookie will be like Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, many of them will be like Donald Brown (182nd overall) or Jeremy Maclin (114th overall). Not that those players don’t have some tremendous upside, it’s just that when you drafted them you passed up on Donald Driver (89th overall) and Miles Austin (30th overall). That my friend, is a fantasy football bust.
In Peterson’s rookie year he was drafted, on average, in the fourth round which in comparison to Charger’s rookie Ryan Mathews is a steal (Mathews is draft in the first round in most 12-team league). Chris Johnson is looking for consecutive 2,000 yard seasons but wasn’t drafted until the seventh round in 2008, but ended the season as the 11th best fantasy football running back (by comparison Steven Jackson was the fifth player drafted on average that season, and finished as the 12th best receiver).
What I am trying to say is that you shouldn’t always believe the rookie hype. Much like your days in high school, you should’ve been doing your homework instead of doing what everyone else was telling you to do. Lucky for you, I have worked ahead. Here is a list of 2010 fantasy football rookies that, based on their fantasy football average draft positions, will surely let you down (and a player that is deserving of that ADP).
You can’t talk about fantasy football rookie busts without talking about fantasy football rookie sleepers though! Below you will also find a list of players more than worthy of their ADP that you can get with that spot.
2010 ROOKIE BUSTS
(Name, POS, TEAM, ADP/ADR)
C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills, 64.6/Fifth
I like Spiller a lot, I really do. He has incredible flashes of speed and ability. Spiller is also the most athletic player on the field for the Bills and could quite possibly be there best home run threat. There isn’t much help around Spiller, however, and at the spot he is being drafted you are hoping he will net around 150 points on the year (9.375 per game). Considering Spiller will have three of the toughest defenses against the run in his own division, I just can’t expect that to happen. In fact, Spiller has the toughest fantasy football strength of schedule for any running back.
I like Spiller’s upside and I would consider taking him later if he dropped, since most people are taking him at this spot, and more often higher than lower, I will stick with passing on Spiller. Since this would be the fifth round, and you have already taken your fantasy football stud players with the first three rounds, I would go with a player that has proven to be reliable throughout his years instead, and wait for a guy with upside later on. My choice here, based on a similar ADP would be Tony Gonzalez. Not only does it fill a spot on the roster, but it gets you a player you can rely on.
Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions, 66/Fifth
Best is another back that is a homerun threat on just about any play, that is, when he was in college and behind a decent line that had their run against weaker teams. This year, Best will be playing behind the Lions offensive line in a division that is a killer against running backs. Spiller and Best are going around the same time, which to me is all too eerily a reminder of Donald Brown and LeSean McCoy in 2009. Both backs were taken around the same time, and neither lived up to their expectations. I have a feeling both of these two backs will be the same in 2010. Especially considering that Best has the second toughest schedule to run against.
Avoid gambling on Best, even if you are in a fantasy football keeper league. You can grab him for even less in 2011. My pick here would’ve been Tony Gonzalez but the jerk in front of you already took him. Instead, go with Pierre Garcon: a guy who is a starter on the most prolific passing team in the NFL (and has the fourth easiest fantasy football strength of schedule).
Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings, 154.9/12th
I hope that you don’t even have to read this part. Gerhart hasn’t impressed in the preseason, and there is no guarantee that he will be the backup to Adrian Peterson. Some people are taking Gerhart as a fantasy football handcuff. I wouldn’t subscribe to that school of thought. In this situation there isn’t all that much left to go after. Instead of taking a guy that has an outside chance of being a decent handcuff, go with someone who could end up being the next Miles Austin.
2010 ROOKIE SLEEPERS
(Name, POS, TEAM, ADP/ADR)
Dexter McCluster, RB, Kansas City Chiefs, 140.9/11th
McCluster has looked very solid so far this offseason. Although he is listed as a running back on your fantasy roster, he will undoubtedly be your FLEX as this speedster will be a receiver for the Chiefs. McCluster is actually going to be a “slash” with the Chiefs. If his regular season performance is as chaotic as his preseason, he could be in for a very surprising year. Coach Todd Haley loved having Wes Welker in the slot and he has a younger, more athletic version in McCluster.
I’m not saying that McCluster is the next Chris Johnson, but he could very well surprise, especially at his ADP. On average, the 141st overall player in fantasy will grab you around 84 points on the season, or only 5.25 points per game. That is pretty low, which means if McCluster gets one touchdown and zero yards (really, really hard to do), he is already above average. At this position, McCluster is a no brainer.
After the Rams’ first preseason game no one expected anything from the Oklahoma Sooner rookie, at least not this year. Although Donnie Avery is out for the season, Bradford still has potential in the right matchup. I wouldn’t suggest taking Bradford as a fantasy football starter, but as a solid backup.
The only way you would wait this long to take another quarterback would be if you were one of the lucky few to pick up a quarterback like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees. Bradford will certainly earn some points in his easy games against the Seahawks, Jaguars, Lions, and Titans.
Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks, 149.2/12th
With the departure of TJ Houshmandzadeh means the rise of Mike Williams and Golden Tate. Williams is now the starter, and a serious fantasy football sleeper, but Tate will get his opportunities in the slot position. Tate won’t nab you a ton of yards or touchdowns, but at the 149th pick you aren’t expecting it. If he can record more than 80 points on the season, then he is way above average for the 150th overall player in fantasy. With Tate’s skill and athleticism that shouldn’t be much of a problem.