Fantasy Football Sleepers: 5 Rookies Guaranteed to Make a Massive Impact
The 2011 draft will contribute immediately and enjoy great success in the NFL.
The class was loaded with impact players who were already NFL ready, so toss aside any lockout concerns with these rookie studs. These five men are guaranteed to make a major fantasy impact out of the gate as their teams rely heavily on them to change their team’s fortune. These players landed in ideal destinations to begin their great NFL careers.
5. Taiwan Jones, RB, Oakland Raiders
What are the Raiders going to do… throw the ball? Ha! The Raiders only chance to win games is to employ a three-headed rushing monster with Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Jones. Jones is one of the fastest players in the NFL and reminds many of a young Chris Johnson. He ran with authority this preseason and displayed more power than most ever imagined. He can do massive damage with only a handful of touches per game.
4. Delone Carter, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning will miss at least one game, but some are expecting him to miss up to the entire season. We all know Kerry Collins can’t be relied on, so expect the Colts to attempt to shift their offense to a more run-first style to limit Collins’ turnovers. Joseph Addai is never a safe bet to stay healthy and Delone Carter is No. 2 on the depth chart. Carter offers more power than Addai, so expect to see him used at the goal line to preserve Addai’s health.
3. Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams
St. Louis didn’t draft Kendricks in the second round to block. Kendricks is one of the more athletic tight ends, which is great for Sam Bradford, who utilized his tight ends early and often last year. The Rams’ receiving corps is full of injury-prone players, so look for Kendricks to rack up targets everywhere on the field. He should also be Bradford’s No. 1 red zone option.
2. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Donovan McNabb utilizes his tight end as much as any QB in the game. Given the lack of quality receivers in Minnesota, look for second-round rookie Kyle Rudolph to become a major difference-maker. He’ll be McNabb’s top red zone target with his size and leaping ability. Rudolph runs great routes and has soft hands. He was the No. 1 TE prospect in the 2011 draft for a reason, folks.
1. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Jones is one of the strongest wide receivers in the game already and will fight for every ball. He has the pleasure of working next to a top-five WR in Roddy White, so it will be impossible for any defense to double-team Jones. Julio is a physical freak of nature and will abuse cornerbacks on short and deep routes. Jones will lead all rookie receivers in yards and receptions this year as Atlanta opens the offense for Matt Ryan.
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