One of the greatest feelings in fantasy football is drafting a rookie who immediately makes a difference in the NFL. Every person that took Adrian Peterson in 2007 was able to talk smack all season long as they cruised to a league title.
If you’re in a keeper league, you’re always on the lookout for the next big thing. This year’s draft class was full of some promising quarterbacks and wide receivers for years to come. It’s very difficult to predict how young WRs will fare in the NFL because so many factors go into whether or not they’ll get the ball.
This year, three new wideouts have been the talk of the town at some point during the season, and I expect them to keep showing up in Week 5.
Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons—No. 6 pick):
When the Atlanta Falcons were willing to trade everything but the kitchen sink for an opportunity to draft Julio Jones, I knew he was something special. Jones has an unbelievable vertical leap, and he was able to join forces with Roddy White to make a scary WR duo.
So far, Matt Ryan has to be thanking his team scouts because Jones has not disappointed. He’s yet to score his first TD as a Falcon, but he’s pulled down over 100 yards in the last two games. He’s already recorded 24 catches this season, and he should be close to the 100 mark by the end of the year.
The Falcons are up against the Packers and their shaky pass defense this week.
Prediction: Eight catches for 91 yards, One TD
Which rookie will have the best game?
A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals—No. 4 pick):
The other highly-hyped prospect in the 2011 NFL draft was none other than A.J. Green. So far this season, Green has shown he has the hands and confidence to already be considered a top WR in the league.
Green registered a touchdown in his first two games as a pro, and he has been over the century mark twice in his first four games in the NFL. These two WRs are taking the league by storm and have to be near the top of the list for Offensive Rookie of the Year, with Cam Newton ahead of them at this point.
The Bengals are up against the Jaguars in Week 5.
Prediction: Nine catches for 107 yards, Zero TDs
Denarius Moore (Oakland Raiders—No. 148 pick):
Denarius Moore burst onto the scene with five catches for 146 yards and a touchdown vs. the Bills in Week 2. He hasn’t done much since that game in catches or yards, but he did score another TD last week.
Moore showed the ability to go up for the ball and earn a catch downfield, which is lost on some pro receivers. He’s not quite at the level of the other two players on this list, but he has the raw potential to get to a level no one at the draft thought he would.
Moore and the Raiders will face the Houston Texans this week. It won’t be a huge day for Moore, but he’ll make strides as a receiver, which will provide for better results in the future.
Prediction: Eight catches for 61 yards, Zero TDs