Top 10 NFL Rookies to Target for Your Keeper League

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IMay 24, 2009

SANTA CLARA, CA - MAY 01:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during practice as quaterback Alex Smith #11 practices during the 49ers Minicamp at their training facilities on May 1, 2009 in Santa Clara, California. Crabtree was the 49ers first round draft pick.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

There are a number of ways to play and enjoy fantasy football, and one way that continues to grow is the keeper league format. The main difference between keeper leagues and standard leagues is that after your initial draft, you get to hold onto 2-3 players from season to season.

From there, your drafts exist simply to fill the rest of your roster. Now, that you understand the keeper league format, it's time for the Bruno Boys to help you build a dynasty. As such, Bruno Boys Greg ranks the top 10 rookies to look at in your keeper league.

1. WR Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers)

This one is a no brainer. Crabtree, out of Texas Tech, was one of the best players in the draft and could turn into one of the best receivers in the game in just a few short years. Crabtree gives the 49ers their first legitimate No. 1 wideout since T.O. departed and is a great guy to build your fantasy receiving corps around.

2. RB Knowshon Moreno (Denver Broncos)

Despite having a plethora of running backs on their roster already, the Broncos still used their first round selection on Moreno, which just goes to show how highly they think of the back.

While Moreno is the Broncos tailback of the future, he could very well have an immediate impact in the league as he can not only run well, but also catches the ball out of the back field well.

3. QB Mark Sanchez (New York Jets)

Losing Brett Favre, the Jets decided that Sanchez had all the make-up to be their QB for years to come, trading up to the number three spot in the draft to secure his services. In 2009, Sanchez will only be asked to not make mistakes as he adjusts to NFL play.

In the next couple of years, though, he could be putting up big numbers as the Jets build their offense around his arm.

4. WR Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants)

With the Plaxico Burress saga resulting in the Giants parting ways with the big name receiver, the team used their first round selection on Nicks, an excellent wide receiver out of UNC, who had 1,222 receiving yards and 12 TDs in 2008. The Giants will need Hicks to step up right away to help out Eli Manning in the post-Burress era.

5. RB Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts)

While head coach, Jim Caldwell, has stated that Joseph Addai is still the team's number one back, don't read too much into it. The team did not draft Brown to simply have him sit on the sidelines.

Brown should get the touches he needs to put up solid numbers, especially since he will play with a solid quarterback in Peyton Manning, who'll take pressure off of the running game.

6. RB Chris “Beanie” Wells (Arizona Cardinals)

Wells is a bruising running back with a ton of talent. The Cardinals were thrilled to see him on the board when their selection came in this year's draft, and you should be to if you can get him in your keeper league.

Before long, Wells will be the feature back and will play a big part in the offense for years to come.

7. WR Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles)

Coming out of Missouri, Maclin is a solid player with great character. His 1,260 receiving yards and 15 total TDs in 2008 show what promise he has. Don't be surprised to see him become the Eagles' No. 1 guy in the next couple years, leaping past DeSean Jackson.

8. RB LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles)

Don't get us wrong, it's still the Brian Westbrook show in Philly, but keeper leagues are all about looking to the future. While McCoy will play a complimentary role in the next couple seasons, he will get an opportunity to flourish upon Westbrook's departure.

9. TE Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit Lions)

It is Pettigrew, not Stafford, who makes the top 10 list as he will be an important safety valve for Detroit and is a safer bet to be productive in the NFL despite all the guaranteed money the Lions threw Stafford's way.

With the tight end position taking a dramatic step back in 2008, it's not a stretch to think that Pettigrew could be at the top of the list in the next couple years.

10. QB Nate Davis (San Francisco 49ers)

This is the shocker to round out the top 10 as 5th rounder Davis makes the list over Stafford and Freeman. While Davis will not see the field this year, that may not be such a bad thing.

The QB will spend 2008 learning behind Shaun Hill and Damon Huard. With a year of learning and not playing, as well as having another great rookie on his team in Michael Crabtree, he could be a solid fantasy player in the future.

Just missed the cut:

1. QB Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)

2. WR Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans)

3. WR Mohamed Massaquoi (Cleveland Browns)

4. QB Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

5. RB Shonn Greene (New York Jets)

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