Drafting a rookie is a very risky thing to do in your fantasy draft. Rookies have yet to prove anything, and you never know who could be a total bust. However there is always that chance you get lucky and draft a rookie who can carry your team straight to the playoffs. Just look at Adrian Peterson's rookie season in 2008. He rushed for 1341 yards and 12 touchdowns, while adding 19 catches for 268 yards and a TD. Lets take a look at the 10 rookies who we think can impact your fantasy team in a positive way in 2011.
1.) Julio Jones - ATL
1.) Julio Jones - ATL
- When a team trades the future to draft you, you know you are part of the immediate plan. Jones will be the #2 receiver in a top offense and is a freak athlete. Jones will have value as a #2 WR on your team and will not disappoint. He is the safest rookie you can draft.
- AJ Green was selected to be their #1 receiver for years to come, and the Bengals traded Chad Ochocinco to make room. Green might have more targets this season than AJ, but with a rookie(Andy Dalton) throwing him the ball, you can not expect great results. Green is an extremely risky draft choice even as a #3 receiver, but he does have ridiculous potential.
- The love affair for Ingram is crazy, but I am not happy with the roster he landed on. Ingram is really the #3 back on a pass first offense. Pierre Thomas will start the season as the #1 back even if that means splitting carries with the rookie. Then on all 3rd down passing attempts, in comes Darren Sproles. That means Ingram might not see many touches this season. Not to say he will not produce when given a chance, but who knows how many chances he will get. If Ingram is available, and you are filling up your bench, he is a good draft choice. However, if you are looking for a #2 RB, look elsewhere.
- Well he is the clear starter for the new look Panthers, but that does not mean much. Newton has great fantasy potential with his ability to run, but it is not ready for action this season. He, much like Tebow last year, will find himself struggling, and could see the bench at points this season. The only time I would want Cam Newton on my roster is if I have a bye week for my QB and all of the other QBs in the league are injured. Let someone else draft him.
- I have been amazed at the Redskins effectiveness running the football this preseason. Both he and Tim Hightower are going to be worthy RB this fantasy season. I am not to sure that I would want Helu as a starting RB since he will be splitting time, but as a bench player and bye week filer, Helu could really be a valuable piece to your roster.
- Any kicker on the Eagles roster is worthy of a draft choice. The Eagles seem to always be in scoring range and Henery will benefit greatly from the short range kicks and XPs. Do not go and draft him in the 4th round like the Eagles did this year, but if you are ready to draft a kicker and he is available, take him.
- If this preseason is a crystal ball into the regular season, Ridley and the Pats will be scoring a lot of running TDs this season. However, that is the problem, they will only run the ball to score a TD and with 3 good RBs on the roster, how many snaps does Ridley see a game? Ridley is not worth a draft pick, but an injury to BJGE or Danny Woodhead and Ridley becomes a must have.
- Kendricks is the best pass catching TE on the Rams, but Billy Bajema will be stealing some playing time from the rookie early in the season. Also, Michael Hoomanawanui will return eventually from a calf injury. If Kendricks can make the most of his playing time, he could be a nice pick up later in the season. The TE position is so deep that you can not waste a pick on Kendricks, but he should be watched VERY closely.
- Another player I love, but ended up on the wrong roster. Murray, like Ingram, is coming onto a team that already had NFL ready RBs ahead of him. However, Dallas has been known to run 3 backs. Murray has great hands and did play some slot receiver in college. He will see the field but probably not enough to warrant a draft this season. Keep your eyes open for an injury to Felix Jones/Tashard Choice and then scoop up Murray if available.
- Watching Titus Young make this catch against Nevada made me a fan. A speedster with hands, Young could do damage slotting in between Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson. He will be the forgotten man on the Lions offense this season and could see some HUGE plays this season. Not going to be a great PPR guy, but worthy of a last round draft choice as a bench player.