Lacy, Bernard and Keenan Allen were just a few of the stand out rookies in 2013. Here’s some names to keep in mind when you draft. They are in no particular order. As we’ve seen, anyone can become a key member of your roster. Rookies usually aren’t worth a high draft pick. But do add depth and starting ability.
Mike Evans – WR – Buccaneers – Evans will Will have Josh McCown throwing to him. McCown had a fantastic season with the Bears a year ago. I always temper expectations with rookie receivers. Evans should be targeted a lot in the red zone.
Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Panthers – In a sea of garbage, Benjamin could be the benefactor of Cam Newton’s lack of targets. He’s a big receiver who should get red zone looks. Like Mike Evans, Benjamin looks like he could be a good fill-in or number 3 receiver.
Brandin Cooks – WR – Saints – It’s always tough to have Saints receivers. You never know who will be the one to go off. Cooks has great speed and Versatility running routes. He could have a very nice rookie season. He should be drafted.
Eric Ebron – Tight End – Lions – Ebron gives the Lions another Big body. He will line-up all over the field as he is more of a pass catcher than a traditional tight end.
Sammy Watkins – WR – Bills – If EJ Manuel can take the next step, Watkins should have a solid rookie season. He could be a good 3rd receiver for you and someone to keep.
Bishop Sankey RB – Titans – Sankey steps into a situation where he is the main man in the backfield. Chris Johnson is gone, Shonn Green isn’t healthy. Sankey should be the first rookie drafted this year. I’d look for him in the third or fourth round.
Dontae Moncrief – WR – Colts – Moncrief could be the biggest steal of the NFL draft for fantasy. He ends up with Luck in Indianapolis. Reggie Wayne is coming off an ACL injury and will be turning 36 mid-season. He could be the heir apparent to Wayne. Hakeem Nicks best days seem behind him. Moncrief will battle Nicks and Da’Rick Rogers for playing time. I’d take a late round flyer on him.
Austin Saferian-Jenkins – TE – Buccaneers – A big pass catching tight end in an offense full of big targets and a veteran QB. If McCown has another good season, he could be a low end starter year one.
Jordan Mathews – WR – Eagles – Foles looked great running Chip Kelly’s offense. Mathews is a hard worker and tremendous route runner. Maclin and Cooper will get the bulk of the targets. Maclin has failed to stay healthy and Mathews could be a late round steal on your draft day.
Davante Adams – WR – Packers – James Jones has left and Davante Adams could fill his role. There’s a lot of good players to compete for targets with.In a Aaron Rodgers offense anybody can be productive. Adams should only be taken in later rounds.
Marquise Lee – WR – Jaguars – Marquise Lee will step right in and play. Blackmon is one for the season and Henne is a capable QB. Lee should be owned but he is most likely depth who will play for you in bye weeks or if injuries hit your team.
Jace Amaro – TE – Jets – At 6’6”, Jace Amaro should have an immediate impact on the Jets offense. If Smith or Vick can play well Amaro should be one of the main focuses of the passing game. Amaro should be a low-end starter.
Troy Niklas – TE – Cardinals – Niklas should only help the Cardinals offense with his blocking and pass catching. I don’t see high value for him in fantasy. But he is another option for Carson Palmer and fills a position that’s been lacking in Arizona for a number of years. Rob Housler will compete to be the starter. It’s a situation to keep and eye on. Niklas will most likely be a waiver wire pick up at best.
Terrence West – RB – Browns – West is a North-South runner with size. Ben Tate will get the chance to start. But West if given the chance could be a big part of the offense. goal line opportunities.
Dri Archer – RB – Steelers – Archer is a small player with a ton of speed. His value will come in leagues that score individual kick and punt returning. He will get looks running and catching passes. But not enough to warrant a spot on your roster. But he could be bench depth if he takes off as a returner in deep leagues.
Charles Sims – RB – Buccaneers – Doug Martin followed up a fantastic rookie season with a flop and then a season ending injury. Mike James filled in for about a minute. before getting hurt. Now Sims has the chance to steal reps as the healthy back. He runs well and can catch. I would draft Sims late because i can see him getting carries and targets.
James White – RB – Patriots – The Patriots have a crowded backfield. Ridley has had trouble holding onto the ball. Shane Vereen can’t stay healthy. Bolden is unspectacular. Enter James White. A rotational college back who will get work. He was very productive on the goal line. I’d have white fill up one of my final roster spots. Like Blount last year he could be a steal if things fall his way.
Jeremy Hill RB – Bengals – Hill is a bigger back and it seems he will transition into the role BenJarvus Green-Ellis has had. If Hill has a nice pre-season he could take over sooner or later. Draft Hill in later rounds. if he impresses in August grab him a few rounds earlier.
CJ. Fiedorwitz – TE – Texans – Houston had always had a rotation of TE’s who could step up at anytime. Garrett Graham and Ryan Griffin return from last year. I think Fiedorowitz will be in the mix. Someone to keep an eye on. I don’t think he needs to be drafted unless he has a big preseason.
Allen Robinson – WR – Jaguars – A good sized target could make the Jags receiving crew pretty good if he works out. With Shorts and Sanders in his second year Robinson and fellow rookie Lee could be a good group. Depending on the QB situation and offensive line the Jaguars passing attack could be solid this year. Robinson most likely doesn’t need to be drafted. But keep your eye out for him.
Jarvis Landry – WR – Dolphins – Landy seems like a long shot to me to be productive. Especially as a rookie. He has Wallace, Clay and Hartline to battle for targets. I think Matt Hazel who is also a rookie for the fins will end up with the better NFL career. Don’t draft Landry. Coming from LSU more people will know his name. I’m staying away and so should you.
Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Vikings – I love Bridgewater’s situation. Anytime you have the best runningback maybe ever in your backfield it helps. Patterson is another offensive weapon who’ll make Teddy’s life better. Greg Jennings is an addiquit veteran and Rudolph is a big target in the red zone. Most rookie QB’s aren’t worth having on your roster. In a two QB start league Bridgewater may have some value.
Martavis Bryant – WR – Steelers – The tall lanky speedster will get a shot in the Steelers receiver rotation. If Macus Wheaton doesn’t step up after a disappointing rookie year, Bryant could be next in-line. In deep leagues i’d take him in the final round as a flyer. Bryant has a ton of speed and the ability to become a star if he puts it all together.
Isaiah Crowell – RB – Browns – Crowell will battle for reps with West and Tate. Anything can happen and if Crowell gets a chance he could be a solid flex play. Keep and eye on his reps in preseason and early in the year. You most likely wont draft him. Someone to keep on your watch list.
Tyler Gaffney – RB – Panthers – Gaffney is a big, workhorse back. He’s a real sleeper to be very productive this year. DeAngelo Williams is 31, Stewart is often injured and Barner failed to do much his rookie season. While those names are ahead of him now, Gaffney could find himself as the Zac Stacy of 2014. He should be drafted in the later rounds.
Devonta Freeman – RB – Falcons – Freeman is a short thick bodied back who can ru and catch. Comes from a 3 back rotation at FSU. Steven Jackson is older and gets hurt a lot. Rodgers is no star. Freeman will get his chance to carry the ball for Atlanta.
Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – Giants – Beckham Jr. looks like he’s ready to step into the pro game and play well. He should see the field a lot and could be the top target for Eli manning. Manning’s skills seem to have diminished quickly. So that could hurt Beckham Jr’s production. He should be drafted in the mid to later rounds.
Carlos Hyde – RB – 49ers – It’s a pretty crowded backfield in San Fran. If the plan is to keep Frank Gore than I expect his carries to go down. Hyde should be the Benefactor. He’s a big physical back and if Gore goes down Hyde should be a major fantasy point scorer this season. Draft in the mid to later rounds.
Jerrick McKinnon – RB -Vikings – McKinnon can do it all. He was an option Quarterback at Georgia Southern. He also played Runningback, Receiver and Cornerback. hile Adrian Peterson is ahead of him. His carried could soon be catching up with him and injuries could come more often. McKinnon should be drafted at best as a 5 RB if you have Peterson and the roster space.
Andre Williams – RB – Giants – Williams has a long history of injuries but was able to stay healthy and productive for Boston College last year. He has a good shot to take over at some point as the top back for the Giants. Rashad Jennings was signed but he’s never been a full-time back all season. I’d take a late round flyer on Williams.