2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Impact Rookies

Aug 21 2007 11:45AM
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

We don't advocate going crazy with rookies come draft day. For every Marques Colston, there are 10 Mike Williams. It isn't a great strategy to load up on rookies even though it might be the exciting and sexy thing to do. This is normally a recipe for disaster.

But we don't have a problem with getting a rookie or two on your roster. There are always a few rookies that make a big impact. The key is to identify the rookies that seem setup to produce from day one. Below is our list of the rookies that we see producing for fantasy teams this season.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings. Yes, we know Chester Taylor is the starter in Minnesota. But Peterson is going to get his work. This guy is a beast with big-play ability. He will be a star in this league and the Vikings aren't going to keep him on the bench. He might not finish with the best stats of a rookie back this season, but we like his chances to produce enough to be a solid No. 2 or 3 back. Peterson is a special talent.

Brady Quinn, QB, Browns. Quinn made his competition to start look bad in his first preseason action. He outperformed Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye. And this was after getting little work in training camp. You would have to think Quinn will be starting at some point this season - probably sooner than later. The Browns don't have a ton of talent offensively, but Quinn could be worth a few spot starts once he claims the No. 1 quarterback role with the Browns.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills. Lynch projects to be the highest scoring rookie fantasy back this season. He will start from day one and get the majority of the carries in an emerging Bills offense. Plus, he is a viable receiver, which will help his stats even more. He has a lot of total yardage potential and should near double-digit touchdowns. Lynch is an exciting, young talent, making him a good choice as a No. 2 fantasy back as early as this season.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions. Johnson was arguably the most talented player in the draft. And he moves into a starting role in a Lions offense that should throw the ball plenty. He has 1,000-yard potential as a rookie and could score a good number of touchdowns. Johnson might get overvalued in some leagues, though. We wouldn't count on gaudy numbers as a rookie, but good enough for him to be a great No. 2 receiver.

Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers. Jackson is playing better and better as he continues to run with the first team as Vernand Morency continues to miss time because of injury. Jackson is playing his way into a starting role. And even if Morency returns, Jackson projects to get plenty of chances in the Packers offense. Jackson isn't a guy we would count on as a No. 2 back, but take him as your third back and hope for the best. He has some upside in a Packers offense that seems to be getting better.

Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Colts. We think Gonzalez could be the most productive rookie wideout. He moves into the No. 3 receiver role with the Colts. And he is having a terrific camp and seems to be gaining a rapport with Peyton Manning. Remember, Brandon Stokley was a fantasy force for a few seasons in this same role. The Colts passing attack should be explosive, giving all three of their top receivers plenty of opportunities from week to week.

Greg Olsen, TE, Bears. Olsen is a big-time talent at the tight end position. The Bears already have Desmond Clark, who played well last season, but his pass catching skills aren't near as good as Olsen. The Bears will split Olsen out wide to use his speed but also run him down the middle of the field to stretch defenses. Olsen plays like a receiver at the tight end position. He won't be an every week starter to begin the season, but he could end the season as a legit No. 1 fantasy tight end. The Bears will find ways to utilize this talent in their offense.

Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans. Jones is turning heads in camp. He comes from a little known college (Lane), but is playing like a big-time talent. He just makes plays and does a great job of finding the open spaces. He is pushing to start and even if he doesn't start, he'll at least be the No. 3 receiver, getting plenty of action in the Texans offense. He could be this year's Marques Colston. Don't reach too soon for Jones, but take a flyer on him late in your draft and hope his progress and strong play continues.

Tony Hunt, RB, Eagles. Hunt is not running the ball too well, but doing good things in short-yardage situations. He could end up getting the goal-line work for the Eagles, which is a something fantasy owners need to know. We don't expect his yardage numbers to be very good, but he could surprise with his touchdown totals.

James Jones, WR, Packers. Like the other Jones, James Jones is having a strong training camp and preseason. He is pushing Greg Jennings for the other starting spot at receiver. Jones has been the best receiver in Packers camp and seems to have formed a good chemistry with Brett Favre, who is giving Jones rave reviews. The Packers claim Jennings isn't in danger of losing his starting spot, but we don't buy it. If Jones continues his strong play, the Packers will get him on the field more often. For now, he is another good late-round flyer come draft day. The potential is there for Jones to be something special as soon as this season, though.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sam BradfordApr 24 06:02p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor. [ More ]

Chris PolkApr 24 05:42p

Philadelphia Eagles restricted free-agent RB Chris Polk's tender offer has been rescinded by the Eagles, according to a source. Polk will become an unrestricted free agent and allowed to sign with any team.

Jaiquawn JarrettApr 24 04:52p

New York Jets restricted free-agent SS Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his tender offer Friday, April 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hakeem NicksApr 24 01:42p

Free-agent WR Hakeem Nicks (Colts) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the Tennessee Titans Friday, April 24.

Justin BlackmonApr 24 12:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is likely done with the Jaguars if he's reinstated into the league, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

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