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

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

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