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

Lardarius WebbJul 29 10:45a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his third straight day of practice Monday, July 28, and will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury, according [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson is slated to start at right tackle. The coaching staff has confidence in his ability after what was largely viewed as a disappointing 2013 [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was accurate with his throws during practice Monday, July 28, and he led a touchdown drive during a two-minute drill. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com [ More ]

Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce the signing of free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) Tuesday, July 29. The team needs healthy reinforcements with RBs Kendall Hunter (knee) [ More ]

Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

New York Giants WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he is still not 100 percent confident in his surgically repaired knee. 'I'm working on it,' he said of overcoming that [ More ]

John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals DE John Abraham was detained, questioned and later charged with multiple counts, including DUI, on Sunday, June 29, according to arrest reports in DeKalb County. Abraham missed [ More ]

Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

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