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

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

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