Last year was a very good year for rookies in fantasy football. Running backs such as Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton and Jonathan Stewart all had big impacts on people’s teams last year. That’s not even mentioning the receivers such as DeSean Jackson and Eddie Royal along with Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco at the quarterback position. While this rookie class isn’t as deep, there are some players who could have big impacts on your fantasy teams this upcoming season. Here are my top ten fantasy football rookies who could help you win your league next year.
1. Knowshon Moreno RB Broncos: The Broncos had a very good passing attack last year but with the Jay Cutler trade, that will take a hit. Moreno is a very durable back which the Broncos desperately need considering they went through seven last year. Running backs usually have the biggest impact on fantasy football right out of the gate and Moreno should be no different as the Broncos focus on improving their running game this year. Expect around 1300 total yards and 10 touchdowns.
2. Mark Sanchez QB Jets: Other than last year, rookie quarterbacks don’t usually put up very good fantasy numbers. Sanchez though has the potential to pick up where Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco left off. Most rookie quarterbacks are thrown into the fire right away with a poor offensive line and are sacked 60 times. That won’t be the case for Sanchez as he is protected by one of the league’s best offensive lines. Sanchez is already the toast of New York but it won’t be long before fantasy owners feel the same way. Expect around 3200 yards 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
3. Michael Crabtree WR 49ers: After seeing the numbers he put up in the pass happy Texas Tech offense, fantasy owners were salivating at the chance to take Crabtree. Crabtree should be very effective in the NFL but rookie receivers don’t usually put up big fantasy numbers. Plus, the quarterback situation in San Francisco isn’t settled as Shaun Hill and Alex Smith are battling for the starting job. Crabtree should be effective this year but he should really start putting up numbers in year two. Expect around 800 yards and 5 touchdowns.
4. Chris Wells RB Cardinals: Wells has a combination of size and speed that can make him a very effective fantasy back. He has the speed to run away from defenders and the size to score on the goal line. The only problems are that he isn’t very durable and the Cardinals offensive line has struggled in run blocking. Wells has all the potential to be a top fantasy back in the Cardinals offense but don’t forget that four years ago everybody was expecting JJ Arrington to have a huge rookie season. Expect around 900 total yards and 7 touchdowns.
5. Donald Brown RB Colts: Brown may not be the starting back for the Colts, but he has the potential to have a big time fantasy football impact in his rookie season. Brown doesn’t have any “wow” factors in his running style but he is a very good all around back who catches the ball out of the backfield well. Brown is an interesting player to watch in rookie leagues as he will start off as a compliment to Joseph Addai but later on could become an elite fantasy back. Expect around 800 total yards and 6 touchdowns.
6. Jeremy Maclin WR Eagles: Maclin could end up being a bigger impact in fantasy football then Crabtree due to the fact that the Eagles have stability at the quarterback position. Maclin has excellent speed and he and DeSean Jackson will form one of the fastest receiver tandems in the league. If you get extra points in your league for return yards and special team’s touchdowns, Maclin could end up being a very good value in the middle rounds. Expect around 1500 total yards and 5 touchdowns.
7. Percy Harvin WR Vikings: There isn’t really a true position for Harvin as he is more of a receiver/running back hybrid. But with all of that being said, he was a threat to score every time he touched the ball at Florida. He is a very raw receiver but the Vikings already said they will use him in similar ways that Urban Meyer did at Florida. He won’t ever be a number one fantasy receiver but he could put up very similar numbers to what Reggie Bush put up his rookie season. Expect around 1300 total yards and 6 touchdowns.
8. Shonn Greene RB Jets: With both Thomas Jones and Leon Washington wanting new contracts, Greene could have a very big role in the Jets offense this year. He isn’t a threat to score every time he touches the ball but has good size and could be a touchdown vulture around the goal line. He is worth keeping an eye on in keeper league as he could very well be the Jets feature running back next year. Expect around 800 total yards and 5 touchdowns.
9. LeSean McCoy RB Eagles: Since Brian Westbrook isn’t very durable, McCoy could have a bigger impact on fantasy leagues then you would expect. Like Westbrook, McCoy is a very good receiver and he is also a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Look for McCoy to have a big impact as a complimentary back this year. Expect around 900 total yards and 4 touchdowns.
10. Rashad Jennings RB Jaguars: Jennings was the top small school running back in the draft this year and it was a shock to many that he fell to the Jaguars in the 7th round. Like Maurice Jones-Drew did three years ago, Jennings has the potential to burst on the fantasy scene right away. The Jaguars are looking to run the ball again and Jones-Drew who is now the feature back started to breakdown towards the end of the year as he was getting the ball almost 40 times a game. Keep an eye on Jennings in the preseason and the first few weeks of the season before it’s too late. Expect around 800 yards and 6 touchdowns.