Fantasy Football: Top 5 Rookies
There won’t be a Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco this year.
Mark Sanchez could see his team get the playoffs, but it will undoubtedly not be because he throws for 3,000 yards and 20+ touchdowns.
There’s not going to be an Adrian Peterson, or a slew of Chris Johnson’s, Steve Slaton’s, and Matt Forte’s.
Realistically, there are only two rookie running backs worth drafting in the top five rounds.
That might even be a reach.
Wide Receivers are no different.
There are a few with a solid chance at starting, and a few more with duties in the slot almost guaranteed.
But superstars? Not even Michael Crabtree.
If you must take a chance, or are investing for a dynasty or keeper league, here’s the top five guys that could pan out, just as you’d hoped.
Honorable Mentions: Donald Brown, Shonne Green, LeSean McCoy, Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin
5.Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Regardless of what some biased scouts said about him, the guy can flat-out play.
He has the hands, smarts, and body control of a dominant NFL wide receiver, and that’s exactly what he’ll be-some day.
Crabtree is still behind Isaac Bruce, Josh Morgan, and probably even Jason Hill.
Due to missed practices and the depth ahead of him, Crabtree is in danger of starting his rookie year as the fourth option.
He’s still been going high (eighth) round, so you may have to fight for him.
But I suggest you let someone else take that chance.
4. Brian Robiskie, WR, Cleveland Browns
If there’s any receiver who is a shoe-in to start, it’s Robiskie.
He has exceptional hands and body control, and reportedly runs routes and handles coverage like a veteran.
He may not have blazing speed, but Robiskie is vastly underrated, and projects to snag the number two spot before the season starts.
Robiskie would make for a nice steal in rounds 8 to 10.
3. Knownshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
He could very well end up being the best player on this list (this year, and beyond), but his offensive system and depth at his position really don’t suggest so.
Head Coach Josh McDaniels runs 3-4 backs at all times, and prefers the pass over the run. If Kyle Orton does well, they’ll stick to that plan, which could have Moreno falling short of 1,000 yards, despite being “the starter.”
2. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
There’s simply too much talent ahead of him for him to start right away.
Kevin Curtis has paid his dues and is still effective, while it’s unrealistic to think the electric DeSean Jackson will take a back seat to the rookie.
Maclin’s talent is off the charts, though, with excellent size, speed, and hands.
He won’t start the season as Philly’s go-to receiver, but he’s likely to send Curtis to slot duties, eventually.
1. Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Don’t buy the hype.
Tim Hightower is a failed experiment, and Arizona spent a first rounder on Wells for a good reason: to start him.
He may be eased into the role, but there’s no reason to have him sit behind the ineffective Hightower.
Hightower has a slight advantage in the passing game, but expecting that to keep Wells off the field is simply laughable.
The Cardinals aim to have a more balanced attack, and if Wells can help make that successful, he could post the best numbers of all the rookies.