Looking for the next big gem but not into digging for it yourself? That’s all gravy.
Take a look at the 10 safest rookie bets after two weeks (by position), along with some analysis toward their future, as well as a good look at their present.
And no, Matthew Stafford doesn’t make the list. Why? Because all he’s good for is interceptions; that’s why.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets
Last Week: 14-22, 167 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
Sanchez has looked like a seasoned veteran in his first two games, throwing for three touchdowns, 435 yards, and only one interception.
However, the drop from 31 attempts and 272 yards in Week One to 22 attempts and only 167 yards in Week Two is exactly the kind of inconsistency you need to prepare for when dealing with a rookie.
Regardless, Sanchez is doing his best Matt Ryan impression and is easily the better play between him and Matthew Stafford going forward.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009
Tags: arizona cardinals, chicago bears, Chris Wells, Donald Brown, Fantasy Football, indianapolis colts, Johnny Knox, Julian Edelman, Kenny Britt, LeSean McCoy, Louis Muprhy, mark sanchez, Minnesota Vikings, new england patriots, new york jets, NFL Rookies, oakland raiders, Percy Harvin, philadelphia eagles, Sleepers, Steals
No thanks, Adrian Peterson. Brett Favre had this one.
Favre may still not own a 200-yard passing day as a Viking, but no one ever said winning games had to or would come by launching 50-yard passes.
Favre can’t face the 2007 Denver Broncos in overtime every week. But then again, he won’t be getting back-to-back supposed “cakewalk” matches with the Browns and Lions on a regular basis, either.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009
While certain analysts and columnists are jumping all over Favre as “old and slow”, this writer saw something else on Monday night.
I saw a true gamer. Yes, he’s 39, going on 40, and probably isn’t as nimble as he once was.
But he’s still got it. Boy, does he ever. (Cue over-hyping and under-hyping here)
Still, Favre was an impressive 13-18 for 142 yards and a touchdown in just under three quarters, while leading the Vikings to 10 points, and also watching as Adrian Peterson scampered 80 yards for a score on the opening play.
Some nay-sayers are already nit-picking the future Hall of Famer’s prime-time performance, citing his two taken sacks in only 20 drop-backs, while offering the fact that he’s not athletic or quick enough to elude defenders.
Plain and simple, that’s a bunch of bull.
If these so-called “experts” actually were watching the tape, they’d see that both of the sacks Favre took had absolutely nothing to do with his athleticism or anything to do with his decision-making.
His first sack came on a blown blitz pick-up, as a Texan defender blew threw a gaping hole and crushed Favre, who had no chance to make a play.
The second sack was actually a result of Favre making a smart play, as a defender nicked the ball from behind while Favre was in his throwing motion, forcing Favre to tuck the ball down and take the sack, rather than force a bad throw or fumble the ball.
Add in Percy Harvin’s dropped touchdown pass (a beautiful pass by Favre), and some shady line-blocking, and Favre’s performance was actually borderline flawless.
The Favre-haters can keep jumping on the bandwagon all they want, but this small showing in pre-season action went a long way in assuring Minnesota fans everywhere that Favre brings more to the team than they originally thought.
Besides, with the way Adrian Peterson was playing on Monday, will it really matter if Favre isn’t his old vintage self?
In one over-used cliche’ expression: probably not.
On that same note, Favre wasn’t over or under-used, as Head Coach Brad Childress began with the run (which resulted in a touchdown on the first offensive play), and did a fine job of sprinkling Favre into the offense, rather than force the issue.
While it’s still extremely early (and just the pre-season), it’s clear Favre has at least shaken off the rust, and is already showing signs of making a significant impact for the Vikings.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2009
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.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, July 18, 2009
Tags: adrian peterson, arizona cardinals, atlanta falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Brian Robiskie, chicago bears, Chris Wells, cleveland browns, denver broncos, Donald Brown, houston texans, indianapolis colts, Jeremy Maclin, joe flacco, Knowshon Moreno, LeSean McCoy, mark sanchez, Matt Forte, matt ryan, Michael Crabtree, Minnesota Vikings, new york jets, Percy Harvin, philadelphia eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Shonne Green, steve slaton, tennessee titans