This article is a continuation of RotoBaller’s fantasy football NFL rookies analysis, and NFL rookie wide receivers for the 2013 season.
NFL Rookie Running Back Updates - 2013 Fantasy Football
With week 1 in the books and week 2's games just around the corner, let’s check in with three of our favorite rookie wide receivers.
Tavon Austin, WR St. Louis Rams: After being “held back” during the preseason, the hype for Austin’s big NFL debut against the Cardinals on Sunday hardly lived up to expectations. On six receptions for 41 yards, his longest play was just 14 yards, and he scored no touchdowns. Bradford targeted tight end Jared Cook for the big plays and was relying on Austin for only short passes. To his credit, Austin didn’t make any major mistakes and consistently helped the Rams move the ball down the field. He was reliable but did very little to make his fantasy owners happy. It’s too early to panic, though, as his productivity could increase throughout the season. The more consistent Austin is, the more Bradford will continue to trust him. If Cook’s impressive performance ends up garnering him more coverage, Austin could have a chance to use the skills he displayed on Sunday to make big plays as the season continues.
Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, New England Patriots: Against a surprisingly talented EJ Manuel, Brady and the new look Patriots receiving core almost couldn’t get it done on Sunday. They eked out a win, somehow, but it was no thanks to Thompkins. The rookie was touted as a sleeper with expectations to be Brady’s No. 2 breakout receiver this year. After he struggled on his first target early on, he remained unimpressive throughout the rest of the game, catching just four of 14 targets. When he did catch a pass, he wasn’t able to get any extra yards and couldn’t keep his feet in bounds on a touchdown opportunity. His inexperience on the field was obvious while he and Brady didn’t seem to be on the same page, contradicting the positive comments that came out of training camp. Thompkins is a prime example of how different preseason is from the regular season, and his skills hardly translated. Don’t give up on Thompkins yet, but he’s definitely a shaky start unless he can prove that he’s worked on some things during his next outing against the Jets.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: In Monday night’s close win over the San Diego Chargers, Hopkins was targeted six times and made five receptions for 66 yards. There is no denying, he looked good. Any doubts that were lingering about the effects of his concussion should be left in the dust, replaced with feelings of confidence in this young receiver and his capabilities. Andre Johnson still gets the vast majority of the looks, which will make it hard for Hopkins to truly break out on a weekly basis, but he’s proven he certainly has the talent to make plays. Without a solid receiver to compete with, Hopkins is clearly the man if the injury-prone Johnson hits any bumps in the road this year. Sitting him in Week 1 was smart, but expect to grab him off your bench sooner rather than later.