This article is a continuation of RotoBaller’s 2013 fantasy football sleepers and rookies. Today we’ll be taking a look around the NFL at potential impact rookies for fantasy football, and give you our fantasy analysis.
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2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers - Impact NFL Rookies
There are lots of NFL rookies to be excited about this season and, while they are all talented, two stand out as being best situated to make an impact for fantasy football. I give you my favorite rookie picks below, and also look at three rookie honorable mentions.
My Top Picks
Tavon Austin (WR, St. Louis Rams): The Rams need a play-making receiver badly and Austin will be that guy. The biggest factor in a rookie being able to have a breakout season is playing time and Austin will get it on this new Rams offense. Austin’s ability to get yards after the catch has impressed everyone and his wide range of tools will make him indispensable. He’s fast and can return punts and lineup in the backfield. From all indications, his grasp of the playbook continues to improve and he is getting more confident with each opportunity on the field. He will consistently utilized by the Rams, much to the delight of those fantasy owners who are smart enough to snag him.
Giovanni Bernard (RB, Cincinnati Bengals): Bernard will be playing on a Bengals offense behind veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and, from all indications, the two are a perfect match for each other. Rather than playing second fiddle to Green-Ellis, Bernard’s explosiveness could help him split time with Green-Ellis on a regular basis. His most recent pre-season performance included a touchdown and 37 yards on seven carries. Bernard can also make the bigger receptions, like the 22-yarder he had in his pre-season performance against the Titans. If Green-Ellis gets hurt, look for Bernard to break out in a big way. He’s the type of player than can do it all and is on the perfect team to immediately make an impact.
Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Minnesota Vikings): Patterson was drafted 29th overall by the Minnesota Vikings, and for good reason. His track and field accomplishments translate well onto the football field; he’s fast, strong, and can jump. His speed and quick movements make him very hard to tackle, resulting in high yardage. He will likely do some kick returns this season as well, and take over some of the plays that used to go to Percy Harvin. His kick-off return in his first pre-season performance showed off his arsenal of skills- strong, fast, and the ability to dodge tackles. Despite his impressive talent, playing with Christian Ponder might limit him a bit, especially with Adrian Peterson on the roster.
Robert Woods (WR, Buffalo Bills): Like Patterson, Woods is fast and his track and field experience from college helps his explosiveness on the field. He recently seemed to lock down the No. 2 role, opposite Stevie Johnson, and should hold on to the role barring unforeseen circumstances. He’s clearly talented but lack of an impressive throwing quarterback might limit him on a Bills offense that is run-heavy. There are several other young receivers in the mix, and splitting time with them throughout the year might result in a low-scoring year for Woods, fantasy-wise.
Joseph Randle (RB, Dallas Cowboys): While Randle was an early favorite, an outstanding training camp performance by teammate Lance Dunbar pushed Randle out of the No. 2 spot. Dunbar’s recently sprained foot has given Randle another chance to step up and prove himself to the Cowboys staff. His rookie mistakes have hurt him thus far, but if he can find consistency he should have a good shot to get major playing time. His athletic talent has been proven, now needs to focus on his mental intelligence. If he can improve his in-game decision-making and blocking skills, he’ll see play time, but I don’t expect him to post huge fantasy numbers in his first year.
Here are some more fantasy football articles about rookies & sleepers. Let’s win some leagues!
- 2013 Fantasy Football: NFL Rookies & Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Rookie Running Backs
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Rookie Wide Receivers
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: A Look at Impact Rookies
- 2013 Fantasy Football: Evaluating NFL Rookie Running Backs (Part 2)
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide Receivers
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Breakthrough Wide Receiver Candidates
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Later Round Running Backs (RB)
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Using ADP To Plan Your Draft Strategy
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