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Le'Veon Bell

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell Lookin' To Get PAID!


“Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell will report back to team before regular season kicks off, though it remains unclear exactly when.” Bell values himself at about $15mm per year, your move Rooney.

Fantasy Goo: There is no doubt Bell is an elite RB1 when he is active, this hold-out makes me nervous. He might be staying in shape, but there is no way to really simulate game-speed without actually participating with the team. He missed 3 games last year and came in shredding defenses, but that is much different than missing camp completely.


08/18/17, 05:48 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Eddie Lacy

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Thomas Rawls

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts

Indy Needs Some Luck


There has been quite a bit of concern about Andrew Luck’s availability to start the season on the active roster after offseason surgery. Hartbeat points out that, “Colts seem confident in Luck for week 1 as they haven't changed their playbook.” There is a concern about his offensive line though as starting C Ryan Kelly is likely to find himself on the designated IR for return after foot surgery.

Fantasy Goo: Luck put together a 2016 season with a career best 71.2 QBR and a 92.4 PFF grade. If he’s healthy he’s a must start, and his ADP has fallen nearly two rounds since August first. He is now being drafted as the eighth QB off the board. Check out the Draft Kit vol.3 to get the full goo.


08/17/17, 08:57 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers

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08/17/17, 10:10 AM CDT by The Hartbeat

Source: pyromaniac.com


Curtis Samuel

Carolina Panthers

Samuel Back in Pads


Curtis Samuel was back in full pads for today's practice (Wednesday), he has missed almost all of training camp with a hamstring problem that began as a issue in the spring. He's been out for so long that it's hard to see him having a immediate early-season role.

Fantasy Goo: Samuel is the ultimate utility knife if he can get healthy, he can pick up the big plays vacated by Ginn and match anything fellow rookie McCaffrey does in the passing game.


08/16/17, 08:15 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Ty Montgomery

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jamaal Williams

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jaron Brown

Arizona Cardinals

Jaron Number Two?


Larry Fitzgerald is the No. 1 wideout. Brown? “He’s No. 2 right now,” Coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday.
“I’ve been here for a while,” Jaron Brown said. “Every camp is different. We obviously have injuries, and that gives me an opportunity. I just try to take advantage.

Fantasy Goo: I could see Jaron shooting up draft boards, and I like him as a last round dart throw, but this just makes that receiving corps all the more crowded. A torn ACL prevented Jaron from possibly breaking-out last year. Yesterday we thought JJ Nelson would emerge, I’m sure we will be re-visiting this regularly.


08/16/17, 04:21 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Cole Beasley

Dallas Cowboys

Beasley Under the Radar


NFL Next Gen Stats have revealed many of their numbers to the public recently. Hartbeat picked this one out on Twitter: Cole Beasley adding another advanced stat that he thrives in, Top 10 in separation among all pass catchers.

Fantasy Goo: Beasley was one of the most efficient weapons in the NFL last year. His Defense-adjusted Yards above Replacement and Defense-adjusted Value over Average ranked as 5th best among WRs. For more on Beasley and others check out the Pyro Pulse podcast episode 6, WR Tiers.


08/15/17, 05:08 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


John Brown

Arizona Cardinals

John Brown’s Health Back in Question


WR John Brown looking like sickle cell IS NOT being managed by the Cardinals. Could be another injury plagued season for Brown. Arians said WR John Brown not practicing full time is a concern (He's been participating in certain drills during practice).

Fantasy Goo: JJ Nelson was the WR11 in PPR scoring weeks 13-17, it appears as though we should be drafting Nelson as one of our late round flyers immediately. If the Brown news continues to be negative we will begin to see Nelson’s stock rise. Jaron Brown and Chad Williams are names we should also keep an eye on, but Arians has complained about their lack of performance publicly.


08/15/17, 04:28 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Maxx Williams

Baltimore Ravens

Maxx Looks Slow, Open Door for Watson


“Tight end Maxx Williams deserves a ton of credit for persevering through a serious knee surgery and getting back onto the field this summer. But in watching him run, it’s still pretty clear that he has a ways to go. He has bulked up and gotten considerably stronger, so it will be interesting to see whether he becomes more of a blocking tight end, assuming he’s on the season-opening roster.”

fantasy Goo: Ben Watson appears to be worth a last round flier. Denis Pitta was the number eight TE overall last year and he only scored 2 TD’s. Watson was the number 6 TE in 2015 with Drew Brees throwing him 6 TD’s.


08/15/17, 03:54 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.baltimoresun.com


Ryan Mathews

Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan Matthews Released


After passing his physical earlier today, The Eagles have informed former starting RB Ryan Mathews that he's been released. This move was completely expected, the Eagles save a bunch of money by releasing him now.

Fantasy Goo: Hartbeat would like to see him land in: IND, SF, MIA or CHI (all backup roles). I think the Giants or Ravens should see what he has left in the tank, even if it’s just a few games Matthews is a talented back, he’s just been drenched with injuries. I don’t think the team that picks him up has to pay much for him.


08/15/17, 03:30 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Devonta Freeman

Atlanta Falcons

Freeman in Concussion Protocol


Coach Quinn says Devonta Freeman is in concussion protocol, will be ruled out for Sunday's game. This really means nothing if he’s back by next week, but if this lingers like Jay Ajayi’s concussion, Coleman might actually be worth his draft value in the sixth round.

Fantasy Goo: Despite being only 206 lbs he had the 3rd most RZ carries with 53. Although Coleman is an extremely strong receiver Freeman was still top 5 in catches among RBs on only a 63% snap share.


08/14/17, 04:34 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette Battling Same Issues


Jaguars rookie RB Leonard Fournette suffered a foot injury and HC Doug Marrone said team intends to be "careful with him." Fournette battled a recurring foot/ankle injury throughout his final season at LSU. It was a real problem most of the year.

Fantasy Goo: Fournette was clocked running 22.9 MPH at LSU last season, for reference Tyreek Hill was the NFLs fastest player at 23.2MPH. It appears as though Jacksonville is being cautious, but rookies need to get on the field and learn the nuances of the NFL, especially pass blocking.


08/14/17, 03:31 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Matthews

Buffalo Bills

Matthews Must Play With Pain


Bills' WR Jordan Mathews has what team is calling "a chip fracture in his sternum" and is week to week.
The good news is that it’s just a pain tolerance issue. The bad news is that it can be pretty painful.

Fantasy Goo: Matthews move to Buffalo had very little effect on his projections, but with lack of practice with his new team he will almost certainly get off to a slow start. Check the Pyro Pulse Podcast (Ep.5) to get the hot, sticky goo on how this affects the value of the other Bills and Eagles skill players.


08/14/17, 03:29 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Marqise Lee

Jacksonville Jaguars

Lee High Ankle Sprain Opens Door for Hurns, Again


Jaguars WR Marqise Lee suffered a high-ankle sprain, source said. He'll push hard to be ready for Week 1, but caution could push it back.

Fantasy Goo: Lee was the 39th overall pick of the 2014 draft. In 2016 he caught a career-high 63 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. He was finally healthy after continuous injuries the last two years. I think many would rank him higher if we could be sure that he has beaten Allen Hurns out for regular targets.


08/14/17, 02:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Reed

Washington Redskins

Reed Has "Special Shoes"


“Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said his new cleats and orthotics have made a difference for his sprained big toe. Reed said, "I'll be out there shortly." He remains on the PUP list.”

Fantasy Goo: Jay Gruden has made it very clear that the offense runs through Jordan Reed, this was never more prominent than when the Redskins let their two best WRs based on production walk this offseason. Reed has obviously red flags when it comes to injuries, he is one dirty hit away from a career ending concussion. When he is healthy, there is no TE that I would rather have, Reed has averaged the most fantasy points per game over the past two seasons and is targeted on a minimum of 15% of his routes.
For more see Hartbeat TE Gold Diggers vol.1


08/13/17, 08:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Sterling Shepard

New York Giants

Shepard Back in Practice


“Just 11 days after he was carted off the practice field with an ankle injury fearing the worst, Shepard practiced fully with his teammates on Sunday. There appeared to be very few restrictions on the second-year receiver, who also didn't seem to be favoring his injured ankle at all.”

Fantasy Goo: Shepard finished second among rookie WRs in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. In general, second year WRs see a jump in fantasy production by 16%, but Sterling is more likely to move in an inverse fashion. With the Giants bringing in Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, Shepard is the most likely to see a decrease in targets. See Hartbeat, WR Gold Diggers vol.1 for more.


08/13/17, 07:55 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Robby Anderson

New York Jets

Robby With Early Bomb


With Enunwa out for the season the New York Jets will be looking for one of their young receivers to step-up. On their first drive Josh McCown connected with Robby Anderson for a 53 yard gain and finished the drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Charone Peake. Anderson finished the first half with three receptions for 71 yards.

Fantasy Goo: Anderson could be a nice late-round flyer, but this offense doesn’t project for much fire-power. Anderson projects for a 63/830/4 line and Peake is nothing more than a DFS GPP play or possible bye-week flyer.


08/13/17, 08:14 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce to Return Next Week


After the game, Chiefs coach Andy Reid provided an update on a few of those guys, specifically Travis Kelce. “They are close,” Reid noted of those three guys. “(They will) potentially get some work this next week, we’ll just see how it goes. They’ve got a big rehab session (Saturday), so we’ll see.”

Fantasy Goo: Since he fractured his patella in 2013 and missed his entire rookie campaign, Kelce has not missed a game. Kelce led all TEs last season in fantasy points, but he also thrived under advanced metrics, also leading the league in Success Rate on 65% of his plays. – Hartbeat
I five games without Maclin on the field over the past two years Kelce averages 2.76 more PPR points per game even though he did not score a TD in any of them.


08/12/17, 07:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jay Ajayi

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Kenyan Drake

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

The Rookie Impact

The Rookie Impact

Posted by d-Rx on 11/16/12

by   The Archer


@TheArcher


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THE ROOKIE IMPACT

  

When Fantasy GM’s are making their draft lists out each year there are always questions about when you should draft a rookie and if you can trust them.  There have been many examples of rookies breaking through and having amazing seasons, and you don’t have to look back far to find one of those in the form of Cam Newton last season.  Newton blew up as a rookie throwing for 4,051 yards, 35 total TD and 706 rushing yards.  That performance last season may have made owners more willing to take a chance on a rookie this year.  So if you made the move to go after a rookie, the question remains, did you chose the right one?  

 

Before I get into the rookies from this season and the impacts that they have had and will have going into next season, let’s first look at some of the greatest rookie seasons of all time.  When I looked back on the greatest rookie seasons I found that the players who dominate this list all ended up dominating the NFL and many of them are or will be Hall of Famers.  Let’s take a quick look at these outstanding rookie performances of the past.      



BEST ROOKIE CAMPAIGNS OF ALL-TIME 


Earl Campbell – Campbell is a great player to start with as many of you reading this never had the privilege to watch him play.  In his rookie year of 1978, Campbell led the NFL in rushing with 1,450 yards on 302 carries and scored 13 rushing touchdowns. Campbell averaged 4.8 yards per rush as a rookie and was an absolutely bruising runner.  Over the next 3 seasons Campbell rushed for 5,007 yards and scored 42 TD.  He was the real deal.

 

Eric Dickerson – Dickerson may have had one of the most impressive rookie seasons for a running back and was an absolute workhorse who carried the ball an astounding 390 times for 1,808 yards and 18 rushing TD.  Dickerson was not just a threat running ball as he added 51 receptions for 404 yards and 2 more TD.  Dickerson was a well rounded stud and he, like Campbell lit up the NFL.  Over his next 3 seasons Dickerson rushed for 5,160 yards, scoring 37 rushing TD and adding 67 receptions for another 537 yards. 

 

Randy Moss – Moss had the most amazing season for a rookie wide receiver as he caught 69 passes for 1,313 yards, with an astounding 17 TD grabs. Moss also showed his dominance as he averaged 19 yards per catch.  Moss would set an NFL rookie record with those 17 touchdowns as a receiver. Over his following 5 seasons Moss put up 7,062 receiving yards with 60 more TD grabs. 

 

Adrian Peterson – Peterson only played in 14 games in his rookie season, but he still ran for 1,341 yards on 238 carries. Peterson averaged an insane 5.6 average yards per carry. Peterson also scored 12 rushing TD and caught 19 passes for 268 yards and adding another TD.  Since then All Day, Purple Jesus…whatever you want to call him…has been a beast and is currently the leading rusher in the NFL this season.

 

Curt Warner – No this is not the quarterback Kurt Warner, but rather the running back Curt Warner.  Warner for 1,449 yards and had 13 rushing TD and caught 42 passes for 325 yards with another TD.  Warner may be best known for dominating in the original Tecmo Bowl, and while he had an outstanding rookie season he was not able to continue the dominance throughout his career as he was only able to surpass that rookie season with nearly the same stats in 1986, his 4th season.  

 

Peyton Manning – Manning passed for 3,739 yards and threw 26 TD in his rookie season of 1998. Manning did also throw 28 interceptions and completed only 56.7 percent of his passes. This, though, at the time was one of the best performances ever by a rookie quarterback.  I am not going to go into detail on the rest of Manning’s Hall of Fame career, as he is still proving his dominance today. 

 

Clinton Portis - Portis ran for 1,508 yards and averaged a stout 5.5 yards per rush, while adding 17 rushing  TD, and also caught 33 passes for 364 yards and 2 TD grabs.  Portis would show that his rookie season was no fluke as he continue to produce.  Over his next 3 seasons Portis had 4,422 yards rushing and scored 30 TD on the ground, while adding 108 receptions for another 765 yards and 2 TD

 

Edgerrin James – James was the reason the Colts felt comfortable letting Marshall Faulk go to St. Louis.  This was a point of much contention as Faulk ended up going off for the Rams and won a Superbowl.  James, though, showed his worth and helped himself to one impressive rookie season.  James had 369 carries for 1,553 yards and 13 rushing TD.  James also caught 62 passes for 586 yards and 4 more TD.  James had a monster second season as well finishing with 2,303 yards from scrimmage and scored 18 TD.

 

Dan Marino - Marino only played in 11 games in his rookie year, starting nine of them. Marino completed 173 of 296 passes (58.4 completion percentage) for 2,210 yards and threw 20 TD passes and had only 6 INT, which was quite an accomplishment for a rookie.  Marino then went on to rewrite the record book for quarterback passing starting with his 5,084 yard and 48 TD season of 1984. 

 

Barry Sanders – Sanders ran for 1,470 yards on 280 carries with an impressive 5.3 yards per rush and adding 14 rushing TD. Sanders also caught 24 passes for 282 yards.  Barry Sanders was a beast in college and is in the argument for the greatest running back of all time.  Sanders never had a season with less than 1,115 yards rushing, and he only played 11 games that year. 

 


ROOKIES THIS SEASON (2012 Draft Class) 


Now that we have a little historical perspective we can move on to the current rookies that are making impacts.  While I will discuss what these players have done to this point, I think it is also important to be weary of these rookies as we head into the Fantasy Playoffs.  There is such a thing as the rookie wall and Cam Newton was a prime example last season as the finish to his season was not nearly as impressive as the start.  The reason for the rookie wall is that in college these players only played 12 games in a season and we are quickly approaching that time for these rookies.  This is where the rookies will get put to the test mentally as well as physically, and many end up running out of gas, because they have been going full steam all season long.  That being said, let’s take a closer look at this season’s top rookies. 

 

RGIII – RGIII was the talk of all rookies after his 4 week outbreak to start the season where he had 1,070 yards passing with 4 TD passes and added another 234 yards rushing with 4 rushing TD.  RGIII is currently the 3rd best quarterback in ESPN standard scoring leagues.  Griffin is the player that I am most concerned about hitting the rookie wall, much in the same way Cam Newton did last season.  In week 4 RGIII threw for 323 yards, but since then has only averaged 185 yards passing per game.  It seems that the league is catching up to this rookie, but he can still break a big play at any time.

 

Vision for the Future – As I just mentioned, I think the rookie wall is coming fast for RGIII.  Running quarterbacks seem to be able to have early success, but also have dramatic drop offs.  I think that RGIII is still going to be a top 10 quarterback at the end of this season, but I am not expecting him to have the dominant 4 game stretch that he started the season with.  Next year will be an interesting season for Griffin and will draw a lot of comparisons to Cam Newton.  How RGIII is able to deal with the adjustments the league makes will go a long way to determining how successful he is going to be.  I am still a believer in him, but feel he will go too high in drafts next season for him to be on one of my teams. 

+++ 


Doug Martin – Martin has been the talk of all rookies over the past 3 weeks.  Martin had the most dominant back to back performances that the league has seen from a rookie since Adrian Peterson.  Martin rushed for 386 yards with 5 rushing TD and added another 100 yards receiving with a TD catch against the Vikings and Oakland in weeks 8 & 9.  Those huge performances have Martin as the 3rd ranked running back in ESPN standard scoring leagues.  Martin has made the impact as those games he had won weeks for their owners.  

 

Vision for the Future – Martin, the Muscle Hamster, has shown that he has the speed and power to be a dominator in this league.  Martin is a sure fire #1 RB the rest of the way this season and has some tasty matchups for you in your semi finals and championship games going up against New Orleans in week 15 and St. Louis in week 16.  Martin also looks like he is going to be a back to be reckoned with next year and years to come.  Martin is a do it all back and is on a team with a young nucleus on offense that should continue to get better and better.  The future is bright for the Muscle Hamster. 

+++ 

 

 

Andrew Luck – Luck has been having a very nice rookie season averaging 292.33 yards passing per game with a modest 1.67 TD per game.  Luck is currently the 8th best quarterback in the NFL, based on ESPN standard scoring.  Luck has had 3 monster games this season against Jacksonville, Green Bay and Miami where he totaled 1,108 yards with 6 passing TD, 1 rushing TD and only 2 INT.  All of those games were at home, where Luck has been a much better quarterback. 

 

Vision for the Future – Luck looks like the real deal and will be a top tier Fantasy quarterback in this league before too long.  You have to love the fact that he is producing with a ton of other rookies surrounding him on offense (TY Hilton, Vick Ballard, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener).  Luck has shown that he has a load of poise, as evidenced by his late game heroics against Green Bay, Tennessee and Miami.  Luck looks like the real deal to me and while he is still going to be inconsistent the rest of this season, with his better games coming at home, he will be a great pick next year in Fantasy drafts. 

+++ 


 

Trent Richardson – Richardson was the consensus #1 rookie to make an impact before the season began.  Richardson has had a tough time finding running lanes in the Browns offense and has only averaged 3.8 yards per carry on the year.  Richardson has shown that he is a reliable receiver out of the back field and has 31 receptions for 240 yards and a TD.  Richardson has yet to set the Fantasy world on fire as he only has three 100 yard rushing games, with a high rushing game total of 122 yards.  He is still the 10th best running back based on ESPN standard scoring.

 

Vision for the Future – Richardson has demonstrated that he has all the skills to be dominant in this league, but he can’t do it alone.  The rest of the year I expect to be like the season has been to this point.  I feel that he does have a big breakout game that will show up before the season is over, but the best is yet to come from Richardson.  The Browns are a very young team, but for once it looks like they have some good young players and with a solid offseason could become a playoff contender before too long.  Richardson will be the center point of this offense for years to come and look for him to have a big step up year next season.

+++ 

 


Alfred Morris – Morris has overcome all odds and Mike Shanahan to become the lead back for the Washington Redskins.  Morris has been an extremely effective runner this season as evidenced by his 4.8 yards per carry.  Morris has also had 3 games where has rushed for more than 100 yards and has 5 TD on the year so far.  Morris is not used very much in the receiving game and only has 5 catches for 35 yards on the year.  Morris is also not going to go crazy in the TD category as long as RGIII continues to run the football as much as he does.  His style of running should allow him to be effective in the late season games when they will need to rely on the running game.

 

Vision for the Future – Morris looks like he should be the back of the future for the Redskins, but you never know with Mike Shanahan making the calls.  RGIII stealing TD runs from him will also be a problem that Morris is going to have to deal with the rest of this season and in the years to come.  It would be nice to see Morris become a weapon in the passing game, but that does not look like it is going to happen this season, so expect him to continue to be spelled on 3rd downs this year and for the future until he adds that skill to his repertoire.     

 +++


 

Those are the rookies that have made the biggest impact so far this season.  Now there are other rookies out there that have made an impact in a game or two, but have not had the impact of the rookies that I have already discussed.  A lot of these players have the potential to breakthrough on the Fantasy scene next season.  So I am just going to take a quick look at these players and give my insight into what I see in the future for these players.

  

Kendall Wright – Wright is currently leading all rookie receivers with 43 receptions and has added 4 TD grabs.  He is still inconsistent, but he is showing all the signs of being ready to break out next season.  I am a fan of Mr. Wright. 

 

Russell Wilson – Wilson is currently the 20th ranked quarterback based on ESPN standard scoring.  Wilson has thrown for 2 or more TD passes in 5 of the 10 games he has played, but he has only had 3 games where he has thrown for more than 200 yards.  There is a lot of depth at this position, and I am not a believer that Wilson will crack the top 15 anytime soon. 

 

Josh Gordon – Gordon has been a pleasant surprise this season, after being selected in the supplemental draft by the Browns.  Gordon only has 19 receptions on the season, but has more yardage than Kendall Wright, who has more than doubled him in receptions.  His 4 TD are very nice for a rookie, but the 21.4 yards per catch is the stat that stands out.  He is going to have a chance to be the next Mike Wallace, starting next season.

 

Brandon Weeden – The old man rookie has done a decent job, without much help from veterans as he is the old man on a young team.  He is only the 26th ranked quarterback in ESPN standard scoring leagues.  Weeden has shown signs of life throwing for 2 TD or more in 4 games, but has slowed down over the past 2 games failing to throw for more than 200 yards and has 0 TD in those 2 games.  Weeden, like Wilson, has potential, but there is too much depth at the position.

 

Chris Givens – Givens has only started to make his impact over the last 3 games where he has 9 catches for 221 yards and TD.  There is room for Givens to grow with the Rams, as they are a young team that is looking for playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.  Givens looks like he is going to be the deep threat for the Rams with his 25.6 yards per catch average.  Although, it may take a few years before Givens makes his real impact on Fantasy. 

 

Justin Blackmon – Blackmon was the top receiving prospect coming into this season, but he ended up in Jacksonville and that has proved to be a downfall for his Fantasy prospects.  He only has 26 receptions for a mere 250 yards.  Blackmon has ability, but the knock on him was for a lack of speed and a 9.6 yards per catch average has not changed that.  Blackmon is not going to be a dominator in Fantasy and is more in line to be a receiver like Amani Toomer. 

 

Ryan Tannehill – Tannehill has shown the ups and downs that a rookie goes through, with some great games (431 yards passing against Arizona) as well as some stinkers (141 yards and 2 INT vs. Buffalo).  Tannehill, like Weeden and Wilson is lacking a lot of playmakers on his team to really help him out.  Like Weeden and Wilson, Tannehill is really not viable as a starting quarterback in Fantasy until he gets some help around him.

 

TY Hilton – Hilton has been an interesting player this season.  Hilton has been hit or miss, which should not surprise you as a rookie wide receiver, but he has carved out a spot for him in the Colts offense.  He is the slot receiver of the present and the future for the Colts and is also being used in gadget plays and on reverses.  Hilton will have a chance in the next year or two to make a real impact in Fantasy, but I think 2 years from now is the real breakout for him.

 

 

The fact is, especially by looking at the top rookie performers of all time, that rookies are usually more miss than hit.  The other problem is that the rookies everyone likes coming out of college are not always the ones that make the biggest impact.  This year’s rookie class has a lot of talent and some of that is rising to the top quickly (Martin, RGIII and Luck) and others are just starting to find their groove.  For the players who are further down the list you should temper your expectations for them to help you in your Fantasy Playoffs, and for those players who have been producing you just need to be aware of the rookie wall and have alternatives to go to if they indeed hit that wall. 

 

 

BY HOUDINI (email me)