Draft Recap: How do the 2012 rookies rank in fantasy football?
BY GREG BROSH, Feedcrossing.com syndication
It’s never too early to start thinking about Fantasy Football, after all drafts will start happening in just a couple of months so here’s a little preview of who everyone will be scrambling to land out of the rookies this year.
With the 2012 NFL Draft wrapped up and experts grading out all 32 teams’ picks, it’s time to dive right back into Fantasy Football for the 2012 season and see where the new guys rank. This is definitely a list that Dynasty Football owners will want to take a look at since most rookie-only drafts will be taking place within the next several weeks to months.
1. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins
2. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
3. Brandon Weedon – Cleveland Browns
4. Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins
5. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
6. Ryan Lindley – Arizona Cardinals
7. Brock Osweiler – Denver Broncos
8. B.J. Coleman – Green Bay Packers
9. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins
10. Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles
I really like Griffin’s potential as a QB2 in larger redraft leagues this year. With better coaching, better players around him and his ability to run, he could be a strong sleeper option in leagues that allow two starting fantasy quarterbacks. Luck should have success right out of the gate. But with an iffy backfield and Reggie Wayne as the lone veteran weapon in the offense (Austin Collie is right behind him), Luck will take a bit longer to truly succeed. Either way, both are going to be the top two quarterbacks taken in all dynasty leagues. Whether or not Colt McCoy is still a Brown by training camp is irrelevant. The job will be Weedon’s to lose. Tannehill is going to find it rough going in Miami and could be a boom-or-bust prospect. After the top four, it’s anyone’s call. Wilson and Lindley could find success entering quarterback stables that are on shaky ground. Everyone else will be backups or third stringers for the time being. The Redskins are believed to have drafted Cousins for the sole purpose of trading him for future picks.
1. Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns
2. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. David Wilson – New York Giants
4. Bernard Pierce – Baltimore Ravens
5. Isaiah Pead – St. Louis Rams
6. LaMichael James – San Francisco 49ers
7. Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins
8. Ronnie Hillman – Denver Broncos
9. Chris Polk – Philadelphia Eagles
10. Chris Rainey – Pittsburgh Steelers
I was pretty close to ranking Martin over Richardson as I like Martin’s outlook past 2012 more than the Cleveland running back. But because Martin will still have to contend with LeGarrette Blount for carries this year, Ruchardson holds the top spot. Either way, I love both players and I wouldn’t fault anyone for taking either one first in a dynasty league. Richardson should easily be in the mix for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. With Brandon Jacobs gone and Ahmad Bradshaw’s propensity for injury, Wilson should be in the mix for carries right away and is easily Bradshaw’s handcuff. Much like the quarterback rankings, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will have more fantasy value beyond the top three. I have Pierce ranked at No. 4 because he stands to have the best chance at being the primary backup behind Ray Rice. The same goes for Pead, who could wind up as Steven Jackson’s eventual successor as the starter under Jeff Fisher. Ranked as a low-second-to-high-third round pick before the draft, Polk went undrafted due to issues regarding his shoulder. But the Eagles may have gotten one of the undrafted free agent gems with the backup spot behind LeSean McCoy left open after Ronnie Brown left for free agency. Rainey projects as a Dexter McCluster clone who OC Todd Haley could utilize in the rushing and receiving game.
1. Michael Floyd – Arizona Cardinals
2. Justin Blackmon – Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans
4. Stephen Hill – New York Jets
5. Alshon Jeffery – Chicago Bears
6. Brian Quick – St. Louis Rams
7, Rueben Randle – New York Giants
8. Ryan Broyles – Detroit Lions
9. Mohamed Sanu – Cincinnati Bengals
10. A.J. Jenkins – San Francisco 49ers
Blackmon may have been the top pick at receiver in the draft, but I love Floyd’s fantasy outlook in both dynasty and redraft leagues in 2012. Playing across from Larry Fitzgerald, who is the ultimate tutor in receiving, will pay dividends for Floyd immediately. Blackmon’s fantasy outlook is a bit murky in 2012 with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. Not to mention that the team really doesn’t have any other legit weapons in the passing game outside of Laurent Robinson, who may have benefited more by playing with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant in Dallas. I love what the Titans are doing in their offense. With a bounce-back candidate in Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt coming back and Jake Locker expected to make a push for the starting job against Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans have a young talented squad that will grow together in an AFC South division that will no longer have to deal with Peyton Manning. The next three, Hill, Jeffery and Quick, all have chances to start immediately in 2012. Even though he will be stuck behind Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, I like Randle’s upside playing in the Giants’ offense. Broyles could start the season on the PUP list because of ACL surgery, but his dynasty value is looking up if he can secure the No. 2 spot across from Calvin Johnson. He is an upgrade over current starter Nate Burleson. Jenkins rounds out the top 10, but he shouldn’t be a redraft option considering the logjam at receiver at the moment.
1. Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts
2. Michael Egnew – Miami Dolphins
3. Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts
4. James Hanna – Dallas Cowboys
5. Orson Charles – Cincinnati Bengals
Having played with Andrew Luck in Stanford, Fleener should have fantasy value as soon as this year as Luck’s security blanket. The team wound up taking Allen with their next pick, which makes many believe that the Colts are going to try and duplicate the success that the Patriots have with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Egnew is a dynasty option only, as Missouri’s past draft prospects Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker were complete busts. Unless something changes between now and Week One, Fleener looks to be the only tight end from this year’s draft class to be worth anything.
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