Top Fantasy Football Rookies
This is our list of the top fantasy football rookies for the upcoming season.
5) QB – Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville – Bridgewater is all the hype leading up to this year’s 2014 draft. He’s a smart, hard-working and determined to succeed. TB is a student of the game. He’s a winner and maintains strong leadership qualities. The downside is a slight lack of arm strength, but could fit well with the Texans as the top pick (in their dome) or a warm climate like Jacksonville at #3. It’s rare that a QB comes in as a rookie and produces like Andrew Luck, therefore, we couldn’t place him any higher than five.
5) QB – Johnny Manziel – Texas A & M
(Update: After seeing both pro day workouts for Bridgewater and Manziel, we are leaning toward Johnny football as a better impact prospect in 2014. Bridgewater failed to impress the scouts during his pro day with accuracy issues and mechanics red flags. However, this does not guarantee Teddy Bridgewater will struggle in 2014, nor will it ensure Manziel has a terrific season. Nonetheless, we’re listening to the experts and placing Manziel ahead of Bridgewater.)
4) RB – Bishop Sankey – Washington – We like rookie running backs for their ability to learn the playbook quickly and contribute immediately. Sankey has the best vision of all RBs in draft. He reads blocks well, which separates the good from great backs in my opinion. He has great balance. Overall, Sankey might be the best runner in draft. In fact, Sankey posted over 2,000 yards rushing and receiving for Washington in 2013. The downside is his smaller size at just 5’10” and needs to work on pass protection, which may limit playing time early in 2014.
3) WR – Marqise Lee – USC – Lee is a polished college receiver that always seems to put up numbers for the Trojans. 2013 was a down year in comparison to 2012 where he had 7 games with double digit receptions! He’s a good athlete, runs great after the catch, runs fine routes, and can separate from defenders. It would be exciting to see him opposite Josh Gordon in Cleveland.
2) WR Sammy Watkins – Clemson. I can’t wait to see this kid play. He has decent size, great hands, and exceptional speed. Watkins can be a real difference maker, but it depends on where he’s picked. Watkins has star potential. For Clemson, Watkins had 101 receptions and 12 TDs last year. He will probably start day 1 and may end up with Tampa opposite VJax.
1) RB Carlos Hyde – OSU – I know. Hyde is a bit of a surprise for the rookie with the greatest potential fantasy impact in 2014, but running backs have a tendency to play well as rookies, more so than WRs and QBs. Hyde is explosive. He’s a powerful runner. He’s good in short-yardage and can be used as a workhorse. Most importantly, Hyde is really solid in pass protection, which is something Tom Coughlin likes. Good awareness in pass protection is the difference maker for playing time as a rookie RB. These attributes could make Hyde a three down back.
The downside is that Hyde lacks true break-away speed, but so do many top running backs. I can see Carlos Hyde as a good fit in Cleveland and especially New York, who both can use a feature running back.
That’s our top 5 fantasy football rookie rankings, but don’t forget about the following players.
Keep on the radar:
WR – Mike Evans – Texas A & M – outstanding size. Reminiscent of a redzone threat like Plexico Burress.
WR – Beckham Jr – LSU – If you’ve seen this guy play, you’ll know what a shifty playmaker he can be. Big play threat. Electric.
RB – Tre Mason – Auburn Small, but quick. Good balance. Good vision. Descent at pass pro. Known to fumble some.
QB – Derek Carr – Fresno St. Impressive college stats (5,082 yards and 50 TDs) and NFL quality physical attributes are too good to ignore. Keep him on the radar. Maybe a fit in Minnesota?
QB – Johnny Manziel – Texas A & M – likely going to Cleveland at #4. Josh Gordon could make him look good, but beware of rookie quarterbacks.
QB – Blake Bortles – UCF – Has good size, arm strength and mobility.
There’s a decent chance that one of these players will emerge as the one of the best fantasy football rookies of 2014. For a complete list of fantasy football rankings, please read our four part series.