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Fantasy Football: Rookie Values
Chris Pokorny June 9, 2006
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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Will the young players make an impact? That is always one of the most important questions heading into a fantasy draft, because there are often sleepers, average players, and complete busts. Last year, the top potential offensive players were J.J. Arrington, Braylon Edwards, and Mike Williams. None of them ended up having the type of seasons that warrant a high-draft pick, which definitely has to stick in your mind this year.

Ratings System


-: The ultimate player. They have the potential to be within the top five at their position in the entire NFL this year, as well as making the Pro Bowl, or being named the offensive rookie of the year.

-: Will definitely be a starter for their team, and will perform like between an average NFL player and the ultimate player.

-: Will be an average performer, because they don't play on the greatest team in the world, or will need some time to develop.

-: They may take over as the starter halfway through the season. Overall, they really won't make that much of an impact.

-: They will see limited playing time, or will not perform well enough to put up anything worthy of a fantasy point.

Quarterbacks


First off, let it be known that it is too difficult to project if a quarterback will even have the chance to do well for your team. More times than not, a rookie quarterback either has an average-at-best first year in learning the system, or they sit behind the starting quarterback for most of the year. One note of advice: do not take a rookie quarterback within the first ten rounds of the draft: it won't be worth it.

Important Statistic for QB's: 27 non-rookie quarterbacks threw for more yards last year than Kyle Orton, who led rookie QB's with 1,869 yards thrown.

Vince Young, Tennessee Titans -
The Titans just released Steve McNair, narrowing the competition to Volek and Young. Young won't sit the entire season, but when he does get in, he'll have to learn that he can't run as freely as he did in college. He has the most potential this year of all the rookie quarterbacks.

Matt Leinart, Arizona Cardinals -
Kurt Warner will be the man for the Cardinals, and Leinart's playing time could end up like what Eli Manning saw two years ago under the Giants. He won't do you any good until late in the season.

Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos -
With Jake Plummer coming off a career year, Cutler won't even see the field. Do not even think about taking Cutler, because there is no sense in it whatsoever.

Running Backs


Important Statistic for RB's: 12 running backs finished ahead of Carnell Williams, the leading rusher among rookies last year.

Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints -
Of all the players from the draft, Bush certainly has the potential to become a 5-star player. However, he's playing on a team that was not very good last year, and will be splitting time with another talented running back in Deuce McAllister.

Laurence Maroney, New England Patriots -
Corey Dillon will still be the go-to-guy for the Patriots, leaving Maroney as the backup. However, the Patriots always find a role for their players, and Maroney will see quite a bit of playing time still.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers -
Theoretically, it seems like Williams could have a lot of potential playing time sue to DeShaun Foster's past injuries. However, it's not easy to pick up yards in the Panthers' system, and Williams will not see a great deal of playing time per game.

Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts -
Addai is not the Colts' starter yet, but once the season rolls around, he'll have the job won. Addai could be the biggest offensive sleeper in the draft because he's not well known, however will be playing in a system that is very well developed.

LenDale White, Tennessee Titans -
White could potentially be a red zone threat for the Titans, allowing him to accumulate some touchdowns much like Brandon Jacobs did last year for the Giants. He'll also see some action besides the red zone, though.

Wide Receivers


Important Statistic for WR's: This year's receiving class was considered "not very good". Last year, Braylon Edwards led rookie receivers with 512 yards, leaving tons of other receivers ahead of him.

Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers -
The Steelers leading receiver is typically Hines Ward, and next they look for the running threat. Holmes won't jump into the league with big numbers, but will be smooth as an average receiver in his first year.

Chad Jackson, New England Patriots -
Although the Patriots are starting to use Deion Branch a little more, they like to give their receivers equal playing time. The Patriots need another receiver to produce in the absence of David Givens.

Sinorice Moss, New York Giants -
The Giants already have several receiving threats, so Moss will not see a whole lot of snaps. He may find himself on the receiving end of the deep ball occasionally, though.

Tight Ends


Please note: A four-star rating for a tight end would be different than a four-star rating for a wide receiver. If a rookie tight end records 700 yards, that would be an outstanding season as a tight end, but mediocre for a receiver.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers -
Davis will have an incredible rookie year as a tight end, coming close to some of the elite tight ends. Alex Smith needs a go-to-guy, and that will develop into Davis.

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars -
Lewis will see some touches, but it won't nearly be enough to become a consistent threat for your team.

Conclusion


Overall, it should be known that rookies rarely make a worthy impact for your fantasy team. The players with the most potential this year are Reggie Bush, Vernon Davis, and possibly Vince Young if he's named the starter. The biggest sleeper without question will be Joseph Addai, but even he should not be taken higher than necessary. Stay tuned to PFCritics.com for all of your fantasy updates, and be sure to join our new forums to build up our active community!

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