Rookie Fantasy Impact

The Top Rookies (by position) for the 2009-2010 NFL Season

By Dustin Sullivan

Here are my top three rookies by position for the upcoming season. There might be some surprises that many of you readers might not have seen coming.
1. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Sanchez is going into a Jets program that fits him perfectly. He will be the starter from Day 1 there and will be a successful franchise player for the Jets. The only problem for Sanchez is finding the right receiver to catch all the passes he’s going to attempt. I would use Sanchez as a backup for you fantasy team since there are a lot more veteran QB’s in the league.

2. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Although he may not start out as the starter in Detroit, Stafford will probably finish the season as the starter. Stafford is compared by many to Brett Farve during his first couple of seasons in the league. Stafford is a very accurate passer, but lacks in speed. I would count it somewhat a risk to pick Stafford on your fantasy team unless you think he’s going to play any this season and be useful to your team.

3. Pat White, Miami Dolphins
Although Chad Pennington is probably going to be the starter in Miami, look out for Pat White to be very useful to the Dolphins’ “wild cat” offense. White is very fast and mobile, thus making him a perfect player for the Dolphins, but I would be careful to put him on your fantasy team because he may not get enough playing time even as a sub for your team.

Running Backs

1. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts
Look for Colts RB Donald Brown to compliment the overall running game of the Colts’ offense. His speed, toughness, and ability to break several tackles makes him a dangerous running back in the league. Look to put Donald Brown on your starting roster! Don’t be afraid to take a chance on him just because he’s going to share the carries with Joseph Addai; Brown will be very active in the Colts offense and have a very productive season.

2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Look for Moreno to come into training camp as the starting running back for the Broncos. Moreno is a powerful runner with plenty of speed. Moreno will be the most productive back for the Broncos if the new coaching staff gives him a chance to carry the ball more than ten times a game. Moreno would be a good choice as a backup for your fantasy team early in the season, but pay attention to how well he does and make the final move on him at about Week 5.

3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
McCoy is the second best rookie running back, but unless Brian Westbrook gets hurt at any point of the season. With Westbrook getting up there in age, McCoy looks to be the starting running back of the future for the Eagles. He might get some playing time this season, but don’t look for him to be productive from a fantasy standpoint this season. The only way he will be a starter is if Westbrook’s injury problems continue.

Wide Receivers

1. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
The very versatile and aggressive Crabtree is the perfect fit for the 49ers. Crabtree was the best receiver out of this year’s draft and one team (not to be mentioned in this article, *cough* The Raiders *cough* *cough*) and the 49ers took advantage of this steal in the draft. Crabtree has the ability to out run and just out play the defensive coverage with speed and quick feet. His catching ability will make it look like Jerry Rice is back in San Fran. I would definitely put Crabtree on my starting roster as he might be rookie of the year this year.

2. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles, by far, had the best draft in the 1st round as they picked up a great running back in McCoy and an even better receiver in Jeremy Maclin. Maclin’s great catching ability will help Donovan McNabb and the Eagles. Look for Maclin to become one of the top targets that McNabb looks for on every play that Maclin is a part of. I would put Maclin as a reserve on your fantasy roster, but keep an eye on him!

3. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
Whoever the QB is in Minnesota at the start of the season, they can count on Percy Harvin to be a very productive receiver for them. Look for Harvin to be the top receiver on the Vikings depth chart at the start of the season due to a lack of talent at the receiver for the Vikings besides Harvin. But be careful to make him a starter on your fantasy roster, without a tested QB Harvin might take some time to really get going in the league.

Tight End: Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions
Pettigrew will try to help Stafford resurrect this Lions team and put some wins on the board for this struggling team. Pettigrew will try to compliment a very strong receiving core by being reliable in short yardage and red zone situations. From a fantasy standpoint, he might be someone you look at for a tight end spot.

Kicker: David Buehler, Dallas Cowboys
Although he was the top kicker taken in the Draft, it will be some time before you see this guy kicking field goals for the Cowboys. I would wait a few years before making this guy my kicker on my fantasy team.