Last year’s performance by the rookie class was absolutely astonishing in fantasy football terms. There were rookies that had an impact all over the field for fantasy owners. Quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, and even IDP options were exploding on a weekly basis. Dozens of first-year players ended up becoming weekly starters in all fantasy formats and some even had All-Pro seasons.
Let’s take a quick look at what some of them did in 2012:
QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins – 4,015 total yards, 27 total TDs
QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts – 4,374 passing yards, 23 passing TDs
QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks – 3,118 yards, 26 passing TDs, 4 rushing TDs
QB Ryan Tannenhill, Miami Dolphins – 3,294 passing yards, 12 TDs
QB Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles – started 6 games
QB Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins – 26-37 for 329 yards, 2 TDs in one start
RB Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins – 1,613 rushing yards – 2nd in NFL
RB David Wilson, New York Giants – Started 2 games, scored 4 TDs last 4 games
RB Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Orioles – 29 carries, 212 yards last two games
WR Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals – 4 TDs, 25 targets
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts – 50 rec., 861 yards, team-leading 7 TDs
TE Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts – 45 rec., 521 yards, 3 TDs
DE Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks – 8 sacks in very limited action
DE Chandler Jones, New England Patriots – 45 tackles, 6 sacks, 3 FF
LB Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers – led NFL with 164 tackles
LB Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks – 140 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 INTs
LB Jerrell Freeman, Indianapolis Colts – 145 tackles
LB Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 139 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
LB Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals – 127 tackles, 2 FR
LB Dont’a Hightower, New England Patriots – 60 tackles, 4 sacks
DB Casey Hayward, Green Bay Packers – 6 interceptions, 53 tackles
DB Janoris Jenkins, St. Louis Rams – 73 tackles, 4 INTs
Some of these guys put up phenomenal numbers, so much so that they will likely be first round picks in fantasy drafts around the country this summer.
Lightning doesn’t strike twice though.
Rookies Tavon Austin, Eddie Lacy, and Geno Smith could very well have outstanding rookie campaigns, but it is better to stay away from them considering the current Rookie Craze buzzing around the fantasy world. These popular first-year players will likely be drafted at least one round earlier than they should be simply because everyone will be hoping that their next rookie turns into the next Pro Bowler.
However, not every third round quarterback will become Russell Wilson and not every sixth round running back will become Alfred Morris.
These are the facts; so don’t bother reaching for any rookies this summer just because last year’s rookie class performed off the charts. It doesn’t mean that it has become an annual occurrence, and if anything, it will be a draft that goes down in history.
Additionally, this has been widely described as one of the worst draft classes in recent memory. I don’t know about you, but that isn’t exactly a reassuring statement about a group of guys you plan on building a dynasty team around.
Just wait until next year to stash some rookies and load up on veterans this season, because this rookie class simply doesn’t have the flash.