2013 Fantasy Football: 10 Undrafted Rookies Who Could Be Relevant
10 Undrafted Rookies Who Have Potential To Be Fantasy Football Relevant
In the NFL Draft back in April, many young men had their dreams fulfilled as they heard their named called and became a part of a NFL roster. At the same time, there were many disappointed players who did not hear their name called. NFL history is littered with players who went undrafted, had a chip on their shoulder and ended up being very good players.
In fantasy football, it is hard to trust rookie players, let alone players who were passed up by every team multiple times in the draft. Teams are usually hesitant to give rookies a chance unless they were early-round picks. That being said, an undrafted rookie can get a chance in some rare cases to prove himself and can run with that opportunity.
Take Arian Foster for example. Foster will go in the top-five of nearly every fantasy draft this year for good reason. He is a workhorse running back who scores a ton of touchdowns. Foster was once one of these players who went completely undrafted. He got an opportunity early in his career, and he never let go of the job. While players like Foster are rare, situations like this do happen, and you just have to pinpoint which players have a chance to do what Foster did.
Obviously, talent is a key factor when deciding who you want to draft to your fantasy football team. One thing that that is arguably more important than talent in fantasy is opportunity. If a player gets opportunity to regularly showcase his talent, chances are he will become fantasy relevant. Taking late-round flyers in your draft is all about finding players with undervalued talent that could get the opportunity.
Here are 10 undrafted rookies who I think have the potential to be fantasy relevant in 2013.
10. Chad Bumphis, WR, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are very shallow in the receiving core. They brought Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson in as free agents, and Brian Hartline was decent for them last season. Besides that, Miami has a bunch of players who have little to no NFL experience. There is opportunity for fantasy relevance as a Dolphins receiver. Chad Bumphis seems to be leading the pack as a guy who can step in after the top three receivers on the team. Bumphis has seven receptions for 111 yards early in the preseason for the Dolphins. He has also been contributing as a punt returner. I do not recommend drafting him in standard leagues, but Bumphis is a guy to keep an eye on. He would be an interesting late-round pick in very deep leagues or dynasty leagues.
9. Benny Cunningham, RB, St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams' running back situation is a mess. Daryl Richardson has been named the starter but I do not think he is an elite talent by any means. Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy are also interesting guys, but one player who I will be watching is Benny Cunningham.
It will take an injury or two for Cunningham to get his opportunity, but do not be surprised if we see him this season. Cunningham has nice speed and very good power for a player his size. He was very productive in college and I think he is worth taking a shot on late in very deep leagues, and especially leagues with a dynasty format.
8. Keenan Davis, WR, Miami Dolphins
Keenan Davis is another Dolphins receiver that could get some opportunity. He must start proving it on the field, but reports out of Miami practices have been encouraging. Davis is a big physical receiver with nice ball skills. He can go up and get the ball, and I think he could make for a nice red zone target if he gets the opportunity.
7. Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit Lions
This one may be a bit of a reach because he has not seen many targets in the first two games of the preseason. That being said, Joseph Fauria is a monster at tight end. At 6-foot-7 and weighing 255 pounds, Fauria definitely has the size to be a NFL tight end. He was a touchdown machine in college, and I see no reason why he could not be a huge red zone weapon for the Detroit Lions. Detroit loves to use their tight ends, but Fauria must prove his worth with veterans Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew on the roster. This is a pure upside guy, but I love his potential if he get an opportunity.
6. Michael Ford, RB, Chicago Bears
Michael Ford has been a star in the early preseason games for the Chicago Bears. He has looked solid in the backfield, and had a 100-yard kickoff return last week. Ford now appears to be on the inside track for a spot on the 53-man roster and could be a valuable player if your league gives points for return yardage. Also, Ford is one Matt Forte injury away from being a very intriguing option in all formats. He is definitely a guy I am watching closely.
5. Matt Furstenburg, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Matt Furstenburg does not appear to be anything super special athletically, but he does have nice size and could carve out a role in the Baltimore Ravens' offense. He has had a good amount of work in the preseason, and I think he could help fill the void left by the Dennis Pitta injury. I would not be drafting Furstenburg in standard leagues, but he is a guy worth watching.
4. Michael Hill, RB, San Diego Chargers
Michael Hill is a guy that simply looks like an NFL running back. He has nice size, solid speed and good awareness for a rookie. The San Diego Chargers are going to be very bad this season. I can see a scenario late in the season where Hill gets an opportunity to show what he has to the Chargers. Hill was a very productive player at the Division-II level in college, and I think has the potential to do some damage in the league. It all comes down to opportunity and lets be honest, Ryan Mathews is not the most durable guy in the world.
3. Zach Sudfeld, TE, New England Patriots
Zach Sudfeld appears to have a spot with the New England Patriots locked up. He will try to help fill the void at tight end left by Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski if he is not healthy. Sudfeld has impressed in the preseason, especially last week when he had two receptions for 32 yards, including an incredible 22-yard touchdown where he showed great concentration to bringing in the pass. Sudfeld also caught a two-point conversion from Tom Brady. He appears to have the trust of Brady, and I am very excited to see what Sudfeld does. I think he is worth a late-round pick in standard leagues and is a player you must target in dynasty leagues.
2. Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, New England Patriots
Kenbreel Thompkins looks to be getting the first crack at starting opposite of Danny Amendola in the Patriots' offense. Thompkins is a nice balanced receiver that seems to have the trust of Brady already. He appears to be getting the opportunity, and he just needs to run with it. Thompkins is a guy worth targeting in any league as his upside is huge as a result of catching passes from the future Hall-Of-Famer.
1. Cierre Wood, RB, Houston Texans
While Foster is a beast and has been a fantasy stud for years, I think he is getting worn down by all of the carries he has had over the years. I think Foster is about to hit the down side of his career. He already has injury concerns that has kept him out of the entire preseason thus far. Ben Tate is the obvious backup to Foster and will get the first shot at replacing him if necessary. That being said, Cierre Wood is a guy to keep in mind. He fits the Houston Texans' zone-blocking scheme perfectly, and I would not be surprised to see him take over the job eventually. He has the talent, and the Texans have proved they can support a fantasy stud, Wood is a guy that I will be targeting in dynasty leagues, and I will be picking him up if Foster continues to have injury problems.
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