Fantasy Football: 5 Potential Rookie Stars In 2014
Fantasy Football Rookie Stars
After Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Doug Martin, Alfred Morris and Trent Richardson took the fantasy world by storm, fantasy players were taking more chances in their 2013 drafts to find the next rookie sensation. If you were lucky enough or smart enough to snag one of these players in 2012, Griffin, Luck, Martin and Morris rewarded you by finishing as top 10 players at their positions in standard scoring leagues.
In 2013, rookie running backs became the risky investments that almost every fantasy player wanted a piece of. I was shocked to see Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball and Le'Veon Bell drafted as early as the second-round, but analysts hyped these guys up so much that it was hard not to envision them all finishing the year as top 10 backs. Giovani Bernard was also a player that was normally picked before the 10th-round, and most fantasy owners found him to be a viable flex option in certain matchups.
The key to finding a break out star in the 2014 draft class is to identify a player who can immediately make an impact. That may seem like overly simplified advice, but we constantly see talented rookies buried in the depth chart or not prepared for the NFL. A rookie will need a strong training camp to build rapport with his team, almost no competition for his job, a certain level of talent throughout the entire offense and a favorable schedule to become an immediate fantasy impact.
Again, finding a player from the 2014 NFL Draft to become an instant fantasy star will be a challenge. If you do find that player, however, you could help yourself reach a fantasy football championship while looking like a genius. One of the biggest determining factors of success for a rookie player will be the team he ends up playing for, but this draft has talented players who can shine on most rosters.
Make sure to keep an eye on these names. Here are my five potential rookie stars for the 2014 fantasy football season.
Eric Ebron (TE)
Jimmy Graham has revolutionized the tight end position, and every team in need of a tight end is trying to find a clone of Graham. At 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Eric Ebron has an incredible mix of speed, power and pure athleticism. There have been several teams that have been predicated as landing points for Ebron, but the New York Jets have a chance to own this talent. The Jets need to find a player that Geno Smith can rely on, and Ebron would quickly become Smith's favorite target.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE)
NFL fans would have laughed a few years ago if it was suggested that the New England Patriots needed to add a tight end to the team, but the loss of Aaron Hernandez and the constant injuries of Rob Gronkowski have left the Patriots struggling. At 6-foot-6 and 276 pounds, Austin Seferian-Jenkins would bring a smile to the face of Tom Brady on draft day. Between 2011 to 2013, Seferian-Jenkins recorded 1,840 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns with the Washington Huskies. If the Patriots do not address the issues at tight end this season, we may see a lot more of a screaming Brady on the sidelines.
Mike Evans (WR)
The Baltimore Ravens need to find another target for Joe Flacco, and 6-foot-5 Mike Evans would immediately make the Ravens much more explosive on offense. With the former undrafted free agent Marlon Brown having a few moments of fantasy relevancy in Baltimore, Evans would have the ability to become an instant fantasy starter.
Charles Sims (RB)
It is difficult to predict what team will draft the former West Virginia University running back Charles Sims, but the pass-catching ability of Sims can make him the next Matt Forte. With 1,095 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 401 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in 2013, Sims has the potential for a great rookie season for any team that selects him.
Johnny Manziel (QB)
If he is drafted by the Houston Texans, quarterback Johnny Manziel has the opportunity to finish in the top 10 at his position. If his 2013 season statistics of 4,114 passing yards, 37 touchdown passes, 759 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns are any indication of what he is capable of in the NFL, Manziel can end up as the highest scoring player on your fantasy team. Even if he is drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the athleticism and rushing ability of Manziel can still allow for him to be a starter on your fantasy football team.
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