Many NFL teams were looking looking to get a good rookie wide receiver this year, and so will several fantasy football owners who are in a keeper league. Every now and then a rookie wide receiver beats the odds and has a productive first year. The following rookie wide out should either see great success their first year, if not, then within the next couple of years.
Justin Blackmon, JAC – Leading up to the draft, this guy was considered a can’t-miss prospect, and someone who would make an immediate impact on the field, then something weird happened – he got drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have a history of drafting wide receivers in the first round that end up being busts like R. Jay Soward, Reggie Williams and Matt Jones. And even though Blackmon is by far the best wide receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft, he is probably the best wideout Jacksonville has ever drafted. But now, Blackmon is starting to remind me of a another star wide receiver that came out of Oklahoma State, Rashaun Woods. Woods was a stand out player at Oklahoma State who got drafted in the first round in 2004 and was a utter disappointment, never living up to expectations. I know Blackmon hasn’t played a snap yet but that’s what scares me – typically you sign an NFL contract and rack up some stacks before getting your second DUI! And having Blaine Gabbert as your quarterback doesn’t bode well for your fantasy value. As of right now, Blackmon is no better than a WR5 entering 2012 but rates as a late first round pick in dynasty leagues.
Michael Floyd, ARI – 2012 might not be his year to shine. Michael Floyd is expected to be paired with the great Larry Fitzgerald because he is a big target at 6’3” 225 pounds, but he reportedly is not in the best of shape right now. Floyd will have a hard time overtaking Andre Roberts and Early Doucet on the depth chart only because of the lack of familiarity with the system that coach Ken Whisenhunt runs. On top of that, Whisenhung has a tendency to not play rookies right away. Floyd is in a good position to learn from one of the best receivers in the game, Larry Fitzgerald, and if he learns what it takes to be a professional, the sky is the limit for this rookie. He won’t make an impact to begin the season, but over the course of the 2012 season, we’ll probably see more of him. And in 2013, we’ll be talking about Michael Floyd being a break out candidate. So pick Floyd with a late first/early second-round pick in rookie-only drafts and a middle to late-round choice in dynasty/keeper leagues.
Alshon Jeffery, CHI – Of all the wide receivers taken in the 2012 NFL draft, Jeffery has the highest chance of making a big splash this season. He is a big, fast, athletic receiver who will give opposing teams a fit trying to cover him down field and in the endzone. He has a legit starting quarterback that has the confidence to throw him jump balls, and let him compete for the football. Don’t expect Jeffery to be the man in Chicago now that Jay Cutler has been reunited with Brandon Marshall. The Bears have a running game that opposing defenses have to be wary of and with all the double coverage that Marshall will see, Jeffery should put up some solid fantasy numbers this year and years to come. He’s worth a late pick in deeper seasonal drafts, and a mid-to-late pick in dynasty/keeper leagues.
Other rookies worth drafting in dynasty/keeper leagues:
- Kendall Wright
- Rueben Randle
- Brian Quick
- Ryan Broyles
- Nick Toon