With the NFL Draft behind us, it’s time to take a look at which rookie wide receivers and tight ends have the most potential to make an impact on your 2013 fantasy football team. Every season fantasy owners look at the draft and try to find the next stud pass catcher. With the NFL going to the more pass friendly rules, rookies have shown more promises as of late but it is still a huge gamble to take any too early. There is a big learning curve so we typically like to take late round gambles on guys not getting too much hype over the big names every takes in the early to middle rounds of a draft. Below are a few guys you should know heading into this season that could have an impact.
Here we go, get ready to hate on me but I am calling Austin will be the most over drafted player in all of fantasy this year. It amazes me that people already have him as the next Percy Harvin. Harvin had 60 catches for 790 yards and 6 scores his rookie season – very solid numbers but not top WR production. I see Austin being similar to Harvin in terms of this numbers his rookie season but that does not mean you should be drafting him as a top 20 let alone a top 15 wide receiver this year. I am seeing him pre-ranked on a bunch of sites at these spots. Sure, he is a dynamic player but he is still a rookie and Bradford is not the greatest QB on the planet. If you can get Austin as a flex or WR3 I am fine due to the upside but don’t fall into the hype.
For years the Texans have looked for a wide receiver to compliment Andre Johnson and they believe they have found their man in Hopkins. The 6’2’’ wideout has great hands and has impressed thus far in rookie camp. In terms of his fantasy implications this coming season he might be a decent late round gamble. While everyone will be picking Austin in the 6th round you can get Hopkins six rounds later and he might produce at the same clip. Put Hopkins on your radar as he is expected to step right into the starting line-up seeing single coverage all year long.
Patterson has all the tools to be a stud wide receiver in the NFL. He has a good frame, 6’2’’ 220 lbs, great hands, and can jump through the roof. The other quality we really like about him when reviewing the tape is his sneaky quickness. Every play he seems to make at least one person miss. If Ponder can step up his game Patterson could move into fantasy relevance sooner than later.
With the departure of Mike Wallace the Steelers looked to the draft to help out the receiving core and Wheaton fell right into their lap. Wheaton is a fast receiver whom certainly has the chance to step right into a starting role, in fact, the exact same role Wallace had. I cannot see him putting up Wallace type numbers but he is certainly a guy to have on the radar late in your draft in deeper leagues.
Ok so I am about to go against everything that I say in regards to a rookie tight end. I have a sneaky feeling that Elfert is going to be a top 10 Tight End this year and here is why. I feel that Cincy is going to move Elfert all over the field and even play him opposite AJ Green. Elfert is a great overall player with sure hands, perfect for a second option for Andy Dalton. Now, I don’t expect him to be drafted within the first 150 picks so if you wait on a Tight End it is not a bad idea to grab a guy mid-level guy and back him up with this rookie.