With the 2010 NFL Draft in the books, there are a number of fantasy relevant rookies to consider on draft day. As history has taught us, rookie running backs have the best chance to make an immediate impact, but there are a number of quarterbacks and wide receivers that will have some fantasy relevance in their first year in the league. Our experts recap each position and list several rookies worth targeting in your 2010 Fantasy Football draft.
Bryant certainly looks the part of a NFL receiver. He had amazing stats at Oklahoma State, and found himself selected by the Cowboys who already have a very good offense. Everyone is talking about Bryant but he is still is a rookie wide receiver and that is an extremely tough transition. Due to all the hype we would not be surprised if Bryant is over drafted in almost every league. Sure he might have a good season but the odds are against him being another Randy Moss this season, there is just too many targets in Dallas.
Thomas was the first wide receiver taken in the draft and Denver needed to fill the void that was left by trading Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins. At Georgia Tech he was the only receiver, doubled all the time, and still got it done. He has a good size NFL body and could be a solid player but do not expect “Marshall” numbers out of him. After all it is still Kyle Orton throwing him the ball. One positive for Thomas is that he should be a lock to start.
New head coach Pete Carroll was always a Tate fan while he was at Notre Dame and jumped at the chance to take him in the second round. It will be an open competition for the wide-out to play opposite 2009 free agent and fantasy bust TJ Houshmanzadeh, but we have to think Tate will end up starting at some point this season. Tate is not a huge receiver, but in college it always seemed that he won the jump balls and certainly had great hands. With all of this upside we cannot stress enough not to reach for Tate – which is what one would have to do to get him since it is a lock there is at least one Notre Dame fan in your league.
Benn is what we consider a high risk / average reward type player. He comes to a Tampa Bay team that is looking for passing game and should be starting since they have no other options but he has a ton going against him. A second year quarterback with a weak offensive line that will give Josh Freeman little time to pass, and little time for Benn to get open. Benn will always see the opposing teams best corner and might even see help from over the top, that is a lot for a rookie to handle. If he breaks out it will be because he is the only target. If you draft Benn take him with your second to last pick (the last is always the kicker – always the kicker, but that is a different rant – remember last pick is your kicker)
It is the same old story in Carolina who will be opposite Steve Smith. Bradon LaFell might just be that guy but he is not making a good case for himself in their OTAs. LaFell had a bad habit of dropping balls at LSU and apparently old habits die hard. Now it is early and head coach John Fox does not have too many other options so he might see some time but much like Benn he is a late, late, late pick at best.
McCluster was a running back in college but it looks as if he will be playing wide-out in Kansas City. Think of him as a Percy Harvin clone which is a good thing, a bad thing is that Brett Favre is not throwing him the ball. McCluster will have pre-season hype and will make a highlight or two in the pre-season since he can make people miss, but do not get dragged into the hype and be the guy that drafts him in the 10th round as your “sleeper.”
Carson Palmer has been without a tight end for pretty much his entire career so he must have been thrilled draft day. Gresham is a big target with great hands and should be the starter opening day. He will certainly be a red zone target and does have some sleeper late round value.
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