Every Fantasy Football season has several rookies that get the opportunity to have an immediate fantasy impact. Most notably was the rookie quarterbacks, with Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson finishing among the top 15 out of all quarterbacks for 2012. Rookie running backs Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, and Alfred Morris also provided season-long fantasy value for owners taking a chance on them on draft day.
Robert Griffin III
RGIII lived up to every bit of hype that he had coming into the season, and he rewarded all of the people willing to take a gamble on him during draft day. This makes two years in a row that rookie quarterbacks have had solid value in fantasy football, and it is forcing us to rethink how we view them on draft day. RGIII finished the year as a top 10 fantasy quarterback, and he will be an early round pick in next years drafts.
It was the year of the rookie quarterback in the actual NFL draft, and in fantasy football as well. Luck was one of many rookie quarterbacks that made an impact this year, and what an impact it was. He finished as a top 12 quarterback, and even though he didn’t finish that strong he still had a great fantasy year. Luck not only did damage with his arm, but he threw in 5 rushing touchdowns and close to 300 yards rushing.
RGIII and Luck were obvisouly the two quarterbacks getting all of the attention during the preseason, but Wilson arguably had the most impressive season out of the three. He was announced as the starting quarterback right before the season started, and it looks like the Seahawks have their quarterback of the future. Wilson finished the year very strong, and he should be a top 12 quarterback drafted in next years drafts.
The year that Weeden had was completely over shadowed by the other rookie quarterbacks in 2012. As far as seasons for a rookie quarterbacks go, Weeden had a solid year. He did have more interceptions than touchdowns, but in only 15 games he threw for almost 3,400 yards. The 29 year old rookie age was able to make some noise in the fantasy world, even though he played for a bad offense.
If you wanted to take a gamble on Dough Martin this year you had to use a decent draft pick. However, he had a great return on investment. Not only did he out perform his draft position, but he offered first round value in 2012. Martin was inconsistent, but he single handedly won some people there match-ups some weeks. Martin will be a first round pick next year, and he should continue to put up solid numbers since he gets so many touches for the Bucs.
The Browns have three people on this list, but Richardson by far had the biggest fantasy impact, ending the year with over 1,300 total yards and 12 TDs. His numbers would have been even better if he wasn’t battling nagging injuries for most of the year. The Browns first round pick lived up to every bit of hype during his rookie year, and he will for sure be a first round pick in fantasy drafts in 2013.
The Redskins running back situation was a mess during the preseason, but Morris emerged as the guy to own. Morris was drafted extremely late in most drafts, which made him a steal for 2012. He was the Skins workhorse and proved this year that he can handle a full workload. Morris was the best bargain at running back out of all of the rookies, and it looks like Shanahan strikes again when it comes to finding young talented running backs that fit his system.
The Panthers first round pick from the 2012 draft had a solid year. Kuechly got off to a bit of a slow start, but he was a tackle machine towards the end of the year. He won the Butkus award during his final year at Boston College, and he showed everyone why he was worthy of a first round pick.
The last few years it seems like there has always been at least one rookie receiver that has a major impact in the fantasy world. That didn’t really happen in 2012, and Hilton was the closest thing to having a big year for a rookie receiver. He got off to a really slow start in the first two weeks, but put together a lot of solid games after that. He was extremely inconsistent, but he and Luck proved that they had great chemistry and they should be a solid duo for years to come.
The Browns passing game didn’t have too many bright spots in 2012, but Gordon certainly had his moments. He only had one game over 100 yards, but he ended the year with 50 catches and over 800 yards. Even though overall he didn’t make a huge impact, he did have a nice run from week 11 through week 14, helping a lot of fantasy teams during their playoff run. Gordon has a lot of talent, and he and Weeden should have solid chemistry for years to come.