Here is a look at some rookies that have a decent chance to emerge as fantasy football contributors at some point in the 2012 NFL season. Too often owners will overdraft players selected in the first round then forget about rookies taken a little bit later that might have fallen into a better situations. Every year we have found a few diamonds in the rough and below is a list of some of the players to keep an eye on this preseason and training camp as we think these guys have some upside this season.
The Colts loved the fact that the top TE in this year’s draft fell to them in the second round. One really nice fact is that Fleener was the favorite target of their new young QB Andrew Luck at Stanford. One must think that Fleener will once again be one of his favorite targets this season and therefore he should have some fantasy value. We like him as a deeper league grab as he does have the upside and should get plenty of run as the starting Tight End for the Colts this season.
Jeffery is going to a great situation and if he does start we love his upside. Since Marshall is reuniting with Cutler whoever is the number two for the Bears figures to see single coverage all year long. There is a good chance that Jeffery will win that job. Last season in college Jeffery certainly had a down year but his 88 catches and over 1500 receiving yards his sophomore season does prove he can be that deep threat opposite Marshall. He is a last round flier that could certainly pan out this season.
The defending champions took Wilson with the last pick in the first round. At Virginia Tech Wilson was a beast rushing for over 1700 yards junior year before entering the draft but he is going to a tough situation with the G-Men. He is a very similar back to Bradshaw and at best I think he will be splitting carries this season. Unless we hear otherwise this training camp and preseason we say to stay away from Wilson unless he is one of your last picks.
Ballard was taken with the 170th overall pick but there is a legit chance he could win a starting job for the Colts at some point this season. At Mississippi State Ballard rushed for roughly 1200 yards and since Addai has left for the Patriots the starting job is up for grabs. We are not saying Ballard is a lock to start but he is someone to keep an eye on and he is someone that you can get with your last pick that has upside.
Hillman is slowly becoming our DeMarco Murray of 2012 – we love him and are not in love with the incumbent starter on the team he was drafted. McGahee is getting older and older and the 5’9’’ Hillman is type of player Manning will love. He has great speed and great hands making him a perfect back for Mr. Manning. Calling it now Hillman will be a ppr stud and a great player to take later in your draft.