Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top 10 Rookie Wide Receivers to make Fantasy impacts in 2013!

Looking ahead to 2013, there are at least three or four youngsters who could make a fantasy impact this season. In a day and age when the NFL has become a passing league, wide receivers have become more valuable in fantasy leagues across the board. That includes the rookies, who, like the veterans, have benefitted from new rules that make it easier to get open and make plays. Case in point, the 2011 season saw a pair of rookie wideouts in A.J Green and Julio Jones make huge statistical impacts. In fact, both finished in the Top 20 in fantasy points at the position and neither of them played in a full 16 game season.

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1. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou (8) Clemson – 6’1 215lbs – 4.57 40-yard dash
DeAndre Hopkins is expected to take over the No.2 receiver spot across from Johnson which could prove very profitable as Texans receivers NOT named Andre Johnson, recorded  63 receptions for 841 yards (13.3 avg.) and 4  touchdowns in 2012. In 3 seasons Hopkins was able to record 206 receptions for 3,020 yards and 27 touchdowns including 18TDs in 13 games last season re-writing Clemson record books.

Hopkins has solid size and a frame with plenty of room to grow, strong natural receiving hands, quick feet off the line, able to beat press coverage and is a solid route runner in all short, intermediate, and deep games as well as coming across the middle of the field. Hopkins will be worth a late round pick as a sleeper, a mid- to late-round pick in dynasty/keeper leagues and very likely a Top 15 pick in rookie-only drafts.

2. Tavon Austin, STL (11) West Virginia – 5’8 175lbs – 4.29 40-yard dash
Austin has excellent speed, clocking a 4.29 in the 40-yard dash. Austin was able to post back-to-back 100-catch seasons with the Mountaineers and Geno Smith while recording over 11 yards per reception. Austin will primarily work from the slot, shifting outside occasionally as we saw Amendola do frequently.

With 13 games indoors, Austin should be exciting to watch and owners should consider Austin a potential No. 3 Fantasy WR in the majority of all leagues (a bit more value in PPR formats). Owners can expect Austin to be drafted with a mid-round pick (yep, that high), but in rookie-only drafts he’s a first-round selection. He’s also a mid-round pick in dynasty/keeper leagues.

3. Terrance Williams, DAL (11) Baylor – 6’2 208lbs – 4.52 40-yard dash
Even with the loss of QB Robert Griffin III and WR Kendall Wright, Williams flourished in his senior year at Baylor. Williams caught 202 total receptions for 3,334 total yards, averaging 16.5 yards, and 27 total touchdowns in a 4-year career at Baylor, along with leading the country in receiving yards (1,832) on 97 receptions (18.9 average) along with 12 touchdowns in his senior year. In 2011, Williams will use his size, quick feet and top end speed to be a outside play-maker for Romo as he will likely win out the No. 3 WR spot across from Dez Bryant with Miles Austin working the slot. The No.3 receiver spot has been a position that capable receivers can take advantage of much weaker and lesser talented DBs and coverage as we saw former Cowboys WR Laurent Robinson produce 54receptions for 858yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games back in 2011.

4. Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN (5) Tennessee – 6’2 215lbs – 4.42 40-yard dash
The Vikings surrendered a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th Round picks to the Patriots to move up and draft the big speedy receiver 29th overall. Patterson is considered to be among the most potential-laden receivers in the draft thanks to his big size 6-foot-2, 216 pounds and registered 4.42 in the 40-yard dash. He came to the Volunteers in 2012 as one of the top junior college prospects in the nation after setting 13 program records during his time at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Patterson set an SEC single-season record with a combined kickoff and punt return average of 27.6 yards, and set a Tennessee record with 1,858 all-purpose yards and caught 46 receptions for 778 yards and 5 touchdowns on offense in his single season at Tennessee. He will line up across from Greg Jennings for a team in great need of a deep threat.

5. Aaron Dobson, NE (10)  Marshall – 6’3 203lbs – 4.42 40-yard dash
The Patriots have a terrible track record of drafting receivers under Bill Belichick, but will hope Dobson can be an immediate contributor on the outside. Dobson displayed his 4.4 wheels at the combine, has a solid reputation for picking up offenses quickly, extremely reliable and consistent natural pass catcher and a 6’3/210 frame, Dobson has a ton of upside and is a potential sleeper candidate in the Patriots high powered offense. At his Pro Day, he did NOT drop a single pass amongst 92 targets, and ran 40 yard dash times of 4.42 and 4.44. Provided he can shake the voodoo of Patriots past draft failures, Dobson could make an impact in Bill Belichick’s offense.

6. Robert Woods, BUF (12) USC – 6? 200lbs – 4.51 40-yard dash
Woods posted an absurd 111receptions for 1,292 yards 11.6 YPR and 15 Touchdowns as a sophomore before taking a backseat to Heisman candidate Marqise Lee as a junior. Woods declared for the draft after catching 76 receptions for 846 yards (11.1 YPR) and 11 scores in 2012. With Stevie Johnson moving to the slot, the Bills are expecting Robert Woods as an opening-day starter on the outside. Woods is a similar receiver to Johnson with quick feet and suddenness in his pass patterns with reliable pass catching hands.

7. Justin Hunter, TEN (8) Tenn – 6’4 196lbs – 4.44 40-yard dash
The Titans plan to use 34th overall pick WR Justin Hunter at “Z” receiver. It was Nate Washington’s position last year and with Washington being owed $4.2 million this season, he has been a popular target for reports as a trade candidate or surprise release. Hunter ran a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash and posted the best numbers in both the broad (136 inches) and vertical (39.5 inches) jumps at his position. After tearing his ACL as a sophomore, Hunter returned and had great success as a junior in 2012 as he finished with 73 receptions for 1,083 yards and 9 touchdowns last season.

8. Corey Fuller, DET (9) Virginia Tech6’2 204lbs – 4.43 40-yard dash
Fuller registered at 6-foot-2 204lbs at the combine, turned in a busted season as a senior vertical field stretcher, hauling in just 43 receptions for 815 yards (19.0 YPC) and 6 touchdowns. Incredible burst and speed off the line as he recorded a 1.49 ten-yard split combined with a 4.4 40yard-dash, Fuller has the potential and skill set to be a solid deep threat for the Lions opposite of superstar WR Calvin Johnson.

9. Josh Boyce, NE (10) TCU – 5’11 206lbs – 4.38 40-yard dash
Boyce is a burner who averaged 15.7 YPR on 161 career receptions and scored 22 touchdowns for the Horned Frogs. Despite nursing a broken pinkie toe at the combine, Boyce still managed to run a 4.38 40-yard dash and was explosive with an 10-foot-11 broad jump. Primarily working out of the slot, Boyce could end up seeing more playing time then expected with the addition of former Rams WR Danny Amendola who has been able to play just one full 16 game season.

10. Da’Rick Rogers, BUF (12) Tenn Tech – 6’2 220lbs – 4.52 40-yard dash
One of my personal favorites. Multiple problems with substance abuse (Marijuana) forced him out of Tennessee and into Tennessee Tech. Rogers is a virtual Dez Bryant clone, exhibiting an exciting combination of size, strength and explosiveness. In 2011, once his teammate Justin Hunter was injured, Rogers went on to lead the SEC with 1,040 receiving yards, eclipsing the 100+yard mark in 6 games, just 1 game short of a Tennessee school record. Despite playing in the ultra-physical SEC, Rogers proved too strong for most teams to consider pressing. He’s also versatile, showing the ability to line up outside, as well as in the slot.

While it is easy to get excited about Rogers’ size-speed potential, one of his greatest attributes is simply his toughness and ability to over-power defensive backs at the line of scrimmage.

  • Other Rookie Wide Receivers to pay attention to in no particular order :
Quinton Patton – San Fran (9) – Louisiana Tech – 6’0 204lbs – 4.53 40-yard dash
Markus Wheaton – Pittsburgh (5) –
Oregon – 5’11 189lbs – 4.45 40-yard dash
Keenan Allen, San Diego (8) California – 6’2 206lbs – 4.71 40-yard dash
Cobi Hamilton – Cincinnati (12) –
Arkansas – 6’1 212lbs – 4.56 40-yard dash
Marquise Goodwin – Buffalo
(12)- Texas – 5’8 183lbs – 4.27 40-yard dash
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