The fine gentlemen over at the website DynastyLeagueFootball.com agreed to write a piece for our site that detailed what the first round of the 2013 Fantasy Rookies draft might look like. We know how much the 2012 Fantasy Rookies helped owners out, especially Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Doug Martin. Paymon Shokoohi did a great job with it, I think you’ll agree, and we both hope this gives you great insight on what to expect from the next rookie class.
With the 2012 Fantasy Football season coming to a close, it’s time for dynasty league owners to focus on molding their rosters for next season. That means it’s time to evaluate the available talent among the 2013 Fantasy rookies.
This year’s class has quickly become infamous for being a down year for talent. So much so, many dynasty owners are looking to sell their picks. And just like the real world, when the market floods with too many “for sale” signs, it becomes a buyer’s market.
One piece of advice, go with the flow of your fellow league mates and downplay the talent and see if you can devalue the picks until they become bargains.
Now let’s look to the draft pool. While it’s true this year’s pool is a bit down, it isn’t so much so that there isn’t talent to be had. In fact, after studying the talent all year long, I can say the only thing down is the running back pool. There are no sure bets at starting running backs, especially after Marcus Lattimore’s severe knee injury. However, there is starting running back potential.
As for the rest of the pool, this class as a whole is not that far off from last year’s class. All you have to do is cherry pick the talent.
Here’s an early look at the pool of prospects:
2013 Fantasy Rookies: First Round
(* Denotes Underclassmen)
1. Justin Hunter*, WR, Tennessee
Hunter is a WR1 talent. He has some maturing to do, but his ceiling and skill level are in A.J. Green territory. That type of upside is worthy of the No. 1 pick in your dynasty draft. He’s not quite the elite pass catcher that Green was coming in, but he has the ability to develop that part of his game.
2. Keenan Allen*, WR, California
When I watch Allen play I see a smaller, quicker, faster version of Vincent Jackson. He’s NFL ready and I can see him making an early impact in his rookie Fantasy Football season.
3. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
If you lack a franchise QB1 on your roster, or have an aging one, he is a worthy investment. If you already have your quarterback, then skip ahead and select the next best skill position player.
4. Eddie Lacy*, RB, Alabama
I have Lacy ahead of the pack of running backs because he best fits what NFL coaches look for in a feature back. He’s got the size and body most coaches prefer. Obviously this could change depending on the team he lands with, and, of course, we can’t forget he could still decide to return for his senior year.
5. Giovani Bernard*, RB, North Carolina
Bernard is a redshirt sophomore so it means he’s eligible for the draft, but there’s an equally good chance he returns to school for another year. He’s a dynamic multi-purpose back, but his size isn’t ideal for NFL coaches, so that’s a worry. However, he’s capable of being a very good PPR running back even if he ends up in a two-back system.
6. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
I’m a big fan of Taylor’s game, but for some reason, he has yet to receive the national recognition. He reminds me a lot of Frank Gore in the way he attacks the line of scrimmage. He possesses great vision, great agility, instincts, and has a heck of a stiff arm. He diagnoses running lanes quickly and decisively. There’s nothing he can’t do, and his multipurpose skill set translates well to the NFL level.
7. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Size factor will be an issue for Ellington. I’m not sure he’s feature-back material but he has that potential, which is a common theme with most backs in this class. There’s no shortage of potential, but most come with a lot of what ifs.
8. Robert Woods*, WR, USC
His teammate and fellow superstar, Marqise Lee, is working to get Woods to come back for another year. I’m not sure he’ll be successful because Woods is a probable first-round pick. Regarding his talent, he’s on par with last year’s crop of receivers. I think Woods will be a good receiver, but I just don’t see him being an elite level receiver.
9. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
He’s a tactical and savvy route runner. I think he’s flying under the radar and perhaps even I am underrating him a bit.
10. Tavon Austin, WR/RB, West Virginia
I added running back to his name because of his recent switch to the position from receiver. I see a lot of Jahvid Best in his game. It will be interesting to see how he’ll be used at the NFL level, but he’ll likely be used as a hybrid type player. He’ll line up at receiver and running back to take advantage of his playmaking ability.
11. Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor
Up until recently, Williams had been viewed as just a vertical receiver. When I watched his tape over the summer, I felt he was a better route runner than he got credit for and he’s starting to prove that he is. I expect to see his stock rise during the NFL Combine process.
12. Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
What a year Gillislee has put on tape this season. He came out of nowhere and steadily climbed the charts each week. He has feature-back upside and I love the way he plays the position. With the questions surrounding this year’s running back class, you never know where he may end up when it’s all said and done.
The 2013 Fantasy Rookies have a lot to live up to, especially after an absolutely insane season from Fantasy rookies in 2012.