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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Fantasy Football Rookies to Own

Wild on Sports
2013 Fantasy Football Rookies to Own
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

We all do it -- you have to if you want to win -- that yearly search high and low for the ultimate sleeper pick to baffle and blow away your competition. Some fly a little more under the radar than others, but more times than not it is a rookie who jumps in a beats out a veteran for a starting job. With that in mind lets take a look at five rookies poised to have big seasons and help you win your fantasy leagues this season.

RB Eddie Lacy
Green Bay Packers
With the recent season ending injury to last year's starter DuJaun Harris, the door is wide open for Lacy to take the reins as the feature back. What a great situation for the Alabama rookie. Aaron Rodgers has the ability to spread the defense with one of the league's best passing attacks. That should leave plenty of room for Lacy to comfortably approach lines of 85/1 with upsides of 100+ yards in many match-ups. Those numbers put him in the top 10 in runningback options. It is rare these days to have a RB situation where the carries are not split. He is coming off most fantasy boards in the 15-20 range. Grab him and you will not be disappointed. 

RB Montee Ball
Denver Broncos
The Wisconson standout has the potential to be the top rookie in this year's class. Unfortunately, he also faces the most competition in a crowded Broncos backfield. The good news for those looking at Ball as a nice sleeper option or even RB2 is that his competition has largely failed to give John Fox a reason not to start Montee Ball. Ronnie Hillman is technically listed as #1 on the RB depth chart but ball security issues and inconsistency have done any but cement his spot in the starting line-up. Last year's workhorse down the stretch, Knowshon Moreno is working his way back from injury but lurking with an outside shot at being back for week 1. All that said, should Ball win the starting job a role in the high powered Denver offense is sure to produce fantasy gold.

WR Kenbrell Thompkins
New England Patriots
By no means the best receiver in this years class but possibly the one going into the best situation. The Patriots are very thin at wide receiver. Thompkins appears to have built up a nice rapport with Tom Brady in the preseason and really gives the Pats that "go up and get it" receiver that they have lacked since the Randy Moss days. He may not put up Moss numbers in terms of yards per game but the red zone looks are bound to be plentiful, particularly with Rob Gronkowski out of the line-up for the first 4-6 weeks. Definitely worth the late round gamble.

WR DeAndre Hopkins
Houston Texans
Perhaps no rookie receiver has impressed more this preseason than Hopkins. Playing opposite Andre Johnson is bound to open up some space for just about anyone. Hopkins showed some big game play making ability while at Clemson and reeled in 18 TD's his senior season. With Johnson seeing double teams and teams expecting a heavy dose of Arian Foster on the goal-line, Hopkins could emerge as a great target and great late round fantasy option at WR3 or bench.

WR Tavon Austin
St. Louis Rams
Clearly well known at this point so sleeper status might be a bit of a stretch, but as a highly sought early first round pick in 2013 he is worth mentioning as a rookie to watch. It will be interesting to see how his relationship develops with Sam Bradford as the season unfolds. He has not been seen much thus far in the preseason. If your league gives points for return yards he is a very good options. If it does not he is the definition of high risk, high reward. Draft with caution, but don't be shocked if he is the best of the class by season's end.


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