The last couple of weeks I have been filling my fantasy football writing fix with a few some commentary on what to expect from the 2012 rookies heading into the season. There are a couple of late round Quarterback sleeper possibilities. There are two potential running back rookies who could make your starting lineup to start the season, with potential of some of their 2012 NFL Draft classmates joining them down the road. What about catching the football? Let’s have a look at the Wide Receivers and Tight Ends in this year’s class from a re-draft perspective…
Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Justin Blackmon will be the rookie Wide Receiver that will likely go first off of fantasy draft boards. Something that we know going into each season is that there will be some rookie pass catchers that bring in some fantasy points. Some can make decent WR2 options for a chunk of the season (WR1 in given weeks). What is not always certain is a correlation between how early the WR went in the NFL Draft, and their overall talent at the position. More often than not, it is the situation they land in. Enter concerns with Blackmon. He is certainly talented, and will likely be a fantasy force someday. BUT, there is more to worry about than going for him when fantasy football is concerned.
There is the obvious obstacle with the recent DUI arrest. Another obvious point would be Maurice Jones-Drew getting touches. Aside from that, there is the issue that Blaine Gabbert is likely to be his QB, and the whole having a contract and getting into camp thing.
Realistically, you will not be looking at Blackmon as a consistent contributing force on your fantasy squad anyway. In a 12 team league, he may get some WR3 time to start the season. If that is what you have in mind, look at him after your starting roster is filled.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
Another name that will be considered on fantasy draft day based on his NFL Draft stock. Floyd is in a position that is worse than Blackmon, aside from legal troubles. The Cardinals are still not set on who their QB is going to be. While we know for certain that Floyd will not be the #1 WR in Arizona as long as Larry Fitzgerald is around, he may not even make the starting lineup to start the season. The Cardinals appear to be leaning Andre Roberts at the #2 position, and there is still Early Doucet to consider in the slot. Look at one of the old Moss boys, (Randy, Santana) at the position you would have considered Floyd.
Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
If it had not been for size, some thought that Kendall Wright may have been the best WR prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft. There is a chance that he may be in the best fantasy football position of the pass catchers. Kenny Britt is doing everything in his power to give Wright playing time with his recent arrest. Despite that, Britt is still recovering from last year’s knee injury, and Wright is expected to fill his starting spot. A fantasy owner can feel good landing Wright late as a WR3 or WR4, knowing there will be weeks you are getting a WR2 on your team.
The Giants’ Rueben Randle is worth watching on the wire or a very late round pick. The Giants will place people where they can succeed and if he shows he can, he will get his chances. Stephen Hill is slotted to start with the Jets, but is dealing with a hamstring he should shake by camp. Brian Quick is the guy with the Rams. You take Rams WRs when desperate. Keep an eye on Quick for when you are, because he will be leaned on as the guy in St. Louis.
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
The only Tight End worth mentioning at this time is Coby Fleener with the Colts. There is the obvious relationship with Andrew Luck going back to Stanford. There is the obvious emphasis on the athletic TE after the seasons had by Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. All exciting stuff, but have perspective and don’t look at him too early, and certainly not as a TE1 to start the season. This is the type of guy that I don’t usually land late because someone else over pays with an earlier pick.