Everything You Need To Know Before Your Fantasy Football Draft NFL Draft Offers Gems for Fantasy Football Players

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NFL Draft Offers Gems for Fantasy Football Players

Fantasy football players rarely pay much attention to National Football League rookies during their fantasy football drafts. Rookies, you see, aren’t usually worth much to fantasy teams. Most rookies need a year or two, or in many cases even three or four years, to fully acclimate to the NFL. As a result, competitive fantasy football people usually stay away from them.

This year could be different. More NFL rookies will appear on fantasy rosters than in the past decade, as the draft is rich with impact players. That’s right, rookies who could actually play and contribute to fantasy football rosters this year — some even as starters. I see at least seven players taken in the first round of the NFL draft who could start on fantasy teams depending on how many teams are in your league. Obviously, the minor leagues (8 and 10 team leagues) will be very rich with veteran talent who will be rookies as starters. Following are evaluations of these players and others to keep an eye on as you prepare for your fantasy draft. Watch out for QBs left, as they won’t contribute much even if they start.

There are seven NFL first-rounders to target: Ronnie Brown, Braylon Edwards, Cedric Benson, Carnell Williams, Troy Williamson, Mike Williams and Mark Clayton. Brown, Benson and Williams are potential starters in any fantasy league. In one of the best running back classes in recent memory, these guys will enter their rookie campaigns as feature backs for Miami, Chicago and Tampa Bay, respectively. These teams have proven that they can produce all the fantasy stars if the right guy mails in.

Although not the best player, in terms of fantasy football value, Benson is probably the best pick of all rookies. He’s a no-brainer in basic scoring leagues. He will be a starter from day one and some experts have called him the best goal line runner ever to come out of college. If healthy, Benson could easily rush for 12 or more TDs in his inaugural NFL season.

Edwards is an immediate starter for the Browns and the guy is a real stud. Although he could start in some fantasy football leagues, you might want to get him later, as Cleveland is a team that hasn’t shown much in recent years. Edwards is a steal, if you can get him in the later rounds. Then, let it sit for a few weeks and watch it produce. The same goes for Williams, who was taken by Detroit, and Clayton, who was selected by Baltimore. Both of these receivers are likely to start for their new teams, but a wait-and-see attitude is in order, as both teams are in weak passing offenses, although the sky is the limit for the Lions who took a wideout with their first pick. Over the past three seasons.

In addition to these seven, there are several players taken after the first round of the NFL Draft that are worth drafting on fantasy football teams. Most notably, JJ Arrington, taken 12th overall by Arizona in the second round. Dennis Green likes this guy and hinted on draft day that Arrington would be his highlight. This guy is a compact runner and has a nose for the end zone. One feature of an improved Cardinals team could be a big scorer for fantasy teams.

Ryan Moats, taken by Philadelphia in the third round, would be the easiest steal of your fantasy football draft. Moats, a small tailback from Louisiana Tech, could be the star the Eagles need at the position. Although he’ll likely be relegated to special teams and used on third-downs early, look for him to pop up, especially if someone gets hurt. Despite his 5-8, 210-pound frame, he’s a quick slashing runner and a real workhorse. An eye-popping senior season saw him log 288 carries for 1,774 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 1,890 all-purpose yards set a school record, as he proved he could catch the ball with nearly equal skill. With per carry averages of 6.4 and 28 TDs, Moats is definitely one to watch. Grab this hard worker in the last round of your draft and wait for his turn. If the stars align in Philadelphia, you might be able to steal your fantasy football draft.

Here are some other notables you might want to watch for late picks or free-agency pickups as the season progresses:

1 Heath Miller, TE taken by Pittsburgh: Will be ranked higher, as he’ll likely start, but tight end is always a big question mark. If you’re in a fantasy league that needs a tight end, Miller is good.

2 Vernand Morenci, RB Houston picks: Watch out for the injury to Dominique Davis and grab Morenci the second time around.

3 Maurice Clarett, RB Denver took: They love him and want to see him prove all the critics wrong. He will get a chance to play.

4 Matt Jones, WR selected by Jacksonville: Many feel the former QB is the best athlete in the NFL draft. 4-5 speed and great arm on a 6-6, who knew?

5 Roddy White, WR taken by Atlanta in 1st round. Very fast and low quality. The Falcons saw little from Michael Jenkins last season, so keep a close eye on White.

6 Chris Henry, WR taken by Cincinnati. Very big and fast. Three and four receiver sets may have one element around the goal line.

7 Reggie Brown, WR selected by Philadelphia. There are some question marks at the Eagles’ position, not the least of which is the erratic antics of Terrell Owens.

8 Ciactric Faison, RB, taken by Minnesota. With so much discomfort at running back, Faison could emerge as the starter. Watch this very closely.

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