Here are the final five Rookies that we feel are worth the Risk this season. By doing several Mock Drafts you will be able to see how many of these players are snagged in drafts and when they went off the board. If the first five we wrote about are gone then here is an opportunity to still select some remaining rookies who can serve as excellent backups or could have an immediate impact on your roster. Unlike the first five, this group is more tailor-made for those in deeper leagues. Good luck!
6. Cordarrelle Patterson-WR-Vikings- Admittedly, Patterson would be a question mark but one with low risk and high reward. If allowed to put his talents on display, Patterson would make the perfect replacement to Percy Harvin, now with the Seahawks. Harvin accounted for 20% of the team’s receptions last year so there is enough of a work load for Patterson to potentially become your WR3 at some point in the season.
As the third WR to be selected in the NFL draft in April, Patterson showed that he is an able runner after making catches which would play more into QB Christian Ponder’s kind of game. The 6′ 2″ 216 lb. receiver has 4.42 speed and rushed for 308 yards on 25 carries at Tennessee. Give him a look if still available in the latter rounds.
7. Eddie Lacy-RB-Packers- If you’re looking for a solid RB3 then Lacy could be your man. The Pack added not one but two running backs in this year’s draft so there will be some competition in their backfield going into the season, however we feel when the smoke clears the one that should garner you the most potential for fantasy points will be Lacy. He’s a big power back (230 lbs) who will see his share of red zone carries. Consider that the Packers were inside the 5 yard line 18 times last season and opted to hand off to a RB on only four of those possessions. That should leave the door wide open for Lacy.
Lacy, the MVP of Alabama’s 2013 BCS title, had 30 of his 355 carries go for touchdowns. Even with sharing the backfield duties with newly added Jonathan Franklin, we think Lacy will emerge as the back most likely to score goal line TDs.
#27 230 lb. running back Eddie Lacy is poised and ready to handle goal line carries for the Packers. Photo: Mike DiSanti
8. DeAndre Hopkins-WR-Texans- When all is said and done, Hopkins has the opportunity to end up as the Texans #2 WR . The good news is that he won’t see that much competition from fellow receivers Lestar Jean or Keshawn Martin so it’s Hopkins’ job to lose here. The bad news is that Houston has a rep for having a run-driven offense and with QB Matt Schaub who likes to throw more short and intermedite routes. Since Hopkins can easily stretch the field, his elusiveness and good hands could insure that Schaub might just begin to air it out more.
Hopkins, at long last, appears to be the perfect compliment to receiving stud Andre Johnson which the Texans have been searching for a long time and someone you should take a chance on in deeper leagues as he will have some fantasy upside.
9. Zach Ertz-TE-Eagles- Is there a log jam at the tight end position in Philadelphia? To quote Sarah Palin, “You Betcha!!” Eagles coach Chip Kelly, by using the 35th pick to grab Ertz, will have to make some decisions. First is whether or not to keep Celek rostered or unload him and his $3.25 million salary. If Celek is released it clearly opens the door for Ertz to become the team’s #1 TE. None of the three who also includes James Casey, are formidable blockers but they do fit into the kind of offense that Kelly is known for.
Ertz led the Stanford Cardinals in receptions (69) and in yards (898) which is why we think given his age and talent we would prefer him over Celek and believe he could become a sleeper-type pickup in Kelly’s quick tempo offense. He automatically gets a Must Add label in the event Philly releases Celek.
Stanford standout TE Zach Ertz could end up becoming the Eagles #1 TE if Brent Celek is released. The 6′ 5″ 249 lb TE can be sleeper material in coach Chip Kelly’s offense. Photo: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
10. Knile Davis-RB-Chiefs- You might consider listing this rookie to be a bit of a stretch but the upside with the former Razorback is very high. A couple of years ago, prior to a severe ankle injury that sidelined him in 2011 at Arkansas, he was considered one of the best backs in the country rushing for 1,362 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Chiefs must have felt that he has completely healed by virtue of them selecting him in the third round of this year’s draft. Currently Davis is their best and probably main option behind Jamaal Charles who himself is no stranger to injury.
Davis, along with his 4.37 speed, might not give you immediate fantasy results but could provide you with a very serviceable handcuff to Charles. Given how frequently RBs get injured, that might not be a bad idea.
**If you haven’t seen our first five rookie selections, then just scroll down to Rookies worth the Risk- Part 1.