Every year, fantasy football owners clamor to put the hottest new names in NFL football on their rosters. The problem with this strategy is that the best rookies each year often are not even from the top picks. Sometimes a long shot player will come out of nowhere to really explode for some NFL team. The problem with rookies are that they are really unpredictable. This makes drafting almost any NFL rookie a bit of a gamble. Still, there are a few that should be in a position to provide you some fantasy football points. Here are the most likely contributors among the class of 2009:
Mark Sanchez – All things are looking up for Sanchez early on with the New York Jets. It looks as though he will under center for New York come opening day, and that he will get the chance to learn on the job. This can be a good thing, or a very bad thing for a young NFL quarterback. For every Peyton Manning, there are five or six Ryan Leafs. Still, Matt Ryan showed that rookie quarterbacks can have success. Joe Flacco in Baltimore is another fine example. Sanchez is a risk, but if things line up right he could also be a steal.
Jeremy Maclin – This youngster might just be one of the best fantasy picks among the rookies simply because of his situation. Philadelphia is loaded at most every position save wide receiver. Maclin is in the perfect position to fill that role. So far in the preseason he has shown some really good wheels and fantastic hands. McNabb has to be smiling about throwing to this kid all season long. Maclin will be a star sooner rather than later.
Chris Wells – While Wells has his detractors, the fact remains that he is leading the way towards taking over the running back position on a team with a great offense. This can only mean good things for Wells if he is smart. He must keep his nose clean, and keep working the rotation. His talent should take him to the top of the running back depth chart with the Cardinals. After that, who knows?
Knowshon Moreno – Again, the situation is what puts Moreno in the right position. He is on a team where his talent is the best among the options. When you add the fact that Moreno is playing for the run oriented Broncos, and you have a recipe for potential success.
Percy Harvin – Harvin should be the star receiver for the Vikings soon. He has all the tools that a team would want in a receiver. He reminds you of a young Randy Moss, both in ability and stupidity. While Moss worked his issues out, Harvin is still on the fence. If he puts his head on straight, the guy could be a huge star.
Matthew Stafford – Those poor Lions. They have done a good bit to improve their chances in 2009, but things are still going to be rough. If Stafford finds himself under center, do not expect too much his first year. The team is just too bad for now. He will have moments, but not enough of them to warrant drafting him.
Josh Freeman – This is just about the same situation as Stafford, but with a little better team. Of the two, Freeman will likely have the better season in year one. Stafford will be better long term, but Freeman might succeed some now.
Mike Goodson – Who? Mike Goodson is my “flying under the radar” guy. He plays for the Carolina Panthers. While the Panthers are a team that is loaded at running back, Goodson has been so good that they are finding ways to get him the ball. He has played receiver, running back, and returned kicks so far in the preseason. He has been awesome at all of them. Watch out for this guy, and keep him in mind late in the draft.