Every year, fantasy owners search for that diamond in the rough, that one player that will help put them over the top. It’s not always easy, but there are there. Most of the time, they come in the form of rookies – ones who might have proven themselves in the NCAA, but who have yet to show anything in the NFL. As fantasy owners, we sometimes are reluctant to pick these guys up. However, these 5 are work a gamble. So, to help out, here are the top 5 impact rookies for the 2010 NFL Fantasy Football Season.
Toby Gerhart of the Minnesota Vikings
Gerhart is a solid prospect from Stanford coming in at 6 feet 1 inches and weighing 235 lbs. He’s an excellent runner between the tackles and able to take on defenders. In fact, a big knock on Gerhart is that he often looks for contact, instead of avoiding it. While that may impede the longevity of his career, it will certainly help him in goal line situations in for the Vikings. While three time Pro-Bowler Adrian Peterson’s job is guaranteed, and nobody should expect Gerhart to take away any of his caries, they should expect Gerhart to become the primary back in goal line situations. This makes Gerhart a hot prospect for fantasy owners who play in touchdown leagues only, or where touchdowns have a higher weighted average on points.
CJ Spiller of the Buffalo Bills
CJ Spiller enters a situation where he’ll likely be the starting running back for the Buffalo Bills. This makes Spiller a must have for fantasy owners. While Spiller isn’t especially tall or big, standing only 5 feet 11 inches and weighing 195 lbs, he has speed to burn and is quickly being compared to 2000 yard rusher Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans. Spiller has some competition in Buffalo in the form of Fred Jackson, who did rush for over 1000 yards in 2009. However, Spiller’s abilities are simply too good to pass up, and he’ll fast become a primary receiver and rusher in Buffalo, and a must-have for fantasy owners.
Ryan Mathews of the San Diego Chargers
Things couldn’t be better for Mathews in San Diego. With LaDainian Tomlinson now a NY Jet, and San Diego grabbing Mathews with the 12th overall pick, Mathews looks to become the primary Chargers running back. While Darren Sproles is still in San Diego, he has yet to field a full season of carries, and he is mostly known for his returns and special teams play. While Sproles is a capable starter, it seems this is Mathews job for the taking. In a Norv Turner offense predicated on rushing the football, this makes Mathews a hot prospect for fantasy owners.
Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals entered the playoffs in 2009 with a 10-6 record and a reputation for pulling games out at the last second. However, the Bengals were bounced in their first playoff game by a Jets defense that seemed to have them dialed in. Worst of all, not a single Bengal tight-end caught a pass in that game, allowing the Jets to slide coverage over to primary wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. So, the Bengals needed a tight-end and grabbed Jermaine Gresham with the 21st pick of the first round. Consider Gresham a huge wide receiver, and Cincinnati’s new go-to tight end. Gresham is 6 feet 5 inches and 260lbs and that size and height will help him tremendously in the red-zone. Fantasy owners looking for an impact tight-end, need to look no further than Gresham.
Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys
While Dallas was supposed to draft an offensive linemen in the draft, they instead decided to settle on Oklahoma State Cowboy wide receiver Dez Bryant. The 24th pick of the first round is a solid receiver, with great hands, solid route running and speed. Bryant will stretch the defense better than both Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton, and looks to become the second receiver in Dallas’s offense. The 6 foot 2 inch 220 lb receiver will help primary receiver Miles Austin, and Bryant’s size and height will become a primary weapon come red-zone time. For fantasy owners looking for a rookie impact receiver, the Cowboys’ Bryant is the answer.