It is fantasy football draft time once again, and that means it is time to figure out who should be drafted early and who might slip to later rounds as wonderful sleeper picks. With a number of big stories, such as the ESPN announcement on Aug. 27 that Eddie Lacy will be the sole starting running back for the Green Bay Packers, here is a look at the top rookies from the fantasy football 2013 draft cheat sheet.
1. Eddie Lacy – Originally, Eddie Lacy was supposed to play in a running back by committee approach with the quick DuJuan Harris. However, Harris is now on the IR and fellow rookie Jonathan Franklin has fallen behind Lacy in Packers’ camp. Lacy is now projected to be the star out of the backfield and, with his strength, should be a nice touchdown monster when the Packers reach the goal line. He isn’t the best of the rookie running backs, but he will get the most touches as a rookie.
2. Montee Ball – Montee Ball will also have a solid year, but he might start behind Ronnie Hillman when the season begins. However, any running back in a Peyton Manning ran offense should have good numbers and coach John Fox said that both of his running backs will get a lot of carries. Expect Ball to excel in the high octane Broncos offense.
3. Giovani Bernard – Honestly, in a fair world, Giovani Bernard would be number one on this list, and in keeper and dynasty leagues, he is number one. However, in seasonal leagues he drops some because Cincinnati seems determined to run with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard both. With a time share in Cincinnati, that puts him below the first two runners on this list in 2013, but he should own that starting role by the end of the season.
4. Tavon Austin – Sam Bradford is a great quarterback who has played for a bad team for too long. Jeff Fischer is changing that and building something around his talented quarterback and the big addition this season is Tavon Austin. He is a slant receiver, and one just need to look at Ryan Broyles at the Oklahoma Sooners to see how positive that could be when the NFL season starts.
5. Kenbrell Thompkins – Everyone saw doom and gloom when the New England Patriots lost Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, all while Rob Gronkowski is on the injured list. However, Danny Amendola is a poor man’s Wes Welker and rookie Kenbrell Thompkins might be the big play receiver that the Patriots have been looking for since Randy Moss left the team. Not bad for an undrafted free agent.
6. Cordarrelle Patterson
7. Le’Veon Bell
8. DeAndre Hopkins
9. Robert Woods
10. Zac Stacy
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