Rookies are always the wild card in fantasy football because they've yet to play a down in the NFL. Just because a player touched the ball 25 times a game in college doesn't mean that will be his role with his NFL team.
There are always a handful of rookies that, despite their age, put up solid fantasy football numbers.
Here are the top five rookies in fantasy football this year:
He's a popular pick for rookie of the year because he steps into a very good situation. The Chargers have one of the best offenses in the NFL and it's an offense that LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles have played well in.
SB Nation's Bolts From The Blue says Mathews will have a "huge" fantasy impact this season.
As an offensive coordinator, Norv Turner has been responsible for some of the biggest fantasy seasons of recent memory for RBs such as Frank Gore, Ricky Williams and even LaDainian Tomlinson (he had 100 receptions in 2003!). Turner has been eager to get a back that can carry the ball 330 times a year, and Mathews looks to be that guy. Turner is one of the few coaches in the league who also like to "reward" his top RB by giving him every chance to rack up the TDs. Look for big things this years for this very strong and very fast RB that will have the full support of his coaches and teammates.
They say to look for something in the range of 1,400 yards and 13 TDs.
Spiller is arguably the most dynamic offensive player in the 2010 NFL draft. He's quick, shifty and has the ability to break off a big play at any given moment.
SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings says he won't be the Bills leading rusher but they'll find a way to get him the ball.
Spiller's biggest issues will be opportunity and exposure. Barring injury, he won't lead the team in rushing attempts, as the Bills plan to protect him from the pounding of a full rushing load. He also has the distinction of being, 100% without question, the best offensive threat the Bills employ. No one else on that team is in the same galaxy.
He'll be used a lot, though, and in a variety of ways. 15 touches per game is a given, and double-digit combined touchdowns isn't out of the question. Kid is the real deal.
Like Spiller, he's among the most exciting picks in the 2010 Draft. Respected analysts said prior to the draft that he was one of the best receiver prospects to come out in years and was among the most talented players in all of the draft.
SB Nation's Blogging The Boys says Bryant has the talent to be a big-time fantasy receiver but wonders if he'll get lost in the Cowboys prolific offense.
It's hard to say exactly what role Dez Bryant will play in the Cowboys offense. Because of the injury in training camp we haven't seen him line up in a pre-season game. Still, we expect him to be the #3 WR in Dallas at some point this year, but he'll have competition from Patrick Crayton who Tony Romo trusts. Bryant has a ton of talent and the coaches were raving about his work before he got hurt. This is a tough call. If he shows the yards-after-catch ability we expect, the Cowboys will have to get him on the field often. On the other hand, he'll be sharing passes with Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Roy Williams and Crayton. The Cowboys passing game is prolific, but has a lot of weapons. Bryant could be a bust-out WR who nails a lot of fantasy points, or he could get lost in a crowded Cowboys offense. Lots of boom/bust material here.
Good news, fantasy footballers. SB Nation's Pride of Detroit predicts Best will get 20 touches a game which would certainly increase his fantasy value.
When the Lions picked Javhid Best, fans really didn't know what to expect out of him. Some thought he would get the ball only 15 or so times a game, while others believed he could be an every-down type of back. After a preseason full of exciting plays, however, the verdict on Best is in: He should be an every-down back that gets at least 20 touches a game. Best's running style is all about speed and shiftiness, and he does a nice job of hitting the hole when there is room to run and making plays when nothing appears to be there. To sum up his game, Best has the potential to score every time he touches the ball, and you can bet the Lions will utilize him as a big weapon in their potentially-explosive offense.
The Chiefs are going to have some fun with McCluster. They haven't yet determined how they'll use him in 2010 but they do know they want the ball in his hands.
SB Nation's Arrowhead Pride says you can expect a mix of McCluster at receiver and running back.
Dexter McCluster will be a solid fantasy option because he'll line up in a few different spots. He's listed as a receiver so we'll assume he will primarily be the Chiefs slot receiver but in three preseason games he's seen a healthy amount of carries as a running back as well.
My advice would be to pick this guy up as a receiver and take the extra points he gives you as a running back. He's the type of player that can take it to the house on any play in any game. He'll be fun to watch.