By Tom McAleese (@McAleeseFFA)
This year’s NFL draft was boring, in respect to fantasy football. There were just five skill position players taken in the first round, and no running backs. That makes finding guys who will make an immediate impact a little harder. There will be rookie that will find his way into your starting line up every week, but who will that be?
Here’s a list of guys I think are top candidates to be rookie fantasy starters;
Le’Veon Bell – Bell is this year’s Doug Martin. He is a perfect fit as a Steeler, and I see him going down in Steeler folklore as one of the great ones. He runs well between the tackles, as well as outside. He catches well, and is great in pass protection. He’s an every-down NFL runningback, plain and simple. Target Bell earlier than his ADP, draft him with confidence, and then plug him in your line-up in week 1.
Tavon Austin – Austin was the top WR taken in April’s draft, so a breakout season from him would not be a complete surprise. There is a healthy amount of hype around Austin based on how the Rams coaching plans on using him. Cut from the Percy Harvin, Randall Cobb mold Tavon Austin has a great opportunity to become your new favorite player, and an every week starter.
Giovanni Bernard – If Bernard doesn’t start the season atop the running back depth chart ahead of BGE, it won’t take long for him to overtake him. Bernard will be a PPR machine, and may line up as a receiver in some formations. He has been praised for his pass protection skills, which will make it hard to take him off the field. The best comparison that could be made for Bernard is to Darren Sproles, but with better running ability between the tackles.
Aaron Dobson – Let’s face it, Amendola will not play all 16 games, and another receiver will need to step up, especially if Gronk misses regular season games. That paves the way for Dobson to become Brady’s favorite target, an advantageous position for any receiver to be in. Draft him late and wait for the inevitable.
Eddie Lacy – The Packers have been talking about having more balance to their offense for years, but never had the personnel at RB to make that happen. Eddie Lacy may be what they’ve been looking for. Lacy is has the tools, power, speed, hands, and pass protection that will make him an every-down back for the Packers. He may not gain a thousand yards, but he will probably rack up the TDs as the clear cut goal line back.