Can Geno Smith help your fantasy football team in 2013?
By Richard Janvrin
Every year before and after the NFL draft, Fantasy Football enthusiasts start to examine and analyze the potential for each and every skill position. What really boils down to a successful NFL Rookie campaign are a few factors:
1. Opportunity. If a QB, RB, WR, TE or any of those positions are launched in to a starting role, they are given a great opportunity to succeed.
2. Situation. This is different for each position. For QBs, it could be many different things. These factors include offensive line, WR corps, and the type of offense the team runs. For a WR it boils down to who their QB is. Most rookie wide-outs would much rather have an Aaron Rodgers rather than a Kevin Kolb. For a RB, offensive line plays a role, as does QB in in that if the QB is successful, less eyes will be on said RB. Timeshares will also play into a RB’s situation, as well.
With that said, we’ll see some rookies who will have fantastic seasons and others that will total 200 yards and fall flat on their face. Let’s see if we can separate the fantastic seasons from the flops.
EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills - We all know his potential. He’s a mobile QB, but he’s not the most natural of passers, has some decision making problems, doesn’t like to sit in the pocket long enough to find an open receiver and often takes off running prematurely. With all that said, I’m not entirely sure he’ll be the starter all season or Week 1 either. The Bills said there was a franchise QB in this draft. They may have been right, but it was NOT this guy. In my opinion, his draft stock was so high due to the overall weak QB class this year.
Projections: 12 GS, 2694 yards, 15 TDs, 9 INTs, 364 rushing yards, 2 TDs.
Should I draft him? I wouldn’t touch him in a 1 QB league, but he’s worth in a flier in a start-2 QB league (along with any other QBs who have a chance at playing time).
Geno Smith, New York Jets - There’s not much in between here. Either you love Geno Smith, or you hate Geno Smith. I’m not thoroughly convinced he’s as good as advertised, but Geno Smith does have a pretty good opportunity here. There is a “5 QB competition” in New York, but I really see it as Geno winning the job, ultimately. Seriously? The Jets would consider Greg McElroy, David Garrard or Matt Simms as their starter? Mark Sanchez has the best shot, but I think it’s time for a change. Geno won’t have an RG3-like impact, but he will definitely improve them as a football team.
Projections: 16 GS, 3451 yards, 20 TDs, 7 INTs, 561 rushing yards, 5 TDs.
Should I draft him? He’s worth a look, but for now, he’s nothing more than a bye week fill-in.
Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - Bernard and BJGE have a great chance to give the Bengals a “thunder and lightning” tandem – BJGE as the thunder in that he’s a down-hill, north to south runner and Gio Bernard as the lightning. Bernard can catch out of the backfield and is an effective runner. He’s considered a little under-sized, but so is Darren Sproles. With the Bengals building an explosive offense, this could be a great opportunity and a great situation for Bernard.
Projections: 813 rushing yards, 6 rushing TDs, 50 receptions, 589 receiving yards, 5 receiving TDs.
Should I draft him? Yes. In 10-team formats and higher. Has great upside and potential.
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers - Jonathan Dwyer or Isaac Redman shouldn’t give the Steelers’ second-round pick much of a competition. One thing that I love about him is his pass catching ability. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger are known for throwing to the RB out of the back-field.
Projections: 1070 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs, 41 receptions, 512 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs.
Should I draft him? Yes. He could be a low-end RB1 this season.
Montee Ball, Denver Broncos - Montee has a chance to have the best season of any rookie this year. He has one of the best opportunities to go along with a pretty good QB (understatement of the century). After scoring 55 rushing TDs in his last two seasons at Wisconsin, Ball should give the Broncos a viable goal-line option (his NFL comparison is BJGE, according to our friends at Walter Football).
Projections: 1241 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs, 11 receptions, 98 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD.
Should I draft him? Yes. He has a very good chance to become a low-end RB1.
Tavon Austin, St. Louis - You know the comparisons and you know him. He’s explosive, he’s dynamic, he’s a monster. If Sam Bradford doesn’t progress as an NFL QB with him and West Virginia teammate Stedman Bailey, all hope is lost. There are reports confirming he will come out of the back-field sometimes as well, which will only increase his fantasy value..
Projections: 81 receptions, 1192 yards, 6 TDs, 312 rushing yards, 2 TDs.
Should I draft him? Yes. He should be a solid WR2, with the potential of a WR1 — especially in PPR leagues.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans - This will be interesting. The Texans finally have a complement to Andre Johnson, as DeAndre Hopkins is in a position to give Houston a Roddy White and Julio Jones-like tandem.
Projections: 69 receptions, 1012 yards, 5 TDs.
Should I draft him? Yes. He could serve as a decent flex option in most formats.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings - Patterson isn’t a great route runner yet, but he does have big play ability. He only played one season in Division 1, so experience is an issue. Playing opposite of Greg Jennings should provide Patterson with a good opportunity, but his QB situation isn’t the greatest. Having Christian Ponder or Matt Cassell as your QB isn’t great news for fantasy owners and may affect Patterson’s stock a bit.
Projections: 51 receptions, 874 yards, 4 TDs.
Should I draft him? Only in deeper leagues. He’s probably a flex option at best right now.
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals - As mentioned above, the Cincinnati offense is quite intriguing for fantasy purposes. Gresham and Eifert won’t likely turn into a Gronkowski/Hernandez combo, but they should be effective in 2013.
Projections: 52 receptions, 800 yards, 4 TDs.
Should I draft him? Eifert could be a bye-week fill-in option, but probably not much more.
Honorable Mentions: Keenan Allen (WR - SD), Aaron Dobson (WR - NE), Robert Woods (WR - BUF), Eddie Lacy (RB – GB), Johnathan Fraklin (RB – GB), Tyler Wilson (QB – OAK), Stedman Bailey (WR - STL), Andre Ellington (RB – AZ), Zach Ertz (TE – PHI).
By Richard Janvrin
Richard is 20 years old and a father of one. He was born and raised in New Hampshire, but hates all Boston sports teams. He is a die hard Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Knicks fan. In joining the FT411 team, he looks forward to bringing you some of the best fantasy advice possible!