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Mathews is the unquestioned king of the 2010 fantasy rookies

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 3, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    By Michael Fabiano | NFL.com
    Fantasy Editor

    The 2010 NFL Draft is in the books, so we now have a number of brand-new potential fantasy impact makers to consider on draft day. Not surprisingly, many of those players are running backs. If we've learned anything from the past, it's that rookie runners have the best chance to make an immediate impact. Of course, there are a few first-year quarterbacks and wide receivers to consider in larger leagues. So without further ado, here's our look at the top 10 fantasy rookies that you should target this summer.

    1. Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers

    Mathews will be the unquestioned No. 1 rookie in fantasy football this season. I expect him to see 250-plus carries for coach Norv Turner, whose offenses have produced huge fantasy seasons from Ricky Williams, Frank Gore and LaMont Jordan in the past. He'll go as high as the late second round in larger seasonal leagues and is a surefire No. 2 fantasy back across the board. He'll also be the first pick in all dynasty leagues.
    2. Jahvid Best, RB, Lions

    Best did have durability issues at the college level, but he has amazing potential in the Lions offense which should be much improved. I consider him the favorite to start ahead of Kevin Smith, who is coming off reconstructive knee surgery and won't be as effective upon his return. Best's speed will only make him more lethal on the Ford Field turf, and he'll have middle-round value as a potential flex starter in all formats.
    3. C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills

    Spiller was widely considered the most explosive running back in the 2010 draft class, but he's in a tough situation in Buffalo. Fred Jackson will likely be the starter to open the season, and Marshawn Lynch remains in the mix. The Bills also have a questionable offensive line and lack an effective pass attack to keep defenses honest. Spiller is talented without question, but it's hard to consider him as more than a flex starter.
    4. Ben Tate, RB, Texans

    Tate is a hard-nosed, one-cut running back with a chance to start right out of the gate for coach Gary Kubiak. In fact, I'd be shocked if he wasn't atop the depth chart in Week 1. Steve Slaton, who is coming off neck surgery, is clearly better suited as a third-down back at the NFL level, and Arian Foster could wind up third in the pecking order. A viable middle-round sleeper, Tate is someone to watch during training camp.

    5. Montario Hardesty, RB, Browns

    Hardesty is a physical runner with great speed and playmaking ability, and his skills are a perfect fit for the Browns. Jerome Harrison doesn't have the size to be a true featured back, so he'll see more than his share of opportunities to produce during his rookie season. This fantasy sleeper is well worth a middle-round look in all seasonal leagues and has additional value in long-term keeper and dynasty formats.
    6. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

    Thomas will be a welcomed addition to the Broncos which lack a true No. 1 wideout after the trade of Brandon Marshall. The Georgia Tech product has good size and can make plays in the vertical pass attack, and I think he'll have a chance to see more targets than any other rookie wideout in 2010. While he won't make a major fantasy impact, Thomas will be worth a late-round selection in most seasonal leagues.
    7. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

    Bryant, who might have been the most talented wide receiver in the 2010 draft class, has a bright future both on the field and in fantasy circles. He's an exceptional talent with a chance to develop into an elite wideout, but returns on Bryant won't be immediate. The Cowboys are loaded at his position, so the rookie would need to unseat Roy Williams to warrant more than a late-round pick in seasonal formats.
    8. Arrelious Benn, WR, Buccaneers

    Benn will be a major part of the Buccaneers rebuilding process on the offensive side of the football. Without a legitimate No. 1 wideout, the Illinois product will have a legitimate chance to start right out of the gate for coach Raheem Morris. That makes him worth a look in the late rounds of larger fantasy leagues. However, questions about the effectiveness of the team's pass attack will loom over his immediate value.
    9. Sam Bradford, QB, Rams

    Bradford, the No. 1 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, has a legitimate chance to start in his rookie season. If he does earn the top spot on the depth chart, he'll have some late-round value in larger seasonal leagues or those formats that require two starting quarterbacks. Rookie signal-callers rarely make an immediate fantasy impact, though, so Bradford's greater value will be for those owners in dynasty leagues.

    10. Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings

    A hard-nose runner with a nose for the end zone at the collegiate level, Gerhart will open training camp as the favorite to back up fantasy superstar Adrian Peterson in 2010. The Stanford product isn't going to see many opportunities to make a statistical impact behind such an elite back, but he will have late-round value in seasonal leagues as a fantasy reserve. He'll also be insurance for owners who take Peterson.

    Video - http://www.nfl.com/fantasy/story?id=09000d5d817ce2ab&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

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