2012 Fantasy Rookie Running Back Report
The following break down is the Fantasy Football stock value report for this years crop of rookie running backs heading into the NFL Fantasy Season.
5’9″ 228 Alabama
Drafted Round 1 (3rd overall)
Trent Richardson is easily the most sought after fantasy rookie for the 2012 NFL season. The Browns clearly got themselves a face-lift and will be starting a high number of the rookies acquired from this years draft class. QB Brandon Weeden, OT Mitchell Schwartz, and LB James-Michael Johnson and Trent Richardson are all being penciled in as starters. The talent added will hopefully gel together to form a group that will move the chains and put T-Rich in many opportunities to rack up fantasy points.
Although, there are two theories when it comes to this former Alabama powerback; 1.) He’ll carry the offense and help players like Brandon Wedden improve that much faster or 2.) He will be smothered in a all-out run blitz that defense’s will force down the the Browns throat, resulting in the team to have to throw the ball with their rookie QB.
It’s easy to over-think the countless possibles in which Trent Richardson will hurt your fantasy line-up, the Browns have never been a team for running up the score, nor do they ever get an easy schedule being in the AFC North. Still, this team is built to run the ball. Peyton Hillis may have been a one year wonder after injuries arouse with the offensive line last year. If healthy, the Browns O-Line can create gaps that even the most average RB can succeed with. Insert a running back like Richardson and the possibilities of a big threat rushing attack are down right scary. All the stats and analyzing in the world may not convince you that Trent Richardson is the real deal, but a long time fantasy writer’s “gut-feeling” should. I would take Richardson early and laugh all the way to the fantasy championship.
Fantasy Value: Very High
Fantasy Stock Value: Through the Roof
Fantasy Draft Projection: 2nd to 3rd round
5’9″ 223 Boise St.
Drafted Round 1 (31st overall)
Everybody loves the potential of Doug Martin, but this season may be a learning experience for newest Tampa RB. Fantasy owners need to keep in mind that the job is Blount’s to lose, and that Martin’s rookie season could involve being a productive change of pace running back that the team will ease into the offense. LeGarrette Blount has 20 pounds on this former Boise St. RB, and despite the “bowling ball” comparisons this rookie may not see carries inside the 20 yard-line. Blount proved he can handle a solid workload, and without his injuries last season, I wonder if we would even be questioning his role in this offense. Blount did regress a little in 2011, his yards per carry average fell slightly from 5.0 to 4.2, but he still had a couple 100+yard games for the Buc’s who were one of the leagues worst teams.
Doug Martin is an investment fantasy RB. While there is a chance he wins the starting job this season, it may not happen right away, so draft him accordingly. He is an excellent keeper-league player, an insurance piece for Blount owners, and a sleeper heading into training camp. But as far as being a every down fantasy starter, you’re kidding yourself if you reach on him too early. Preseason will be where Martin showcase his skills to the coaches, hopefully convincing them to give him extra touches throughout the season, but at this point he is too risky for anything higher than a 5th round pick.
Fantasy Value: Medium
Fantasy Stock Value: Investment Player- Will pay off down the road.
Fantasy Draft Projection: 5th to 7th round
RB 5’10” 206 Virginia Tech
Drafted Round 1 (32nd overall)
The Giants were pleasantly surprised with what they found available with the last pick of this years NFL Draft. David Wilson played college ball at Virginia Tech, a smooth runner with an extra gear to help accelerate downhill or around a corner. Wilson has a great frame, solid build and seems to play bigger than his what his measurements have him listed at.
The Giants added weapons to make their SuperBowl winning offense that much stronger at the draft. History has shown that the team rarely uses rookies right out of the gate and tend to groom prospects for optimal production. Still, the Giants running game was not their strong point last season, ranking dead last in rushing yards per game (89.2 ). Need vs. coaching tendencies make Wilson an intriguing fantasy sleeper. Tom Coughlin has a strict method to his coaching style, and is very structured about personal. Some doubt Wilson see’s much action early on, yet with such a boost needed at the running back postion, and with the loss of Brandon Jacobs, will Coughlin break some of his old-school rules and allow David Wilson to touch the ball 15+ times a game? – It’s probably too early to say.
*Preseason and training camp will be a great forecast to how this talented speedy RB will fit into the teams gameplan for 2012. Right now, I would have to project David Wilson’s fantasy stock as “yet to be determined” . I know it’s a cop-out, but he could go either way at this point.
Fantasy Value: Low to Medium
Fantasy Stock Value: Sleeper
Fantasy Draft: Projection: 6th to 9th round
5’10” 197 Cincinnati
Drafted Round 2 (50th overall)
If you are going to find a running back to complement Steven Jackson, speedy breakaway threat Isaiah Pead definitely fits the mold. The Rams really must see something special in this kid, as he has limited features other that straight line bursting speed. Pead is not your every down running back in the NFL and will need to work on correcting many elements of his game. He is a project that will contribute sporadically in the Rams offense. Unless Steven Jackson get’s hurt, and even if he does, Pead has little fantasy value in his rookie season.
Fantasy Value: Low
Fantasy Stock: deep sleeper
Fantasy Draft Projection: 11th to 15th round
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