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Rookie Relevance: Odds Are Rookies Are Worth a Pick Up in NFL’s Second Half

November 3, 2014 | by Brad Taningco | Comments Comments Off
Former Fresno State Bulldogs star Davante Adams is shining in the NFL.
Davante Adams (left) is earning Aaron Rodgers’ trust. (Brad Barr-USA Today Sports)

By Brad Taningco

It’s Fantasy football gut-check time, folks. With five weeks left on the regular season Fantasy football schedule, teams that are stuck at or around .500 can’t afford to rest on their laurels. In fact, this is an important point in the season to cut your losses on disappointing draft picks that aren’t producing, and find value in high-upside players that will make you a winning team the rest of the way.

Last year, one of those players was rookie running back Zac Stacy. Stacy busted out for his second 100+ yard game in Week Nine and didn’t look back, offering RB1 value down the stretch to whichever savvy owner picked him up.

So who will the rookie boomers be in 2014? For starters, take a trip to Wisconsin. Rookie receiver Davante Adams has worked himself firmly into the WR3 slot for the Packers, and that designation means more in Green Bay than anywhere else, as the Pack run more three-receiver sets than any other team. Plus, the Packers are entrenched in an uphill battle to win the NFC North (despite being +450 favourites to win the NFC), so every game will matter down the stretch.

Adams for his part has played well, but his stats may be due for a boost for a couple reasons. For one, he seems to have earned Aaron Rodgers’ trust, an important element for the exacting quarterback. Adams has had 18 targets in the last three weeks, including a team-high nine in Week Eight in New Orleans. For another, Adams is playing behind two elite receivers that have struggled with injuries. Randall Cobb has started 14 games in the last two seasons, and Jordy Nelson was healthy for just eight games last season. One injury to either stud and Adams becomes a locked-in WR2.

It was clear even at training camp that this kid knew how to run routes (see video below).

In New England, meanwhile, rookie Jonas Gray may be ready for his close up. After Gray touched the rock 17 times in Week Eight, it seems Coach Bill Belichek will go with the young back in place of the fumble-crazy Stevan Ridley down the stretch. Gray out-touched Shane Vereen in Week Eight 17-8, and while it’s hard to ever gamble on a Belichek backfield option, Gray is worth grabbing to see how this plays out.

Lastly, don’t sleep on Donte Moncrief in Indianapolis. The rookie seems to have slipped into the WR3 slot for the league’s most productive Fantasy quarterback, and saw 12 targets in Week Eight against Pittsburgh. If you’ve got room to be patient through the Colts’ bye in Week 10, now is a great time to get in on the Colts aerial game.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which rookies you’re expecting to come up big in the second half.

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2014-15 RotoRob NHL Draft Kit: Top 10 Rookies

September 28, 2014 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Oh yeah, Drouin then added 13 goals, 41 points and a plus-9 rating in 16 postseason games. But, you know, no big deal. We’re not advocating you take this guy in the draft, but odds are good someone in your league will. If he’s still on the board when you make your final pick, taking him could pay off big time.
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2014 NFL Draft Fantasy Stock Report: Tight Ends

June 18, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments (2)
Fiedorowicz didn’t destroy the competition in college, but he delivered in times of need. His vacuum-like hands always seemed to cradle the ball just right. Fiedorowicz is not a dominant player like Ebron, but he can be a solid safety valve for any quarterback. As for this season we see Fiedorowicz as a suitable bye week replacement even if he doesn’t light it up early. The old Texan regime used the tight end well, but the new staff might be more exploratory early on before they realize what they have in their third rounder.
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2014 NFL Draft Fantasy Stock Report: Wide Receivers, Part II

June 11, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments Comments Off
He is a big gamble who will provide spurts of excitement and Fantasy owners will gleefully outbid each other for him. Unless you are in a league that rewards for return yards, leave Archer be, we say. The market always crashes.
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2014 NFL Draft Fantasy Stock Report: Wide Receivers, Part I

June 4, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments (3)
This year’s crop of pass catchers has often been referred to as deep. We will not dispute that theory and to further the query we now give you Part One of our Fantasy Stock Report for the wide receivers plucked in last month’s NFL Draft. This week, we break down WRs from Rounds One and Two. Next week we’ll break down the rest from Round Three on.
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