Below is the list of top fantasy football rookies, in order of their projected selection in the PAFFL league (which is a auction based, dynasty format). This projection was done at the bottom of the 6th round of the 2010 NFL draft, trades or strong minicamp performances (and obviously injuries), will impact this over the coming months.
1) RB Ryan Mathews - San Diego Chargers (#12 overall pick) - The Fresno State Junior lit up the combine, demonstrated good blocking technique, gamebreaking ability, size to move the pile and good hands. Landing in San Diego puts him in position to immediately be a top 10 fantasy RB producer in '10 and the obvious #1 fantasy rookie in 2010. Firkin FanClub ($55)2) RB Jahvid Best - Detroit Lions (#30 overall) - If he can shake that nasty concussion, he has the talent to be a productive pro, and in Detroit he landed in a great spot where he can be productive with other playmakers around him. East Bay Funk ($55)
3) RB CJ Spiller - Buffalo Bills (#9 overall) - the most dynamic playmaker in the draft, he falls a little because he goes to a team with a lot of RB talent (Fred Jackson & Marshawn Lynch) that lacks a QB or a quality offensive line. So while Spiller is clearly talented, he will be challenged to get the opportunities of Best & Mathews, and won't have nearly as much room to run when he does. BINGO ($55)
4) QB Sam Bradford - St. Louis Rams (#1 overall) - St. Louis needs more skill position talent for Bradford to shine, so if you're not in a dynasty league then Bradford isn't this high, but long-term he has all the makeup to be a franchise QB type. Just don't expect quality fantasy production until '11 or later. Strongfighters ($55)
5) RB Ben Tate - Houston Texans - the Auburn product has all the physical tools but has never put it all together into consistent production. As a likely committee back for Houston, he has a great shot at being a top 30 fantasy contributor at the RB position getting goal line & between the tackle touches. South Whore Jibbers ($50)
6) RB Toby Gerhart - Minnesota Vikings (#50 overall) - he's a potential scoring fiend as a goal-line / short yardage / run out the clock back in any offense, unfortunately as the backup to Adrian Peterson, he won't get as many touches but don't rule him out from being a goal line back and if AP misses anytime, he'd be a top 15 fantasy producer. Fuego ($25)
7) QB Colt McCoy - Cleveland Browns (#85 overall) - McCoy is too productive and athletic not to get a legitimate shot to start on the pro level, and in Cleveland that opportunity will come sooner rather than later with veterans Jake Delhomme & Seneca Wallace holding down the fort in '10 until its time to get the young guy experience. Naughty Thoughts ($35)
8) RB Dexter McCluster - Kansas City Chiefs (#36 overall) - A Eric Metcalf type clone, he's too undersized to ever be a featured RB but KC's head coach loves mismatches, so McCluster will get plenty of touches (probably around 10 a game) and be a dynamic performer who has big fantasy games and plenty of duds. For many fantasy leaguers McCluster will fall a bit but in the PAFFL he goes here b/c they love him and his cost will be reasonable. Naughty Thoughts ($15)
9) RB Montario Hardesty - Cleveland Browns (#59 overall) - The UT back has all the talent to be a quality featured back in a west coast type offense, which is why landing in Cleveland is ideal for him. He will compete with Jerome Harrison for touches but don't be surprised if Hardesty becomes the primary guy with Harrison playing the dynamic, change of pace role. Strongfighters ($45)
10) QB Jimmy Clausen - Carolina Panthers (#48 overall) - In Carolina his path to starting is very clear but don't forget that the Panthers current head coach (John Fox) and GM (Marty Hurney) are loyal and have stated they expect Matt Moore to be their starter. So he could be as high as #5 on this list but I think McCoy is in a better situation (system, players & depth chart) and has the same type of upside. That said both will likely be starting around the same time (late '10 season). Beavercats ($45)
11) QB Tim Tebow - Denver Broncos (#25 overall) - Denver showed its hand by trading into the 1st to select Tebow. He won't play in '10 but he was drafted to eventually be the starter and his production, physical skill set and passion for football mean he likely will be at least productive on the pro level. Pomona Stoned Hens ($25)
12) RB Joe McKnight - New York Jets (#112) - A poor man's Reggie Bush is actually a little more of a true RB than Bush but he'll never be a 20 touch type NFL back. In NY he'll be the change of pace / Leon Washington type role complementing Shonn Greene. He's a long shot to ever be anything more than a fantasy RB3 but he'll be productive soon in an offense that wants to feature the RB's and keep the chains moving. Team Kitty ($20)
13) RB Anthony Dixon - San Francisco 49'ers (#173) - The SEC's leading regular season rusher is better than his mediocre offensive line stats demonstrate but he didn't blow away scouts at the Senior Bowl. In SF with a revamped offensive line and a gameplan to run the ball a lot, he will get his touches behind Frank Gore and could be the starter if injury prone Gore gets hurt. LA Isotopes ($20)
14) QB John Skelton - Arizona Cardinals (#155) - The small school product (Fordham) is a long shot but he has all the measurables, is with a good set of skill position players and only has Derrick Anderson & Matt Leinart ahead of him. So don't expect anything from him in '10 or likely '11, but for deep dynasty leaguers, this guy is a very interesting prospect. South Whore Jibbers ($10)
15) RB Jonathan Dwyer - Pittsburgh Steelers (#188) - In Pittsburgh, which wants to go back to a run focused attack, Dwyer will get some touches behind Rashard Mendenhall and 3rd down guy Mewelde Moore, but he also is the guy who would take over on a full time basis if Mendenhall gets hurt and/or can't control his fumbleitis, which makes him a valuable pick. IMT ($10)
16) WR Dez Bryant - Dallas Cowboys (#24) - a stud who fell to the Cowboys, he comes to a great situation where he gets to play with a great QB and won't be asked to be the man. This will allow him to be more settled and comfortable, allowing his athletic ability (and TO style play) to develop in a complementary role. Make no mistake though, Bryant is a Randy Moss / TO type talent, who if healthy and motivated, will eventually be a perennial pro bowler and top 10 fantasy producer at WR. Team Kitty ($25)
On the Cusp:QB Tony Pike - Carolina Panthers (#204) - a big Joe Flacco style body with a little less arm and more accuracy, ended up in Carolina hurts his near-term fantasy value but also gives him a shot at being the starter in '11.
WR Demaryious Thomas - Denver Broncos (#22 overall) - Thomas has tremendous talent but he's not on the same level as Dez Bryant. That said he has a clear path to being his team's go to receiver.
WR Arrelious Benn - Tampa Bay (#39 overall) - Benn's a complete WR who is a good blocker, has great size and can be a difference maker. That said he's played in a run focused offense and won't be an immediate contributor.
WR Brandon LaFell - the LSU super athlete is a potential goal-line stud at receiver
WR Mardy Gilyard - St. Louis Rams (#99 overall) - remember Gilyard's name as he's a stud unknown on Cincy's undefeated team. He will be a playmaker at the NFL level and lands in a position with Sam Bradford to become a tandem for years to come. He has Marvin Harrison like playmaking ability, size and quickness.
WR Golden Tate - Seattle Seahawks (#60 overall) - anybody who watched the golden domers know Tate's playmaking ability. He won't immediately start in Seattle but he will be a playmaker.
RB LeGarrette Blount - the infamous UofO back, Blount lacks elite athletic ability (ie Speed) but he is strong and could turn into a Marion Barber type power back in the NFL.
RB Charles Scott - a LSU back who has been a consistent performer for a top 10 college team the past three years. While he won't be a starter in the NFL he has the "closer" & goal line like build that makes for productive fantasy statistics.
Updated May 5