Friday, March 25, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Top Fantasy Prospects: Wide Receivers

With rookie running backs being the easiest position to draft a rookie in for your fantasy draft wide receivers, aside from quarterbacks, may be the most difficult. There have been some rookie wide receivers that had great years right out of the gate (remember Anquan Boldin’s first season in the NFL) while others, such as Oakland’s Darius Heyward Bey struggled in their first NFL season and anyone who took them in their fantasy draft are probably still upset at the decision.

If you are thinking about taking a rookie wide receiver in your fantasy draft this summer you may want to consider several of the factors presented in this article before making any decision on who you would want to draft.

Some of the things that you would want to look at before drafting a rookie wide receiver include the most obvious and that’s what team he is going to. A team that passes the ball a lot would be idea situation for any wide receiver so if a wide receiver that you are interested is playing for a team like the Indianapolis Colts or the New Orleans Saints then you may want to consider drafting a wide receiver in your fantasy draft.

If the receiver goes to a team that struggles throwing the ball (But wants to throw it more because they are drafting a top of the line wide receiver) then you may want to think about drafting the player for a while before actually doing so.

For example, the Washington Redskins are showing some interest in both Georgia’s A.J. Green and Alabama’s Julio Jones. Think about their quarterback situation. No one knows if Donavan McNabb is going to be there next year and if they don’t bring in another quarterback that leaves Rex Grossman to throw the ball to any new wide receiver that they bring in.

That is not a good scenario for any rookie wide receiver.

With that, you need to check the quarterback situation for the team that your target rookie is going to. This naturally is a strong consideration when making a decision. You can have a team that has a quarterback that likes to throw the ball but doesn’t complete many of those passes. You can also have a quarterback that’s a great passer but doesn’t stay healthy enough to make a difference during the season.

Knowing the situation that your target receiver is going into will only help to make sure that you don’t make a mistake by wasting a valuable fantasy draft pick.

One final thing to look at is what role the receiver will play in the new offense. Most receivers taken in the first to third rounds are intended to be starters or at least solid contributors during their first season with their team. If your guy is poised to be a starter then it would be much easier to draft him as opposed to someone who isn’t going to be a clear cut starter.

The 2011 NFL Draft is not that deep in wide receiver talent so you may want to keep your concerns of drafting a rookie wide receiver to one of the six following players who are rated as the top six wide receivers in the upcoming draft:

1. A.J. Green-Georgia
2. Julio Jones-Alabama
3. Jonathan Baldwin-Pittsburgh
4. Torrey Smith-Maryland
5. Leonard Hankerson-Miami (Fl)
6. Randall Cobb-Kentucky

Green and Jones are assured of going in the first round while it’s possible that Baldwin and Smith could get drafted in the bottom half of the first round. Green and Jones could be solid fantasy draft picks while you may want to wait on some of the other guys and see how they start before picking them up off of waivers as the season goes on.

So keep an eye on these younger wide receivers to see how they do and then take into consideration some of the factors laid out here so that can you see if you want to draft a rookie wide receiver or wait for them to do something before picking them up on waivers.

Remember that you have to do your research on these rookies if you want to have success on your fantasy team.

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