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2012 NFL Draft - The Fantasy Spin

April 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 133

It's the first week of April, and with fantasy football in the middle of the off-season, we're all starving for a little nibble of some gridiron news and information. Luckily, the 2012 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and fantasy football managers out there are eager to see where the new crop of rookies end up.

Just as important as a rookie's skill, abilities and performance is what team drafts that player. It means everything as far as overall production. How much will that rookie contribute? Does he become an immediate starter? Or, will he sit on the sidelines to learn his craft? Of course, none of these questions can be answered in April. But, it does help to take an early look at potential, and the value of that rookie to a PPR fantasy team.

A prime example is Cam Newton. Drafted #1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, his measurables as a football player were off-the-charts good. A combo-threat as a quarterback, he powered Auburn to a national title, running and throwing his way to a 14-0 season and a Heisman Trophy award. While there were initial questions on his ability as a passer, his overall potential drove his demand high enough to be the first pick in the draft by the Carolina Panthers. However, the #1 overall pick status didn't translate to the same love in fantasy drafts. And, what a spectacular oversight that was for fantasy managers, and especially managers of keeper leagues. In my own leagues, Cam Newton went undrafted in my keeper league, and drafted in the 15th round of my PPR league. And, likely the only reason he was drafted in the PPR league was the manager was a Panther's fan. Cam went onto a monster rookie season - 4,051 yards passing, 21 TDs, 706 yards rushing, 14 rushing TDs. That's like getting a quarterback and running back's production from ONE PLAYER. Amazing!

But, the question begs to be asked. Could that season be predicted by any prognosticator? Probably not, at least not to the level of success Cam Newton had. And to a lesser extent, could we have predicted the relative success of Andy Dalton and his fellow rookie teammate, A.J. Green. Maybe not. Historically, rookies have been non-factors in fantasy football. On rare occasions, they'll make a big splash - like Newton, LaGarrette Blount and Mike Williams in 2010, Steve Slaton, Matt Forte and Chris Johnson in 2008.

Check out the stats for yourself: Rookie Statistics for 2011

So, as we head into the beginning of the 2012 fantasy football season, let's take this knowledge with us into our own fantasy drafts. You'll be tempted by Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Maybe you salivate over Trent Richardson or Justin Blackmon. Temper those emotions and let the historical stats be your guide. It's a hit and miss game, with more misses than hits. Take a mid to late round stance to any and all rookies - and put your money on the producers first. I'd kick myself more if I passed up on a solid producer like Fred Jackson in the 2rd round to take a flyer on a rookie like Richardson. There may be more upside with Richardson, but it's still the unknown. Go for the reliable first, and take shots at upside later in the draft. Leave the stupid gambles for Vegas and fantasy managers who always never win championships. And we all have one of those in every league.

Find more posts on, an information and entertainment site focused on fantasy football. Learn more about fantasy football and point per reception formats, and my unique take on sports on my website.

Source: EzineArticles
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