The excitement generated by the draft weekend has come and gone. Now is the time to put in the hard work as your rookie fantasy drafts are upon us. My dynasty fantasy rankings get based on a three to four-year window, not their immediate impact. Talent and situation gets considered here. This is where the meat and potatoes of the rookie draft values are this year, so get a few helpings of fantasy goodness with this position.
8. Jordan Matthews, Eagles- With DeSean Jackson gone, the Eagles need a receiver to step up. I like the speed, boxing out defenders, and body adjustment that Matthews brings to Philadelphia. While he might not be elite in any category, Matthews is ready to play. Matthews contacted the Eagles shortly after his selection about getting film on all of the corners he will face in the NFC East.
9. Paul Richardson, Seahawks- While is a bit skinny for my taste, Richardson is a downfield threat on a Seattle team that has only one dynamic receiver in Percy Harvin. Golden Tate’s production needs to be absorbed and there is no reason the explosive play maker can’t step into the role opposite Harvin. The opportunity is there, so he is worth grabbing in the early second round of rookie drafts.
10. Jarvis Landry, Dolphins- Landry is not the fastest nor the most athletic receiver on the Dolphins; however, he might be the best route runner with the best hands. I expect him to win the WR3 job and line up in the slot. Landry can run block and makes difficult contested passes in the middle of the field. The receiver should be a huge value in fantasy drafts with people that are all about timed speed.
11. Donte Moncrief, Colts- This receiver had great production in 2012 and at the Combine, but disappeared during the 2013 season. I expect a resurgence in 2014 with Andrew Luck tossing him the ball. Reggie Wayne is a year older, Hakeem Nicks is no a prove it deal, which leaves the Colts open for business opposite T.Y. Hilton for the long-term. In a year or two, I would not be surprised to see Moncrief in the top five of his class, if he puts it all together.
12. Bruce Ellington, 49ers- The smaller athletic receiver moves more like a running back. He has good hands, explosive in space, and can make defenders miss. Ellington might be limited in 2014 with Anquan Boldin still on the roster, but I expect him to line up in the slot in 2015. He has rawness to his game, partly because he played college basketball first.
13. Jared Abbrederis, Packers- Much like Jarvis Landry, Abbrederis does his damage with fantastic hands and clean routes. With the potential departures of Cobb and Nelson, the receiver might slide into a great role catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. This selection will probably not bear fruit in 2014, but that doesn’t mean long-term owners shouldn’t consider the value Abbrederis brings.
14. Josh Huff, Eagles- Unlike fellow rookie Matthews and the 2013 injured Maclin, Huff will be an old pro on how Chip Kelly schemes his offense. The receiver is great in space and can block downfield which is very important to the Eagles style of play. Huff is a more fluid athlete than Ryan Cooper and should fight for playing time right away.
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