Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
1. Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers:
Lacy has the tools to be the top-scoring rookie in 2013, and he'll be drafted as a borderline No. 2 or 3 fantasy runner in most leagues. There are some red flags to consider, though. First, a lot of teams passed on him in the draft due to his health and a questionable work ethic. Second, the Packers also drafted Johnathan Franklin -- that could signal a potential committee situation. Third, this offense will continue to be a pass-first unit with Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
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2. Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos
Ball has entered what could be a tremendous situation in Denver. With Willis McGahee now out of the mix and Knowshon Moreno coming off an injury, the rookie will be in a great position to start in an offense that has a ton of firepower. While he did have a huge workload during his time at Wisconsin, Ball is a special runner with upside on the field and in fantasy land. He will be the first rookie selected in most leagues, both standard and dynasty, this season.
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
3. Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams:
Despite his small stature (5-foot-8, 174 pounds), Austin proved to be a major player maker at the collegiate level. Compared to Percy Harvin for his versatile skill set, he'll have a chance to start right out of the gate with Danny Amendola (Patriots) and Brandon Gibson (Dolphins) no longer in the pass attack. Fantasy leaguers shouldn't expect him to make an enormous impact as a rookie, but he's certainly worth a look as a No. 4 or 5 fantasy wideout in most standard leagues.
Gerry Broome/Associated Press
4. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals:
Bernard isn't in the best position to succeed on a statistical level, as the Bengals still have BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the incumbent starter in their backfield mix. However, the North Carolina product should still get enough work to warrant fantasy draft consideration. An explosive runner with terrific skills as a pass catcher, Bernard will be the lightning to Green-Ellis' thunder in what looks like a committee situation. He'll be worth a look in the late rounds.
Patrick Collard/Associated Press
5. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans:
Compared to Roddy White for his playing style, Hopkins should pass Lestar Jean and Keshawn Martin on the depth chart and emerge as the favorite to start opposite Andre Johnson. While he is the first legitimate No. 2 wideout the Texans have had alongside A.J., keep in mind that the team utilizes a run-based system with Arian Foster as the centerpiece. So while Hopkins is draftable in seasonal leagues and has upside, his greatest impact won't be felt this season.
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6. Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, New England Patriots
An undrafted rookie out of Cincinnati, Thompkins has been one of the most impressive receivers at Patriots camp. In fact, he has been running with the first-team opposite alongside Tom Brady and Danny Amendola. While fantasy owners shouldn’t expect him to become a fantasy monster, playing a prominent role with a quarterback like Brady makes him well worth at least a late-round look as a No. 4 or 5 fantasy wideout. He’s clearly a player to watch.
Wade Payne/Associated Press
7. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Patterson will have to contend with an inconsistent quarterback in Christian Ponder and an offense that is still built around the talents of Adrian Peterson. But the Tennessee standout's speed makes him a vertical threat with the ability to make big plays. He should be able to see the field opposite veteran Greg Jennings and could be a home-run threat similar to what we saw from Jacksonville's Cecil Shorts last season.
Chuck Cook-USA Today Sports
8. Aaron Dobson, WR, New England Patriots
Dobson might not be the most well-known rookie in the 2013 draft class, but he does have some potential in his first pro season. A legitimate option to start opposite Danny Amendola, his value will rise throughout the preseason if he can earn such a prominent role. A lot of Dobson's value has to do with the fact that a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Tom Brady, will be throwing him the football. Consider him with a flier pick in the late rounds. (Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE)
9. EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
The rookie from Florida State is technically in a QB competition with Kevin Kolb, but Manuel is the likelier of the two to win the job. The Bills have some question marks at the wide receiver position, as the talent there is generally unproven. It’s unlikely Manuel will end up producing huge passing numbers. However, Manuel has outstanding speed, and he will form a dangerous running tandem with C.J. Spiller. As long as he can stay healthy, look for Manuel to amass a decent amount of rushing yardage each week to compensate for the low aerial numbers.
Wade Payne/Associated Press
10. Johnathan Franklin, RB, Green Bay Packers:
Why do I have Eddie Lacy and Franklin listed in the top 10? Well, that's because I'm not sold on Lacy coming in and being a true featured back. In fact, we could see a committee situation emerge for coach Mike McCarthy. A breakout player in his final collegiate season at UCLA, it's not out of the question for Franklin to score more fantasy points than Lacy during the 2013 campaign. Regardless, he's going to be worth a late-round look as a reserve with upside.
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