Football has only just begun to get underway in preparation for the 2010 season, but the Cafe faithful have had their collective nose to the grind all off-season. Now that most rookies are settling in with their new teams, we’re proud to bring you the Cafe’s Rookie Rankings for 2010. Here you’ll find the top 40 fantasy rookies for next season according to several knowledgeable Cafe members, including Rookie of the Year favorites Ryan Mathews, Javhid Best and Dez Bryant. Who’s too high and too low? Let us know in the comments section.
|The Chargers traded up for Mathews, and you should do the same in your rookie draft. He has the perfect blend of talent and opportunity to be a fantasy force.|
|Like Mathews, Best was good enough that a team traded up to get him, and like Mathews, he’s in line for a high number of carries in his first season. Don’t let Kevin Smith’s potential return scare you.|
|Bryant is a phenomenal talent and is capable of one day being a top 10-15 fantasy wide receiver. Bryant still has a lot to prove, so it’s a bit premature to call him the next Calvin Johnson just yet, but he has huge upside in that Cowboys offense.|
|This was a questionable pick made by the Bills, and even though Spiller was the highest RB or WR drafted this year, landing with the Bills and teaming up with Fred Jackson hurts Spiller’s stock for this year. He’s clearly behind the top three guys.|
|He will be given opportunities, and if his hands were better out of the backfield he would be a top-three pick.|
|Thomas is an extraordinary talent, but I consider him a bit raw at this point. He is in the perfect situation, though, as the Broncos grabbed Tim Tebow and the two can mature and build a strong rapport together.|
|Montario Hardesty lacked power at his college playing size but he has put on some weight this off-season. I have my doubts about him entering his rookie season due to others being ahead of him but I admit my opinion is starting to change.|
|Benn’s college days did not show off his true potential, but what can you expect with Juice Williams throwing — or attempting to throw — him the ball.|
|Number one picks are almost always pressured to take the field as soon as possible, and things will be no different with Bradford. He doesn’t have the upside of a guy like Matt Ryan in his first season, and don’t expect more than QB2 value.|
|The ultra-productive Golden Domer will bring his game to Pete Carroll and his former rival coach Pete Carroll. What Tate lacks in measurables he makes up for in production, and he has the chance to be a fantasy contributor for a long time.|
|McCluster has big play ability, and in PPR leagues I would rank him much higher, but it still needs to be seen how he fits into the offense.|
|Don’t call me crazy: this will be a surprise pick if you take him, but it should reap rewards. He has an awesome skill set and shouldn’t have fallen to the sixth round, but Pitt will give him a chance.|
|The draft’s top TE talent lands in an offense that has lacked a play-making tight end for quite a while. Carson Palmer should look to immediately get Gresham involved in the offense, and he could be a red-zone asset as a rookie.|
|Only reason I don’t have him in the top 10 is because of Matt Moore, but if he beats Moore out right away he is instantly a top 7-8 pick. Best overall franchise QB.|
|Sleeper pick here. Britt should be the No. 1, but Williams will start off in the slot and has a great chance to challenge for the No. 1 role. Great route runner with good hands.|
|Gets knocked because of his speed, but he’s going to be playing on the field with one of the fastest WRs in the game. LaFell’s build, jumping ability, and especially his above-average blocking ability will put him on the field early.|
|He will be Adrian Peterson’s backup, and unless there’s a significant injury, Gerhart will see a few touches, but nothing like veteran Chester Taylor saw. He is still a tough runner without top speed, but very quick and has good feet for a kid his size.|
|Price has top-notch speed and great athleticism. He came from a no-name school, but he is far from being a no name. Don’t be scared to take him, as the Pats have confidence in him as a top-90 pick.|
|Roberts is a solid receiver for where he was drafted. Initially, Roberts will compete for that third receiving spot on the Cardinals’ roster, but don’t be shocked if Roberts unseats Steve Breaston in good time.|
|Glen Coffee failed to give San Francisco the right complement to Frank Gore, so now it’s Dixon’s turn to try and fit the bill. He has the size to be utilized immediately in short-yardage situations and save Gore a little wear and tear.|
Big thanks to Cowboys 4 Life and bazzy_51 for helping with the comments for the top 20 players, and to Flux, Indibuck, aaawall91, bungle613, dream_017, and Kareighuis along with the two writers for joining me in submitting rankings.
R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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