Although wide receiver is one of the deepest positions in fantasy football this year, there’s still value in finding the future studs of the game. Here are some rookies that everyone should be paying close attention to.
1. Tavon Austin, STL:
Although many fantasy owners are discouraged by the fact that wide receiver Tavon Austin only recorded 8 receptions for 66 yards during the preseason, there’s no reason to panic. Coach Jeff Fisher is still NOT divulging how the team plans to use young speedster, so there’s still a good chance he’s an integral part of their offense.
They certainly didn’t trade up to the eighth overall pick for nothing. Having a player with 4.34 speed, good hands and great vision is a luxury, so expect the Rams to take advantage of these skills. With a much-improved offensive-line and a quarterback who is semi-capable, Austin has a good opportunity to succeed in St. Louis. Don’t be surprised if he pulls in 70 to 90 receptions with 900 or more yards this season.
2. Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN:
Another first round pick is the Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson is 6’2 and runs a 4.33 second 40-yard-yard dash. With his size and speed, you can be sure that he will be making some big plays this year, but his consistency is still widely unknown.
He’s still a backup on the Vikings depth chart and will be competing with Jarius Wright and Jerome Simpson for snaps. Expect Patterson to get better as he gets assimilated with the Vikings offense. Perhaps a potential change at quarterback from Christian Ponder to Matt Cassel might also help Patterson’s value.
3. Quinton Patton, SF:
The Niners 4th round pick, Quinton Patton had a nice preseason, scoring 2 touchdowns on some big plays. With Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham injured, the team has been searching for a deep threat for quarterback Colin Kaepernick to throw to.
His biggest competition is former first-rounder Jon Baldwin, who Kaepernick will also be looking for downfield. The ball may be spread around a bit too much to make any receiver a stud, but Patton can certainly make a splash as a rookie. Patton is not fantasy relevant just yet, but if he proves himself as the team’s best deep threat, he can be. Kaepernick needs weapons, and Patton will have to try and step up.