Athlon Sports breaks down the fantasy outlook for the first-year signal callers
There's no shortage of draftable rookies from the offensive skill players who had their names called in April. With so many options available, Athlon Sports is here to help you break down this crop of talented rookies in terms of fantasy potential, both for 2012 and beyond.
|A — Solid Draft Pick||1 — Blue Chipper||4 — Potential bye week fill-in|
|B — Late-round flier||2 — Potential stud||5 —Deep sleeper|
|C — Waiver wire||3 — Potential starter||UFA — Undrafted free agent|
1. Robert Griffin III, 6-2, 223, Baylor
Drafted by: Washington in the 1st Round, No. 2 overall
Quarterback play has been an issue in Washington for years, but the Redskins finally can build their offense around a franchise quarterback. Griffin, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, possesses tremendous athletic ability, but he is capable of making any throw necessary in the Washington offense. The Redskins surrounded the Baylor product with playmakers this offseason, which should allow him to edge Andrew Luck as the top fantasy rookie quarterback.
2. Andrew Luck, 6-4, 234, Stanford
Drafted by: Indianapolis in the 1st Round, No. 1 overall
Seemingly everyone regarded Luck as one of the draft’s top quarterback prospects of the last 15 years. His transition to the NFL should be an easy one, due in part to playing in a pro-style attack at Stanford. The biggest downside to Luck as a fantasy prospect in 2012 will be the lack of talent in Indianapolis and a shaky offensive line. The Colts will surround Luck with more playmakers in the coming years, but expectations for his fantasy value should be tempered this season.
3. Brandon Weeden, 6-4, 221, Oklahoma State
Drafted by: Cleveland in the 1st Round, No. 22 overall
Weeden isn’t a typical rookie quarterback. At 28 years old, he is already older than some starting NFL signal-callers. Weeden may not have a long career, but the age factor should work in his favor, as he is expected to be Cleveland’s starting quarterback. His strong arm and accuracy will be an asset, but the Browns’ receiving corps might be one of the worst in the NFL. Expectations are low for 2012, but Weeden is a solid keeper selection.
4. Ryan Tannehill, 6-4, 221, Texas A&M
Drafted by: Miami in the 1st Round, No. 8 overall
5. Russell Wilson, 5-11, 204, Wisconsin
Drafted by: Seattle in the 3rd Round, No. 75 overall
Lacks ideal size, but will have an opportunity to win the starting job this preseason.
6. Brock Osweiler, 6-7, 242, Arizona State
Drafted by: Denver in the 2nd Round, No. 57 overall
Needs time to develop, but will be learning from one of the best in Peyton Manning.
7. Kirk Cousins, 6-3, 214, Michigan State
Drafted by: Washington in the 4th Round, No. 102 overall
8. Nick Foles, 6-5, 243, Arizona
Drafted by: Philadelphia in the 3rd Round, No. 88 overall
9. Ryan Lindley, 6-3, 229, San Diego State
Drafted by: Arizona in the 6th Round, No. 185 overall
— Originally published in the 2012 Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Football preview magazine
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