Here are my Top 30 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings from the 2009 NFL Draft Class that should play important roles on fantasy football teams in 2009. Rookie rankings are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league. Positions include QB-RB-WR-TE and scoring categories include: passing yards, rushing yards, receiving yards, touchdowns, interceptions thrown, fumbles lost. Each players age for the 2009 season, their yahoo position eligibility (QB-RB-WR-TE), and their NFL draft position, is listed after their name.
Rankings Updated: September 4, 2009
2009 Fantasy Football – Top 30 Rookie Rankings
1. Knowshon Moreno – Denver (22) – RB – 1st round #12
As the first running back taken in the 2009 NFL draft, Moreno is the clear cut choice as the best fantasy football rookie running back option entering the 2009 season. With a Broncos backfield that includes Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan competing for carries with Moreno, there is no reason why Knowshon Moreno shouldn’t be the starting running back for the Broncos in week 1. A rookie season of 1,000 plus rushing yards and 6 plus touchdowns is very possible from Moreno in 2009. Entering the 2009 season, Moreno is worthy of being ranked and drafted around the #20 spot among fantasy football running backs.
2008 College Stats: 1,400 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 392 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 900-1,100 rushing yards, 5-8 rushing touchdowns, 200-400 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
2. Donald Brown – Indianapolis (22) – RB – 1st round #27
First the Colts draft Joseph Addai with a first round pick when they have Edgerrin James, and now they draft Donald Brown with a first round pick when they have Joseph Addai. With health issues surrounding Addai, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Brown actually receive more carries and tally more rushing yards than Addai during the 2009 season. Entering the 2009 season, Brown is one of the major rookie RB sleepers for fantasy football teams.
2008 College Stats: 2,083 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, 125 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 700-1,000 rushing yards, 4-6 rushing touchdowns, 100-150 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
3. Chris Wells – Arizona (21) – RB – 1st round #31
Even with second year running back Tim Hightower on the roster, the Cardinals couldn’t pass up drafting Chris Beanie Wells when he fell to them at the #31 pick in the 2009 draft this season. Once expected to be the #1 running back drafted among all rookies in 2009, Wells’ stock fell because of injury concerns that he has endured during his college career. Just think of another recent rookie running back who fell in the draft because of college injury concerns…..Adrian Peterson ring a bell? I’m not saying Wells will pull a Peterson in his rookie season, but with the #1 RB spot in Arizona his for the taking, Wells could be a pleasant surprise for fantasy football teams in 2009. 800 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns is a very realistic possibility for Wells in 2009.
2008 College Stats: 1,197 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 47 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 800 rushing yards, 4-6 rushing touchdowns, 50-100 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
4. Percy Harvin – Minnesota (21) – WR – 1st round #22
Offering potentially the best fantasy football season stat wise from a rookie WR in 2009, Harvin will have a realistic chance to tally 600 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns for the Vikings this season. If Brett Favre finds himself in a Vikings uniform to begin the 2009 season, Harvin’s value will go up even more.
2008 College Stats: 40 receptions, 644 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 45 receptions, 400-600 receiving yards, 3-5 touchdowns
5. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia (21) – RB – 2nd round #53
If Brian Westbrook misses a couple of games to begin the 2009 season, McCoy should prove to be a solid fill in option for fantasy football teams over those weeks. However once Westbrook gets healthy, you can imagine that McCoy’s role in the Eagles offense will likely get cut in half. With a healthy Brian Westbrook roaming the field, McCoy will be luckily to get 10 touches per game, with a lower number very realistic. Yet on a positive note, McCoy offers plenty of fantasy football potential, so if you are in a bigger league, it would definitely be wise to grab McCoy as a must-have handcuff for Brian Westbrook owners. In other words, if you have to reach a round early to make sure you have McCoy, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea. Entering the 2009 season, McCoy has better long term potential as a keeper RB, than what his 2009 value will be in regular one-year redraft leagues.
2008 College Stats: 1,488 rushing yards, 21 rushing touchdowns, 305 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 600-800 rushing yards, 2-5 rushing touchdowns, 100-300 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
6. Mark Sanchez – New York Jets (22) – QB – 1st round #5
If Jets management knew what was good for the team in the future, they wouldn’t play Sanchez for the first half the 2009 season. This way the crowd will hopefully be cheering to see him get on the field, rather than booing him just three games into his rookie season. If I were part of Jets management, I would sit the kid and let him get his feet wet and build up some confidence before the Jets fans rip him to pieces the minute he throws three interceptions in a game. Seriously, if Jets fans start booing Brett Favre….imagine what they will do to a rookie! Overall, Sanchez offers a ton of potential, but I just don’t see him being a useful fantasy football QB in 2009.
2008 College Stats: 3,207 passing yards, 34 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions, 16 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns
2009 Projections: 1,800 passing yards, 5-10 touchdown passes, 8-12 interceptions, 100 rushing yards
7. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants (21) – WR – 1st round #29
Nicks is another rookie WR who will enter training camp on a team looking to fill a starting WR spot. However unlike Crabtree, Harvin, Maclin and Robiski listed ahead of him on this list, Nicks will be up against a bit more of WR competition for the Giants. So among Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, and Nicks, two of these guys will likely be the Week 1 starters. Overall, Nicks has plenty of potential and is luckily enough to be surrounded with a solid offense and QB to make him fantasy football relavent in 2009 if he can learn the Giants system quickly.
2008 College Stats: 68 receptions, 1,222 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 40 receptions, 300-600 receiving yards, 2-5 touchdowns
8. James Davis – Cleveland (23) – RB – 6th round #195
A fantasy football no-name at RB entering training camp, Davis has emerged as one of the top rookie running back picks for fantasy football teams heading into the regular season. With a superb preseason under his belt, Davis should see a good amount of carries throughout the regular season. And if he can continue upon his early success, Davis could very well be the Browns starting RB midway through the season. Right now Davis offers fantasy football teams loads of potential, so don’t sleep on him any longer. Anything from posting just 300 rushing yards, on up to 800 plus rushing yards is a very realistic possibility for Davis during his rookie season. On the downside, his touchdown potential doesn’t seem that great in the Browns offense.
2008 College Stats: 751 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 123 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 500-800 rushing yards, 2-5 rushing touchdowns, 100 receiving yards
9. Kenny Britt – Tennessee (20) – WR – 1st round #30
On a Titans team that needs a top WR badly, Britt and his 6-3 frame could easily evolve into that #1 wide receiver for the Titans during the 2009 season. It isn’t at all hard to imagine Britt tallying more receiving yards and touchdowns than highly touted rookie wide receivers Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin.
2008 College Stats: 87 receptions, 1,371 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 60 receptions, 600-900 receiving yards, 2-5 touchdowns
10. Glen Coffee – San Francisco (22) – RB – 3rd round #74
A scorching training camp and preseason has vaulted Coffee into the mega sleeper list at running back. With just the injury riddled Frank Gore ahead of him on the depth chart, Coffee could easily see two or three starts during the 2009 season. A rookie season of at least 150 rushing attempts and around 800 rushing yards and 3-5 touchdowns is a very realistic possibility for this virtually unknown and fast rising rookie RB.
2008 College Stats: 1,383 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns, 118 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
2009 Projections: 600-800 rushing yards, 2-5 rushing touchdowns, 100 receiving yards
11. Shonn Greene – New York Jets (24) – RB – 3rd round #65
After winning the Doak Walker Award as college football’s best running back for the 2008 season with the Iowa Hawkeyes, Shonn Greene lasted until the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL draft where the New York Jets quickly scooped him up. Heading into the 2009 season, and with Thomas Jones getting up there in age and looking for more money, the Jets may opt to go with the much cheaper Shonn Greene as their starting running back in 2009. If Greene gets the majority of the carries for the Jets in 2009, he could post close to 800 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. On the downside, Greene doesn’t offer much pass catching ability, so expecting under 100 receiving yards in a season is very likely.
2008 College Stats: 1,850 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns, 49 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 800 rushing yards, 5-8 rushing touchdowns, 50 receiving yards
12. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia (21) – WR – 1st round #19
With Kevin Curtis encountering lingering injury problems to open training camp, Maclin will have a great opportunity to win a starting WR spot for the Eagles to begin the 2009 season. Teaming up with speedster DeSean Jackson, and having a proven Pro-Bowl quarterback throwing him the ball in Donovan McNabb, Maclin could very easily out produce Crabtree and Harvin as the best fantasy football rookie WR in 2009. 800 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns is very realistic.
2008 College Stats: 102 receptions, 1,260 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 70 receptions, 700-900 receiving yards, 3-6 touchdowns
13. Brian Robiski – Cleveland (21) – WR – 2nd round #36
If either Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson can live up to their potential in 2009, the Cleveland hometown kid Robiski, could be a surprise late round flyer pick for fantasy football teams in his rookie season. Offering what many scouts call the best route running skills and most polished NFL ready WR among all rookies in the 2009 NFL draft, Robiskie will have a realistic opportunity to claim a starting WR job for the Browns to begin the season. With Braylon Edwards the #1 WR for the Browns, the #2 WR job is up for grabs entering training camp.
2008 College Stats: 42 receptions, 535 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 50 receptions, 500-700 receiving yards, 2-4 touchdowns
14. Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit (24) – TE – 1st round #20
As the first TE drafted in the 2009 NFL draft, Pettigrew landed in Detroit where he will have an excellent opportunity to be the starting TE by week 1. On a Lions team that needs offense, Pettigrew should emerge as a solid dump off option for whoever the Lions QB is. And if rookie Matt Stafford is the QB, Pettigrew and Stafford should form a solid rookie combo for the Lions in 2009. Expecting a Dustin Keller type rookie season from Pettigrew is very realistic.
2008 College Stats: 42 receptions, 472 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 35 receptions, 300-500 receiving yards, 1-3 touchdowns
15. Matthew Stafford – Detroit (21) – QB – 1st round #1
Even though Stafford was drafted #1 overall and ahead of fellow rookie QB Mark Sanchez, Sanchez is receiving most of the rookie QB hype among fantasy football teams entering the 2009 season. However in my book, I’m placing my money on Stafford having the better overall fantasy football season among the two during the 2009 season. I wouldn’t anticipate a Matt Ryan type rookie season, but a Joe Flacco rookie emergence is very possible from Stafford in 2009.
2008 College Stats: 3,459 passing yards, 25 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions, 40 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
2009 Projections: 2,900 passing yards, 10-15 touchdown passes, 10-15 interceptions, 100 rushing yards
16. Michael Crabtree – San Francisco (21) – WR – 1st round #10
Given his holdout situation, Crabtree is looking at a lost rookie season in 2009. In keeper leagues, Crabtree’s fantasy value is still likely as the #1 WR among rookies. However in typical one-year redraft leagues, Crabtree is close to be none draft able and waiver wire material entering week 1.
2008 College Stats: 97 receptions, 1,165 receiving yards, 19 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 80 receptions, 700-1,000 receiving yards, 4-6 touchdowns
Rookies to Watch:
17. Darrius Heyward-Bey – Oakland (22) – WR – 1st round #7
18. Jared Cook – Tennessee (22) – TE – 3rd round #89
19. Bernard Scott – Cincinnati (25) – RB – 6th round #209
20. Josh Freeman – Tampa Bay (21) – QB – 1st round #17
21. Travis Beckum – New York Giants (22) – TE – 3rd round #100
22. Pat White – Miami (23) – QB – 2nd round #44
Deep Rookies to Watch:
23. Austin Collie – Indianapolis (23) – WR – 4th round #127
24. Chase Coffman – Cincinnati (22) – TE – 3rd round #98
25. Shawn Nelson – Buffalo (23) – TE – 4th round #121
26. Rashad Jennings – Jacksonville (24) – RB – 7th round #250
27. Juaquin Iglesias – Chicago (22) – WR – 3rd round #99
28. Javon Ringer – Tennessee (22) – RB – 5th round #173
29. Nate Davis – San Francisco (22) – QB – 5th round #171
30. Mike Thomas – Jacksonville (22) – WR – 4th round #107
Andre Brown – New York Giants (22) – 4th round #129
Dropped out of rankings with injury. Will miss the entire 2009 season.