Fantasy Football 2007 : Rookie Breakdown

As your fantasy season approaches, we break down the top ranked 2007 NFL Fantasy Rookies.

Calvin Johnson (WR) - Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson enters the NFL as the most highly touted wide 
receiver in years...and clearly the best athlete in this 
year's NFL draft.  As the compliment to Roy Williams in 
Detroit, expect Johnson to break the lackluster trend of 
rookie wide receivers and begin putting up fantasy points 
immediately.  Calvin Johnson is huge at 6'5" - 230+ and has
incredible speed (4.35)...he's basically a speeding freight 
train once he has the ball.  Mike Martz is licking his chops
as he's already planning to use Calvin Johnson extensively in
his designed pass happy offense. Over one-fourth of Johnson's 
collegiate grabs went for over 20 yards...which helps 
translate to some big plays in the NFL and some big numbers 
for FFL owners.

College Stats      Rcptns-178        Rec Yds-2927          TDs–28

Marshawn Lynch (RB) - Buffalo Bills

Peterson (see below) may be the better rookie running back 
when healthy, but Marshawn Lynch has the inside track to a 
more productive fantasy season.  Lynch has perhaps the best 
chance of all rookies to start in an NFL backfield on week 1.  
Buffalo is known for their beefed up offensive line and they
like to run the football.  And when the Bills throw, Lynch 
figures to be their best receiving back out of the backfield.
The Buffalo Bills hope the departure of Willis McGahee will 
be offset by the arrival of Lynch...and Lynch fantasy owners 
may see similar McGahee type numbers in just his first NFL 

College Stats      Rush-490/3230      Rec-68/600     TDs–37

Adrian Peterson (RB) - Minnesota Vikings

Clearly the best running back taken in the 2007 NFL draft, 
Adrian Peterson has been primed for NFL greatness over all of
his three-year collegiate career.  After a whopping (true) 
freshman season of 339/1925/15, Peterson's injuries forced
mortal numbers for years 2 and 3.  Another knock may be the
lack of receiving skills while at Oklahoma, but much could 
be attributed to the style of offense in Oklahoma.  However,
nobody can argue with the ability of Adrian Peterson when on
the football field.  His dominant upright running style 
commands attention and will be effective at the next level.
Peterson may have to split carries with incumbant 
Chester Taylor for the early part of the season, but look for him to
quickly jump into the starting role and handle the bulk of
the Viking carries.
College Stats       Rush 747/4045       Rec-24/198     TDs–42


Robert Meachem (WR) - New Orleans Saints

Meachem comes into the league as a benefactor of a QB who has
no favorites and is excellent at finding the open receiver.  
With sophomore Marques Colston on the other side, Meachem is
expected to compete for the other starting job with 
Devery Henderson.  Meachem is quick and has nice size at 6'2" / 214.
He is raw with an uncanny ability to track the deep ball in 
stride...and will often hit the big play from Drew Brees in 
New Orleans.  Fantasy owners who grab Meachem may not see an 
exact repeat of Colston's rookie season - but 70+ receptions 
and approaching 1000 yards is not out of the question. 

College Stats        Rcptns-125      Rec Yds-2140          TDs–17

Brandon Jackson (RB) - Green Bay Packers

Although Brandon Jackson wasn't taken until the 2nd round 
(63rd overall), he benefits by going to a team without much
stability in the backfield.  Current back Vernand Morency may
begin the season as the starter, but we expect Jackson to 
ultimately win the position and grab the bulk of the carries.
Jackson does not have blazing speed or tremendous size, but 
his ability to hit holes with power and his versatility in 
the passing game will keep him on the field in most 

College Stats        Rush-291/1431     Rec-34/318     TDs–16

Dwayne Bowe (WR) - Kansas City Chiefs

At 6'2" - 220, Dwayne Bowe gives the Kansas City Chiefs a 
much needed possession wide receiver.  Bowe has the ability 
to catch nearly everything thrown his direction and will be 
huge to whomever KC deems as their QB.  Bowe may put up some
decent numbers this season, but beware of the Chiefs' 
uncertainty on offense before grabbing any of the KC wide 
receivers too early.

College Stats      Rcptns-154      Rec Yds-2403          TDs–26

Ted Ginn Jr. (WR) - Miami Dolphins

Like Bowe, Ginn will be a nice asset to his new NFL team.  
But be guarded of adding Ginn to your fantasy roster.  As 
primarily a return man, Ginn may score more points on special 
teams than with the Miami offense...and should be noted for 
leagues that reward individual fantasy points on kickoff/punt 
returns.  Ginn will get a chance to play with Miami's offense 
and will do okay, but a breakout season for this rookie (ala 
Marques Colston) is unlikely.  Ginn ran back 38 kickoffs at
OSU with a 26.6 yd return average and 2 TDs / and 64 punt 
returns with a 14.1 average and 6 guess what Miami 
had in mind when they drafted Ginn?!?

College Stats       Rcptns-125       Rec Yds-1943        TDs–15

Anthony Gonzalez (WR) - Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are loaded at wide receiver.  But in 
camp so far, they love what they've seen from rookie wide
receiver Anthony Gonzalez.  As a number 3 wide receiver 
behind quality WR studs like Reggie Wayne and 
Marvin Harrison, we're not saying Gonzalez will catch more than 45 
balls this year.  But if any team can dish out enough balls 
for a 3rd receiver to generate fantasy points worthy enough 
for a roster spot - it's Peyton Manning and the Colts.

College Stats       Rcptns-87      Rec Yds-1286           TDs–13

Brady Quinn (QB) - Cleveland Browns

Brady Quinn comes into the NFL as the most ready QB of the 
2007 draft and will likely start week 1, but we don't 
recommend drafting Quinn if not in a keeper league.  Even 
with a rookie quarterback in Quinn, the Browns should 
field a better offense than last season.  BQ evolves from a 
Notre Dame team coached by Charlie Weis, which should help
him settle fairly easily into the pro ranks.  Quinn will 
throw a few TDs this season and have a few brilliant glimpses
as he finds WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellon Winslow Jr.  But
like fellow rookie quarterback Russell in Oakland, there are
many more productive fantasy options at QB in 2007 than 
either of these two young rookies.

College Stats     Pass-929/1602/11742     Int-39    TDs–101

JaMarcus Russell (QB) - Oakland Raiders

JaMarcus Russell will be fun to watch and fun to own, but
not if you want to have any chance of winning your league.  
There is no doubt that Russell is in the elite class of 
rookie talent with C. Johnson and A. Peterson, but no way 
does he start at the helm of your fantasy team this year.  
Even with the amazing performance by Tennessee Titans' 
Vince Young in last year's 2006 rookie season, Young didn't finish 
in the top ten of fantasy quarterbacks for the year.  Owners 
in deep keeper leagues may decide to sit Russell on their 
bench for a while, but there are much better options for the 
near term.  Russell is a huge 6'6" - 263 lb. QB that will 
benefit once he learns to adjust to the size and speed of the 
NFL.  His arm strength is he's demonstrated
the ability to throw 40 yards down field from a sitting 
postion during a game.  Watch Russell, but keep him off your 
fantasy roster for now.

College Stats     Pass-493/797/6625      Int-21      TDs–56

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