Fantasy Football 2013: Predicting Who the Top Rookie Performers Will Be

Soven BerySenior Analyst IAugust 4, 2013

Jul 27, 2013; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (38) during training camp at the Broncos training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

NFL fantasy football drafts are slowly creeping up on us and will soon start up almost everywhere. 

It is always important to get an advantage over your competitors and sometimes that means choosing players others wouldn’t even think about. 

The rookies are the newest addition to the pool of performers to pick from and some fantasy owners will neglect them.

Don’t be that guy. 

As shown in past years, rookies can sometimes make a huge splash in the NFL and garner a significant amount of points for your team. It is just about selecting the right one. 

Which rookie is ready to break out and take the fantasy world by storm?

That is where I can help.

Below are the fantasy rookies expected to rack up the most points this year.


Honorable Mentions: RB Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati Bengals), RB Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota Vikings)

Those guys are great and you may want to think about selecting them in the later rounds, as all could be helpful. However, the three rookies below break away from the pack. Each can help you gain ultimate bragging rights when you win your fantasy league.


Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell should be a productive bench player for a fantasy team that takes a chance on him.

The rookie wasn't the most talented running back in the 2013 NFL draft and many questioned the Steelers' motives when they drafted him with the 48th overall pick.

However, the Michigan State product will get the chance to start right away. In fantasy football, that is incredibly important. Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman aren’t suited for the role of a starter, as both proved last year. Bell will be able to run with the big boys starting in Week 1.

His pass-catching ability will also make him highly coveted by fantasy owners, as he is able to get extra yards through the air. 

The 230-pound burgeoning star is an absolute workhorse and will get the most combined touches of all the rookie running backs, making him a hot fantasy commodity.


Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos

Ball is another rookie running back who is in a great situation to perform well. If the Wisconsin product is on the board in one of the middle rounds, do not pass on him. He has the opportunity to be one of the best rookies this season from a fantasy perspective. 

He is fast, NFL-ready and incredibly experienced.

Additionally, Ball is blessed with excellent vision and solid balance while also being able to cut very well. The ex-Badger has great feet and can break through tackles to pick up extra yards. 

All of this is music to the Broncos' ears. It should also entice every fantasy owner. Ball will be in most leagues while also probably being the first rookie taken off the board. 

Veteran running back Willis McGahee was cut by Denver and Knowshon Moreno is coming off a horrific injury. This gives Ball a perfect opportunity to start early and often, ultimately proving his worth and being handed the job as lead back.

If that happens, fantasy owners wouldn’t want to miss out. Ball is a relatively safe rookie pick with a ton of upside.


Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams 

Austin is the definition of a high-risk, high-reward pick. Taking a chance on him could pay off for your fantasy team. If you play in a keeper league, then Austin is a player you must select.

The Rams expect him to be their star of the future while also being productive now. It is easy to see why.

The West Virginia product has speed that would impress even The Flash. He is explosive and can score whenever he has the ball in his hands. Austin is incredibly athletic and a great receiver with reliable hands. Furthermore, he is brilliant as a ball-carrier, with outstanding vision and unparalleled explosiveness. 

St. Louis is hoping that Austin can be its Percy Harvinhe is that versatileand fill the hole left by Danny Amendola. Fantasy owners hope for the same thing.

Thankfully, both should get their wish. Austin will do almost everything for the Rams, whether it be pass-catching, running or returning punts, so he should put up a huge number of yards in his first season. 

Jeff Fisher and Sam Bradford will try to put the ball in Austin's hands. From there on out, it is up to him to take the opportunity and run with it. 

Run, he will. 


Yes, there is some risk associated with Austin and all the other rookies mentioned here. However, if you are smart and have some luck, these young guns should be solid performers for your team. 


Good luck this year! If you want to talk more fantasy, then leave a comment below or follow me  @realsovenbery