Fantasy Football 2013: Rookies That Will Make an Immediate Impact

Nate LevinsonCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2013

Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell
Steelers RB Le'Veon BellJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

Every year in the NFL, there are rookies that jump onto the national scene and help lead fantasy football teams to championship seasons.

Last year, rookies Doug Martin and Alfred Morris put up huge numbers and rewarded owners that were smart enough to take a chance on them.

This season, there are a number of first-year players who look primed to put up big numbers in their first season in the NFL.

Here's a look at three players who will be assets for fantasy football teams right out of the gate.


Le'Veon Bell-Running Back-Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers took Le'Veon Bell with the 16th pick of the second round in the NFL Draft ( this past April, with draft guru Mike Mayock calling the match of player to team "a great fit."

Bell has already moved up the depth chart, and in the one released on Wednesday, he was listed as the co-starter with Isaac Redman, according to Jamison Hensley of

Neither of the incumbent starters at running back, Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, was ever considered the long-term solution at the position for the Steelers, so Bell's rapid ascension to starter is no surprise.

Head coach Mike Tomlin handed the ball to Rashard Mendenhall 242 times in his first full season in 2009, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Bell eclipsed that mark this season.

If he does, the rookie will easily be capable of 1,200 or more yards and more than 10 touchdowns.

Though he's yet to play his first NFL down, Bell is player to target early in 2013 fantasy football drafts thanks to a lack of competition and a skill-set that fits perfectly in his team's offense.


DeAndre Hopkins- Wide Receiver- Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins was the Texans first-round pick in 2013, and the team is hoping that he can become a legitimate No. 2 option behind star receiver Andre Johnson.

Hopkins is well on his way there and was running with the first-team offense way back in May, according to Drew Dougherty of

Johnson's presence should ensure that Hopkins sees single coverage all year round. 

All the rookie receiver has to do is make teams pay.

In his first preseason game, Hopkins showed he's ready to do just that as he caught four passes for 52 yards, including an impressive 34-yard touchdown catch.

Dave Zangaro of reported that Hopkins "just keeps getting better," so don't be surprised when Hopkins makes an impact right away for the Texans.


Tavon Austin- Wide Receiver- St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin was one of the most sought-after players in April's draft, and the Rams traded up to select him with the eighth overall pick.

They didn't do so to have Austin waste away on the bench, and he's ticketed for a big role in his rookie season.

"We’re going to try to get the ball to him as often as we can, however we do that," Rams coach Jeff Fisher told Michael David Smith of

Austin will be used all over the field and wherever he lines up, like when he played college ball at West Virginia, his dynamite speed will cause headaches for defenses.

Austin will also let his presence be known on special teams. Don't be surprised if the rookie runs back several kicks and punts this year, making him even more valuable in fantasy leagues that count return touchdowns.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch said that Austin has "looked every bit worth" the No. 8 pick in the draft. Look for him to show that right off the bat as teams struggle to adjust to his game-changing abilities.