Rookies who will make the biggest 2013 fantasy impact

4/29/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Rookies who will make the biggest 2013 fantasy impactJustin Hunter (WR, Tennessee Titans): The Titans now have a nice little trio of receivers, with Kenny Britt and Hunter looking like they'll start on the outside, and Kendall Wright moving around the formation and occupying the slot. I'm not a huge fan of Hunter - he reminds me a little of Darrius Heyward-Bey, with great size and explosive athleticism but poor hands and sloppy route running. However, the Titans are counting on him to be an impact player, and it looks like he could be in for a good amount of looks as a rookie.

Zach Ertz (TE, Philadelphia Eagles): If the Eagles like what they see from Ertz early on in offseason workouts, they could end up dumping Brent Celek, who is set to make over $3 million in 2013. If Ertz were to secure the starting tight end role, he could end up racking up a lot of catches. We still don't know how the Eagles' offensive line will hold up this year, and if the quarterback doesn't have much time to throw, that could mean a lot of receptions for a tight end running short routes. Ertz also has the ability to move around the formation and create mismatches, adding to his fantasy potential.

Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Minnesota Vikings): Had he been drafted by most other teams, I wouldn't expect this raw prospect to get many chances to contribute as a rookie. However, the Vikings currently have Jerome Simpson penciled in as the starter opposite Greg Jennings. Simpson caught only 26 passes in 12 games last season, and if he continues to disappoint, it may take one spectacular play for Patterson to jump Simpson on the depth chart.

Travis Kelce (TE, Kansas City Chiefs): Kelce is already the most talented tight end on the Chiefs' roster, and his blocking prowess is likely to earn him playing time right out of the gate. Head coach Andy Reid spoke highly of Kelce, saying he is a "legitimate receiver" when split out wide. Kelce's primary competition is Tony Moeaki, who has been battling knee issues. The last time quarterback Alex Smith started a full season, his tight ends combined for 86 catches and ten touchdowns.

Tyler Eifert (TE, Cincinnati Bengals): The second pass catcher taken, Eifert went to a Bengals team that has been desperate for a receiver to play opposite AJ Green. While Eifert is not listed as a receiver, he can line up like one and has a chance to eventually put up receiver-like numbers. Jermaine Gresham will continue to start at tight end and hurt Eifert's fantasy potential, but with such little production from their 2012 receivers, the Bengals could use Eifert frequently in the slot and in two-tight packages.

Those are just some of the rookies who I'm thinking will make an impact in 2013. As offseason programs progress, there are sure to be other rookies who emerge as potential starters.
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