After the first, second, and third rounds of your fantasy draft have come and gone, and essential fantasy RBs (Arian Foster and Ray Rice), QBs (Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees), and WRs (Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson) are long off the board, it is time for the pivotal fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. Starting to fill out your roster with second tier guys who will contribute serious value will mean the difference in depth that wins fantasy leagues year after year.
There are no shortage of quality players likely still available (Cam Newton, Victor Cruz, and Adrian Peterson will probably still be hanging around), but this is the time to consider taking a hard look at the incoming rookie class to find a potential fantasy diamond in the rough. Here are 5 of the newbies who may give their owners a competitive edge in this crucial stage of the draft:
1. RB Trent Richardson (CLE) – Richardson has the most obvious potential of rookies in this year’s fantasy leagues. He should get the large majority of the Browns’ touches, and has the talent to turn a high number of carries into a huge number of fantasy points.
2. QB Robert Griffin III (WAS) – RG3 commands a significant amount of fantasy interest, and for very good reason. He will be free in a new look Redskins offense to play his style, mostly outside the pocket, which means yardage and TDs from scrambles and carries in addition to his passing game.
3. RB Doug Martin (TB) – Martin should get a solid look in Tampa Bay, especially on third down situations; he has better hands and blocks better than LeGarrette Blount. He will have ample opportunity to contribute.
4. WR Michael Floyd (AZ) – He will have to deal with being Larry Fitzgerald’s teammate (Fitzgerald will probably be targeted upwards of 150 times this season), but Floyd has the size and the skill to be a quality receiver. He could be the biggest surprise contributor if defenses focus on Fitzgerald and leave him open.
5. WR Rueben Randle (NYG) – Randle joins a team of Super Bowl champs that will bring serious swagger to the field, and fits in nicely with a corps of receivers that lacks a true number 1. He will get plenty of looks from Eli Manning and will benefit from spread-out defenses trying to cover 3 or more quality wide outs at a time.
After the drafting is all done, the beginning of the season is always an exciting time. Look for a few rookies to quickly become breakout fantasy contributors who offer a big bang for your buck!