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NFL Rookies Redraft

Redraft: The Top NFL Rookies in Preseason

After two weeks of the preseason we can now reasonably adjust our Top NFL rookies for 2013. Remember to keep your expectations realistic with NFL rookies, 2012 was an unbelievable year for NFL rookies, don't expect 2013 to bring the same results. Rookies do have value in fantasy football. My strategy is to grab 1-2 NFL rookies, but if you are drafting more than 2, that is too many. You want some risk in your lineup but you need the reliable veterans to maintain consistency. After 2 weeks of the NFL preseason here are our redraft rankings of the NFL rookies of 2013:

top NFl rookies

Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Lacy, RB, WR. Lacy has taken over as the only rookie worth discussing in Green Bay right now. He has gone further to dominate all rookie headlines in the NFL. Lacy should be at the top of NFL rookies off the draft boards in 2013, he has a prolific offense surrounded by top talent. He is not going to get anywhere near bell-cow carries, but he will be an effective runner in this system and has the perfect build for goal line carries.

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Photo: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU. Hopkins has had a bit of an up and down NFL preseason, showing his athletic ability and talent in Week 1 he racked up 4 catches for 54 yards and an impressive TD grab that topped highlight plays for the week.  In week 2 Hopkins had 2 catches for 22 yards before leaving the game with a concussion. He should recover in enough time for Week 1, but it is a bit of a risk seeing a rookie go down in preseason, costing critical time to develop chemistry in an established offense. Still, he is one of our favorite NFL rookies.

NFL rookies

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EJ Manuel, QB, BUF. We have been hyping Manuel before Week 1 as one of the best NFL rookies, and during his first start he took a few people back on his impressive control of the game. He looked nervous to start but quickly settled in with short throws and efficient running. Manuel continued his control in Week 2, showing he is clearly the choice above overrated Kevin Kolb. Don't forget EJ Manuel was the first QB selected in the 2013 NFL draft.  Buffalo will make sure he will be on the field this season. EJ Manuel did have to have his knee scoped after Week 2 and will be on the shelf until Week 1 of the regular season. I doubt Buffalo will throw him in right away with this loss of practice time, but among the NFL rookies he is still a good late pick risk with a high ceiling.

nfl rookies

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Tavon Austin, WR, STL. I still have not given up on Tavon Austin this preseason. He came in hyped as one of the top talents of the NFL rookies class but has yet to translate these skills onto the field. Early reports from camp was Tavon Austin was lighting up practices with his playmaking ability. We haven't seen anything close to this yet.  If anyone has lit up the preseason with big plays in STL it has been Chris Givens. I still like the opportunity Tavon Austin has in STL, he is the lone big threat in that offense and it won't take long for he and Sam Bradford to get on the same page.

nfl rookies

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, NE. This kid has been flat out impressive. Tom Brady has shown he trusts him - giving Kenbrell Thompkins the opportunity to have a major impact as one of the top NFL rookies.  Thompkins had been an unknown name to start training camp - with most thinking Aaron Dobson would win the WR battle but it has been Thompkins who has shown the ability to separate and take over Brandon Lloyd's former role. Kenbrell Thompkins had 8 catches 116 yards in Week 3, and totaled 14 catches 142 yards in 3 preseason games, impressive. He is rising on our rankings as one of the best NFL rookies.

LeVeon Bell, RB, PIT and Montee Ball, RB, DEN.  These two are both household names right now, but we haven't seen much from either to evaluate their potential. I like both of these names as your RB3 in fantasy football drafts, they each have a different style with opportunities to take over the starting role, keep an eye on both and as we see more we will rank their talent among the top NFL rookies.  Now as Bell has gone down for 6-8 weeks with a lisfranc injury - Ball is the more valuable of these two NFL rookies.

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