Rookies To Watch

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By Harold Studer
Follow me on Twitter @hstuder36

Nothing creates more buzz during the offseason than a stud rookie at a skill position. From the time of the draft to the beginning of the preseason camps and games, fantasy owners are trying to assign roles and projections to these players. No one really knows what to expect, but off season narratives drive the hype and imagination of many fantasy owners, resulting in rookies becoming influential picks during fantasy drafts. With the potential to impact your chances of making the fantasy playoffs, it is important to keep an eye on some of the off seasons most talked about rookies.

Carson Wentz – All the buzz leading up to the NFL Draft revolved around the QB position, primarily Carson Wentz and Jared Goff. Goff is considered the favorite to start in LA, but Wentz finds himself in a more complicated situation. Philadelphia has had a coaching change, player personnel shifts and trades, and a brewing QB controversy from the second pick of the first round.

It is assumed that Bradford will start for the Eagles this year, but there has been a growing sentiment through the off season calling for Wentz to run the offense in Philly. Given Bradford’s history of mediocre performance, and Wentz’s athletic and statistical ability shown in college, the battle for the helm of the offense could hear up quick and is something to monitor throughtraining camp and the preseason.

‘Zeke Elliot – Easily the most hyped rookie selected in the draft based on the expectations of his role in the offense, Elliot can make or break a fantasy team’s chances before he steps out onto a NFL field this year. Understandably, the hype is based on the popular opinion that Dallas has a road grading offensive line, and that Elliot is the unquestionable starter.

What needs to be factored into the equation in Dallas is that the offense will look completely different than last year, which seen their QB and top WR both miss significant time to injury. The backfield in Dallas is also relatively crowded by talented RBs, that may lead to a hot hand approach or timeshare predicated by game flow and situation. Given all these varying factors, Elliot’s role and the Dallas offense as a whole is something that should take shape in the upcoming weeks and give us all a clearer picture of what to expect from them during the season.

C.J. Prosise – Considered one of the most versatile RBs taken in the draft this past year, Prosise looks to become a part of a Seattle offense that is seemingly transitioning to a heavier passing attack. What role will he play in that backfield with Rawls coming back from injury? The assumption is that Prosise will play the third down back role due to his big play ability and catching ability, attributed to him initially playing receiver for Notre Dame.

With Thomas Rawls not looking to see a large amount of preseason work, and being more suited for passing work than backs like Christine Michael, Prosise is expected to see third down back workload immediately and could carve out a larger role in the offense throughout camp and preseason. Obviously, with the athletic ability to make the transition from receiver to running back in college, and also play a significant role on special teams for the Irish, this camp and preseason will indicate the type of player and role the Seahawks want Prosise to be in their transitioning offense.