Some stats you should know about rookies and their impacts
Well the 2013 NFL Draft is over and, once again, it lived up to its reputation of being unpredictable and just a bit over-hyped. But now is when it gets really interesting for the fantasy football enthusiast. Optimism for those players selected at the QB, RB, WR, and TE positions will never be higher than it is currently. Many sites and analysts will be publishing their rankings and grades and rookie analysis in the next week or so (myself included, although I try to give it an extra week to let the excitement of the moment settle and more objectivity to come back into focus). We're going to see undeserved high fantasy football rankings about players who were drafted early and overly optimistic projections for those players who were drafted late. A quick look at 2012 should provide some perspective.
In 2012 there were (at each of the important fantasy positions)
11 QB's selected (6 with value; 3 with great value: top 15)
21 RB's selected (3 great (top 10), 1 more good (top 30))
33 WR's selected (11 with some value; 3 in top 40)
12 TE's selected (only 2 with any value; only 1 in top 25)
Of those 11 QB's, 6 provided at least one week's worth of good value. 3 of them finished as top 15 fantasy producers (a rare amount for the position).
Of the 21 RB's selected; only 4 scored enough fantasy points to be in the top 30. However 3 of them finished ranked in the top 10.
Of those 33 WR's selected, only 3 finished in the top 40 fantasy producing WR's. None of them finished in the top 20.
Of those 12 TE's selected, only 1 finished as a top 25 fantasy producer at the position and he (Dwayne Allen) didn't crack the top 20.
So, as you can see, while last year after the 2012 NFL draft there was a lot of hype and enthusiasm about the rookies who were drafted, only 14 of the 77 (18%) selected had any real fantasy value, and even then only 6 of 77 (under 8%) enough to be considered good regular fantasy football starters. And if not for the great QB's selected, the draft would have been worse. The numbers from 2011 are right in line with 2012.
With that established, let's look at this year's selections at these positions. In 2013, we saw:
11 QB's selected
26 RB's selected
28 WR's selected
16 TE's selected
That's a total of 81 players selected at these premium fantasy positions. If 18% are going to be fantasy worthy at all, that translates into about 15 players. If only 8% are going to be regular fantasy contributors, that's only 6-7 players from this rookie class who will be worthy of being regular fantasy starters in 2013. Our jobs as fantasy analysts are to identify which players are going to be those chosen few. It's a job that some in the industry are going to succeed at because they will give 15-20 guys who will all be impactful. As the numbers tell you: that's not realistic. But it does increase their chances of being right.
Remember that when reading the hype generated the next coming days about these rookies and their impact in 2013.