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Dynasty Talk: Top 8 Long-Term Rookies


Donald Brown, RB,

There are two questions that need answering when it comes to Brown. Why did the Colts draft another running back in the first round? What does his addition mean for Joseph Addai? If you don’t know yet, Brown is the real deal. He runs with conviction, gets yards after first contact and has good hands. Meanwhile, Addai is coming off an injury-clouded 2008 season for which he averaged 45.3 yards per game even when he was healthy. Brown will give him a run for his money come training camp and the preseason and could leapfrog him by the end of the 2009 season. Beyond that the sky is the limit for the former Husky, especially on a powerhouse offense like the Colts.


Stat Facts

Brown ran the ball 367 times in 2008, but still managed to average 5.7 yards per carry. The only NFL running back to average over five yards per carry while carrying the rock at least 250 times or more last season was Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams, who had 273 carries and a rushing average of 5.5 yards per.



Knowshon Moreno, RB,
He has good all-around skills, and even with five or six other running mates,

could emerge as the Broncos’ permanent starter immediately; at least I hope that was the idea new head coach Josh McDaniels had when he drafted him with the 12th overall pick.

’s biggest knock is his less than stellar speed, which is probably why he fell out of the Top 10. However, speed is not the most important attribute for a running back trying to make it to the top in McDaniels’ system; versatility is, and it’s something that
Moreno showed while playing at

, and according to the

Denver Post
it’s something his new coach is already raving about. “One of the things that no one will talk too much about is his pass protection. For a college back that’s something that doesn’t get a lot of recognition,” McDaniels said. “This guy stands in there and can put his face right in his numbers and he’ll keep him off the quarterback.” If

translates his college game to the next level, he will be a running back fantasy owners can count on to start every week moving forward.


Matthew Stafford, QB Detroit:
Stafford will not be the next Joey Harrington, but he won’t be the next Peyton Manning either. Expect somewhere in between with
Stafford, and with a receiver like Calvin Johnson to throw to that should be no problem. No,
Stafford won’t be a world class quarterback in 2009 like Matt Ryan was in 2008, but he should continue to get better with age and more NFL experience, especially with the cannon he has for a right arm. “He puts it on time,” tight end Brandon Pettigrew, a fellow first-round pick, told the

Detroit Free Press
on Friday. “If you don’t have your head around, it will hit you in the face.” Overall,
Stafford is a great pick for dynasty owners in need of a long-term backup solution, who could turn in to a fantasy stud, and is definitely a better bet than the Jets’ Mark Sanchez.  


Did you know?

Stafford threw for two or more touchdown passes in nine of the 13 games he started in last season at




Austin Collie, WR,

Collie is the first of just two wideouts on this list and for good reason; he’s possibly Brandon Stokley part two. The Indianapolis Colts may have selected the perfect wide receiver to fill the void future hall of famer Mr. Harrison has left. Collie has great hands, runs good routes, gets good separation off his breaks and will become best friends with Peyton Manning fairly quick. The former Cougar will be asked to at least step in to the slot role almost immediately, pushing Anthony Gonzalez to the outside. Collie is a PPR stud in the making and could help Manning and the Colts offense ascend back up to the top of the NFL’s totem pole of scoring juggernauts. It may take Collie a year or two to get adjusted to the NFL game completely, but once he does he will be force to reckon with, even with an aging 30+ year-old Manning.


Did you know?

During the 2005 and 2006 seasons, Collie served a Littoral Combat Ship mission in

, but returned with a bang in 2007, recording 56 receptions, 946 yards, and seven touchdowns.



LeSean McCoy, RB,

The Eagles may have stolen McCoy in round two. He should be a perfect fit in the west coast offense as Brian Westbrook’s backup, and fantasy owners have seen over the last few years how important Eagles backup running backs have truly been. If this trend continues and Westbrook can’t stay on the field, McCoy will slowly be worked in to a much bigger role down the road. He’s a definite must have for all Westbrook owners.


Stat Facts

Last season McCoy ran for 140+ yards in five straight games for which he also scored a total of 10 touchdowns (almost half of his season output of 21). McCoy also had his best game late in the season against

West Virginia
, when he rushed for 183 yards and scored two touchdowns.



Shonn Greene, RB, NY Jets:
Although Thomas Jones is coming off perhaps his best overall NFL season to-date, he will be turning 31 before the 2009 season begins. The Jets’ offensive line has come together very nicely and has two younger prospects anchoring the middle and outside. Overall, Greene has the all-around skills to be a solid replacement in the next few years once Jones’ skills start to diminish. He may not see a significant number of touches in 2009, but the future is bright for the Big 10 prospect, especially if the Jets offensive line continues to get better.



Brian Robiskie, WR, Cleveland
: The Browns may have found their new long-time starter opposite Braylon Edwards. Robiskie has great size at 6-3, is a polished route-runner and has just Joshua Cribbs standing in his way of becoming a starter immediately. Let’s also not forget that he’s a former Buckeye and will be playing for his hometown crowd. Robiskie may not be a fantasy star right away, but he certainly has the skills and opportunity to become one long-term.

Did you know?

In 2006 Robiskie recorded seven receptions for 92 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown courtesy of Troy Smith against

in the final game of the season that ultimately put the Buckeyes in the BCS Championship game.   



Tom Brandstater, QB,

The Fresno State product could be coach McDaniels’ next Matt Cassel. Yes, he’s had troubles throwing the ball down the field accurately, but he’s big, strong and the Broncos traded up in the sixth round to grab him. Will Brandstater start anytime soon? According to the

Denver Post
the former

gunslinger will likely observe and absorb from the sidelines in 2009. The good news for Brandstater is that it looks as though veterans Kyle Orton and Chris Simms are more than willing to help the young quarterback along his NFL path. “They could easily not help me at all, but they’ve taken a liking to me, I hope, and they’ve been helping me, and I’m appreciative of that,” Brandstater said. “And when I mess up on the field, they give me the corrections in a nice way.” He may look like a shot in the dark right now, but if he develops in McDaniels-like fashion he could be star down the road.

Did you know?

Brandstater was named the Humanitarian Bowl’s game MVP in 2007 as he led his Bulldogs over Georgia Tech, for which his offense gained over 570 total yards against the seventh-ranked defense in the nation at the time.

Undrafted Sleepers

RB P.J. Hill:

Hill could become the thunder to Reggie Bush‘s lightning in

New Orleans
.   His draft value dropped off due to off-the-field issues.

WR Kevin Ogletree:

The Cowboys quickly snatched up Ogletree post-draft as he could give them some nice depth and will complete with a cluster of average talent.

RB Ian Johnson:

He found a perfect home post draft in

, where he’ll compete with Albert Young to grab the number three spot in the Vikings backfield behind Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson.

RB Tyrell Sutton:

The Packers outbid a few teams to get Sutton. They signed him to a three-year deal and included a small signing bonus.

If you have any questions, comments or criticisms feel free to contact me at

Thanks for reading!

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