#10. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Cam’s value is heightened due to his possibility of starting right away and due to his rushing ability. I am not a fan of this pick for Carolina, but with your last pick in the draft, take a chance on Cam just in case.
#9. Titus Young, WR, Detroit Lions
Nate Burleson has struggled with nagging injuries and could give Titus Young even more playing time than he is expected to get. Young will be the third option for Stafford and the seemingly better Lions team. Young will not get many looks early in the season but should have a high YAC (yards after catch) number and get a solid number of touchdowns in his rookie season.
#8. Tandon Doss, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Tandon Doss is a great rookie sleeper from the University of Indiana. Doss slipped until the 4th round after deciding to skip his senior season at Indiana. Doss can also return kicks, so he has added value if your league gives points for kick return yards. Doss should be able to sneak his way onto the field a couple games into the season. You may be able to wait until free agency to select Doss, but watch to see if he gets play time early and be ready to pick him up off of the waiver wire.
#7. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals face several issues coming into the 2011 season including who will be behind center come September. A.J. Green is a great talent, but inconsistent play from a rookie quarterback (Andy Dalton), could hurt his potential in his rookie season. A.J. Green will be drafted way too high. Although he would be worth a draft pick in your fantasy league, let someone else waste a high pick on him and feast off of a couple of sleepers.
#6. Delone Carter, RB, Indianapolis Cots
The Colts 4th round selection, Delone Carter, has possibly the greatest chance to succeed of any rookie running back not named Mark Ingram. Carter will start behind a solid offensive line with an already established offense and a lack of a starting running back as Joseph Addai is currently a free agent. Carter was underrated and overlooked after averaging over 1,000 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns per season in his last two seasons for a bad Big East team.
#5. Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans
Locker will be the best quarterback out of the 2011 draft class. Depending on when the lockout ends, Locker should start right away for the Titans. Although his offensive options may not be very attractive, Locker is one of the brighter young quarterbacks from the draft class and should pick up the Titans’ playbook quicker than most should.
#4. Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions
Leshoure was not expected to last until pick 57, but Detroit was able to grab him off the board and give speedster Jahvid Best a running mate with power. Leshoure will be much more than a third-down back for Detroit as they may give Leshoure more carries per game than Jahvid Best due to his durability. Leshoure is still a bit of a sleeper, so don’t waste a 4th or 5th round selection on him, wait until around the 8th round to snag Leshoure if he is still on the board.
#3. Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams
Kendricks will be the breakout rookie tight end in the 2011 draft class. Kendricks was very productive at Wisconsin with 43 receptions, 663 yards. and 5 touchdowns in his final season with the team. Sam Bradford is desperate for targets and Kendricks provides an instant reliable option for Bradford.
#2. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Regardless of the Reggie Bush situation, Mark Ingram is the top rookie fantasy running back. Not only is Ingram a former Heisman Trophy winner, he is going to a team that is one piece away from possibly returning to the Super Bowl. Ingram will be given every chance to succeed and should see carries right away. Take Ingram after the top 7-9 running backs are taken off of your draft board.
#1. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Not only is Jones a physical specimen, the Falcons have all of the tools in place to get Julio Jones quality numbers right away. Pressure will be on the Falcons to put Jones, who they mortgaged their future for, in the starting lineup immediately. With the combination of talent and a good team on his side, Julio Jones should be the highest rookie on your 2011 fantasy football draft board.