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Roto Arcade Fantasy Football Mock, RDs 7-8: Evans, other rookies in high demand

Brad Evans
Roto Arcade

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My distant cousin has the skills to pay the fantasy bills. (USAT)

Drafting rookies even in the middle rounds was once thought to be a fantasy faux pas. However, after the recent success of first-year players at several positions (e.g. Keenan Allen, Eddie Lacy, Le'Veon Bell and Jordan Reed), that logic no longer applies. In our 12-team, .5 PPR mock, rookies flew off the board in the middle rounds. Who would you reach for? Discuss in the comments section below.



Jordan Reed, TE, Was — If not for the concussions, he would've finished inside the TE top-10 with relative ease. He'll feast across the middle with D-Jax and Garcon stretching the field. (EVANS)

Pierre Thomas, RB, NO — Quick! What RB led the position in receptions in '13? It was the PT Bruiser with 77. He'll remain in a RBBC, but his workload could surpass 250 touches with Sproles now in Philly. (EVANS)

Andrew Luck, QB, Ind — He throws, he runs, he competes, he wins (okay, not a fantasy stat). And the supporting cast has been upgraded. (PIANOWSKI)

Russell Wilson, QB, Sea — It's reassuring to pick someone who will, most certainly, make every effort to achieve greatness. Just stay healthy, Percy Harvin. (PIANOWSKI)

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN — This blurb writes itself, doesn't it? Sanders is a talented receiver tied to an all-time passing attack, led by a Hall of Fame quarterback. High ceiling, high floor. (BEHRENS)

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, OAK — While this team could use a TE, I don't see incredible separation between the top 3-4 names on the board at that spot. Thus, we're taking a mid-draft flier on MJD. (BEHRENS)

Tom Brady, QB, NE — Brady in Round 7? Thank you very much. Sure, he got off to a sluggish start in '13, but he finished the second half of the season as a top 5 fantasy QB. (FUNSTON)

Jason Witten, TE, DAL — The veteran robo-TE manages to find his way into the top 5 at his position nearly every season. And there's been no sign off a career slow down yet. (FUNSTON)

Nick Foles, QB, PHI — He's going to throw more interceptions this season, and the loss of DeSean Jackson isn't ideal, but Foles is in a terrific situation in Philly and just totaled 27 touchdowns over 10 games as a starter. His 9.1 YPA led the NFL. (DEL DON)

Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF — He'll have much better weapons at this disposal this year compared to last, and if SF's defense takes a step back, that will actually be good news for his fantasy value. There's simply little reason to take a QB early. (DEL DON)

Knowshon Moreno, RB, MIA — Should get the bulk of all the major touches in Miami. Yes, that's a huge comedown from getting them in Denver. But it's still more than can be said for most RBs. (SALFINO)

Hakeem Nicks, WR, IND — A healthy Nicks is far and away the best receiver on the Colts. Yes, that's the rub. Not worried about free agent history given NIcks has been a No. 1 WR. (SALFINO)

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Despite a looming suspension, Gordon is well worth a Round 8 pick according to Evans. (USAT)


Rueben Randle, WR, NYG — Beckham no threat to Randle. Giants rookie WRs do little.. Beckham allows Cruz to play slot in three-WR snaps, which should rise above NFL average of 65.8%. (SALFINO)

Riley Cooper, WR, Phi — Why are the Eagles receivers sliding so far in such an efficient and explosive passing offense? Are we pencilling in the fading Darren Sproles for 100 catches? (SALFINO)

Maques Colston, WR, NO — He's a boring veteran on the downside of his career, but just one season removed from scoring 10 touchdowns, Colston was hard to pass up here. (DEL DON)

Mike Wallace, WR, MIA — Sometimes it takes a year for a WR to get fully comfortable when changing organizations, and Wallace did quietly see a career high in targets during his first season in Miami. (DEL DON)

Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC — A groin injury dogged him for much of last season. But he's still the Jags' go-to guy, and a healthy campaign should yield something closer to his '12 numbers (979 yards, 7 TDs). (FUNSTON)

Reggie Wayne, WR, IND — He's old and coming off an ACL injury. But his experience and smarts can help mask some decline in physical ability. At this point, given his track record, he's a gamble worth taking.   (FUNSTON)

Mike Evans, WR, TB — Gigantic first-year receiver (6-foot-5) with the wingspan of a Wookiee. I can't guarantee the reception total will be huge, but he'll catch TDs. (BEHRENS)

Steven Jackson, RB, ATL — We all understand the flaws, and the likelihood that S-Jax is well into his decline phase. But he's tied to a great offense, and, hey, it's Round 8. (BEHRENS)

Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC — Last year's bum, and okay, 2012's bum, too. But maybe Andy Reid can find a way to make a square peg fit in a round hole. (PIANOWSKI)

Darren Sproles, RB, Phi — He's a light-volume guy, of course, but Chip Kelly should be able to cook up enough big plays for Sproles to have fantasy relevance. (PIANOWSKI)

Josh Gordon, WR, Cle — He outpaced Megatron in per game average last year, but affinity for the sticky icky could lead to 8-16 game suspension. If on the light side, he's a steal in Round 8. Worth the minimal investment. (EVANS)

Terrance West, RB, Cle — Mark my words, West will be the most productive RB in Cleveland this year. His numbers at Towson were downright silly. His excellent vision, versatility and one-cut style are perfect from Shany's zone-blocking scheme. (EVANS)

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