Top fantasy rookies (plus sleepers)

Which rookies should you have in mind come draft time? Here are 20 names

Updated: July 10, 2014, 11:43 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

Bishop SankeyThearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesLook for Bishop Sankey to get plenty of work in the Titans' backfield in 2014.

It seems a bit early to be talking fantasy ... except for the fact that one day after the NFL draft ended, I was already seeing tweets asking me which rookies could be fantasy sleepers. Well, here's a start. Last year I did pretty well with these early looks: Eddie Lacy was my top rookie option (he led rookies in fantasy points in 2013), and Keenan Allen was No. 1 on my sleepers list (he led rookies in receptions).

I will of course lay out this caveat: Rookies rarely should be considered as early options in fantasy drafts. They often do their best work later in the season as they figure things out and as players in front of them deal with injuries. This year looks like it'll be no different, although I do expect the No. 1 rookie on the list to be the No. 1 RB on his team's depth chart by the time the team breaks camp.

Top 10 fantasy rookies

1. Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans: Chris Johnson's 279 carries are now gone, and only Shonn Greene (77 carries in 2013, 3.8 yards per carry) remains, and he is not only coming off knee surgery, but he lacks explosiveness. Sankey was drafted to play, period. I think 200-plus carries is a reasonable expectation, and Sankey will get to run behind an improved offensive line. Oh, and Sankey catches passes, too; he caught 67 passes at the University of Washington.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst