NFL Fantasy Football: A Case for Oakland Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

Darrius Heyward-Bey was a huge reach and colossal mistake as the No. 7 pick in last year's NFL Draft. Everyone but Al Davis knew it at the time.

DHB has always been a better physical specimen than football player and his production has never matched his talent level. I'm not going to suggest that he's a superstar in waiting. At the same time, I've done a couple dynasty startup drafts in the past month and I'm wondering if his value has slid to the point where he might actually be a good buy low candidate.

I just got him as WR72 (including rookies) in a 14 team PPR startup. He went at WR77 in my other draft. I'll be the first to acknowledge that Heyward-Bey looked dreadful in his rookie year, but isn't it a bit premature to bury his career after one terrible season?

I'm a Bay Area guy. I watched DHB play in the preseason. I watched him play in the regular season. He never showed me any glimmers of potential. On the other hand, that's not entirely unexpected from a rookie WR. Lots of great WRs didn't even see the field in their rookie seasons.

Here are Heyward-Bey's rookie stats: 9 catches, 124 yards

Pretty ugly. These numbers don't offer much hope...or do they? Here are rookie stats for some other now-prominent WRs:

Robert Meachem: 0 catches, 0 yards
Miles Austin: 0 catches, 0 yards
Santana Moss: 2 catches, 40 yards
Donald Driver: 3 catches, 31 yards
Vincent Jackson: 3 catches, 59 yards
Pierre Garcon: 4 catches, 23 yards
Jerricho Cotchery: 6 catches, 60 yards
Steve Smith (NYG): 8 catches, 63 yards
Steve Smith (CAR): 10 catches, 154 yards
Derrick Mason: 14 catches, 186 yards
TJ Houshmandzadeh: 22 catches, 228 yards
Hines Ward: 15 catches, 246 yards
Brandon Marshall: 20 catches, 309 yards
Plaxico Burress: 22 catches, 273 yards
Roddy White: 29 catches, 446 yards

Heyward-Bey had a better rookie season than Miles Austin, Santana Moss, Donald Dri...

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