This was supposed to be a deep class of RBs and a little shaky on WRs four months ago…well, there are actually a ton of intriguing WRs and the depth of talent in the RB class is a little bit in question to me now.
WRs: The thing about there being a ton of neat WR options, again I say: This creates a topsy-turvy supply-demand economic problem ahead. There are so many talented WRs flooding into the NFL, but there is still only one ball…and only about half the teams have a QB who knows what to do with it. You may love Cooper-White-Parker, etc., but they are very likely to join teams where they could be the 2nd, if not the 3rd-option. Plus, you have the risk that they land with a bad QB.
Because of all that I just said, I would not pre-fall in love with any WR from the class. There is no need to trade up. The best WR values are likely going to be found later in a Dynasty Rookie Draft 1st-round and into the 2nd-round.
RBs: I would not trade up heavy for the RB either. Todd Gurley is terrific, but would I move heaven and earth to move up to get him? No. He’s going first in most every Dynasty Rookie Draft, and the possessor of that pick is dreaming of Adrian Peterson 2.0. He’s probably impossible to get.
If I could get a current legit top Fantasy RB + another great player or slide a few picks back in exchange—I’d move pick 1.01/Gurley. Someone gets whacky on Le’Veon Bell being suspended—go for a deal involving 1.01. It seems every year the RBs we think are great, fail us the next season. Two years ago, into/after his 2013 season, LeSean McCoy was everything…then he was discounted 50%/kinda given away midway into 2014. If you can flip a high Rookie Draft pick for a later 1st-round rookie pick + a legit great FF-player—do it. Don’t fall in love with the shiny new toys. Two premium assets in exchange for one premium asset is always the way to go.
The Tevin Coleman’s and David Johnson’s of the world—yes, we like-love them, but they are likely to land on teams with other established RBs…which will piss us all off when Johnson goes to like New England or Pittsburgh, etc. The era of one RB taking all the workload on purpose is almost over. Injuries/suspensions drive the need for Justin Forsett or C.J. Andersonto pop up as unexpected Fantasy stars…and it’s why you shouldn’t sweat RBs—they pop up all over, all the time. Sweat elite QBs, and being two-deep at QB. Sweat finding a great Fantasy TE. You need to have at least one, if not two high-end WRs entering the season…they don’t pop up on waivers every week. But Running Back…whatever. Choices abound. Try to find one or two nice starters, and if it doesn’t work out, there will be seven shock RB options available after Week-one; guys none of us could see coming because it most will crop up due to bizarre circumstances.
TEs: This Tight End class, at the top, is total garbage. Fill your TE hopes and dreams and needs with guys discounted from last year’s class—Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Jace Amaro, who are likely ‘on sale’. I’m not saying they’re great TEs, but they’re better than anything in this draft…unless 6’6″ WR Darren Waller gets converted–that could be interesting.
QBs: Where this draft could be sneaky great: QB. Russell Wilson was pushing Andrew Luck in Fantasy scoring last season (in 4pts per pass TD leagues). Why? You know why—rushing performance. The holy grail of Fantasy QBs. Brett Hundley andMarcus Mariota are terrific runners of the ball…when needed. Whatever they lack in elite passing numbers could be made up with terrific rushing lines.
IDPs: Kind of a weak year for IDPs as well. There are some sleepers, but no obvious Luke Kuechly or Jamie Collins orAaron Donald or Ryan Shazier types, that I can guarantee you as in previous years. Vic Beasley is about as close as it gets, and then Eric Kendricks and Ben Heeney should be high tackle count guys at Linebacker, and Eric Rowe and Byron Jones should be higher tackle-count, cover-Cornerbacks.
Without them being on an NFL team yet, here’s where I see the top-25 + 1 Dynasty prospects right now—in my mind:
1) RB Todd Gurley
You only get chances at a RB like this every 5-10 years. I know that’s cliché, but it’s true. He’ll be taken top-12, with expectations of starting day-one. You may only get 2-3-4 years out of this, but it will 2-3-4 glorious years…
2) QB Marcus Mariota *on Philly, and Bradford traded*
What would you expect from Marcus Mariota in the Philly/Chip Kelly offense?
As a rookie, what…225 passing yards 40-50 rushing yards and conservatively only 1.0 passing TDs, but about 0.5 rushing TDs per game? That’s approx. 20+ Fantasy PPG on average…with nice spikes week-to-week when he has that rushing TD, and then maybe gets the 2nd passing TD in a game. That offensive ‘system’ pushes stats for a runner/passer like Mariota…an experienced QB in this specialized ‘system’.
How about into year-three with Chip Kelly (if either of them make it there)? It only gets better in that offense. He is theAndrew Luck of that Chip Kelly offense, and you’ll get a good 5-10 years out of it…maybe…if everyone stays put.
3) WR Amari Cooper
Perhaps, Kevin White or Breshad Perriman or even Dorial Green-Beckham rises up as the best WR from this class. It doesn’t take away from the fact that Cooper is the most assured to be good-great WR that I’ve seen in a long time. If he goes #3/JAC or #4/OAK…he probably falls out of my top-5 for the Dynasty Rookie Draft.
**This is where this draft gets tricky, and starts bleeding together with players you could make arguments for at #4 or at #12+ **
4) QB Brett Hundley *On Cleveland at #12 or #19 or anywhere in the 1st-round, or on Philly*
I think Hundley is the best QB in this draft, unless Mariota winds up on Philly. His FF-value is directly correlated to how much investment his team puts into him. If he’s a distant 3rd-round pick 4-5 QBs into the draft…then dial excitement levels back. Stay excited, but temper it.
If Hundley is a shock first-round pick to a team with a window where he can start within a year, or right away…then I’m really excited. I’ll be thrilled to see him on Cleveland, but nervous about the Manziel media-love that will try to tear Hundley down.
5) WR Kevin White
I’m so worried he’s going to start out slow, and make me hate picking him (if I ever do) by October 2015. What team he goes to will be so key for him…
6) RB Tevin Coleman
I have gone from lukewarm/could not care less…to being totally excited about Coleman once I really studied the tape. I didn’t see it first-time around on a quick view.
Coleman is likely to be selected to start on purpose, right away. That’s why I have him ahead of David Johnson here.
7) WR DeVante Parker
Parker is going to a team that needs a WR like him. He’s not just a guy grabbed onto a team with 1-2-3 other options, for where he’ll be picked he’ll most likely be seen as an immediate impact player.
8) WR Tyler Lockett
In the right situation, I love this pick into the top-5…but most likely he will join an ensemble as just an inexperienced third option in year-one. If he gets in sync with a good QB—watch out. It could be an Antonio Brown-ish type story or anotherT.Y. Hilton. How about he becomes Philly’s Jeremy Maclin replacement, if they worry about Josh Huff?
9) WR Breshad Perriman
If you like him more/rank him higher than Kevin White, I won’t complain. He very easily is the #5 on this list. He may wind up in a better place than White or Cooper…or Parker.
10) OLB/DE Vic Beasley
If you IDP system honors sacks, then get ready to take him a little higher. He should be a guy who pushes double-digit sacks by year-two, maybe in year-one if he lands in a great situation.
11) QB Brett Hundley *3rd or 4th-round+ pick*
If Hundley is taken by a team with a junk veteran QB as the current starter, a team that couldn’t draft Winston-Mariota, so at some point Hundley was there so they ‘addressed’ QB, then I am excited, but worried he gets ignored for not being a ‘top’ pick on purpose guy.
12) WR Dorial Green-Beckham
The enigma. His ‘on paper’ data is too good to ignore. With a body and mind transformation—he could be uncoverable. It may take a few years to find out. Pure lottery ticket, but likely he’ll be taken top 5-7 in most Dynasty Rookie Drafts…with everyone wondering/hoping the same thing.
13) RB David Johnson
The odds that he lands on a team where he has an obvious chance to start right away is about zero. He’ll go to a team with an established running game, but they are looking ahead to use Johnson as a backup and on special teams, etc.
I so hope he lands in a great spot, so I can move him higher. The odds he lands on a team that totally FF-pisses me off is 100.0%. Enjoy being taken by Oakland or Buffalo or Philly.
14) TE/WR Darren Waller
Just because TE is so critical in Fantasy, and so devoid of talent in the 2015 draft class, you have to take a chance Waller gets classified/moved to TE. Overvalued by us a little, perhaps, but he could be the one very unique TE from this class…or a neat 6’6” WR.
15) RB Melvin Gordon
You know this ranking won’t get him on any of my FF-teams, but I thought I’d put him on here so you see where my mind is at with him. I’m not a big fan, but he’s good…and going to a team to play heavy right away. He has FF-value, but I worry he’ll pull the rug out from underneath us.
16) LB Ben Heeney
Visions of Luke Kuechly and Paul Worrilow dance in my head.
17) LB Eric Kendricks
He’s going to succeed at ILB or OLB. He’ll be taken so much higher than Heeney. I should probably rank Kendricks ahead of Heeney. I just think Heeney is a guy who is going to be that 10+ tackle a game threat.
18) WR Chris Conley
In all my years, I’ve never seen a WR like this physically. One of the best I’ve ever seen. Whether he can be a legit #2 or #3 WR in the NFL, remains to be seen. He could be a shocking player from this draft—an unbelievable weapon.
19) RB Ameer Abdullah
Could be better than all the RBs in a PPR scenario…on the right team.
20) WR Kevin Hardy
Could be this year’s Jarvis Landry—not a burner, but such great hands and ability to play in traffic. On the right team, he could catch 70+ passes in 2015.
21) QB Marcus Mariota *not on Philly
Totally deflates me on him if he goes anywhere but to Philly. He can still run, and has an upside, so there is that.
22) CB/FS Eric Rowe
A corner who can tackle…or a guy who instantly becomes a starting free safety who can cover like a corner. He’s not as good a CB-prospect as Byron Jones, but he’s likely to get more FF-stats than Jones.
23) OLB Shaq Thompson
Could be a great OLB. Could be a great Safety. Might get in on offense. He just makes things happen…Fantasy-related ‘stuff’.
24) RB Mike Davis
One of the most underrated three-down RBs in this league. I’m not sure about his stamina over a season, but he runs like a tank and catch passes with natural hands.
25) CB Byron Jones
I have a fear he could be such a good CB, that he’ll not see many chances for PDs or INTs chances over time. He could move to Safety too, but Eric Rowe is more likely to. You could put Jones ahead of Rowe on here, if you desire.
26) LB Jake Ryan
Wild-card sleeper on the hopes that he gets moved to an ILB spot and is shock 8+ tackle a game guy. Hard-nosed player with underrated physical talent.
*We’ll be doing a top-100+ Dynasty Rookie Draft prospects list about every week or so post-draft, so stay tuned!!