By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
I’m writing this article because there was a huge event that took place last week that got everyone in the football world talking. Everyone wants to know which incoming rookies will be most likely to help their fantasy teams in the coming season.
The Commish and I decided the bulk of the talk belonged in our weekly podcast.
Then technology decided to flip me the bird.
All that hard work, all the insightful fantasy analysis – all of it, gone. Just like that.
So instead of listening to us, I guess you’ll have to settle for reading opinions. Not as fun, I know, but we all make sacrifices. Don’t worry. Things will be back on track next week.
How about that fantasy insight then?
Jaguars D/ST could be a unit to watch.
Yes, we’re aware of all the money they spent on free agents – Malik Jackson anyone? – but what they also did was snag 2 of the 5 best players in this draft with their first two picks, both capable of helping the defensive unit right away. Can they create enough turnovers? Time will tell. Every year there are several defenses that make the leap from off the radar to on it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Ravens select RB Kenneth Dixon in round 4.
Incumbent Justin Forsett is 31. Their depth was hit by a rash of injuries and were forced to rely on rookie Buck Allen for the latter half of the season. While serviceable, his talent isn’t on the same level as Dixon. If he doesn’t start the season as the starter, snag him late and thank me later as you’re marching towards your league’s fantasy playoffs.
The Bears add RB Jordan Howard in round 5.
Is Jeremy Langford no longer the lead dog in Chicago? They did pursue C.J. Anderson in the offseason, so maybe he’s not the bell cow fantasy players were hoping for. The good news though? Langford is a great pass catcher out of the backfield. In PPR leagues, he’s still likely a 4th round pick. But buyer beware of the likely timeshare/TD vulture that lurks in the form of Howard.
The Bengals get their #2 WR in Tyler Boyd.
It’s like the Bengals front office listened to our podcast last week. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Boyd is likely to make an impression on fantasy teams. He’ll be streaky, much like the man he’s replacing, Mohammed Sanu, was, but A.J. Green needs all the help he can get. A few solid games from Boyd takes pressure off Green, freeing him up to do what he does best.
The Titans may not like DeMarco Murray as much as Skrip Club Radio does.
Derrick Henry in the 2nd round? You’re killing us, Titans. Murray will be much more valuable in PPR formats like the Skrip Club, but Henry will get work and he will score TDs. Murray is likely more of a 2nd/3rd round pick, while Henry is a clear handcuff option. And likely a very valuable one.
Josh Doctson lands in Washington, but likely won’t take off until Year 2.
DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are still 1 and 2 on the depth chart, but both are free agents after the season. Doctson will have typical rookie wide receiver production, i.e. unstartable, barring injury. But his value skyrockets as a draft and stash. He’ll be the best wide receiver to come out of this class.
The Houston Texans are building a track team in Houston.
The Olympics are this summer right? The Texans must think they’re in contention for gold. Alas, they’ll settle for having one of the most intriguing offenses entering this season. Adding speed demon Will Fuller opposite DeAndre Hopkins should help free up the latter for even bigger games this upcoming season. Throw in slot man Braxton Miller to go along with newly acquired RB Lamar Miller and QB Brock Osweiler has no excuses to not be a fantasy sensation this season. I would not be opposed to drafting Osweiler as a backup just to see if he fulfills the potential. The payoff could be HUGE.
RB Jay Ajayi is the man in Miami.
They drafted arguably the best offensive lineman in the draft, as well as a change-of-pace back Kenyan Drake instead of a true 3-down guy. This should mean good things for Ajayi. He’s likely to be overvalued simply because of his status as “the man,” but if you can snag him in the 4th or 5th, I think it’s a worth while gamble as a high upside RB2. Drake, meanwhile, has big upside as a PPR guy. I likely wouldn’t draft him before the 9th round, but he could be valuable depth in a Charles Sims like role for Miami.
Is Sterling Shepard the next Victor Cruz?
A certain obnoxiously vocal personality came out and said Shepard is better than Odell Beckham Jr. Um, sure. But he has great hands, runs good routes and was extremely productive in college. Because his head coach loves 3 WR sets more than any other coach in the league, I’m expecting a productive rookie season from Shpeard. He’s on my FLEX radar as a WR 4 to start the season, but he has top 30 upside. Side note: 5th round pick Paul Perkins has the skill set to emerge from the Giants backfield as the top dog. If he’s not named a starter out of camp, draft and stash for fantasy goodness come playoff time.
The Seahawks add 3 RBs in the draft. Should Thomas Rawls be sweating?
I would move him down just a tick. Prosise is likely to handle 3rd down duties as he has great hands for a running back. The Seahawks may be transitioning their offense to incorporate more passing in the wake of Beast Mode’s retirement. Rawls can still be a valuable piece, but his value does take a hit in PPR formats. Monitor Prosise’s work in camp and the preseason because he could be a weapon as an occasional FLEX play.
The Bills added some new toys to Rex Ryan’s defense.
And boy, did they need to. A consensus top 12 defense last year, they were a shell of themselves. Ryan added pass rusher Shaq Lawson and ILB Reggie Ragland to bring his unit back to respectability. I’m not putting the top 12 stamp on them just yet, but like the Jaguars, I’m keeping an eye on them.
Andrew Luck has a few new bodyguards.
They drafted not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new offensive linemen. Andrew Luck is praising the football Gods for knocking some sense into his front office. New center Ryan Kelly becomes the anchor for this line and he’s likely to have an immediate impact for them. This helps every single skill position player on this offense. Luck reclaims his spot amongst the top 5 QBs in fantasy; Gore remains a top 20 play at RB and is an easy RB2; WRs T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are top 15 and top 25 respectively; and TE Dwayne Allen, barring injury, is a top 10 option. Lots to love with this offense if those linemen can help Kelly keep Luck off his ass.
Matt Ryan has a new toy.
We know he misses TE Tony Gonzalez. The front office could tell so they drafted Stanford standout Austin Hooper. He can help secure the middle of the field with breakout RB Devonta Freeman while Julio Jones looks to break the single season record for receiving yards in a season. Top 15 status for TE Hooper.
Will Paxton Lynch overtake Mark Sanchez to start week one for the Broncos?
I’m not buying into it. The Broncos showed last year they have a defense capable of carrying a team with a game manager at quarterback. If Sanchez can limit the turnovers, they’ll continue to win games and Lynch won’t see the field. Dynasty pick only for Lynch. The Broncos D/ST however is likely to be over-drafted as the first defense off the board. Get the smack talk ready for the owner that pulls the trigger in the 9th round!
Jared Goff is the Rams opening day starter.
Get ready for a long season kid! Gurley will see a lot of 8 man fronts until Goff shows he can beat a defense. He’s still a top 3 RB, but Goff shouldn’t even be drafted. Dynasty stash only.
I told you the Saints would draft a WR.
Say hello to Marques Colston 2.0! Michael Thomas is likely to make an immediate impact opposite Brandin Cooks. Occasional FLEX play but his season will likely be carried by touchdown catches. Not that fantasy owners will complain about that!
Will Christian Hackenberg be starting for the Jets come week 1?
Ryan Fitzpatrick, fantasy owners everywhere need you to sign that contract! We want to own Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and Matt Forte. If you don’t sign, we’re not likely as comfortable owning them. That just hurts your teammates’ feelings. Don’t hurt your teammates’ feelings Ryan!
Antonio Gates is the Dick Clark of football.
The man never ages. As such, he’s not likely to ever retire. Newly drafted TE Hunter Henry is now the new Ladarius Green. If you want to wait on Gates to get hurt or retire, draft away. I’ll pass, thanks.
Laquon Treadwell’s arrival is better for Adrian Peterson than is it for Laquon Treadwell.
Treadwell is the best blocking WR to come out of this draft. When you have Adrian Peterson running the football, that’s a good thing. This helps solidify Peterson’s status as a top 3 RB in fantasy this year. Treadwell will have an up and down rookie season, but it might be a solid decision to draft him late and keep him for next year, especially in a PPR league. Lots of Jarvis Landry potential here as an underneath option for QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Corey Coleman was the first WR drafted last weekend. Are you drafting him in fantasy?
Yes, yes I am. Will he be the next OBJ? Not likely. But what do we love about wide receivers in fantasy? Targets. Who else are Browns QBs going to throw it to? Coleman has WR3 value. 6th or 7th round pick is not a reach.
Ezekiel Elliott will be a top 5 fantasy RB behind the Cowboys offensive line.
Write that down. In pen. Non-erasable pen. The Offensive Rookie of the Year. Hudsonian out.