Coming up on Thursday the NFL draft will go a long way towards shaping our Draft Boards. Moving some players up the board and some down and some even off the board depending on who gets drafted to which team. I’d like to take a look at a few of the higher Fantasy Football relevant prospects and how they will affect the current players from the respective teams they get drafted to. After the draft I’ll have a part two to look at exactly what did happen in the draft and will look at which vets will move up or down our boards as well as where we might slot the rookies into our draft boards.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Height: 6-0 // Weight: 233 // 40 Time: 4.40.
He is the consensus number one running back both in the NFL draft and the Fantasy community and considered a once in a decade type player. He’s a complete player with exceptional running back skills as well as a great receiver out of the backfield. Any team he goes to he will have an immediate impact both in real life and in the Fantasy Football community.
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Height: 5-10 // Weight: 220 // 40 Time: 4.52
Chubb was considered the best running back prospect just two years ago until he had a devastating knee injury. He’s shown he can still perform at a very high level. Georgia is a team that really doesn’t pass the ball to its running backs so it is difficult to judge what type of pass catcher he may be. Chubb has a punishing running style and should be a Touchdown machine in the NFL. His knee injury looks like it’s in the past and he continued to look stronger as 2017 went along.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Height: 5-10 // Weight: 224 // 40 Time: 4.49
Was injured most of the 2017 season but still showed flashes of what he’s capable of. He’s a tough back that’s hard to bring down. Has excellent balance and only gets better as the game goes along. Draws comparison to Marshawn Lynch with his running style. He should be able to step right in and produce at the next level. Not an ideal three down back but could handle the full load if need be. One concern is can his body hold up to the NFL after suffering several injuries in college.
Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Height: 5-11 // Weight: 214 // 40 Time: 4.54
Sharing the backfield with Chubb most of his time in college most likely cut into what he was able to do. Although not as hyped as Chubb he may be the better NFL player when all is said and done. Michel is a north south type runner and is great in pass protection which will help him stay on he field. Once into the second level has enough moves to make people miss. His rushing capabilities and his pass protection abilities should get him on the field soon and often.
Let’s take a look at a few of the potential landing spots for these guys and the Fantasy Implications.
Cleveland Browns- Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson
With Cleveland spending the money on Hyde and also having a solid pass catching back in Duke I’m not sure they need a RB but I still think with the talent Barkley has they should snag him at 1(they probably won’t). If he would end up on the Browns Hyde and Duke would both take major hits in fantasy value and Barkley himself wouldn’t have as much value in the Fantasy community. Most likely would end up as some configuration of a three headed monster with not enough volume to go around.
New York Giants- Jonathan Stewart, Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins
Giants in my opinion are the most likely landing spot for Barkley and a good landing spot for his fantasy value. Giants signed a aging vet Jonathan Stewart also have Gallman a second year player as well as Paul Perkins. I think Barkley would Jump to the number one guy immediately with Stewart spelling him and most likely Gallman and Perkins battling over a roster spot. Biggest impact Fantasy wise would be Jonathan Stewart he goes from a decent late round pick to virtually undraftable in my eyes. If they don’t land one of the top 4-5 prospects and get one later in the draft I could see it being more of a committee at the top.
Indianapolis Colts- Marlon Mack
The Colts moved on from Gore in the offseason leaving the door wide open for Marlon Mack to take over the lead role. They will almost certainly draft a RB or two in the upcoming draft and it might be a good idea to draft one of the backs mentioned in this article. If somehow they ended up with Barkley I believe Mack would be relegated to backup duties to Barkley but if they end up with any of the other top prospects I could see it being a split carries situation. The best possible scenario for Mack would be if the Colts wait until the later rounds to address their RB needs. Mack then would stay in the mid rounds as far as adp and could potentially produce more.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jaquizz Rodgers, Peyton Barber
With Muscle Hampsters (Doug Martin) departure the Bucs are left with career role players with Jaquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber anchoring their backfield. If they go ahead and land one of the top RB’s in this class I believe he would step right into the number one role in Tampa Bay leaving Rodgers as a late round flier and Barber undrafted.
Denver Broncos- Devontae Booker, De’angelo Henderson
Denver moved on from CJ Anderson in the offseason and early indications are Booker will take the lead role going into the season. Denver has already tried to hand the reigns to Booker and he failed at his first attempt. My thoughts are if they land one of the top prospects or possibly even someone later in the draft it will be a open competition for starter duties. All of the guys mentioned in this article would have a good shot and winning the number one role and being Fantasy relevant. That being said booker would be left as a late round flier and Henderson would be undrafted unless you are in a dynasty league.
Calvin Ridley WR, Alabama
Height: 6-0 // Weight: 189 // 40 Time: 4.43
Thought of by many as the number one WR prospect in the draft Ridley is quick and fast and has precise route running ability. He has great separation ability that will hopefully translate to the NFL. One knock on him is his size and strength especially when going against bigger stronger defensive backs. He could stand to add some strength which would help him at the next level.
Courtland Sutton WR, SMU
Height: 6-4 // Weight: 218 // 40 Time 4.54
Sutton has the size and surprising quickness for a man his size to help him make an immediate impact in the NFL. Thoughts are his top end speed will deter him from making any down field impact at the next level. We could see him be more of a possession style receiver as well as a huge red zone target with his superb size. He should give whoever drafts him a nice weapon for years to come. He needs to work some on his route running and also work on some of the drop problems he had in college.
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Height: 6-0 // Weight: 210 // 40 Time: 4.42
With Moore’s size and strength he may be relied upon as a slot receiver within the NFL. He has really nice quickness and once he has the ball in his hands he’s hard to take down. Really good in the yards after catch area. Like most Receivers coming out of college he needs to work on his route running. He also can help his team on special teams having returned punts in 2017 for Maryland. Many think he could be the steal of the draft and hopefully with further development he can be an exceptional receiver at the next level.
Here are a few of the Wide Receiver needy teams and the implications of adding one of these guys.
San Francisco 49ers- Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin
With Garopollo in the fold long term I would think this receiving class would love to land in San Francisco. Garçon is a nice veteran to have around to help the growth of a rookie Receiver. This would be a potential situation where a rookie could come in and have an immediate impact. Whichever receiver lands here I’d prob move up slightly but that would prob push both Garçon and Goodwin down just slightly. 49ers would love to acquire a talent to pair with Goodwin for the future.
Philidephia Eagles- Alshon Jefferey, Mack Hollins, Nelson Agholor
Probably the hardest lineup to get Fantasy worthy snaps in would be the Eagles. I probably wouldn’t draft a reciever that gets drafted here unless you are in a keeper or dynasty league. Between Jefferey, Ertz, Hollins, and Agholor the majority of the offense is already taken up. Most likely the first year or two they would be relegated to third to fourth option in this offense. Long term though this could be a great place for one of these guys to land. With one of the best young QB’s in place who wouldn’t like to play here.
Dallas Cowboys- Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams
After Cutting Dez Bryant the Cowboys are in serious need of WR help and I believe they will draft one early. My guess is they will end up with Sutton although I still believe Hurns would be the number one receiver at least this season. Hurns value would take a slight hit if the Cowboys get one of these guys. Hurns is a mid to late round target in Fantasy. Terrance Williams is and will stay a late round flier or undrafted.
Jacksonville Jaguars- Marquis Lee, Donte Moncrief
The Jags let Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns walk in Free agency and brought in Donte Moncrief. Donte Moncrief and Marquis Lee are both young and the main staples in the passing game at the moment. Moncrief has shown great ability as well as the ability to find the endzone. If he can find chemistry early with Bortles he may be able to snag number one type targets. My belief is though the Jags will target a WR early which will muddy the waters some and take targets away from both players. The rookie coming in could have the potential to make a mid to late round Fantasy impact with there not being a true Number one at least not at the moment. Moncrief is a mid to late round pick right now depending on who lands there. Lee would be a late round pick.
Indianapolis Colts- T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant
Losing the stable running game with Gore signing elsewhere and Moncrief going to the Jags leaves holes in the Colts offensive attack. Those wholes need to be filled by someone and if they take any of these top prospects he could jump in and secure the number two role over Grant. T.Y. Will attract the most attention on this offense which might leave the number two reciever with some nice opportunities. If Luck makes it back healthy for the season this could be the perfect situation for any of these Rookie Recievers. T.Y. May actually be helped with someone coming in on the other side to take a little attention away.
Rookie Receivers tend to have a harder time than running backs making an impact Fantasy wise in year one. It’s not unheard of so why not take a flyer or two late in the draft on one of two of these guys. Keep a close eye on where they get drafted and what type of situation they will be in entering the season. Waiting until they start performing and become one of the top waiver targets is a lot times too late. Dynasty leagues these guys will all be drafted high in the rookie draft.
I cannot wait for Thursday to see where all these guys end up. Some will be drafted into great situations while others will be not so fortunate. For sure a few of these guys will be awesome NFL players and hopefully high level Fantasy players for years to come. Enjoy the draft and check back for part 2 once we know where all these players have been drafted.
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