Now that the NFL Draft is over my attention turns to another one of my favorite hobbies, fantasy football. I’ll rank only the rookies on how I’d take them in a fantasy football draft. Please note that this is only for the upcoming season and not in a dynasty fantasy football league format. As the season nears I’ll discuss what rounds I’d take certain players, but let’s just start with the rankings first.
Robert Griffin III: I think Luck will have the better NFL career, but if we are talking about just this year I have to rank RGIII first. He has more weapons at his disposal to start with and his ability to run makes him that much more valuable.
Andrew Luck: Luck is just a shade below Griffin III in terms of fantasy ability this season. Luck has a lot of the same intangibles that make RGIII dangerous, but Luck isn’t going to have any run packages made for him. I wouldn’t take either as my #1 QB this season, but by the mid-point of the season they will be starters on many fantasy teams.
Ryan Tannehill: After Luck and RGIII I wouldn’t take any rookie QB for anything other than my 3rd QB. Tannehill has a lot of talent, and in 2-3 years I’ll worry about the Bills having to play him. That said, the best thing the Dolphins can do for Tannehill is hand him the clipboard and allow him one year on the bench behind Matt Moore.
Brandon Weeden: I personally wouldn’t draft him at all this year, but the Browns eventually will get him some weapons. If you are out of your mind and draft Colt McCoy, embrace your insanity and also take Weeden in the last round or two.
Trent Richardson: The only Cleveland Browns player you can draft somewhat early without getting laughed at. Richardson is the best rookie RB since Adrian Peterson and he’ll post some big numbers once he gets comfortable. I’d feel comfortable having him as my number 2 RB for the second half of the year. He is the only rookie running back I expect to make a big impact this season.
Doug Martin: At some point this season Doug Martin is going to overtake Legarrette Blount. I like Blount and see him being a solid RB in this league, but Tampa Bay is smitten with Martin (and rightfully so). Martin will be starting by the mid-point of the season. I see him as a 4th RB at the start of the season though, but that could certainly change.
David Wilson: He’ll share carries with Ahmad Bradshaw, but Bradshaw’s foot injury still concerns the Giants. Don’t be surprised if at some point Wilson takes over as the starting RB due to a Bradshaw injury.
Isaiah Pead: I went back and forth with Pead and LaMichael James here. Both are talented runners on teams behind veteran RBs. My final basis came down to who I thought would miss more time (Steven Jackson as opposed to Frank Gore). In my opinion this was a very weak draft class for the RB position so I wouldn’t take Pead unless you’re drafting him as injury insurance for Steven Jackson.
Michael Floyd: Both Floyd and Blackmon are going to teams where there are question marks at QB. That being said, Floyd found himself in a better situation due to who he is lined up with. Michael Floyd has the best chance to be instantly successful since he has Larry Fitzgerald on the other side of the field. Fitzgerald will attract double-teams and Kolb or Skelton should be able to find Michael Floyd on the other side of the field. Floyd is someone I consider to be a low number 2 WR in fantasy football.
Justin Blackmon: Blaine Gabbert was by far the worst of the starting NFL rookie quarterbacks last year, but he has to play better this year, right? Gabbert has Jones-Drew, Laurent Robinson, Mike Thomas, Lee Evans, Mercedes Lewis, and now Justin Blackmon. Blackmon is the clear number 1 WR on the Jaguars, but Robinson is going to take some pressure off of him as will the other players mentioned above. Blackmon is a great option for a number 3 WR this season. There will be games where he’ll put up big numbers, but like all rookies he’ll also have his fair share of poor games.
Brian Quick: Quick is on a team that is still 2-3 years away from being competitors but he’ll be a starter for the Rams. Sam Bradford is going to be a good NFL QB and I think he’ll prove that this year. That said, the Rams will be behind late in many games and look for Quick to get a lot of garbage receptions, yards, and touchdowns in these situations. This is someone who I think will be a late round steal in fantasy drafts.
Alshon Jeffery: If I knew for sure that Jeffery would be the 2nd WR for the Bears at the start of the season, I’d rank him second on this list. Jeffery has better QB options than Floyd,Blackmon, and Quick in Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall will take a lot of pressure off of him. Jeffery could have the best career of all of the rookie WRs if he stays motivated and in shape.
Coby Fleener: Fleener is the only highly ranked TE in this draft class so he would have been first regardless of who drafted him. That said, being drafted by the Colts makes his value sky-rocket that much more. Andrew Luck already has great chemistry with Fleener and Coby will be his safety valve in the NFL. I see him as a low 1st TE option.
LaDarius Green: Green gets to learn from Antonio Gates which will help speed up his transition to the NFL greatly. Throw in the fact that the Chargers are a pass-first team and Green is an intriguing TE option. Much like RB, the tight end position was weak this year. Take Green as injury insurance for Antonio Gates very late. Gates is still a very talented TE, but injuries have slowed him down a bit.
Dwayne Allen: The second tight end drafted by the Colts make the list. He’s not nearly as talented as Fleener, but he’ll get a good amount of playing time and will be another check down option for Andrew Luck. He’ll go undrafted in fantasy football drafts, but keep an eye on him if Fleener goes down or if he produces early for the offensively limited Indianapolis Colts.
Michael Egnew: Egnew will be the #2 TE behind Fasano, but he’ll still be on the field a lot this year. The Dolphins don’t have much in WR talent or depth so someone will have to catch balls from Matt Moore or Tannehill. Egnew will be a waiver wire guy who you can get if something happens to Fasano.
I love a good debate, so please feel free to comment and give your thoughts. Next week I’ll rank players in terms of defensive position. Although most online formats only offer a team defense option, many leagues do have you draft DL, LB, and DBs.