- In the ongoing Justin Blackmon saga, it appears he could be back with the Jaguars as soon as this year. However, only keep Blackmon if you have a deep bench and/or taxi squads.
- The talk is growing around Charles Sims in Tampa. Now there’s talk he could get some early work as well to spell Doug Martin. Sims is clearly in the second-tier or rookie running backs.
- Take this with a grain of salt but there’s also talk of Christine Michael getting work earlier than expected in 2014. His value may be a tad lower than it was entering last year but it won’t be for long.
It’s been a few weeks since the NFL draft and OTA’s are in full swing. Some rookies have made a big impression so far while others have yet to even see the field. However, with about three months until the season starts it’s time to start looking at where to take your rookies.
Below is the second edition of the Dynasty Fantasy Football Central, mock draft:
The rules are:
- Two rounds
- PPR (1.0 point per reception)
- Four points per passing touchdown
We’ll look at where these players were taken in our initial, IDP draft for some comparisons.
1st Overall Pick – Sammy Watkins, WR – Buffalo Bills (Previous position: 1st overall) – Not much has changed on the Watkins front. Barring some positional needs in your draft, Watkins should be going first overall. His combination of ability and size are unmatched and his value shouldn’t be hindered by the quarterback position. Either Manual will progress now or Watkins can look for another quarterback later.
2nd Overall Pick – Mike Evans, WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous position: 2nd overall) – Evans ran in to a tough situation in Tampa where he’s surrounded by above average players at every skill position: Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, even fellow rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins. There’s also concern that Tampa will be a run-heavy team, taking away chances from Evans. But his talent is too tough to ignore at this point.
3rd Overall Pick – Bishop Sankey, RB – Tennessee Titans (Previous position: 14th overall) – The first running back off the board, Sankey has come a long way since our first mock draft. Sankey is widely expected to be the only rookie starting in Week One due to no competition in Tennessee. Shonn Greene is recovering from knee surgery and Dexter McCluster is exclusively a receiving back. Jake Locker is his quarterback, for now, but that should change next year which can only improve his situation.
4th Overall Pick – Brandin Cooks, WR – New Orleans Saints (Previous position: 7th overall) – The Saints traded up for Cooks and plan to use him primarily in the slot. With Lance Moore and Darren Sproles gone, there’s a lot of targets to go around. Cooks is also only 20 which bodes well for his dynasty value. He’s a short, dynamo that will burn the turf in New Orleans.
5th Overall Pick – Eric Ebron, TE – Detroit Lions (Previous position: 3rd overall) – The first tight end off the board, Ebron has loads of talent but enters a crowded lineup. Not only will he compete for targets with Calvin Johnson but the Lions signed Golden Tate, re-signed tight end Brandon Pettigrew and have emerging tight end Joseph Fauria. In short, Ebron might struggle the first year but the situation should shake itself out by 2015. If Ebron can address the slight concern some have about his hands, he could be a top-tier tight end.
6th Overall Pick – Jordan Matthews, WR – Philadelphia Eagles (Previous position: 6th overall) – Picked exactly where he was last time and with good reason. Matthews enters a high-octane offense where he’s expected to immediately man the slot. Beyond this year, there’s no guarantee Jeremy Maclin will be back and Riley Cooper is an average talent. With Nick Foles and Chip Kelly around, Matthews should shine.
7th Overall Pick – Odell Beckham, Jr., WR – New York Giants (Previous position: 9th overall) – The third receiver taken in the NFL draft, ODB is the fifth receiver taken in this mock draft. Pro-ready, he steps in to the starting lineup in New York where the Giants offense is expected to go pass heavy. There is little competition for targets opposite Victor Cruz and Beckham should contribute right away.
8th Overall Pick – Marqise Lee, WR – Jacksonville Jaguars (Previous position: 11th overall) – Lee moves up a few spots from the last draft and should top out about here. He has good measurables but also gets points for getting the start early. He’s manning Justin Blackmon’s old spot on the outside where it was a productive spot despite shaky quarterback play. Lee isn’t as talented as Blackmon but should stay on the field.
9th Overall Pick – Jace Amaro, TE – New York Jets (Previous position: 10th overall) – Amaro will have the best chance of any rookie tight end to contribute early. With an improved offense in New York, Amaro could greatly benefit and provide some impact himself. Strictly a ‘move’ tight end, he will have to work on his blocking to become a truly top-end tight end in dynasty leagues. But he is quite the receiver and should have the stats to show for it.
10th Overall Pick – Kelvin Benjamin, WR – Carolina Panthers – (Previous position: 15th overall) – Perhaps the most polarizing pick in rookie drafts, Benjamin has the makings of a WR1 but could just as easily be a bust. He does have a great quarterback to be on the receiving end of and will have plenty of targets his way. However, with little support surrounding him, it could be difficult for him to learn.
11th Overall Pick – Carlos Hyde, RB – San Francisco 49ers (Previous position: 8th overall) – Hyde was widely considered the top running back in the NFL draft and was scooped up by one of the top running teams in the league. The only thing holding Hyde’s dynasty value back is the crowded backfield in San Francisco. However, Frank Gore is a free agent after 2014, as is Kendall Hunter. Marcus Lattimore is not all the way back leaving the door wide open for Hyde.
12th Overall Pick – Jeremy Hill, RB – Cincinnati Bengals (Previous position: N/A) – Our first big jump is the current second stringer in Cincinnati. Hill is a pro-ready blocker which will probably lead to BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ being cut. He’ll be the inside / goal-line option to Giovani Bernard but won’t cut into Bernard’s value. If anything, he’s a high-floor, low-ceiling option at running back.
13th Overall Pick – Devonta Freeman, RB – Atlanta Falcons (Previous position: 24th overall) – Another big jump was Freeman by a whole round. Freeman has shown enough pass block/catch ability early on to warrant third down work in Atlanta. And with as much as Atlanta is expected to pass, that could be worth something. For dynasty purposes, the current starter, Steven Jackson, is on the wrong side of 30 and could be cut next year to save nearly $4 million in cap space. There’s little competition to challenge Freeman which should mean plenty of work.
14th Overall Pick – Johnny Manziel, QB – Cleveland Browns (Previous position: 17th overall) – The first quarterback taken in the mock draft, Manziel has a good shot to start early but could find himself short of a supporting cast. He’s got the arm and is mobile but his height brings in to question if he can take the beating. However, in an average quarterback class, Manziel could end up being the best of the bunch.
15th Overall Pick – Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Minnesota Vikings (Previous position: 12th overall) – Bridgewater drops a little bit but should still end up starting week one. He has a ton of talent surrounding him and Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator. However, the concerns that made Bridgewater drop in the NFL draft need to be avoided in training camp before you take him in your rookie draft.
16th Overall Pick – Davante Adams, WR – Green Bay Packers (Previous position: 20th overall) – Adams moves up a bit thanks to more optimism that he’ll be able to contribute to the pass-heavy Packer offense. He led all of college football in receptions and touchdowns thanks to great hands and leaping ability. That should translate to the NFL. He’s currently fourth on the depth chart but Jordy Nelson is a free agent after 2014.
17th Overall Pick – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous position: 4th overall) – ASJ joins a suddenly deep roster of skill position players. He’ll easily pass 2013 surprise Tim Wright but will still be behind Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and maybe even Doug Martin. However, his talent should win out in the end.
18th Overall Pick – Cody Latimer, WR – Denver Broncos (Previous position: 22nd overall) – Latimer is big and has great hands and enters one of the best passing offenses in the league. However, he’ll start no higher than fourth on the depth chart for 2014. For 2015, Wes Welker will most likely be gone while Emmanuel Sanders could easily be cut. If Latimer could be the new Eric Decker in Denver, Latimer could flirt with WR1 status.
19th Overall Pick – Blake Bortles, QB – Jacksonville Jaguars (Previous position: 16th overall) – Bortles drops a bit thanks to Jacksonville’s insistence on sitting Bortles for most, if not all, of 2014. Bortles offers the most upside of the quarterbacks in this year’s class but has a lot of learning to do. He’s also surrounded by talented receivers which will make it easy to catch up. If you have a deep roster or taxi squad, Bortles could be an option.
20th Overall Pick – Ka’Deem Carey, RB – Chicago Bears (Previous position: N/A) – Carey will start the season as Matt Forte’s primary backup and should be able to take some of the load off. He didn’t have a great combine but did show a lot of ability in college. With Forte getting a year older, a long-term solution is needed in Chicago.
21st Overall Pick – Charles Sims, RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous position: N/A) – Sims has good pass catching ability and could get some work in early in Tampa. With Doug Martin in Tampa, Sims will probably never be a featured back but will have value in PPR leagues. However, Tampa may not be as pass-heavy as others so his ceiling is limited.
22nd Overall Pick – Tre Mason, RB – St. Louis Rams (Previous position: 23rd overall) – Mason doesn’t have the size or ability to be a featured back but could provide some change-of-pace for incumbent Zac Stacy. He does appear to have more talent than other Rams running backs Isaiah Pead and Benny Cunningham but could still struggle to find carries as a rookie. His ceiling and floor are pretty limited.
23rd Overall Pick – Terrance West, RB – Cleveland Browns (Previous position: N/A) – West has drawn comparisons to Alfred Morris thanks to his small school background and cutback ability. He also doesn’t face much competition even with the signing of Ben Tate after the Browns traded up for him. Tate is only on a two-year deal and the Browns have a young, good offensive line. He’s an ideal late second round pick that could even make an impact this year.
24th Overall Pick – Donte Moncrief, WR – Indianapolis Colts (Previous position: N/A) – Moncrief has the tools and ability to be a top-end receiver and after an impressive combine, landed in Indianapolis. Moncrief will be a good pick at the end of the second round of rookie dynasty drafts with Reggie Wayne close to retirement and Hakeem Nicks playing on a ‘prove it’ deal.
- The Bucs have all but anointed rookie Charles Sims as their third down back, taking some of the load off Doug Martin. Martin will still be a RB1 but probably isn’t in the top-tier as many thought he could be.
- Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce isn’t participating in OTA’s and there’s currently no timetable for his return. Kelce could be a break out candidate if he ever sees the field. He’s still a buy for me.
- With the news of Vernon Davis holding out, at least initially, it should get more work in for second year tight end Vance McDonald. McDonald will be able to show what he has which could lead to more playing time.
- Eagles running back Darren Sproles should get 6-8 touches per game in the up-tempo Philadelphia offense. However, Sproles will be 31 and there’s a lot of touches to go around. His dynasty value is extremely low.
- Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is still learning the new offense in Houston. New coach Bill O’ Brien will probably utitlize the team’s strength which is in the running game. We don’t expect a big leap from Hopkins unless Andre Johnson is shipped out.
- Initial thoughts had Anthony Hitchens being first up to replace Dallas linebacker Sean Lee in the middle but now it could be second-year linebacker DeVonte Holloman. It’s a fluid situation and definitely one to monitor.