- The Redskins never came close to dealing quarterback Kirk Cousins and he will remain RG3’s primary backup. For dynasty purposes, that’s all he’s good for as its highly unlikely he ever gets a starting job.
- After potentially starting the season atop the depth chart at receiver, Stedman Bailey will be suspended the first four games for a performance enhancing substance. The Rams didn’t start any receivers this week so Bailey had a good shot at getting significant playing time. However, this will severely handicap that and diminish any real dynasty value.
- Don’t get too excited about Levine Toilolo as the Falcons are expected to give more targets to Harry Douglas as they update their offense. Douglas will have some value but not nearly as much as last year when Julio Jones and Roddy White were injured.
- Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor will start the last game of the season. Pryor will be playing for his job in 2014 as it’s expected that coach Dennis Allen won’t be back.
- The Dolphins have under utilized the run this year causing the dynasty value of Lamar Miller to be a fraction of what it could be. If the Dolphins don’t make the playoffs, changes could be coming, any of which should be good for Miller.
- The Vikings will start Matt Cassel in Week 17. It should be the swan song for all Minnesota quarterbacks as they desperately need a long-term solution. They’re expected to take one high in the 2014 draft.
- Rams rookie receiver Stedman Bailey had his best game of the year, leading the team in targets, catches and yards. He also ran one in. He’ll be a hot commodity heading in to 2014.
- The Rams pounded the ball with Zac Stacy, giving him the ball 33 times for 104 yards, and a touchdown. Stacy will be an intriguing RB2 dynasty prospect heading in to 2014 and the Rams have shown they’re committed.
- Rams rookie receiver Stedman Bailey led the team in targets and catches with three out of five targets for 44 yards. He also had a 27 yard touchdown run. It wasn’t much but Bailey should be monitored in dynasty circles.
- Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson had five catches for 98 yards. Jackson is at 1,000 yards again with a 15+ YPC. Should Tampa draft a quarterback in the draft, Jackson’s stock will improve.
- Rams lineman Robert Quinn led the defense with three more sacks. He now has a league-leading 18 on the year and is establishing himself as the top-rated lineman in dynasty leagues.
- Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David had 11 more tackles, giving him 137 for the year. He also added a fumble recovery. David is solidifying himself as a Tier 1 LB in dynasty heading in to 2014.
We kicked off the series looking at the potential first round of rookies drafted in dynasty leagues here. Next, we look at the next set of picks in a 12-team, PPR league.
Round 2, Pick 1 – WR-Cordarelle Patterson (MIN) – In his first NFL game, first round pick Patterson exhibited exactly what scouts were drooling over at the draft which was his play-making ability. He totaled 104 yards and had a beautiful 50-yard catch after catching the crease. Patterson is still extremely raw but talent will win out over time in dynasty leagues. The only draw back will continue to be Christian Ponder and the quarterback situation in Minnesota. Not to mention, the current NFL MVP dominates the playbook (as he should). Patterson won’t be in a position to get big numbers early in his career but he’s got the talent to do some special things.
Round 2, Pick 2 – WR-Aaron Dobson (NE) – As with fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, the opportunity for Aaron Dobson is the better than any other in the league. Massive turnover has opened up the opportunity for anyone to be the starting X receiver. He’s played well and is making plays in camp but he’s also getting into shoving matches and not exactly setting the world on fire in-game action. He’ll move on from that but he may not be able to beat out Thompkins for first crack. The talent is there, and the competition is bare, so Dobson is an excellent value pick in the second. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Tom Brady lobbing passes either.
Round 2, Pick 3 – TE-Travis Kelce (KC) – The first pick of the third round, Kelce is a physical specimen at the tight end position at 6′ 5″ and 260 pounds. He’s also a great receiver and athletic and can block. His only major downfall was character concerns. He was suspended the whole 2010 season which, in this day and age of leniency, means he majorly messed up. The hope is he’s moved on since then and seemingly has since he hasn’t had any issues since. Looking at his situation, he’s got a pass-happy coach who has committed to throwing more. Alex Smith will have the first shot of getting Kelce the ball. Smith didn’t have a problem getting Vernon Davis the ball so there is hope. He’ll have to battle Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki for snaps but his sheer athleticism should take care of that. Kansas City does plan to line him up in a variety of positions. Giddy up.
Round 2, Pick 4 -QB-Geno Smith (NYJ) – Drafted in the second round, Smith was drafted to inject some life into the abysmal Jets offense. Originally graded to be the first quarterback taken, Smith slid to the second after several off-field issues regarding agents and attitude. But the football skills are all there and Smith looks like the real deal. With little competition ahead of him (see: Sanchez, Mark), Smith has a golden opportunity to join E.J. Manuel as the only starting rookie quarterbacks. He did trip a little leading up to his first pre-season game but turned in a solid performance. The supporting cast is a different story. With zero legitimate targets to throw to, it’s hard to imagine Smith putting up even decent numbers his first year. The hope is he takes his rookie year to sort things out and be ready to utilize whatever new targets the Jets bring in. He’s a taxi-squad candidate at this point.
Round 2, Pick 5 -WR-Robert Woods (BUF) – Second rounder Woods is already stated to start in Buffalo. Like Spider-Man, that can be a gift and curse. Woods was the most NFL-ready coming in to the draft and has impressed so far in camp. He’s a part of the renaissance in Buffalo with rookie E.J. Manuel quarterbacking. But he’ll be tied to Manuel’s growing pains which will prohibit huge numbers from any Buffalo receiver for the foreseeable future. Not huge upside but has the chance to be a steady contributor for years to come.
Round 2, Pick 6 – WR-Keenan Allen (SD) – Unlike Robert Woods, Allen is a project. Drafted in the third round, the skill is there as he set the Cal record for receptions. The injury bug also has afforded Allen the opportunity to use those skills early on. However, Allen has had an up-and-down camp so far and everyone agrees that Allen has ways to go. Originally projected as a first round pick, he’s not immune from injuries either after missing the last couple games of his college career. The path is certainly clear for Allen to take over but it’ll remain to be seen if he can stay healthy.
Round 2, Pick 7 – RB-Marcus Lattimore (SF) – The ultimate taxi squad player in dynasty drafts this year, Lattimore was a legit first round talent before shredding both knees in college. Drafted in the 4th round, neither fantasy owners or San Francisco has any hope that he’ll contribute this year as he hopes to follow in the foot steps of fellow knee-injury victims Willis McGahee and, you guessed it, Frank Gore. He enters a delicious situation with Gore’s contract ballooning to $6.5 million in 2014 (at age 31), Kendall Hunter with just 184 carrie to his name, and LaMichael James as nothing more than a passing situation back. With San Francisco’s power running scheme, Lattimore is sure to be in the mix. Draft him and stash him.
Round 2, Pick 8 – TE-Zach Sudfeld (NE) – Another undrafted rookie for New England, Sudfeld has rapidly found himself playing with the first string unit. At 6′ 7″ and 255 pounds, he’s being compared to that other New England tight end (who’s still on the team) and could get work as the injures dictate. Jake Ballard was originally supposed to take over Aaron Hernandez’s production but that now appears to go to Sudfeld, who’s catching everything in sight. He’s a huge unknown but New England seems to trust him. Don’t be afraid to draft him in the second round and look like a genius.
Round 2, Pick 9 – RB-Johnathan Franklin (GB) – Franklin steps into an ideal situation for a pass-catching back. The Green Bay offense, and Aaron Rodgers in particular, will continue to pass the ball despite the presence of Eddie Lacy. He won’t be an every down back but if Franklin can establish himself as a passing-down back, he could be in for a bunch of catches. Of course, he’ll have to shore up his pass protection to even see the field. Assuming he can work those issues out, he’ll be an intriguing change of pace back.
Round 2, Pick 10 – WR-Stedman Bailey (STL) – While Bailey only sits at #4 on the depth chart, he’s had a good camp so far. St. Louis claims to be opening up the offense more which would mean more opportunities to spread the wealth. Of course, it remains to be seen if Sam Bradford can handle that load. If so, Bailey stands to gain in the long-term. If not, Bailey wouldn’t be worth a taxi squad spot.
Round 2, Pick 11 – QB-Tyler Bray (KC) – Signed as an undrafted free agent, Bray already has the strongest arm in Kansas City camp (which isn’t saying a whole lot). His lack of maturity was what set him back in the draft but he seems to have overcome those. Setting behind Alex Smith and Chase Daniel, Bray doesn’t have a clear shot to starters minutes but could develop into a tradable asset. He’s not a bad pick to stash on taxi squads especially with other rookie quarterbacks struggling.
Round 2, Pick 12 – WR-Kenny Stills (NO) – Drafted in the fifth round, there was not clear spot for Stills until Joe Morgan went down with an injury and smaller injuries allowed him to play with the first string. Now entrenched as the 3rd down receiver, Stills has put together a quietly good camp and could receive considerable attention from Drew Brees and co. He should man the slot between Marques Colston and Lance Moore. If Sean Payton works his magic upon his return, they’ll be plenty of targets to go around including ones to Stills.
Part three of our look at dynasty rookie wide receivers includes those drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. These would be true sleepers in any format.
- Terrance Williams (DAL) – Drafted 74th overall out of Baylor, Williams was expected to compete for the third receiver position in Dallas. At 6′ 2″ and 208 pounds, Williams was billed as a Mike Wallace-type vertical threat. However, Williams has had issues doing the most basic receiving duties like, you know, receiving. Williams seems to be another in the revolving door of third receivers the Cowboys have had over the years. He’s a late round prospect in dynasty leagues and a must-own for any Miles Austin owners, even if it’s for the taxi squad. But don’t spend too high of a pick.
- Keenan Allen (SD) – Allen was drafted two picks after Williams at 76 to San Diego. Allen was Cal’s all-time leading receiver after just three seasons. He excels in route running and receiving but ran a disappointing 4.7 before the draft. However, the Chargers think it should have been closer to a 4.5 since Allen was coming off a PCL tear. Even so, he currently sits 4th on the Chargers depth chart behind Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd, and Vincent Brown. Plus, Philip Rivers continues to trend downwards with less zip on his ball than ever before. His talent outweighs his situation so there is hope. Allen currently sits at 46 in dynasty rankings.
- Marquise Goodwin (BUF) – Drafted two picks after Allen, Goodwin went 78th to Buffalo out of Texas. With a 4.27 40-time, Goodwin set the third fastest 40-time since the combine went digital in1999. Hopefully, his 5′ 9″ stature doesn’t prevent the Bills from using him on the outside where he, literally, had to slow down on a couple deep bombs. As with the other Bills position players, their long-term success will hinge on E.J. Manual. Hopefully, Manual will learn to get Goodwin the ball. He’s the first prospect from this list that I can get excited about.
- Markus Wheaton (PIT) – Drafted 79th by Pittsburgh, Wheaton was brought in to presumably, be groomed for Mike Wallace’s old spot. According to former scout Daniel Jeremiah, Wheaton “fits the new mold they’ve got there, guys who can win one-on-ones with quickness, but he’s also got big-play ability with top speed and feisty toughness.” Wheaton enters a stable quarterback situation, a clear path to the #3 receiving spot immediately and an offense coaching staff responsible for 3,700 passing yards last year. Hopefully Wheaton can carve out a piece of that early and often.
- Stedman Bailey (STL) – Drafted 92nd overall by the Rams, Bailey is buried behind Brian Quick, Chris Givens, and West Virginia teammate Tavon Austin, even though Bailey led the Mountaineers in receiving yards and had an amazing 25 touchdowns. Pre-combine he was reported to look impressive with good routes and catching everything in sight. He only slipped thanks to sub-par 40 times and other combine stats. Bailey is at the mercy of Brian Schottenheimer’s offense but would be a great pick on most other teams with less competition. As it is, he’s worth nothing more than a taxi squad pick at this point.