By: Aaron Schillinger @aaron_schill
With the first day of the NFL draft under our belts, let’s take a look at some of the offensive implications that come from round 1. Many of the picks like Leonard Fournette and Corey Davis shouldn’t really be a surprise to Fantasy owners, but there are definitely some changes to ADP and Rankings after day 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears
Have the Bears found their answer at QB since the departure of Jay Cutler? Or were Bears fans out there absolutely appalled at the haul the Bears gave up for Mitch? The 2017 3rd overall pick, the Bears 3rd and 4th round picks, and a 3rd rounder in 2018. Wow. WRs Cameron Meredith and Kevin White are still major question marks heading into 2017. Trubisky was only the starter for one season at North Carolina, so his lack of experience is definitely in question. Not to mention, at Gruden’s QB Camp, Mitch didn’t know what a hard count was.
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
A project QB in the first round for the Chiefs? Patrick Mahomes will be a very interesting QB to watch over the next few years. With Alex Smith as the clear start in KC, Mahomes will have an opportunity to learn the offense and form connections with the team as he is likely mentored by Alex Smith. Mahomes has a massive arm that he has shown off at Texas Tech, he is very athletic, and if he can develop to the NFL style of play, could be a very intriguing option for KC and Fantasy owners in the future.
Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
After landing in Houston, Watson is going to be the number one QB in my rookie rankings heading into 2017. There couldn’t have been a better spot for him to land. With the obvious struggles of Texans QBs in 2016, and the hopes of Tony Romo slinging the ball to DeAndre Hopkins long gone, insert Deshaun Watson here. After showing up against Alabama in the National Championship, Watson has shown that he can thrive in the spotlight. Watson can run with some serious physicality, has a questionable passing technique, and was a clear leader with Clemson.
Watson has proven to be a hard working QB that just landed a starting role with Nuk, Will Fuller, and Braxton Miller to throw to. If you need a franchise QB in your Dynasty league, Watson is the guy that should go first QB off the board.
Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars
Leonard Fournette. There isn’t much to say about this guy, at this point. After spending the majority of the off season as the highest drafted Rookie, overall, not just for RBs; Fournette lands in what is likely to be a beautiful landing spot Fantasy-wise. Prior to a disappointing 2016 season from TJ Yeldon, Fantasy owners were buying in to this guy as the Jags RB for the foreseeable future. Let’s just say, Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon won’t exactly be solid Fantasy options moving forward. As we all now, RBs can take a crap on us Fantasy owners, so if you’re desperate or rebuilding, now is the time to go buy Yeldon dirt cheap.
Fournette is likely to remain as the number one player off the board for Rookie drafts, and rightfully so. Simply put, this guy is a beast. With all of the Adrian Peterson comparisons we’ve heard this off-season, if you need a RB and have that oh so coveted 1.01 in your Rookie drafts, I’d saying using it on Fournette is clearly your best bet.
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
As a Fantasy owner, McCaffrey to the Panthers isn’t exactly ideal to me. At first glance, Jonathon Stewart, Fozzy Whittaker, and Cameron Artis-Payne are clearly going to become irrelevant. Carolina isn’t exactly a pass friendly offense to the RB position. Let’s not forget, Carolina used a first round pick on Stewart back in 2008, (13th overall), and he’s been one of those non-glamorous fantasy options. I don’t see McCaffrey getting a 3-down role in this offense, rather a pass catcher RB role, and he was a beast in the return game at Stanford.
Regardless of your thoughts on him being able to sustain a large role, McCaffrey definitely could’ve landed in a better spot. Having said that, he should still be one of the top RBs off the board, barring a beautiful landing spot for Cook or Mixon in the next couple days of the draft. Between his patience, pass-catching, and agility, McCaffrey is still in a great spot to potentially take that lead RB role, I just don’t see a bell-cow type of role developing in Carolina. This all remains to be seen, and don’t be afraid to grab him with an early pick in your Rookie drafts.
Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans
This couldn’t have been a better landing spot for the highly growing Corey Davis hype-train. He has held down the spot as the consensus top WR in this class, (according to ADP), and now he lands in a beautiful spot with Marcus Mariota to feed him. Davis was already my 1.01 for overall Rookie rankings during this off-season, and landing in Tennessee couldn’t have been better. If you need a WR, Corey Davis is absolutely the guy I’m using that 1.01 draft pick on.
Mike Williams – Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams lands in a very interesting spot in this draft, and honestly I didn’t expect this to happen at all. Tyrell Williams resurgence, Keenan Allen’s return, Travis Benjamin as a deep threat, and the young TE Hunter Henry as a Redzone threat, I don’t love this landing spot for Williams. Let’s be honest though, Philip Rivers has always been a gun-slinger and Williams will definitely have a good chance to be a solid weapon and Fantasy option. Williams creates great separation, he’s physical, and should be a beast in the Redzone.
The only knock I have on Williams is his Guru score. If you’ve checked out http://ffdynasty260.com/the-top-12-wrs-to-target-for-your-2017-rookie-draft/, you’ll know that Williams didn’t even crack the top 12 for his Guruscore. Take this with a grain of salt, but it is clear that a majority of the analysts out there have Williams as a top two, if not the number one WR in this rookie class.
John Ross – Cincinnati Bengals
Again, this is a spot that I really didn’t expect to see John Ross land at. It seemed like every other mock draft out there had Ross going to the Ravens, but the Bengals make for a very interesting spot for John Ross. For the guys out there saying Ross is “just a burner” or that he’s over drafted due to his crazy speed he showed off in the 40, Ross has proven more than that in his time at the University of Washington. He has shown some excellent route running abilities, and ranked inside the top 12 based on our Guruscore.
One immediate question here is can Andy Dalton sustain AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, Tyler Boyd, and now John Ross? Dalton’s pass attempt numbers in 2016 were up 68% from 2015, and is up for two years straight now. Having said that, Cincinnati has historically not been a team that supports two WRs. My final issue with John Ross is that he is fairly undersized and has a history of knee and shoulder problems, I wouldn’t be using a top five pick for Ross, but it is likely that someone in your leagues will.
OJ Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After falling to 19th overall in this draft, OJ Howard goes from the second overall TE in my rankings, to the number one TE. Previouly it was David Njoku, but they were extremely close, and the edge went to Njoku for being younger. OJ is an excellent blocker as well as pass catcher. This guy is a big body TE who had a ridiculous combine, showing off his athleticism, and should be able to thrive across the middle of the field with Jameis Winston.
Howard couldn’t have found a better landing spot than Tampa Bay. For those of you in TE premium leagues, don’t be surprised when Howard gets taken inside the top 4-8 range. For more traditional and PPR leagues, he should still go in the top 10, and the first TE off the board.
Evan Engram – New York Giants
Even Engram landing with the New York Giants is not exactly ideal, but this guy runs routes like a WR and is an excellent blocker. He should get his share of targets and thrive regardless. With the addition of Brandon Marshall, this offense is going to be tough to determine who to start week in and week out, but adding Engram means another big body for Eli Manning to look for in the Redzone.
David Njoku – Cleveland Browns
David Njoku goes down from my top TEs for this class of Rookies, after landing with in Cleveland. This guy is an athletic freak and is very young, but landing on the Browns is arguably the worst thing that could’ve happened to him for Fantasy owners. Yes, we’ve seen Cleveland utilize a TE with Gary Barnidge of late, but with the obvious QB concerns and overall weak offense of the Browns, this is a major hit to Njoku for Fantasy owners. Dynasty owners can still take him or Evan Engram after OJ Howard, but the upside is clearly going to be limited in Cleveland.