With the NLF draft now behind us, let’s take a look at the offensive weapons and what type of impact we can expect in 2017 and beyond.
None of them should be drafted in your typical redraft leagues. At this moment in time probably not even two quarterback formats. I really don’t like any of them, even from a keeper or dynasty format.
For 2017, the arrival of Deshaun Watson in Houston probably effects DeAndre Hopkins’ value the most if/when he starts games this year.
Overall, I think I would flip a coin between Watson and Patrick Mahomes for the top quarterback and would lean Watson because of the path to the starting job.
I really don’t have any interest in the top quarterback off the board, Mitchell Trubisky. There are not many weapons at his disposal, and the Bears used money on Glennon and picks to move up and get Trubisky, so no telling when the help might come.
Redraft: Watson, Mahomes, Trubisky
Dynasty: Mahomes, Watson, Trubisky
Leonard Fornette and Christian McCaffrey were the top two running backs to go so they will generate the most interest.
Fournette is extremely talented and there should be a ton of excitement for him. I love the player, but I have a feeling I will not own a single Fournette share this year. He will become the lead back in Jacksonville, but I would still be surprise to see him average more than 15-18 touches per game.
Remember this team is still really bad. They are not going to be running out the clock often, and even with the fourth overall pick in the backfield I don’t think he gets all the carries.
An early peek at rankings has Fournette as top-16 running back. I will pass all day long at that price.
I like the do it all McCaffrey – players in his mold don’t come off the field a ton. Jonathan Stewart will be there to split carries, but I think both backs will be on the field together a lot this season whether that is in the backfield or with one of them split out wide. Stewart’s injury history also plays into McCaffrey’s favor.
In a dynasty format I want Fournette because I think he has top-5 running back upside in his future. McCaffrey isn’t a bad fall back if Fournette gets snagged before your pick.
RB Day 2
I like the versatility of Dalvin Cook and he should be able to get some run as a versatile back in a 1-2 punch with Latavius Murray. The downside is the line is still terrible. He will have trouble finding running room and will be splitting carries. Any hope you had in a Latavius Murray breakout can be forgotten now that he won’t rule the backfield.
The controversial pick of the draft Joe Mixon, for fantasy purposes falls into a great spot with Hill underperforming and Bernard coming off an injury. The talent is there, and he should have an opportunity.
Alvin Kamara falls into a loaded backfield with Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram already in New Orleans. He is a big play threat that will break big plays and probably find himself on waiver wire lists at points this season but it wont be worth the add.
I wish the Chiefs didn’t draft Kareem Hunt as I would like to see Ware get another chance in the backfield. I think Hunt is going to be more a pain to fantasy owners than an asset.
I like D’Onta Foreman landing with the Texans. After last season it really seems like Lamar Miller isn’t a back that can handle a big workload. For someone at this point in the draft, he could handle 10 touches a week as he splits with Miller and is a nice handcuff option.
James Conner will probably step in as a handcuff to Le’Veon Bell. It is a nice story, but I don’t love Conner’s NFL potential as much as others. I don’t think he can takeover the backfield if/when Bell leaves for free agency.
Redraft and Dynasty: Fournette, McCaffrey, Mixon, Cook, Foreman, Conner, Kamara
Corey Davis was the number one receiver off the board, but like Fournette, feels like a player I will not own because someone will be all over the rookie upside hype and draft him rounds earlier than I want to.
I think the Titans still want to run first. Davis should be able to step in as the number one receiver in the offense. I like his future potential as a player, and I like it even more that he found himself paired up with Marcus Mariota for years to come. I think his upside for this year is to finish around 25-30 among receivers, but the rookie downside is still there.
With the Chargers having so many other needs I am a little surprised they went with Mike Williams. I am a Tyrell Williams fan and Keenan Allen is still on the roster. Philip Rivers will probably become my favorite late round quarterback option with this pick as he now has Allen, Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, and Antonio Gates as pass catching weapons.
For Mike Williams himself, I don’t love the fantasy potential for 2017. Too many mouths to feed right now, but with Allen and the other Williams possibly on the way out, Mike could be the top option in 2018.
The Bengals kind of did the same thing the Chargers did in drafting a player, Joe Ross, over a need. I can’t fault it. I really think that is the way to go most times. Like Rivers Dalton becomes a really interesting option late. With AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, Tyler Eifert, and now John Ross there are a ton of weapons, and don’t forget Giovani Bernard in the backfield.
I also don’t like Ross much for 2017 potential, and don’t think the Bengals offense can support that many pass catching options.
Curtis Samuel will be an interesting option for redraft, but mostly as a boom or bust. I think he could be a Tavon Austin type for this year. At the end of the year the points might be decent, but you will never know when to start him. The future should be, hopefully, better than what Austin is. I wouldn’t draft him, but I know someone will.
WR Day 2
JuJu Smith-Schuster is a nice dynasty grab, but for 2017 I don’t really have any interest. There is a little risk too as Roethlisberger seems year-to-year at this point so we don’t know who will be throwing him the ball in a year or two.
Cooper Kupp landed in a nice spot in terms of competition for targets as the Rams don’t have much to stop him from getting the ball, I am just not in love with the player. With that offense and his potential role, I don’t see any 2017 upside.
ArDarius Stewart could have some late season redraft appeal as the Jets look to the future. I can’t see him leaping the depth chart and becoming a factor early on, even with Eric Decker coming off multiple surgeries.
If it was 2013 and Peyton Manning was still in his better years I would be interested in Carlos Henderson, but with an unsure quarterback situation that can’t keep three receivers viable. he is an easy redraft ignore. For dynasty I do like his potential to do something when Sanders or Thomas is off the roster.
I am going to try to not be biased about the former Penn Starter Chris Godwin, but I love where he fell. Like many of the day-two picks he can be ignored. I like him a lot in keeper and dynasty because I am not a believer in DeSean Jackson having much left in the tank.
Redraft: Davis, Williams, Ross, Samuel, Kupp, Godwin, Smith-Schuster, Stewart
Dynasty: Davis, Williams, Ross, Samuel, Godwin, Smith-Stewart, Kupp, Stewart
Overall I am just going to say I want no rookie tight ends in redraft. It rarely turns into immediate fantasy value.
If I was going to invest in any of the tight ends it would be O.J. Howard based on how well Cameron Brate did last year in the offense. Howard should be able to do enough to get random weeks where he is a starting caliber tight end, but not enough to make him a starter.
For fantasy purposes I like Evan Engram more than David Njoku in terms of 2017 and the future. Engram is built more like a receiver, and I can’t see him being an inline blocking tight end very often. Njoku very well could be the better overall player, but he goes to Cleveland, which is like a black hole for skill position players and still doesn’t have a tight end.
Njoku might have the higher upside if everything works out, but I don’t want to bank on a team finding a quarterback.
Redraft and Dynasty: Howard, Engram, Njoku