Thursday, May 28, 2015

2015 NFL Draft - Round 2 - Fantasy Impact - IDP (Part 2)

Today we'll analyze the fantasy football impact of the second half of the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.  This year there were whopping 20 defensive players selected, so we split the round into parts 1 and 2, this see part 1 here. OK, Let's find out what to expect from these young players.

Denzel Perryman  - LB - Chargers - The former Miami Hurricane was selected to be a big presence for San Diego in the middle of the field. Perryman, an explosive thumper, may struggle on passing downs in the pros, but could develop into a dominant run stopper.  We expect Perryman to be available until the 4th or 5th round of Dynasty Rookie Drafts. 

Ronald Darby  - CB - Bills - The Florida State alum has world class speed (4.38 40) and athleticism (41.5 inch vertical).  Darby has shown the instincts to play off coverage and the athleticism to play press as well.  Darby will not be a factor early in his career playing more of a nickel role, so expect him to be available on waivers in all leagues.

Nate Orchard  - DE/LB - Browns - Cleveland decided to roll the dice on the 6'3", 250 pound Orchard in the middle of the 2nd round. Orchard could be a star pass rusher, but is below average against the run.  If he can develop some more counter moves, he could be a steal in this draft. If not, he may be nothing more than a situational pass rusher. As a defensive lineman he has value, but as a linebacker, we expect him to be on dynasty league waivers in 2015.

Jordan Phillips  - NT - Dolphins - The Oklahoma star has first-round ability all over him. He can dominate at the point of attack and can control the run game. Some question his character, which is why he slid out of the first round. Phillips only has value in DT required leagues. If you are in one of those leagues, Phillips is a nice sleeper and could be worth a late round pick.

Senquez Golson  - CB - Steelers - The former Mississippi star has the ball skills and instincts to be an outstanding cornerback in the NFL. Additionally, Golson will be starting for the Steelers from day one, and NFL QBs will test him, which gives him some immediate value in CB required leagues.  Use a late round pick on him in CB leagues.

Markus Golden  - DE/LB - Cardinals - Golden had an excellent year for Mizzouri in 2014, but showed stiffness and very little explosion at the combine. Right now, it looks like Arizona is going to try Golden out at WLB, which could be a nice fit for him. We don't see him as a roster worthy player as a backup, but keep an eye on how the Cardinals LBs shake out. If Golden wins the job, he'll have plenty of value.

Randy Gregory  - DE - Cowboys - The Nebraska alum was a key story in the 2015 NFL draft, sliding from a early first round pick down to 28th in the second round, due to off the field transgressions (failed drug test). That said, Gregory has an incredibly high ceiling, and as a defensive end, his value increases even more. Dallas is in need of pass rushing, so Gregory will get his shot early in his career. We expect Gregory to be, at worst, a 3rd round pick in most dynasty fantasy drafts.

Quinten Rollins  - CB - Packers - The former basketball star switched to football for one year at the end of his college career, and showed excellent ball skills for such a raw player. With more work on technique and discipline, Rollins has the tools to become a solid NFL starter. Green Bay will not put him on the field to start his career, which will help him gain confidence, but not value in FF leagues. Expect Rollins to be a free agent in 2015 IDP leagues.

Frank Clark  - DE - Seahawks - The former Michigan starter, Clark offers plenty of upside if he can get his head on straight. Unfortunately, the Defensive End was kicked off the Wolverines in November for multiple problems including domestic violence and home invasion. Seattle is an excellent landing spot for Clark as Bruce Irvin is likely to move on after this season. So, if you have roster space, Clark could be a sneaky sleeper in a year or two.

Jordan Richards  - SS - Patriots - Richards was projected as a later round pick in the NFL Draft, so there are some doubts he'll be able to make plays in the NFL, but the Patriots are good at developing smart players (which Richards is) into contributors. We don't see much upside for Richards and he'll be on waivers in nearly all dynasty IDP leagues.

Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 NFL Draft - Round 2 - Fantasy Impact - IDP (Part 1)

Today we'll analyze the fantasy football impact of the first half of the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.  This year there were whopping 20 defensive players selected, so we split the round into parts 1 and 2. Let's find out what to expect from these young players.

Landon Collins  - SS - Giants - AT 6'0", 228 pounds, this former Alabama star is a downhill, aggressive safety who is known for his run defense. We expect the Giants to start Collins immediately, and expect excellent production from the rookie. We see him as a 3rd round selection in rookie IDP dynasty drafts.    

Mario Edwards Jr. - DT - Raiders - This ex-Seminole is a versatile defensive lineman who could play inside or outside for the Raiders. He is likely to start as a rookie, but Edwards Jr. does not have elite pass rush skills, meaning sack totals will be low for him. Expect to tackle. to be a late pick or available on waivers in most IDP dynasty leagues.

Preston Smith - LB - Redskins -  The 6'5", 271 pound defensive end was picked by the Redskins to play outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme.  He has long arms and plays with enough leverage to be effective on the field, but as a linebacker, Smith will not get the tackles needed to be valuable in most IDP leagues.  Keep an eye on his status, because if he's considered a DE in your leaugue he'll be worth a roster spot, otherwise expect him to go undrafted in dynasty leagues.

Eddie Goldman - DT- Bears - The Chicago Bears selected Goldman to lock down the middle of their defense, and at 6'4" and 336 pounds, he can do just that. The question is can he be anything but a two-down run stuffer. As of right now we don't see it, which makes him valuable only in DT required leagues.

Jalen Collins  - CB - Falcons - The former LSU Tiger will get his shot at the pros in Atlanta, as a member of the Falcons. Collins has a rare combination of height, weight and speed (6'1", 203 lbs, 4.48 40) that should work well at the next level. However Collins is raw, so he likely won't see starter time in his first year. Expect him to be on waivers in IDP Dynasty leagues with some upside if you have room for a CB on your roster.

Benardrick McKinney - LB - Texans - The Houston Texans traded up to get McKinney early in the 2nd round because he is a prototype inside linebacker, who can play immediately. Since Brian Cushing has had trouble staying on the field, Houston now has a new anchor in the middle of their defense.  As a middle linebacker with an opportunity to start, and solid skills, we expect McKinney to be highly valuable in IDP leagues.  Look for him to be selected 

Hau'oli Kikaha  - LB - Saints - Kikaha is the most accomplished pass rusher in the 2015 draft class. He relies on motor off the edge more than athleticism. In New Orleans, the Saints coaching staff looks to plug him in as a SAM right away, as well as use him as a pass rusher in passing situations.  We see Kikaha filling the sacks column, but will produce a lower number of total tackles. If you are in a league where sacks are a premium, he's worth a spot.

Erik Kendricks  - LB - Vikings - The former UCLA standout gets to rejoin Anthony Barr in Minnesota. The Vikings will start Kendricks right away, and his athleticism and demeanor will help him produce in the NFL. His size is a bit on the small side, but he'll still be in line for 100+ tackles as a rookie. Expect him to be off the board late in the 2nd or early in the 3rd round of IDP rookie dynasty drafts.

Jaquiski Tartt  - SS - 49ers - The San Francisco 49ers selected Tartt because he has the size, athleticism and overall talent to be an NFL starter. However, Tartt will likely spend mush of his rookie year learning under Reid, Ward, and Bethea so his immediate value is low. We expect Tartt to be on dynasty IDP waivers this season.

Eric Rowe  - CB - Eagles - The former Utah starter was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles. Rowe was a top performer at the Combine, running a 4.45 forty, with a 39-inch vertical. His is an efficient tackler and has the skills to be a solid CB or FS. Currently at CB, his value is diminished, so expect him to be available in leagues that do not require CB starters.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 NFL Draft - Round 2 - Fantasy Football Impact - Offense

Today we'll analyze the fantasy football impact of the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.  This year there were only six skill position players selected. Let's find out what to expect from these young studs.

T. J. Yeldon  - RB - Jaguars - The former Alabama star will now be filling the void in Jacksonville's backfield. Yeldon is 6'1", and 226 pounds of three down back. He is expected to supplant Gerhart right away, making him an excellent selection for owners in need of immediate stats. He is also expected to get plenty of receptions out of the backfield, adding value in PPR. Some slight knocks on Yeldon are his ball security and his pad level. If he fixes these issues, he'll be a solid fantasy football contributor for at least a few year.  Expect Yeldon to come off the board in the middle to late 1st round of rookie dynasty drafts. 

Devin Smith - WR - Jets - The ex-Buckeye was projected to be a first round pick in the NFL draft by many in the media. At 6'0" and 196 lbs, Smith doesn't have the imposing size of many high WR picks, which dropped him to the beginning of round two. However, Smith's quickness and top end speed make him a dynamic threat all over the field.  In New York, whether in the slot or outside, Smith fit well with possession receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Situation is the only real concern about Smith, as the Jets QB situation is a mess, likely dropping Smith's value in the short term. If you have room for a talented WR with upside, be sure to take Smith by late round two or early in round three, otherwise he's likely to be gone.

Dorial Green-Beckham - WR - Titans -  The former Missouri man compares favorably to many of the largest WRs in the league at 6'5", 237 pounds. His speed, and ball skills, are what separates him from many of the rest. DGB ran a sub 4.5 forty yard dash, and he scored on one of every 5 receptions he caught in college. Basically, DGB is built to score touchdowns. The knock on him, however, is his off the field situation.  Green-Beckham was arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents, was kicked off team at Missouri in April 2014 after an alleged burglary, and also allegedly shoved a female student down some stairs. If DGB can get his off the field issues in check, his talent and size give him a shot to be a top 10 fantasy WR during his career. Expect the Tennessee WR to be selected in the middle of the 1st round of many dynasty rookie drafts.

Devin Funchess - WR - Panthers - The Carolina Panthers had an interesting draft in 2015, selecting what many consider "reaches" in the first two rounds of their draft.  In the 2nd round, they selected the former Michigan Wolverine receiver, Funchess. Funchess has excellent size at 6'4" and 232 pounds, but lacks vertical talent and has below-average hands.  However, at 20 years old, Funchess has time to develop those traits, making him an interesting boom-or-bust type of player. Additionally, Carolina may decide to play Funchess at tight end, which could give Funchess some added value in position flexibility. We expect Funchess to be selected by the middle of the 2nd round in most dynasty rookie fantasy league drafts.

Ameer Abdullah  - RB - Lions - The former Cornhusker slid to round two of the NFL draft simply because of his size.  At 5'9", 205 pounds, Abdullah does not fit the typical mold of a three down back, despite having first-round talent.  Abdullah has explosive potential as a runner and ball-catcher and has natural low-body drive. The Nebraska standout also has a very high character score, which is always a plus in this age of suspensions.  We expect Abdullah to be an excellent addition to the Lions backfield, and a late 1st round pick in dynasty rookie drafts.

Maxx Williams - TE - Ravens - Another Big-10 selection (4 of the 6 in the 2nd), Maxx Williams of Minnesota, rounds out the skill position selections from the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL draft. Williams will fit in solidly with the Baltimore passing attack as he has the speed they need for their down field passing game. At 6'4", 249 pounds, Williams will need to add a little muscle and work on his in-line blocking to become a true stud at the professional level. With his bloodlines, and a little polishing, we expect solid results from the former Golden Gopher.  Williams is far and away the best tight end of the 2015 draft, and we expect him to be a 2nd round selection in dynasty rookie drafts.

Monday, May 4, 2015

2015 NFL Draft - Round 1 - Fantasy Football Impact

Now that the 2015 NFL draft is complete. Let's take a look at the Fantasy Football impact.

Best Situation- Kevin White has an opportunity to be an immediate factor in Chicago. In 2015, White will be working against CB2s, with Alshon Jeffrey taking on the top cover corners, creating some early mismatches. Additionally, White gets to play in an offense with a dynamic running game (Forte) and work in a division that scores a lot of points. Even though the QB position is not perfect, Cutler loves to let it fly, and knows how to work with large receivers (Marshall and Jeffrey) making White a younger version of Brandon Marshall. Look for White to be a 1.02 to 1.05 pick in all rookie dynasty drafts.

Opportunities Galore- Todd Gurley was chosen by the Rams to be the focal point of their offense. Once fully healthy, we expect Gurley to be a workhorse, #1 RB for a coaching staff (lead by Jeff Fisher) committed to running the ball and playing solid defense.  Playing in a tough, run stopping division will make things a bit tougher for Gurley early in his career, but don't be surprised if his rare blend of speed and power (similar to Marshawn Lynch) make up for the schedule.  We expect Gurley to be a 1.01 pick in most rookie dynasty drafts.

Solid Pick-  Melvin Gordon is a great fit for the San Diego Chargers. Taking over for the departed and injury prone Ryan Mathews, Gordon will be the #1 RB from day one of training camp. The Chargers won't rely on Gordon all that much in the passing game (Woodhead, Oliver), but will give him most of the carries this season, including goal line opportunities. We don't predict LT numbers coming immediately for Gordon, but in a few years, he could be a perennial top 5 FF RB just like the former Charger great. Expect 1.02-1.05 ADP in rookie dynasty drafts.

Slow Start Situation- Amari Cooper has all the tools to become an impact player at the NFL level, but don't expect his production to be elite early in 2015. Hopefully Oakland has found their franchise QB in Derek Carr with which Cooper can create some chemistry this year, but with a lackluster running backs, and below average offensive line, we don't see Oakland's offense exploding.  No doubt, Cooper is the Raiders WR1, but can the offense produce enough to make Cooper a WR1 in Fantasy Football? We aren't convinced... Expect 1.01-1.03 ADP in Dynasty leagues with less than stellar stats early in Cooper's career.

Boom or Bust- Marcus Mariota was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 2nd pick in the draft. Speculation leading up to the draft was that Tennessee would trade the pick to Philadelphia, San Diego, or Chicago for a king's ransom, which would have been good for his FF stock. Unfortunately, that did not happen, so now Mariota gets to start his career in a very young, inexperienced offense in Tennessee. To their credit, the Titans did try to surround Mariota with talent in this draft, choosing WR Dorial Green-Beckham in round 2, and RB David Cobb in round 5, which could both be solid value picks. If Mariota can build confidence early, and the young roster gels, Mariota could be a really good QB, we're not sure that will happen as a Titan, as they have not been lucky with QBs in recent years (Locker, Young, Mettenberger).  Expect late 1st round-early 2nd round ADP for Mariota in rookie dynasty drafts.

Lucky Landing - Breshad Perriman is the perfect fit for the Ravens offense. Baltimore loves designing plays for deep threat players and Joe Flacco is a master at getting the ball downfield. With Torrey Smith out of the picture, there will be plenty of targets for Perriman throughout the season. Perriman will have to work on his route running and cut down on the drops, but for his skill-set, Baltimore is a great place for him to play. Expect mid 1st round ADP for Perriman.

Immediate Starter- Jameis Winston was the #1 pick for months leading up to draft night last Thursday. Winston has all the natural ability to be a star in the NFL, but he needs to become more mature. Winston is in a great position to be a top 15 Fantasy Quarterback as a rookie. He has the ability to read defenses, big and fast targets (Jackson, Evans, ASJ), and will likely get plenty of garbage time scoring as the TB defense will give up plenty of points. We expect mid 1st round ADP for Winston in Tampa Bay.

Patience - Phillip Dorsett was selected as the Colts first round pick in 2015 but unfortunately for him, there are a ton of talented pass catchers already on the Colts roster (Hilton, Moncrief, Johnson, Fleener, Allen). However, Indy has Andrew Luck, who is the top FF QB in the NFL, and will work tirelessly to get the ball to his playmakers. We see Dorsett eventually becoming a starter for the Colts, and when he does, becomes a top 20 Fantasy WR. If you have the time and space to stash Dorsett, we think he'll pay dividends down the road. Expect late 1st, early 2nd round ADP for Dorsett.

Biggest Surprise- Nelson Agholor wasn't always expected to be a first round pick in this draft. Some had him as a second or third round grade early in the NFL draft process. However, Agholor showed quickness, route running precision, and an ability to play multiple positions that moved him up the draft board. Agholor is a great fit for the Eagles offense, who will be running Chip Kelly's offense with all new pieces in 2015 (Bradford, Murray, Mathews,). There may be a few growing pains as this offense develops, but look for a high paced, high scoring attack once they do get things going. We see Agholor as a middle to late 1st round ADP selections in Dynasty drafts.

Sleeper- DeVante Parker is likely to take over as the Miami Dolphins #1 WR and top redzone threat as Miami trade away their former WR1 (Mike Wallace) to the Vikings earlier this year. Unfortunately, as the top guy in Miami, Parker will have to match-up against, and likely struggle with the top CBs in the NFL, which could hinder his production. However, as the top guy, we expect 6-8 TDs from the mid 1st round pick as he becomes Ryan Tannehill's top target.  His ADP will likely be early to mid 1st round in Dynasty Rookie drafts.

IDP Watch List- 
Shane Ray- With Ware and Miller providing guidance, we expect 6-8 sacks from Ray in 2015. As long as he can stay away from the drugs, we see long term success out of Ray. If he is designated a DE, his ADP end of 2nd-early 3rd round, if LB, then 4th or 5th round ADP.
Stephone Anthony - The Saints have a solid playmaker and poised for a three down role. He will be the starting linebacker right away, so expect LB2 numbers as a rookie.  ADP will be early 3rd round. 
Arik Armstead- Is a huge guy, at 6'7" and 292 pounds, he projects as a DE for the 49ers and he’ll get a shot at Justin Smith’s role in SF. He is raw, but could become a viable FF defensive end.  Expect 4th round ADP
Dante Fowler Jr.- Will be worked in as a LEO pass rushing specialist. Won't get a huge number of tackles, but will get some sacks.  If designated as a defensive lineman, could be more valuable. If designated a DE, his ADP will be 3rd round, if LB, then 5th round ADP.
Vic Beasley- Will get plenty of playing time for the Falcons, who were putrid on defense last year. In IDP formats, Beasley is stuck in the same situation as Fowler and Ray. If designated a DE, he is more valuable and his ADP will be 3rd round, if designated a LB, then he becomes less valuable.
Leonard Williams- The media had pegged Williams as the top overall prospect in this year's draft. However, the league didn't have him quite that highly ranked.  New York is a good spot for Williams, and even better if Wilkerson gets traded. As of right now, as the 3rd DE on the depth chart, we don't see top production from him. Look for 4th round ADP for Williams.