For dynasty-leaguers, the NFL draft plays an important role in determining where we may look to draft players that will help us build for the future. Here is my early fantasy spin to Day 1’s events along with my ranking of players drafted by fantasy position.
- Matthew Stafford – Lions: I know I was down on this guy on some earlier comments I made but I really like the idea that they also went out and got Brandon Pettigrew as another target for him. He will be able to use CJ for those deep routes and Brandon for those key third down conversions. The running game isn’t as bad as NFL network says it is. I could see Stafford putting up 3,500 yards and 24 TD’s with the current talent now on this offense. Calvin could be in for a huge year with Stafford’s big arm throwing to him.
- Josh Freeman – Bucs: I like him more for where he landed than for his actual talent, but even as a Jet fan, early on I have to rank him higher than Mark Sanchez because he has 3 legit receivers in Antonio Bryant, Kellen Winslow and Derrick Ward out of the backfield. I see him putting up 3,300 yards and 18 TD’s.
- Mark Sanchez – Jets: He’s a quality QB, just wish he had more talent around him. Jerricho Cotchery is good but the WR2 slot is a big question mark going into the season. Estimate on Sanchez’s numbers with the current roster would be 3,100 yards and 15 TD’s.
- Pat White – Dolphins: He’s a big drop from the number 3 on this list. He will probably only see the field when the Phins run their 10 plays a game out of the wildcat formation. Don’t see much production from him and I would not even recommend drafting him for fantasy at all.
- Knowshon Moreno – Broncos: He should get the starting nod in a crowded backfield at this point. Plus he is on a team that will probably need to depend a little more on the run now that Cutler is in the Windy City. Estimated production of 1,300 yards and 8 TD’s year 1.
- Chris Wells – Cardinals: He could end up handling mostly every carry but the third down carries with this team. I think that limits his yardage production, but the Cards still have a potent offense and will be down near the goal line a lot. I look for Wells to produce 1,000 yards and 9 TD’s year 1.
- LeSean McCoy – Eagles: Yes I give McCoy the nod here because eventually he becomes the full-time replacement for Westbrook. He has about the same size and playmaking ability as Westy had when he came out from college so he could be a good fit for the Eagles. Look for him to get in those couple of games a year where Westbrook doesn’t start for whatever ailment he is currently having and become the full time starter a few years down the road. 400 yards and 2 TD’s year 1.
- Donald Brown – Colts: Really don’t like the place where he landed. Now it looks more like the dreaded RBBC may come into play since Addai is already there. If they both get playing time neither of the backs will carry much fantasy value other than as a fill in for bye weeks. 700 yards and 5 TD’s year 1.
- Jeremy Maclin – Eagles: Gets to go to a team with Donavan McNabb at QB and probably be handed a starting WR position immediately. I look for him to have a similar season to what DeSean Jackson had a year ago for them, 900 yards and 5 TD’s year 1.
- Hakeem Nicks – Giants: Like his potential especially with Eli Manning still having a fair amount of years left to his career. First year will probably be spent learning the game on the bench while Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith get the starting nods, but look for him to be a receiving force in 2-3 years.
- Darrius Heyward-Bey – Raiders: Jamarcus Russell has a big arm and can throw deep, question is will Bey catch the ball once it’s there. I think he does OK with the Silver and Black if Russell hones his skills some more. 800 yards 6 TD’s year 1.
- Brian Robiskie – Browns: Landed on a team that once they settle on a QB should have a decent passing game either way. He meets the need at WR with the whole Donte Stallworth DUI manslaughter incident. I think he beats out Mohammed Massoquoi (see below) and becomes the possession receiver in the attack. Estimate him for about 850 yards and 5 TD’s year 1.
- Percy Harvin– Vikings: Has playmaking abilities and will be good addition to the team to give them another player besides Peterson that can provide exciting plays. If they only had the QB to throw to him. 750 yards 4 TD’s year 1.
- Kenny Britt – Titans: Big WR that can get separation from the defenders. He actually was my top WR that I felt had the most potential going into the draft. Just don’t like where he landed. Vince Young figures to be the QB of the future here, and I do not have a lot of faith in his passing abilities as a QB. Great runner/scrambler much in the mold of Vick, but not a great passer. Justin Gage may play a part in limiting him early on. 500 yards 3 TD’s year 1.
- Micheal Crabtree- 49ers: He comes to a team that currently has Shuan Hill as QB. I just am not sold with all the media hype around this guy. As I stated previously on this site I believe he was a system receiver. His stats where highly overblown because all Texas Tech did the entire game was throw the ball. I think he will be a bust and not last long in the NFL. 400 yards 2 TD’s year 1.
- Mohammed Massoquoi- Browns: Most likely turns into the slot receiver with Robiskie in the fold. Playing time will be limited for him. 450 yards and 4 TD’s for him.
- Brandon Pettigrew – Lions: This was an intelligent pick by the Lions and I am shocked they made it. Pettigrew gives them a possession receiver in the passing game along with a blocker in the running game. I think he and Stafford hit it off well and he churns out about 675 yards and 6 TD’s in year 1.
- Richard Quinn – Broncos: Not sure why they traded up to draft this guy with the last pick of Day 1. Then again the Bronco front office has certainly made some strange moves lately anyway. He only had 12 catches in his entire collegiate career so I don’t think that are looking at his pass catching ability here. I would probably shy away from him as a selection in any fantasy draft as he’s not going to produce much if anything for you receiving wise.
Based on what I see, I would say Matthew Stafford wins the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Comments, suggestions or opinions on Draft Day 1 and this analysis welcome in the comments, or visit Chinstrap Ninjas message boards.