NFL Draft's fantasy implications
May 05, 2015 3:04 AM
by Alan Berg
For the fantasy football diehards this one is for you.
With plenty of baseball left, I am going to take this week to look over the 2015 NFL Draft and talk about some of the rookies that could help your fantasy team next season. I will also include a list of where I think the players would go in a rookie only mock draft.
Jameis Winston was your top overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just as expected. For those of you who are not a fan of his, I can understand why you believe the Bucs made a huge mistake. Winston has been accused of rape, allegedly stole crab legs from a grocery store (he says the team got hooked up regularly), shouted expletives while standing on a table on campus and various minor incidents.
Here is why Tampa made the right choice: Winston is the best quarterback in the draft. Period.
When you want to go from losing to winning in the NFL you need a quarterback. Tampa doesn’t have one and they are picking first because they have been doing too much losing.
The risk for Winston is really one worth taking for Tampa Bay. Marcus Mariota is a player that needs time to develop and the Bucs don’t have that time. Winston played in a pro-style offense; he is fantastic in the pocket and is accurate.
Did I mention scouts at the combine compared his football IQ to that of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning? Some said he was the smartest player they had ever interviewed. For better or worse the Bucs made the right choice.
For Mariota his landing spot couldn’t have been much worse. Tennessee doesn’t have time to sit him although they would be smart to let Zach Mettenberger start the season before going to the Oregon Duck rookie. Mariota could be a future star for Tennessee but he needs time to understand the pro-style offense.
The surprising pick of the first round had to be the St. Louis Rams selecting Todd Gurley. Gurley has an incredibly high ceiling with some saying he’s a future Adrian Peterson-type talent. Gurley is coming off a torn ACL, which is the only reason he slipped to No.10.
Now for my order (in parentheses will be the ranking for dynasty football leagues*):
1. (1) Todd Gurley, RB, STL: Gurley is as advertised. He can be the next Peterson if the Rams take their time with him. From a dynasty perspective this is a no-brainer, you don’t pass on guys with difference making talent. Of his 3,285 yards at Georgia, over 1,500 were after contact! Take him.
2. (2) Melvin Gordon, RB, SD: Lots of opportunity awaits Gordon as the Chargers find a replacement for Ryan Mathews. Gordon might be limited to first and second down work, but that should be enough in an above average NFL offense. In my opinion he’s already better than Mathews.
3. (6) Jameis Winston, QB, TB: Winston has an opportunity to make a difference in fantasy right away. He has plenty of help with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Getting to start his NFL career with two stars at wide receiver will make Winston an early contributor. He’s risky for dynasty leagues however.
4. (3) DeVonte Parker, WR, Mia: For my money Parker is the best receiver in this draft and among the wideouts drafted has the best QB of those teams, Ryan Tannehill, tossing him the ball. Look for Parker to have a shot at Rookie of the Year. Parker is an instant fantasy star.
5. (4) T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jac: One of my favorite dynasty players, Yeldon has Denard Robinson as his main competition and he is too small. I think they will form a very strong ground duo for the Jags.
6. (5) Amari Cooper, WR, Oak: Finally a reliable franchise receiver for the Raiders, and Cooper reminds me of Tim Brown. Mr. Consistent should be a solid Raider for the next 10 seasons.
7. (NR) Ameer Abdullah, RB, Det: Abdullah should take the Lions running back job easily. However I don’t like his projection long term as players that fumble in college eventually fumble in the NFL. Great for one year I think.
8. (9) Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Ten: If Mariota is successful, this WR will be a big reason. Tons of talent needs to keep his head on straight, which is why he isn’t ranked higher.
9. (7) Nelson Agholor, WR, Phi: Chip Kelly might have found a better version of Jeremy Maclin with Pick 20. Don’t be afraid of reaching on this guy, he will get plenty of points in that offense.
10. (8) Duke Johnson, RB, Cle: It’s a logjam in the Browns backfield but Duke Johnson is the classic running back. He doesn’t jump off the page at scouts but when it’s gameday he will be a solid 100-yard back.
NR. (10) Jeremy Langford, RB, Chi: Could be a great dynasty pick, because this might be Matt Forte’s last year in Chicago. I believe he was selected by the Bears because of that reason.
*Dynasty league means an owner has the player more than one season.
Alan Berg has 10-plus years of experience at Las Vegas sports books and prior to moving to Las Vegas covered sports for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter: @vegasberserker Contact him at ABerg@GamingToday.com.