By MV May 4th 2015
What a great weekend for sports, but for us at Fantasy Sports Central, the draft is the highlight. In recent years the draft is becoming more and more relevant to fantasy football. Gone are the days that one can ignore the college game and catch up on the players as they enter in their inaugural season. Teams are looking at “skill position” rookies to be impact players out of the gate. With all of that said there were some interesting landing spots for a number of players. Fantasy Sports Central’s early 2015 projections will be out this week and will be regularly updated all off season and through all 17 weeks. Go to our projections to get a full effect look at how the draft impacted the projections.
Todd Gurley’s talent cannot be denied. His ACL tear is healed and he is ready to make his debut about 4 weeks into the season. Do not fret Tre Mason owners; he still is a key part of this offense. He has an opportunity to prove he deserves and will retain the starting role. All Dynasty and Keeper League owners now is the time to buy low on Tre Mason. His preseason value will never be lower than it is right now. Remember: “buy low”. Your #1 and #2 RB’s should not be Rams. This is the wrong division to be a Running Back, but I can still see Mason getting his share making him a value with the 5th-6th round pick that I project him to go.
Melvin Gordon averaged 7.5 YPC in 2014 and 7.8 in 2015 against very poor run defenses. San Diego is not a perfect landing spot but this is his job. The obvious comparison to Jamal Charles is spot on. The difference is Gordon will not be a 3 down back this year. It will take some experience before he rushes between the tackles successfully. He is a speedy edge rusher, he wears #25, he has dreads, and he hits the corner then he’s ghost! Sound familiar? Opportunity has him as the first rookie off the board with a total of 198.4 fantasy points for 2015.
Tevin Coleman has the opportunity to be the lead rusher in the Atlanta Falcons. Obviously Freeman is still around, but we like what we see from Coleman and this will be a wait and see camp battle.
Kevin White might have the most rookie fantasy points in 2015. Alshon Jeffrey benefits as well. He will again garner most of the CB1 attention. White will be the recipient of some long Cutler tosses. If you’re league gives points for long ones this guy will have a few 40+ yard Touchdown’s.
Amari Cooper landed in Oakland making the Raiders fantasy relevant for the first time in about a decade. How’s that for expectations? Cooper is the complete package. He is a professional Wide Receiver. He runs great routes and Carr now has a new best friend for the next 8-10 years. I’m thinking Anquan Boldin type of rookie year here with a 100 catch season is a possibility. He is clearly the best route runner in the draft if he gets his timing down and syncs up with Carr this offseason they could be a dynamic hook-up. We are looking forward to years of production from Cooper.
Davante Parker is a great Wide Receiver. Miami is a bad landing spot. He will slide right in to the starting lineup opposite Jarvis Landry. A lot of early pre-season buzz surrounding Tannehill and the Miami offense, I am not one of those guys. I will have to see a bit more here before I support this offense.
Nelson Algholor lands in the type of offense that that will produce fantasy studs. He would be much less relevant if he landed just about anywhere else. While we believe that Jordan Matthews is the guy to own here Algholor will definitely be worth a 5th-6th WR roster spot this season.
TJ Yeldon is surely set to get the bulk of the work for the Jaguars. Big deal, I miss Fred Taylor. Remember when (Fragile) Fred scored 17 TD’s and 1620 total yards in his rookie season? He also scored 4 TD’s in a game a couple of years later. Maurice Jones Drew also blew up in his rookie campaign: 1377 total yards and 15 TD’s. So we should expect double digit TD’s and 12-1700 yards from TJ too….In all seriousness TJ will produce in his rookie season and if Bortles takes a step forward that offense could stay in games which will help his production. Still 800 yards rushing, 200 yards receiving on 25 catches with 7-9 total TD’s is a real expectation.
I don’t love the landing spot for Ameer Abdullah but he may end up as the top producing Detroit Running Back. He is supposed to pick up the 3rd down void Reggie Bush left but Theo Riddick did a pretty darn good job of doing exactly that last year. We will see how Joique, Theo and Abdullah factor into this high-powered passing offense.
Breshad Perriman will step into Torrey Smith’s role in the offense and should get traction with Flacco immediately. I am not overly concerned with Marlon Brown, but he is a factor and is only one year off a nice rookie campaign. Brown’s sophomore regression tells me not only should have they kept Torrey Smith but that Perriman will be heavily involved. 50-60 catches for 750 yards and 5-7 TD’s sounds like his ceiling to floor.
Jameis Winston We have all heard so much back and forth on Winston and Mariota this offseason leading up to the draft and everyone has an opinion. My opinion is he will produce as a decent #2 fantasy QB this year. Expect a big learning curve but games where he will prove his NFL worth. 3800 yards passing 22 TD’s and 18 INT’s with a couple TD’s on the ground.
Marcus Mariota could not have landed in a worse spot for a rookie QB. He makes our top 250 but I have such a difficult time imagining a scenario where I would use him. He should have pulled an Eli. Still, his ability to run makes him a choice as a backup fantasy QB. I will spare the breakdown, but I expect a coaching carousel for the next several years effecting Mariota’s progress. Expect a 3200 yard 18 TD 17 INT season with 450 yards and 3-4 TD’s on the ground. Hopefully he gets 2 of those ground TD’s on your starters bye week.
Jay Ajayi lands as the backup RB to Lamar Miller. The former soccer player has the talent to surpass him or push him for playing time this year. He is a do it all RB that has a chance to lead this class of RB’s. A bum knee and a backup role will hinder his 2015, but we currently have him ranked at 226.
Maxx Williams has a badass name. The Ravens drafted him 55th overall which is far too high as just an insurance policy alone for Dennis Pitta. Think Todd Heap. This is one of my favorite picks for dynasty leagues, but re-draft is tough. The Tight End position is one of the hardest to break into in your rookie season: route running, blocking, and then timing with your QB are the reasons we rarely see a rookie post stats.
That rounds out all of the rookies that cracked our early top 250. There are still 5-7 rookie players that I believe will be fantasy relevant. DGB and Devin Funchess are two names that I was especially excited for pre-draft but their landing spot leaves a lot to be desired. We will revisit this rookie list in the next few weeks.