NFL Draft 1st Round

By: Fantasy Football Dude

Published: 4/27/2018

First Round of the NFL draft had a few interesting picks for fantasy football, and we’ll go player by player on offense and see who has a chance to make an immediate impact and who might just be a plug in play fantasy player this year for your fantasy team.

Quarterbacks

  1. Baker Mayfield, Browns
  2. Sam Darnold, Jets
  3. Josh Allen, Bills
  4. Josh Rosen, Cardinals
  5. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore

Right now all of these Qbs in redraft leagues are pretty much undraftable unless they win the job in training camp. The two Qbs who have the best chance to start right away if they show up well during the off-season are Sam Darnold & Josh Allen.

Sam Darnold, Jets

Sam Darnold was considered to be the best Qb of the class and he finds himself in a pretty good situation with the Jets. The Jets have some pretty good offensive players and depth for Darnold to work with if he gets the start over josh mccown this year.

He will walk into a situation where he will have a solid running game with crowell, powell and McGuire. All 3 of these running backs preformed pretty well last year and will be able to take pressure off Darnold early.

As for his WRs he has a solid group of guys in that room with Robby Anderson, Kearse, Pryor, and Returning Quincy Enunwa these guys have all played well at different points of their careers and provide for a pretty solid WR group as long as Darnold can get the ball out to these guys.

If Darnold can win out over McCown which is very possible he has a chance to put together a pretty solid rookie campaign with everything he has around his as long as he doesn’t try to do to much, one of his biggest problems last year at USC was being able to take care of the football he had 13 Ints to go along with 9 fumbles lost which if you ask anyone is pretty bad. Now with good coaching turnovers can sometimes be controlled a little bit.  

For Fantasy Purposes I would not be interested in drafting him there are so many better options in the Qb pool and the best approach i would take with him in a redraft league is a wait and see approach. In Dynasty league he is worth a flier because he will probably get some playing time in this year and you’ll be able to hold him on your taxi squad and see what he can do. But manage your expectations about what he should be able to do this year.

Josh Allen, Bills

Let me start by saying i am not a big fan of Josh Allen or his situation and will be staying clear from him in all my leagues but he does have a good opportunity to start this year in Buffalo. The one thing he has going for him is that Buffalo was 9-7 last year and was able to make the playoffs so you know they have a competitive team and won’t try to put to much on his shoulders if he does start right away.

The only player in Allen’s way is AJ McCarron and he is pretty unproven also but he will most likely get the first shot at being the starting QB and they also have Nathan Peterman a player who threw 4 Ints in the first half of a game so take that how you want but he looks like he is firmly slotted as the 3rd string QB.

Buffalo doesn’t have much going for them as far as skill position players except for McCoy. They need to desperately add some talent and guys who can help out anyone who is going to be under center. Another factor that doesn’t help this bills situation is that they lost 2 very good offensive linemen this off-season which could make things even more problematic.

I feel it’s pretty obvious but I will say this anyway don’t touch Allen in redraft leagues no matter what. Of course in dynasty league he might be worth keeping on your taxi squad only if you are allowed a deep taxi squad other than that i still wouldn’t take a chance on him and waste a roster spot on Allen.

Baker Mayfield, Browns

I am a Fan of Baker Mayfield he checks off all the boxes I look at when trying to figure out if a QB will be successful. And from most reports it seems like all his teammates love playing for him and gets along with guys he is trying to carry to win which is important.

  1. Did he win Was his completion % over 60%
  2. Did he win the big games Now the 2 biggest games from last year that he played was against OSU & Georgia. Against OSU he played great 27/35, 386 yards, and 3 Tds 0 Ints. He showed he can play against top talent and be really good. The next game was against Georgia in the Rose bowl which he lost but sill played pretty well against another team with NFL talent dripping from it, he went 23/35 287 yards and 2 Tds 1 Int still a pretty good game. Now I don’t expect him to start for the browns this year unless Tyrod Taylor falls apart which could very well happen because we are talking about the browns here. But with the skill players they have I think Taylor will be able to hold off Mayfield this year.

Mayfield isn’t worth drafting in a redraft league but in dynasty league he is very much worth holding onto because of the talent they have on offense Mayfield could have a chance to be really good when he gets on the field with guys like Gordon, Landry, Coleman, Hyde, Duke Johnson, and David Njoku.

Josh Rosen, Cardinals

Rosen also lands in a pretty good situation with the Cardinals he won’t be asked to start right away but he could easily play this year given Sam Bradford’s injury history and Mike Glennon not being the best starting Qb.

Rosen is another guy who checks off the boxes like Mayfield, but I think Rosen is the best QB in the class and if he gets a chance to play he could do very well having David Johnson back and Larry Fitzgerald as his go to WR to go along with some young and interesting pieces like Chad Williams & Ricky Seals-Jones

If I was putting a bet down, Rosen will start sometime this season. Bradford won’t make it through the year and Glennon….well will be Glennon. Another Rookie QB who you will have to take a wait and see approach in your redraft leagues but in dynasty he is for sure worth a spot on the taxi squad.   

Lamar Jackson, Ravens

Lamar Jackson was the only QB in this class that I felt could make a fantasy impact right away if he landed in the right spot given his amazing athleticism and him being decent enough to throw the ball which he showed improvement over the course of his career playing QB at Louisville looking at his 3 years there his completion % went from 54.7%, 56.2%, and 59.1%. Now granted being below 60% is concerning but his elite athleticism makes up for some of that and a good coaching staff would be able to help him slowly improve on his ability as a qb while taking advantage of the type of athlete he is.

Falling to the Ravens is a great spot, Joe Flacco is one of the worst starting QBs in the league and Jackson finds himself with a good team and organization who will not put him in bad situations if he does end up starting at some point this year. Flacco is 33 years old going on 34 and looks like he is on the downside of his career giving how badly he performed last year but I will cut him some slack given his best WR last year was Mike Wallace and he probably was playing hurt all year from the pre-season going into the season, there was even talk of him missing all year. So assume Jackson will be on the bench this year learning and trying to take everything in.

If Jackson could be the Day 1 starter I am all for drafting him with a late round pick based on what he can do rushing and being a good enough passer to make plays, but I think Flacco is the starter this year and jackson is going to sit and learn. Like most of his fellow 1st round Qbs he is for sure worth a dynasty stash.

Running Backs

  1. Saquon Barkely, Giants
  2. Rashaad Penny, Seattle
  3. Sony Michel, Patriots

Now I didn’t expect to see 3 running backs taken in the first round but given the recent success of running backs the last few years it seems justified. Now running backs always can have an opportunity to play in today’s NFL and make an immediate impact . There are not many 3 down backs anymore you can name how few of them there are which makes them so valuable but you don’t need to be a 3 down back to have a great fantasy impact.

Saquon Barkely, Giants

When talking about 3 down backs Barkely is for sure in that class, he can run, catch & block along with being able to do some special teams work if need be. We all know how outrageous his combine numbers were and he was also a very productive back in college at Penn state.

Landing with the Giants is a perfect fit for fantasy purposes, he is NO QUESTION the starting running back and with the lack of depth at running back that the giants have Barkely will be used early and often on every down which makes him extremly valuable as an fantasy running back. He also isn’t going into a bad situation with the giants they brought in some new O-line players to help strengthen their front and along with getting Obj back healthy it will help keep defenses from stacking the box on Barkely which will open up running lanes to showcase his ability. The Giants were a hot mess last year but i can easily see them bouncing back in a big way and Barely can be a big part of that

I can see Barkely going in the1st or 2nd round of most redraft leagues and he definitely has RB1 written all over him this year. In dynasty leagues if he is not taken #1 overall then someone has a screw loose.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle

Probably one of the more shocking picks of the 1st round, I don’t think a single individual thought Penny was going to go that high but as a player I really like his skill set and ability. He dominated at the college level granted he didn’t play at a big school but he showed at a smaller school how dominate he was. Penny last year ran for over 2,000 yards and had 20+ TDs which is incredible no matter where you play at. He is capable as a pass catcher so he might have 3 down appeal but that will depend on how good he is as a blocker.

Being in seattle looks like it might turn into a 3 headed monster there along with the fact that seattle did nothing to address their middle school offensive line. Chris Carson last year showed some promise as being a 3 down back and played very well and assuming he is completely healthy he will definitely have a role on this offense. Then we have C.J. Prosise/J.D. McKissic the better pass catching backs out of the other 2 and most likely one will assume that role in the seattle backfield.

Seattle generally has been know to rely on one running back and last year showed that they mainly want one running back playing the majority of the snaps, they showed it last year with Carson and Mike Davis when they were on the field. This will definitely be an interesting  training camp & pre-season battle for the top spot in the backfield which we will have to pay close attention to but whoever comes out on top will definitely have an opportunity to be a solid fantasy RB. In dynasty formats I would definitely be concerned about Penny’s long term outlook because of Carson being there and showing that he can play last year. Penny might be a player outside the top 5 considering his situation.

Sony Michel, Patriots

Patriots backfield is always a fun one to decipher but I don’t think the pats drafting Sony Michel makes things that complicated if you think about it. Michel is a fantastic RB who is also very versatile and can do a lot of things in the backfield. The one comparison that keeps sticking out when reading about Michel is Alvin Kamara. To me this is a good comparison but I believe that Michel is a better runner than Kamara and also Michel was far more productive in college.

Now, How he fits in the Patriots backfield to me could be a lot of how the Pats used their running backs last year Dion Lewis was the hammer on most downs and Rex Burkhead was used near the goalline and is pass catching situations. We could see the same thing unfold with Michel if he performs well in training camp and the pre-season and impresses coaches. I think we can easily see Michel and burkhead sharing the load, the one problem might come from the Jeremy Hill / Mike Gillislee competition because there is not room for both of these players on the roster and if Jeremy Hill makes the roster he has shown to always be able to get into the endzone which we would start to see a lot of vultured TDs around the goalline.

It’s still early and I know we are going to talk about the pats backfield again but if I had to I would say Michel can easily take over the Dion lewis role from last year and become a very fantasy relevant player with Tom Brady and that offense. He is for sure worth drafting because of upside and in dynasty league i would make sure not to reach for him because who knows how much longer Brady has left.

Wide Receivers

  1. D.J. Moore, Panthers
  2. Calvin Ridley, Falcons

These two WRs are not the most exciting and WR is usually a pretty deep position as is. Rookie WRs are usually late round fliers unless they are guys who are elite coming out of college and had amazing college production.

D.J. Moore, Panthers

The Panthers need a WR to be able to pair with Funchess this year and to make sure Cam Newton got as many weapons as possible to take the ball out of his hand to avoid injuries. D.J. Moore is a very good athlete who tested well at the combine and also had good college production to go along with that.

D.J. Moore best attribute is his shiftyness and short area quickness who is best suited to do a lot of damage with RAC (Run After Catch). He is a bigger body WR at 6 foot 210 lbs. He is pretty much built like a running back and can break a lot of tackles which he showed during his time at Maryland. He lands in  great spot to a WR needy team and could see a lot of opportunity his first year in the league.

D.J. Moore is for sure with a flier in a redraft league and if hype during training camp and preseason about his play starts to be positive he might end up being better than devin funchess and become the top target in Carolina. Dynasty leagues he is for sure a 1st round pick giving that he has a chance at immediate opportunity and has the ability to make plays.  

Calvin Ridley, Falcons

Calvin Ridley might be the most polished WR in this draft giving his route running ability and his sure hands and very good speed which was shown at the combine running a 4.43 forty. The landing spot with the Falcons isn’t ideal but he has a chance to provide some plug and play weeks.

Landing with the Falcons is a tough fantasy sport for Ridley giving that they already have so many pass catches to compete with like Julio, Sanu, Hooper, Freeman, & Coleman. Ridley will have the luxury of learning from some really good WRs without having the pressure of being the guy and making a fast impact like Moore might have in Carolina.  Julio and Sanu are signed through at least 2020 which does not look great for Ridley’s outlook at becoming a top WR and looks more like a guy who will just be another plug and play WR for a little while. At best we could see him take over Sanu Role as the #2 WR but even then it could be difficult for him to be a consistent fantasy contributor.

Ridley is definitely a late round filer/FA in fantasy redraft leagues because as it stands right now it he might not get enough of a target share to be a consistent fantasy contributor and looks like a bye week filler at best. Dynasty formatas he is a risky gamble to take because of lack of opportunity that might be available to him in the next couple years baring Julio & Sanu getting either cut or injured.  

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