This is a six part series detailing the draft selections of each NFL team, division by division.   Offensive players and their potential impact on the upcoming NFL season on DraftKings will be scrutinized! 

Baltimore Ravens
Breshad Perriman WR (1st round)—Central FloridaUSATSI_8178048_168381090_lowres
Perriman is by far and away the most interesting fantasy player drafted in this division, and in my mind was a good value pick by the Ravens in the late first round.  Perriman busted up draft boards when he ran sub 4.3 at the combine and for good reason.  He was already blessed with good size, but when his speed was revealed teams really started to take notice.  The only reason Perriman did not go in the top ten with the other top WR’s in this draft was because he was under-utilized at Central Florida and his numbers suffered as a result.  If he’s used as more than just a “deep guy” by the Ravens look out, Perriman could explode for some massive fantasy games.  With Torrey Smith gone, Perriman should slot in instantly as a starter in the Ravens offense.

Maxx Williams TE (2nd round)—Minnesota
A lot of people seemed to be fawning over this pick and I’m not sure why.  TE was a super weak position in this draft and Williams was the best of an average bunch.  He’s not super big (6’3) and not super-fast (4.79-40).  He’s not Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham or even Greg Olsen.  Williams is a solid pass catching TE who showed some great hands in college, but he’s not going to be a dominant top 3 TE in the NFL.  I do think he’ll slot in nicely into the Ravens short and intermediate passing game (assuming Dennis Pitta is done) and could produce some good PPR numbers for daily fantasy.  He’s a second tier TE who could have the odd big fantasy week in a mediocre passing offense.

Javorius Allen RB (5th round)—USC
The Ravens did resign Justin Forsett and also still have the talented Lorenzo Taliaferro but Javorius Allen is someone to watch this year.  Allen’s a very decent pass-catching back who showed good agility in the open field.  He could be used as the third down option to start the season, and were enough injuries to occur, could even see some feature back duties.  Allen’s functional enough to produce some nice daily fantasy games (if given enough touches) against weak run defenses.

DraftKing: Daily Fantasy Impact
I’m excited for Perriman this year as I think he has a real shot at contributing right out of the gate.  He should slot in as the number 1/1a WR almost immediately.  The real question will be how he is deployed by the Ravens.  If he’s limited to deep route trees his fantasy output will be spotty as he’ll be a hit or miss option only.  Still he has potential for massive games.  Maxx Williams could also get slotted into the offense immediately, but I’d look for his impact to be much less significant (at least at the start).  Rookie TE’s typically struggle out of the gates and Dennis Pitta may still be in the mix for targets as well.  I’d suggest a wait and see approach before considering him on DraftKings.

 

Cincinnati Bengals
Tyler Kroft TE (3rd round)—RutgersUSATSI_7589186_168381090_lowres
The Bengals had a relatively boring draft for fantasy purposes and it was earmarked by this pick.  Kroft is a big TE who slots in as the likely Gresham replacement for the Bengals next year.  The problem is that Kroft isn’t really all that fast or agile and probably excels more as a blocker.  The TE to look for in the Bengals offense next year is Tyler Eifert—assuming he can stay healthy.  Even though Kroft may have some red zone looks as the number two TE in this offense I don’t see him being a good enough pass-catcher to make a huge dent for fantasy.  He’s not someone to worry about next year for DFS unless Eifert goes down again.

Mario Alford WR (7th round)—West Virginia
Alfred is a small but incredibly fast WR taken by the Bengals in the 7th round.  Alfred has great quickness and agility and will undoubtedly be used on special teams as a punt returner (assuming he makes the team).  The Bengals are actually pretty loaded at WR but it’s possible Alfred slots in as the outside speed option in four WR sets.  Probably not someone to worry about for fantasy, but keep an eye on him if he suddenly starts getting worked into the offense, he does have homerun-fantasy potential.

DraftKing: Daily Fantasy Impact
The Bengals draft was straight up boring for fantasy.  They do already have some nice offensive weapons in place so it was understandable.  I would watch the TE position in Cincinnati this Summer/Fall.  Eifert could be a great play next season, but if he does go down Kroft might step in and make an impact.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers
Sammie Coates WR (3rd round)—AlabamaUSATSI_8239466_168381090_lowres
Coates is an interesting pick.  At one time Coates was projected for the high second round but ended up falling to Pittsburgh in the third.  Coates actually reminds me a lot of another Steeler WR, Martavis Bryant.  I don’t mind the Steelers pick here as a sort of later round “gamble”.  Coates does have some impressive measurables and ran a 4.42 at the combine.  The Steelers currently have decent depth at WR but there is a chance Coates could come in and grab the number two job out of camp, he’s got the skills to do it.  He’s big, he’s fast, but he rarely put all his skills together to make a lasting impact in college and likely dropped in the draft due to his inconsistency.  Coates is someone to keep an eye on in preseason as the depth chart in Pittsburgh works itself out.

Jesse James TE (5th round)—Penn St.
James was really more of a depth move for the Steelers at TE who still have Heath Miller.  Still, he’s an ok athlete who ran sub 4.7 in the 40m and has the size to become a decent red-zone target.  Look to see if the Steelers are using him in two TE sets, if so he could be useful should Miller go down with an injury as the Steelers do use their TE’s in a variety of different ways.

DraftKing: Daily Fantasy Impact
Coates could be a nice sleeper play early in the season, but a lot will depend on how involved he is in the offense.  He’s got the skills to break off some big plays, a trait which of course can translate to big fantasy points.  If he starts seeing more snaps than Bryant or Wheaton then don’t be afraid to deploy him in a stack with Big Ben against some weak pass defenses.  Some big downfield plays and a boatload of fantasy points on DraftKings could follow.

 

Cleveland Browns
Duke Johnson RB (3rd round)—Miami USATSI_8125153_168381090_lowres
The Browns made one significant offensive addition in the draft.  Duke Johnson was an excellent all-around player in college who really seemed to excel in the passing game and in space.  I don’t think he’s strong enough to be a three down back in the pro game, but as part of a tandem or timeshare he could be extremely useful.  A lot of people seem to compare him to Gio Bernard (Bengals) and I think that is a fair comparison.  Johnson is someone who could have big games against weak run defenses but otherwise would be best deployed as part of a timeshare.  In the Browns putrid offense, I would likely stay away unless he’s projected as the outright starter and going up against a bottom tier defense.

Vince Mayle WR (4th round)—Washington St.
Mayle is a big slow WR who does nothing to help solve the Browns issues at WR.  It’s possible Mayle could put up numbers as a third or fourth WR in a good offense, but in a low passing output system, which features Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline as starters, Mayle seems destined for obscurity.  I don’t like the Browns passing offense for fantasy purposes and I don’t see Mayle as a high quality prospect.  He’s most likely a wasted pick by a team who specializes in futility.

DraftKing: Daily Fantasy Impact
It’s possible Duke Johnson could become someone to watch this season.  The Browns project to run the ball a lot given their weak pass game and I think all their backs are in play at the moment as potential starters.  Were Johnson to inherit starter carries or even a timeshare he could be very useful on DraftKings for his ability to catch passes and run between the numbers.  I would qualify my statement by saying that since the Brown’s offense—on paper at least—projects to be quite bad all Browns players should only be used in daily fantasy against only the worst defensive teams.  Still as a situational play Johnson could produce nicely for daily fantasy, so keep an eye on who’s playing RB in Cleveland next year.