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!
Marcus Mariota QB (1st round)—Oregon
This is a perfect example of a potentially great fantasy player getting drafted into a potentially bad fantasy situation. I think Mariota has many skills to make him a great fantasy quarterback. He has elite speed, a great arm and off the field is more Russell Wilson than Johnny Manziel. Still, he has his limitations. In the past when asked to be a pure pocket passer he’s struggled with downfield throws and accuracy. The Titans are not a good football team and Ken Whisenhunt, the coach of the Titans, has traditionally centred his offense around lead footed pocket passers like Kurt Warner, Phillip Rivers and Zach Mettenberger. I don’t question Mariota’s skills so much as I question the Titans ability to properly deploy Mariota. If the Titans switch to a more power-run, option-based offense like the Seattle Seahawks I think the sky’s the limit for Mariota. However if he’s asked to drop back every snap and make an average receiving core better than they actually are, well, things could get rocky.
Dorial Green-Beckham WR (2nd round)—Missouri
This was a smart pick and essentially a smart gamble by the Tennessee Titans. Green-Beckham had numerous off field issues during his college tenure that essentially led to him being on the sidelines for his junior year. That’s the bad news, the good news is that he is 6’5, 235 and ran sub 4.5 at the combine while looking somewhat “out-of-shape”. Green-Beckham currently has Josh Gordon potential both on and off the field. He could step in and be dominant out of the gates, or he could be suspended by game 5. He’s someone to key on this preseason because if he gets his head on straight a run of huge fantasy games is likely to follow.
David Cobb RB (5th round)—Minnesota
I don’t see David Cobb as someone to worry about a ton about for fantasy. The titans are not super deep at RB so he could inherit some kind of time share or backup duties but I see incumbent Bishop Sankey as the much better all-around back. Still if Cobb were to get a full complement of carries he’s someone who could produce some decent games, especially if playing with Mariota in a read option system.
Tre McBride WR (7th round)—William & Mary
Tre McBride is someone to keep an eye. He’s a plus athlete who ran 4.4 in the combine and has some comparable attributes to other successful NFL WR’s like Brandon LaFell and Victor Cruz. Keep an eye on him if he makes the team and starts getting worked into the offense.
DraftKing: Daily Fantasy Impact
The entire Tennessee offense is on watch for me this preseason. Mariota has the potential each game for 60-70 yards rushing, 200 yards passing and multiple rushing/passing td’s in the right system. Still his success and fantasy potential will hinge on what offense he’s asked to run. The more intriguing fantasy option next season might Dorial Green-Beckham. The Titans project to be trailing in a lot of games and he could see some plus garbage minutes and lots of downfield throws. If he has a solid camp and stays out of trouble Green-Beckham could be a great early season sleeper option on DraftKings.
Jaelen Strong WR (3rd round)—Arizona State
One of the bigger draft-day slides might have belonged to Jaelen Strong. He seemed to be projected as a late first rounder, but instead fell into the mid-third where the Texans grabbed him. Some people are going to see nice speed (4.44-40m) and size and think the Texans got an elite WR in the third round. Strong does set up as a nice downfield option who should also be useful for the Texans in the redzone. But I don’t see him as a huge PPR guy for fantasy as he’s limited in what else he can do, and quite frankly the Texans don’t throw enough anyways. He’s not Andre Johnson but could be a decent sidekick for DeAndre Hopkins next year, the Texans don’t have much at WR after him.
Keith Mumphery WR (5th round)—Michigan St.
This slots in as a wasted pick for me. Mumphery is a smaller WR who lacks any real quickness or speed to make up for his lack of size. He’s strong and a good team player, so maybe could slot into some kind of gimmick role in the offense. However his speed and agility are so bad that I don’t see him ever being a real fantasy option.
DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Impact:
Jaelen Strong is the only player from this draft worth considering on the Texans this year. He may have the odd big game for fantasy but will be impossible to predict given the Texans run first style. He may be decent in a cheap stack at some point with whoever the Texans start as QB but DeAndre Hopkins is the bigger fantasy play and the WR I would target on DraftKings. Wait to see what Strong’s role and upside are before using him next year.
Phillip Dorsett WR (1st round)—Miami
Phillip Dorsett was one of, if not the best smaller, speed WR’s of this entire draft. While he didn’t put up huge numbers at Miami he did have some monster games, and more importantly he impressed at the combine running a 4.33 (some people were actually expecting faster). Dorsett isn’t a huge WR but he’s pretty solidly built and I think Dorsett actually brings more to the table than just plain speed. He’s someone who could be used in the short screen game and in the slot. How quickly he adapts to NFL game though is likely what will determine his usage next season. Because he’s in one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL he will be someone to watch in preseason. He may have to fight for targets as Indy is loaded at pass catcher.
Josh Robinson RB (6th round)—Mississippi State
Robinson is another intriguing offensive pick from the Colts. Robinson stands small in stature at around 5’8 but is built similar to Maurice Jones Drew. He looks a tad “bowling ballish” on the field and his best attributes are his hard running style and low centre of gravity. Sadly, he does not have MJD’s speed (from college) and clocked a measly 4.7 at the combine. Still for a power runner Robinson could still be useful as the short yardage back and early down runner. He’s someone to watch if Frank Gore goes down next year.
DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Impact:
Dorsett was an interesting pick for me from a fantasy perspective. The Colts just signed Andre Johnson, and still have both TY Hilton and the overrated Donte Moncrief. Something tells me though they will be dreaming up some packages for Dorsett, possibly the same way the Saints did last year for Brandin Cooks. Dorsett is a great athlete with way above average speed playing with one of the best passers in the league. Even though he will have to fight for targets initially, he could still be in line for a surprise big season. A Luck/Dorsett stack is something I’ll be looking to roll out at some point in a big gpp on DraftKings.
T.J. Yeldon RB (2nd round)—Alabama
Yikes. I am not a fan of this pick at all. Yeldon screams average running back who got completely over-drafted because he went to a powerhouse school. In an age where running backs are getting drafted later and becoming more expendable, drafting Yeldon in the second round seems like a thing only a team like, well, the Jacksonville Jaguars would do. Yeldon doesn’t have elite level speed or agility and just seems like a North South runner who also struggled against good defenses in his last year in college. I don’t like him in an already bad Jacksonville offense, even if he does get the starting gig.
Rashad Greene WR (5th round)—Florida State
This is definitely a little more solid pick from the Jaguars, at least from a value perspective. Green was projected as one of the better smaller WR’s in this draft and that he fell into the 5th round was somewhat surprising. He’s not overly great at anything but he competes very well for his size. Greene probably lines up as more of a slot receiver but he is used to working in a pro-style offense so if he sticks with the team he could become a favorite of whoever Jacksonville trots out at QB this year.
DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Impact:
I wasn’t a fan of the Jacksonville offense for fantasy purposes to begin with and this draft has done nothing to change my outlook. Yeldon simply isn’t good enough to overcome a poor passing game and stacked defensive fronts. If he is forced to carry the load expect poor outputs against almost all but the worst running defenses (hello Bears). I’d watch Rashad Greene’s progression throughout the year, he could be useful for his PPR numbers down the road.