This year’s NFL was a wild one. Though some of the shock and awe value was taken out when everyone knew who the first two picks would be there was no certainty after that. With all of the trade up and trade downs, many teams put themselves in amazing situations, picking up some great players. Although I am aware that there were 11 offensive players drafted in the first round, I will only take a look at the ones worth picking up for your 2012-2013 fantasy football teams.
Although I don’t recommend him, I cannot write about first round picks without mentioning:
Andrew Luck– I absolutely love his NFL future, however I cannot recommend picking him up in any fantasy league. Luck himself is a physical specimen, standing 6’4” 235lbs with the capability to run a 4.63 40-yard dash, to coincide with a high football IQ, but that’s not enough. While Luck is one of the highest regarded players in the last 20 years, his fantasy value this year looks bleak. Looking at the stats, the Colts ranked 27th in passing yards in the NFL last year with 187.2 YPG. Granted, that may have been with a bunch of make-shift QB’s, yet they still had Dallas Clark, Garcon, and Addai, all players they are without this year. In addition, although he was out all last year, Anthony Gonzales is also gone. That leaves Reggie Wayne, who turns 34 in November and is entering his 12th year in the league. Also, Luck better not rely on his run game for any help, as they ranked 26th in the NFL last year, averaging a mere 99.6 YPG. Bright NFL future, dim fantasy (as of this year).
Verdict: Stay Away
Robert Griffin III– You can’t help but love this guy. While Luck is a physical specimen, RG 3 is an athletic freak. Also, like Luck, I project a bright future for him in the NFL. However, unlike Luck I also project a high fantasy value for him as well. While RG 3 may not be inheriting a hall-of-fame wide receiving core, he is coming into a good one. Ranking 14th in passing yards/game last season the Redskins have all of their big receivers returning, with some additions like Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon. Besides RG 3’s receiving core, let’s also not overlook his ability to run. A former Gatorade High School Track Athlete of the Year, RG3 he has shown he sure can run, running a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine, and collecting over 2,200
yards rushing and 33 rushing TDs at Baylor. Although I do not believe he duplicate, there have been talks of him putting up Cam Newton-like numbers. Not likely, however he will get it done through the air and on the ground.
Verdict- Late-round selection, great back-up QB
Trent Richardson– Quite possibly the player with the highest fantasy value from this year’s draft. Trent Richardson is an absolute beast, and has the clearest path to dominate his new team’s backfield touches, and scads of all-around ability. In addition to his presence in the backfield, there is also a new QB to be under center for the Browns this year in Brandon Weeden. Therefore, in order to relieve some pressure off of Weeden, Richardson will bear the brunt. Yet, do not let Richardson’s hype fool you into drafting him in the first round, as that would be far too high of a spot to select him. While he will be great, do he may serve best as your 2nd RB or flex WR/RB option.
Verdict-if you need a second RB in middle rounds, get him, fantastic back-up or flex option
Justin Blackmon– He isn’t the fastest or the biggest, and his QB, Blaine Gabbert, was flat out awful last year, yet I remain optimistic. With the addition of the speedy Laurent Robinson, Mercedes Lewis back to 100% and MJD still in the backfield, Blackmon will manage to make an impact. Blackmon will play the flanker role while Laurent Robinson will play the split end, allowing many targets to fall Blackmon’s way. Though he may be great, I still have my doubts about Gabbert, still I would take him.
Verdict- late-round WR, good back-up for your bye weeks
Michael Floyd– At 6’3” 224lbs, Floyd possesses the size and speed (ran a 4.42 40-yard dash) to be a serious #1 receiver in the future. Some think that having Fitzgerald line up alongside him will hurt his stock, however I disagree. Having Fitz will take some pressure off of the rookie, since most defensives will be keying in on him,
it may leave room for Floyd to slip through the cracks on his way to a solid rookie year, with decent fantasy numbers.
Verdict– Depending on how hot/cold Kolb is Floyd could be a great bye-week filler or even a great flex option.
Doug Martin– At 5’”9 223, Martin has earned his nickname “The muscle hamster”, and there is a reason the Bucs got him in the first round even though they already have Blount. Due to the fact that Martin is already a better blocker and pass-catcher than Blount; he could see some extra time and added carries. I like his chances to make somewhat of a fantasy impact.
Verdict- Good fill-in for your bye-weeks, if Blount has fumble issue again he could see his carries increase
David Wilson-Plain and simple, Jacobs is gone, Manningham is gone, and Nicks is out for up to 12 weeks leaving Cruz and Bradshaw as the only real threats. That is unfortunate for the Giants, but great for Wilson as his productivity could be higher than expected due to all of these absences. Though he likely will not make a huge impact, his name will be known.
Verdict- Bye-week filler, draft late in draft, worth taking a shot on