Landing the perfect prospect on the perfect team… a match made in Fantasy Heaven.
Rules for the Fantasy Football Matchmaker:
- Must have some basis in reality, i.e., the New York Giants are not drafting Trent Richardson.
- “Reality” includes the selection of Offensive Linemen, Defensive Tackles, and 3-4 Defensive Ends.
- Immediate fantasy appeal and opportunity.
- Long term success rate.
- Hitting the exact draft slot is a bonus, but not essential. If the Rams obtain my fantasy match at 2.07 instead of 2.01, fans will still rejoice.
- In many cases, team positional needs should be regarded higher than any particular player. If a team in need of a cornerback lands Alfonzo Dennard instead of Stephon Gilmore, we’ll still be happy.
April 26: 2012 NFL Draft: Round 1, 8pm ET
April 27: 2012 NFL Draft: Rounds 2-3, 7pm ET
April 28: 2012 NFL Draft: Rounds 4-7, 12pm ET
2.01 St. Louis Rams
Zach Brown, OLB
It seems like only yesterday that Steven Jackson was replacing Marshall Faulk. How time flies. The future back is a reasonable draft selection, but check out the chasm at outside linebacker. For fantasy purposes, an OLB could step right in a put up great stats as opposed to a RB that has to wait his turn. Brown is an explosive player that’s a perfect fit for the 4-3 defense.
2.02 Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener, TE
I can think of no better way to ease Andrew Luck into the NFL than by bringing in his buddy from Stanford. The Colts opted to let Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme walk, so there’s an opening.
2.03 Minnesota Vikings
Mohamed Sanu, WR
I originally had a safety here, but Percy Harvin is always banged up and the rest of the receivers are junk. I think it’s a reach, but maybe the Vikings want to play it safe by landing a better receiving prospect now.
2.04 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech or
Doug Martin, RB, Boise St
LeGarrette Blount owners breathed a sigh of relief when Trent Richardson was unable to land on the Bucs. However, he’s got company in round two. I know it’s a bummer for Blount owners, but look at it this way: my choices were the Bucs, Steven Jackson and the Rams, or Shonn Greene and the Jets. With reality in the mix, this is the best fantasy landing spot considering all the scenarios. Ideally, the third drafted back would be golden if he fell to the Bengals at 2.21, but it’s too far away.
2.05 Cleveland Browns
Vinny Curry, DE/SLB
Cleveland has a need at both end and linebacker. Curry is a big boy, and is capable of flexing to either position.
2.06 Jacksonville Jaguars
Lavonte David, WLB/SS
We don’t want a rookie receiver going to Jacksonville. It’s a waste. David reminds me of Thomas Davis. Well, the Davis that was once healthy and a fantasy beast. IDP owners would prefer him to line up at weakside linebacker so Dawan Landry can keep his job.
2.07 St. Louis Rams (from WAS)
Jerel Worthy, DT
St. Louis needs a keystone in the middle of the defensive line. Again, I’m passing on running back for the sake of Steven Jackson owners. I’ll find them a lesser ranked back later in the draft.
2.08 Carolina Panthers
Carolina could use a cornerback, but I like the idea of loading up on offense. Every offensive piece makes Cam Newton that much more devastating.
2.09 Buffalo Bills
Brian Quick, WR
Fantasy fans hope the Bills address their wide receiver need. Based on recent history, it’s no surprise the Bills are attracted to skyscrapers. Since 2006, they’ve only drafted three receivers and they’re all big boys (2010, Marcus Easley, 6’2” 221 lbs; 2008, James Hardy, 6’5” 220 lbs; 2008, Steve Johnson, 6’2” 210 lbs). Tommy Streeter or Juron Criner are alternative large-bodied receivers if the Bills are afraid of Quick’s small-school status.
2.10 Miami Dolphins
Alshon Jeffery, WR
The most famous gut in the 2012 draft heads to Miami. The ‘Phins top two receivers are Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. Even if Jeffery can’t lay off the donuts, he’s in line for a whole lotta snaps.
2.11 Seattle Seahawks
Ronnell Lewis, OLB
Seattle has a habit of generating fantasy buzz around its linebackers. Leroy Hill, Lofa Tatupu, and Julian Peteson led the ‘Hawks from 2006 to 2008. In 2009, David Hawthorne and Aaron Curry got in the mix. Amazing, after all these years, Hill is the guy who’s managed to stay on the team despite his off-field issues. Pairing Lewis with first round selection Luke Kuechly continues the tradition.
2.12 Kansas City Chiefs
Nick Perry, DE/OLB
Most players get a bump in value when they are being considered for different positions. In Perry’s case, I think it hurt him. Sliding to Kansas City at least gives him so options. If Justin Houston doesn’t work out on the edge, Perry might have to give up his dreams of being an end and listen to the coaches.
2.13 Dallas Cowboys
Harrison Smith, SS
I made the Cowboys pass on safety Mark Barron in the first round. But I’ll make up for it now with the selection of Smith. He’ll be paid to hit, but he needs to be decent in coverage if he wants to stay on the field. Smith has little competition for the starting job.
2.14 Philadelphia Eagles
Bobby Wagner, WLB
Please, for the sake of IDPers everywhere, will the Eagles stop being cute with their linebacker selections! You may fool noobs with your mid/late round rookie flyers (Casey Matthews, Brian Rolle, Keenan Clayton, Jamar Chaney, Moise Fokou, Joe Mays), but I’m not falling for it. Never have, never will. The last time the Eagles drafted a linebacker in round three or higher was 2007’s Stewart Bradley. And even then, he barely played in his rookie year. If you thought the pre-season buzz was humming with those stiffs above, imagine the noise when the Eagles draft Wagner. His ability to play the weakside keeps newly acquired DeMeco Ryans’ value high in the middle.
2.15 New York Jets
Bruce Irvin, OLB
If the Jets are sending out messages about Melvin Ingram in round one, that tells me they need to fill the position but they prefer other targets. Typical Jets. Irvin is a perfect fit at outside linebacker, and his competition for a starting job are both over 31-years old.
2.16 New England Patriots (from OAK)
Kendall Reyes, DT/DE
Another versatile player for the Patriots. As previously mentioned, Bill Belichick plays both the 4-3 and 3-4.
2.17 San Diego Chargers
Jayron Hosley, CB/PR
Another cornerback drafted by an AFC West team. He’ll have a chance at immediate success in San Diego.
2.18 Chicago Bears
The Bears O-line is a mess, which is a major testament to Matt Forte’s skill. Every offensive player gets a bump in value.
2.19 Philadelphia Eagles (from ARI)
The Eagles O-line is not that good either, and they just lost Jason Peters for the season. They are deep at most fantasy positions, so drafting a lineman keeps the rookies moving to a better team.
2.20 Tennessee Titans
Sean Spence, WLB
Colin McCarthy is entrenched in the middle, but the players on the outside are nothing special. The Titans are a 4-3 team and Spence would fit nicely at the weakside.
2.21 Cincinnati Bengals
Lamar Miller, RB
It would be a sweet surprise to see David Wilson or Doug Martin fall to the Bengals, but Lamar Miller is a more realistic option. The NFL draft will happen before your fantasy draft, so the only BenJarvus Green-Ellis owners that will be burned are those in Dynasty leagues. And really, how many excited BJGE owners are out there right now? The Bengals have the opportunity to let the underclassman learn behind BJGE and Bernard Scott for a little while, but those two veterans have very little upside compared to the rookie.
2.22 Detroit Lions
The Lions’ run blocking was brutal last year. Losing Mikel LeShoure to injury in the pre-season and the running back carousel that followed was obviously a factor. A thumping strong safety would be a nice fantasy asset, but fixing the offensive line is the best fantasy fit in round two.
2.23 Atlanta Falcons
Dont’a Hightower, ILB
Jackpot! The Falcons let Curtis Lofton go to New Orleans, and they resisted the urge to sign a free agent replacement. IDPers want Hightower going to a 4-3 team, but he is capable of playing inside in a 3-4 scheme. Atlanta is by far the best fit for Hightower, so let’s hope teams drafting ahead of them opt for edge rushers.
2.24 Pittsburgh Steelers
Alfonzo Dennard, CB
We don’t want the Steelers drafting a running back now. Plenty of value to be had later, plus Isaac Redman is a quality back. I had the Steelers addressing their offensive line in round one, so the next biggest void is their cornerbacks. Dennard would have a significant chance at starting in Week 1.
2.25 Denver Broncos
LaMichael James, RB
Willis McGahee has earned the lead back gig in Denver, but he needs a tag team partner. James is a perfect compliment. Folks may call him a third-down back or change-of-pace back, but so was Darren Sproles. Fantasy fans would gush to own him in Peyton Manning’s backfield.
2.26 Houston Texans
Dwayne Allen, TE
The Texans need receiving threats, but Allen probably has better upside than any available WR. They love to run, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get Allen on the field with Owen Daniels. Former Texan Joel Dreessen signed in Denver, so the opportunity exists for fantasy points. Daniels has a recent history of injuries, so Allen could turn into a full-time player sooner than expected.
2.27 Green Bay Packers
Shea McClellin, OLB
McClellin is best suited for a 3-4 team, and Green Bay has an opening opposite Clay Matthews. Most real mocks have him going higher, so if that comes true let’s hope the selection is made by San Diego, New York Jets, or Kansas City.
2.28 Baltimore Ravens
Derek Wolfe, DE/DT
Wolfe’s scouting report makes him a great fantasy fit in Baltimore. He’s capable of moving across the line of scrimmage depending on the down and distance. If you look at the current state of the Ravens D-line, they need some quality additions, badly.
2.29 San Francisco 49ers
As stated in round one, the team is deep at most fantasy positions. Give them a fat man and keep the rookies moving downward.
2.30 New England Patriots
Chandler Jones, DE
Drafting a fourth consecutive defensive player would be odd, but we don’t want them going offensive – there’s just no room. The Patriots have witnessed first-hand, twice, that a pass rush can ruin your season. Jones is the biggest threat on the board, but he’ll take some time to develop.
2.31 New York Giants
Mychal Kendricks, OLB/ILB
Ignore the recent Keith Rivers trade. Even if he wakes up from his fantasy slumber (which I doubt), he’s on the last year of his deal. If he has a good year, he’s probably cashing in elsewhere. Kendricks is capable of playing inside or outside, as is current Giants linebacker Michael Boley. Kendricks gives the Giants an opportunity to assess the best defensive alignment during camp. Inside or outside, he’ll quickly become a starter.
Check out bonus picks of the Fantasy Football Matchmaker at FantasyLeagueGM.com
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