As the third round of the draft started early on a Saturday I decided to head out to one of my favorite bars in San Diego and watch what I anticipated to be a very interesting draft after an exciting first round. As the draft unfolded there were a lot of surprises causing a lot of controversy with draft “experts”. I was also given the experience that we saw Geno Smith go through in the first round as I waited and waited for my player of 2013 Johnathan Franklin to be drafted. Was it the second round? No Was it the third round? No Maybe the fourth? Yes after hours of waiting Johnathan Franklin was finally drafted behind my least favorite running back Eddie Lacy to the Green Bay Packers. I can only hope that I am right about both and Franklin becomes the every down back I envisioned him to be for the Packers, but enough about me lets talk about the rest of the draft. One thing that we did see was that after a fairly offensive line and defensive player heavy first round the offensive skill players started to fly off the board and land in some very intriguing situations. As fantasy football enthusiasts these are the players we care about most. Lets take a look at a round two and three analysis of the players and how their landing spot effects their value for fantasy football in 2013 and in the future.
2.02 Justin Hunter WR Tennessee Titans: With the off the field issues of Kenny Britt, Nate Washington unable to elevate to the next level and the loss of tight end Jared Cook, the Titans added a great wide receiver early in the draft. It seems as though the Titans are set at making Jake Locker their future quarterback and by adding Kendall Wright last year and Justin Hunter this year they give him two young athletic playmakers. Hunter was one of the tallest and best built wide receivers in the draft and has the athletic ability to be a true number one that the Titans offense desperately needs. Hunter does have some flaws and the lack of fundamentals including an alarming amount of drop balls brings into question his ability to start right away. What does this mean for fantasy? Justin Hunter that should be added in all dynasty formats but I would monitor the receiver situation in terms of Britt and Washington before adding Hunter in any re-draft leagues.
2.03 Zach Ertz TE Philadelphia Eagles: Even after signing tight end James Casey from the Texans, the Eagles go ahead and take a very surprising pick here taking the Stanford tight end Zach Ertz. To me he was one of the many players that was over hyped in this draft but by Chip Kelly and the Eagles taking him this early I was obviously mistaken. What does this mean for fantasy? Even with the excitement of Chip Kelly’s offense we need to keep in mind that the Eagles are carrying three other capable tight ends on their roster as well as trying to fix a terrible offensive line and a questionable quaterback situation. With the depth at tight end this year Ertz should be regarded as a waiver wire pick up in re-draft leagues and a speculative add in dynasty.
2.05 Giovani Bernard RB Cincinnati Bengals: I wrote about this in the Pre-Draft Running Back Rankings post that the Bengals would be the absolute perfect spot for Bernard. With the ineffectiveness of BenJarvus Green-Ellis as an every down back and Peerman’s lack of ability in pass protection and inside running, Bernard offers them a more dynamic option that is a threat in the running game and catching passes out of the backfield. What does this mean for fantasy? With Bernard landing in Cincinnati he becomes not only the number one rookie option in dynasty but should also be a target early in re-draft formats as well.
2.07 Geno Smith QB New York Jets: I was shocked the Jets didn’t take Geno in the first round and was even more surprised that they were able to draft him here early in the second round. To me Geno is the top quarterback in the draft but with the circus act that is known as the New York Jets he has a lot to overcome before he can be a successful starter in the NFL. What does this mean for fantasy? This is not a favorable landing spot for the young quarterback in terms of fantasy value. With big question marks at the quarterback position and Mark Sanchez still due a lot of money it might not be until half way into the regular season that we get to see Geno in action. The Jets also lack the necessary offensive weapons to be effective in a very tough AFC East conference. Geno Smith may be added in two quarterback formats or in dynasty formats as someone to hold on to and hope for the best.
2.09 Robert Woods WR Buffalo Bills: The Bills follow up their first round pick of EJ Manuel with another offensive player and a really good one at that. Woods might be the best receiver in this class joining Stevie Johnson in what is slowly becoming a very explosive Bills offense. There are concerns with Wood’s ankles and if they will hold up through a grueling NFL season but if Woods can stay healthy he will be an immediate contributor and can free up space for Stevie Johnson who has desperately needed a number two opposite of him. What does this mean for fantasy? Woods is now part of a new and forming offense and much like the Colts last year, TY Hilton, Woods could be an immediate impact fantasy player for 2013. He is a receiver to target for both dynasty and re-draft formats as long as you can get him at a decent value.
2.15 Gavin Escobar TE Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys with yet another confusing pick, I like Escobar but if they wanted a tight end why not draft Eifert in the first round when they had the opportunity? Escobar is a great athlete and has decent yards after the catch ability but lacks the necessary blocking skills to be an every down work horse like current Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. Escobar will most likely be used in certain passing downs only splitting out wide and trying to create mismatches with linebackers. What does this mean for fantasy? I can’t envision Escobar seeing a lot of work during the season with a healthy Jason Witten but if for some reason the veteran struggles to stay health Escobar will be worth a roster spot in all formats.
2.16 Le’Veon Bell RB Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers surprise everyone here and confirm what I’ve been saying for awhile now. They decide to pass up Alabama running back Eddie Lacy and decide to go with Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell. Running back was an obvious need for the Steelers as they rotated several backs in 2012 that struggled with consistency and all had problems with ball security. Bell provides the Steelers with the power run game they love and should thrive in an always impressive offense. There are some concerns with the stability of the offensive line but they should be able to address these issues before the start of the 2013 season. What does this mean for fantasy? With little competition for the starting job Bell should be a high volume back and has the ability to be one of the top rookie performers next year. Bell should be targeted early in dynasty and re-draft formats.
2.23 Vance McDonald TE San Francisco 49ers: With the departure of Delanie Walker to Tennessee the 49ers had to select a tight end to give them depth at the position and allow for effective two tight end sets. McDonald is a very talented tight end but I don’t see him being a huge contributor in 2013 barring any set back from Vernon Davis but it will be interesting to see how he is used moving forward. What does this mean for fantasy? Due to the depth at tight end McDonald shouldn’t be on anyone’s fantasy radar for re-draft leagues but could be worth an add in deep dynasty leagues.
2.26 Montee Ball RB Denver Broncos: It is well known fact coach John Fox loves his running backs and with Willis McGahee approaching his retirement time and Moreno’s health in question it really only leaves the Bronco’s with the unproven Ronnie Hillman who’s inability to understand the importance of pass blocking for Peyton Manning landed him a spot on the bench. Ball provides the balance that Denver is looking for in pass protection and his ability to run between the tackles. He should be a day one starter depending one the health and effectiveness of the other backs. What does this mean for fantasy? Ball is not he most exciting or flashy back but he does have the skill to be an immediate starter and if anyone questions his ability to be effective just take a look at what the previously ineffective Knowshon Moreno did in the last few weeks of the 2012 season. Ball should be an immediate add in all formats.
2.27 Aaron Dobson WR New England Patriots: With multiple failed experiments at wide receiver the Patriots had to take at least one in the draft. Dobson is an interesting selection, mostly because he was projected to go much later in the draft but I’m not going to question the evaluation process by Belichick and the Patriots. What does this mean for fantasy? Aaron Dobson could be the outside receiver the Patriots desperately need but with a crowded group of receivers including Danny Amendola, Dobson could get forgotten about rather quickly. He is a player to monitor but not one to add a this time considering the circumstances.
2.29 Eddie Lacy RB Green Bay Packers: The Packers find themselves drafting who was arguably the best running back in the draft. Green Bay has struggled to find a decent option at running back ever since Ryan Grant had a decent year in 2009. They did have an emergence of Dujan Harris at the end of the season after a Cedric Benson injury and a complete failure with Alex Green, but it’s hard to believe that with this pick the Packers feel that Harris is their long term solution. My thought is that Lacy is going to struggle to stay healthy during the season and will most likely spend most of his time on the sidelines. What does this mean for fantasy? In my opinion Lacy needs to be avoided, his ADP will be severely inflated and I would rather take a chance in the later rounds on Dujan Harris or Johnathan Franklin.
2.30 Christine Michael RB Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks surprise everyone here and take the running back that was drawing comparisons to their current workhorse running back Marshawn Lynch. Micheal is a physical runner and although he has had his share of injury history and off the field issues he might be the most talented running back in the draft and a steal here for the Seahawks who building an extremely impressive roster. What does this mean for fantasy? Micheal now becomes the number one handcuff for Marshawn Lynch and because of his history of back problems needs to be drafted by anyone who owns or plans to own Lynch.
3.01 Travis Kelce TE Kansas City Chiefs: Surprised to see Travis Kelce fall this far, he is an extremely athletic and physical tight end that is a great addition to the Chiefs. He has some off the field issues but if Andy Reid can keep him in check there is no doubt he can be the starter in Kansas City over Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki’s inability to stay healthy. What does this mean for fantasy? With Andy Reid’s love of using tight ends and Alex Smith’s history of relying on them Kelce has the opportunity to be a big contributor and although tight end is fairly deep this year he is someone to keep an eye on.
3.11 Mike Glennon QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers: We saw some of the best and worst from Josh Freeman in 2012 and I think that this draft pick shows that the Buccaneers are looking for someone that can take them to the next level. Glennon is far from a finished product but if Freeman continues to struggle when it counts we could see Glennon get a chance to win the starting job. What does this mean for fantasy? Not much to get excited about here for 2013 as Glennon is currently about as effective as Ryan Lindley, but give it a few years of development with Tampa’s talented group of receivers and we could be looking at a similar player to Matt Ryan. He is worth a stash in dynasty leagues or an add if Freeman struggles to the point he is replaced.
3.12 Terrance Williams WR Dallas Cowboys: Strange selection by Dallas here but what else is new, doesn’t surprise one bit. Terrance Williams is a deep threat receiver that should be successful but I don’t really see where he fits in on the Cowboy’s crowded roster. What does this mean for fantasy? Williams is a talented receiver but with this landing spot he should be avoided in 2013 until we get a better idea of his role moving forward.
3.14 Keenan Allen WR San Diego Chargers: The Chargers get a steal here due to Allen’s poor 40 time, injury history and rumors that he had past issues of failed drug tests. Keenan Allen is an underrated receiver that was victim of poor quarterback play in college and unfortunately landing right on a team with the same problem. Phillip River’s finds his favorite target and locks in and has issues spreading the ball around. One thing that is in Allen’s favor is the Denario Alexander and Vincent Brown both have a history of injuries that could give him a chance to step up and be a contributor. If Allen somehow becomes River’s new favorite target we could be looking at a very impressive rookie season for him. What does this mean for fantasy? Barring an injury to any of the other Chargers receivers Allen is going to be limited in some capacity but should be added in dynasty formats and considered late in deeper re-draft formats.
3.16 Marquise Goodwin WR Buffalo Bills: The Bills continue on their mission of adding play makers to their new an improved offense. Goodwin was a college track star that had the second fastest forty at the combine. The speedster isn’t a developed receiver but can be a threat in the slot and in the return game taking some pressure of CJ Spiller and adding another element to the offense. What does this mean for fantasy football? Goodwin is an athlete but should be avoided in most leagues as he only adds the threat in the return game and limited snaps in the slot. He has a long way to go before he can be considered as a starter most formats.
3.17 Markus Wheaton WR Pittsburgh Steelers:This was a great pick for the Steelers who desperately need a play maker and vertical threat now that Mike Wallace is with the Dolphins. It’s a little funny that Wheaton ended up here of all places as he was drawing comparisons to Wallace during his pre draft evaluation. He doesn’t have the break away speed but he does have very good hands and is an impressive route runner. He is also a competitor and his strength is that he goes up to complete for every ball thrown his way. Ben Roethlisberger should be pretty excited to have a receiver like Wheaton on the team. What does this mean for fantasy? With the situation the Steelers are in and lack of any talent at the position, Markus Wheaton should be an immediate add and should be valued highly in all drafts. Expect Wheaton to be an immediate impact player for the Steelers and for your fantasy football teams.
3.23 Jordan Reed TE Washington Redskins: Great pick here for the Redskins, Jordan Reed may not be the prototypical physical blocking tight end but he does closely resemble Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. With some off season issues with Fred Davis and questions as to if he is fully recovered or not it is exciting to think that a dynamic player like Reed could be starting for the Redskins in 2013. With RGIII at quarterback, barring any setbacks I have no doubts that Reed can be one of the most effective receiving tight ends of all the rookies. What does this mean for fantasy? I feel that much like Aaron Hernandez sometimes it is worth the reach to get a player that is so different from all the others at the position. Reed should be targeted in both dynasty and late in re-draft formats.
3.30 Steadman Bailey WR St. Louis Rams: Not sure what the Rams obsession is with West Virginia wide receivers as this is the second they took in this draft but I really don’t blame them because Bailey is extremely talented. He is NFL ready in terms of fundamentals but may have some issues with creating separation against physical NFL cornerbacks. I am a little confused by the selection though because with this addition the Rams have a seriously crowded group of wide receivers. What does this mean for fantasy? I was hoping for a better landing spot for Bailey and I think because of the current receivers Quick and Givens, Bailey will be used in a fairly limited role in 2013. He is worth an add late in dynasty league drafts but should be avoided in redraft formats until we can get a better understanding of the Rams plans for their wide receivers.
3.34 Knile Davis Kansas RB City Chiefs: Considering the options left on the board this was a very confusing pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes Knile Davis is extremely athletic, posting the best combined NFL combine score, but he lacks the fundamentals or natural ability to be a great NFL running back. I have serious doubts the Davis sees much time barring an injury or set back to to Jamaal Charles. So what does this mean for fantasy? Many will say that this hurts Jamal Charle’s value but I don’t think that’s the case. At the very best Davis is a solid handcuff for all Jamaal Charles owners moving forward.