2017 NFL Draft: First Round Fantasy Impact

The 1st Round

Well….that was a crazy 1st round. Lots of teams trading up for quarterbacks in the 1st round, which is always exciting, but is it exciting for fantasy? Not always the case. 

Some teams definitely got some offensive weapons that could make an impact right away. Some picks left me scratching my head a bit. Let’s take a look at some of the offensive pieces taken in the 1st round and how they may impact your league next season.

Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Yikes….this was a head scratcher. Why did the Bears give up so much to move up 1 spot to get a QB that they most likely would have gotten anyways? I can’t wrap my head around this trade. Especially after the Bears had just shelled out millions for Mike Glennon. I have no idea how this plays out in Chicago now. I was pretty big on Glennon going into next year, but the pick of Trubisky muddies the waters a bit. Trubisky may be a good pick for dynasty leagues where you can sit on him, but other than that, I am not touching this guy.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Jacksonville’s offensive line is average at best, but this pick really excites me. The Jags had a really tough time running the ball last year and it was suicide to hold any of their backs on your roster. Fournette should slide right into a starting position in Jacksonville. The best attribute a player can have in fantasy football is opportunity and as a starter he has exactly that. Fournette is likely a RB2 moving into next year.

Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

The Titans are a run heavy team but were in need of a wide receiver and they got that in Corey Davis. Davis will be playing opposite of Rishard Matthews who really came on towards the end of last season. Having Davis on the opposite side of the field should really help Matthews production. At 6’3 and 209lbs, Davis is a weapon in the redzone. Davis will likely be a WR3/Flex play for next season.

Los Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

This is an unfortunate place to land for Williams. The Chargers already have several wide receivers and tight ends on their roster that Williams will have to compete for snaps with. Between Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, and Travis Benjamin, I’m not sure where Williams will fit in that mess. Lets not forget that Rivers also has Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry to throw to. Williams may be worth the pickup in Dynasty leagues, but in standard leagues, he’s a tough sell on this roster.

Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

I LOVE this pick. The Panthers really needed help at the running back position. Despite Jonathon Stewart signing an extension, I think the Panthers will use McCaffrey in all aspects of their offense. Look to see him be the exclusive rusher as well as catching passes out of the backfield. He will really shine in PPR leagues. At the very least, McCaffrey is an RB2.

Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR, Washington

I was not expecting the Bengals to draft a wide receiver here, but surprise! They took the speedster out of Washington to play opposite of AJ Green. I’m not a huge fan of this pick. I don’t think that Ross can rely on his speed alone in the NFL. I think he will be very big play dependent. You may get a big play for a touchdown here and there from him, but nothing consistent. WR3 at best.

Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

This was another head scratching trade for me. Why did they give up so much for Mahomes? Did they see something no one else did? Either way, he is a non factor coming into next season. He will be playing behind veteran Alex Smith and will not see a lot of playing time.

Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Yet another trade! Out of the quarterback drafted, Watson has the best opportunity to start now and like I said, opportunity is everything. He is probably the most athletic quarterback in this years draft and his legs definitely add to his value. His downside is that he likes to sling the ball and take a lot of chances, which usually turns into turnovers in the NFL. He is a great pickup in dynasty leagues, but in standard leagues, he is most likely a QB2.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Fantasy wise, this is probably my most favorite pick in the 1st round. Howard is a beast and he is joining a roster pumped full of talent with Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, and Doug Martin. Cameron Brate was really coming into his own last season, so that may be the only downside here. Will Brate take targets from Howard or vice versa? Will they run 2 tight end splits? It’s hard to say right now, but Howard could be really great in this offense. I see him as a TE2 but could definitely find himself as a TE1 towards the end of the season.

New York Giants: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss

I haven’t seen the Giants have a dominant tight end in the passing game in a long time. I don’t see that changing much with the addition of Engram. He’s not the biggest for his position but he was more of a receiving tight end, not so much a blocker. He could see his fair share of targets, but I don’t see him having a huge season. TE2 at best.

Cleveland Browns: David Njoku, TE, Miami

I’m not in love with this pick. Cleveland is still trying to find a quarterback and Njoku will be playing behind Gary Barnidge. So, not a ton of value here but worth the pickup in dynasty leagues.

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