Every year, fans look at the pool of talent entering the NFL Draft and start to imagine what it would be like to have different players joining their teams. Adding that speedy receiver or bulking up the offensive line. Whatever it is, everyone starts to dream about their team and what it would look like.
There is another way to start thinking about this draft. What many people start to think about this time is: what could this mean for my fantasy team? Yes, there are players heading into places and a way for existing talent to improve with the talent growing around them. Many people begin their fantasy season with the NFL Draft. Those who play dynasty leagues are going to be watching this more keenly. The landing place for a player can greatly determine their worth. No mistake that Ezekiel Elliott exploded after landing with the Cowboys. So here are a few players and the teams we would like to see them land with when all is said and done.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU – Carolina Panthers
Carolina wants to run. They have a line geared towards running and maybe the best running quarterback currently playing football. They have a power game and some misdirection. Fournette can lay the lumber as well as anyone. Carolina does not need a scat back, they need someone like Jonathan Stewart, but younger. Fournette would be perfect and you could pencil him in for 1,200 rushing yards easily. Sure, Cam Newton is going to steal some of those goal line carries, but Stewart had nine touchdowns last year.
Sure, Stewart has only once been a 1,000 yard back, but he was also never started more than 13 games in any season. This is a better deal for dynasty than re-draft because Stewart is still under contract through 2018. However, Stewart is entering his tenth season and the tread is running rather low.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford – New Orleans Saints
Sure, this will not likely happen, but it would be amazing. There should be visions of Darren Sproles running through your head as you read this idea. Then make him taller. At 5’11” and 203 pounds, he has good size and all the shiftiness and speed you could want. He is also, essentially, a slot receiver who plays running back. It is everything that made the Saints offense so great.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the Saints offense will be prolific and powerful either way. Still, McCaffrey’s numbers would be astounding. In a PPR league he could be a first round pick. He could be that ridiculous stat machine that makes everything else tick in that Saints offense. The Saints are pretty certain to go defense here, but this would be amazing. He might be the top dynasty pick if this happens.
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan – Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals have been legitimately harmed by free agency losses the last few years. Mohamed Sanu played in the Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons and Marvin Jones was in the playoffs with the Detroit Lions. All the players that the Bengals have been lining up across from A.J. Green have left. The Bengals had to go out and grab Patriots cast off Brandon LeFell. Corey Davis could step in tomorrow and start opposite Green. He would add a tall, dynamic receiver on a team looking to add weapons for Andy Dalton.
This has a good chance of happening. Cincinnati has a good team and they could be in a position to grab a Wide Receiver to boost the offense’s production. This would be great as the Bengals do target A.J. Green to a great degree, but Davis could have strong value as a solid WR2 option in deeper leagues. In a standard league he would be an immediate flex option.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson – Washington Redskins
So, DeSean Jackson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Pierre Garcon (San Francisco 49ers) are both gone. Now we will see whether Josh Doctson was a good pick last year. Washing clearly wants to throw a lot. Furthermore, they have a quarterback who is still playing with a chip on his shoulder about not getting his long-term deal. Sure, they have until mid-July to get that deal done, but we all know it will not happen. So, one more year before Kirk Cousins leaves to join the 49ers and it should be a fireworks show.
Mike Williams is a guy who can go up and get a ball and handle plays in traffic. Cousins is unafraid to throw interceptions and that means he will value someone who can turn a tough pass into a catch. Doctson last year was a guy, with the great hands and the leaping ability, that people said made sense in a contested ball situation (like goal line passes). With the firing of Scot McGlouhan, there is little way to tell what direction Washington will go. They are, admittedly, rudderless right now and we have no stated vision. This would be a fun add for fantasy though.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – Cleveland Browns
Yes, I know, drafting quarterbacks never works in Cleveland. Still, maybe, just maybe, this is an amazing chance. For one thing, Cleveland did everything it could off season (short of retaining Terrell Pryor) to make the job of quarterback an easier one. Any quarterback coming in will have Corey Coleman, Kenny Britt and Gary Barnidge running routes. Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell would join him in the backfield. Also, Joe Thomas and Joel Bitonio are joined by J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler. Gotta love any offensive line with two former Badgers.
Deshaun would be a better fit than Mitch Trubisky. Two years of film and experience. You are not getting smoke and mirrors. The bust factor decreases. Also, Watson played all the big games. High pressure and the lights on him. He has a little more mobility, but he should feel good behind this line. Solid Tight End and a running game, combined with Hue Jackson guiding his growth. This could be a great pairing. The only weird thing would be the ownership of the Browns. Jimmy Haslam has showed some strange tendencies and the willingness to fire coaches pretty quickly and without much reason. If Jackson can stay and coach up Watson, I really like this idea.