Like any blockbuster summer movie this time of year is filled with many story-lines. Media outlets alike are constantly churning them out one after the other which we follow closely into training camp. Rookies will be the subject of much criticism, high praise and lots of over hyping. I say that because some rookies will flash moments of potential that many will hope can be translated onto the field on Sundays. A dynasty owner must be very wary of this. Don’t be caught up in the moment, it could backfire on you.
On the AFC side of things look for much attention to be on the a couple guys drafted among the first five in this years draft. Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson. In the rookie drafts I’ve been involved in, thus far, Richardson has gone first overall and Luck has ranged from 1.02 to 1.04. If you’re hoping he lands past that spot have a backup plan, it’s not happening.
What should be interesting to watch with Luck is the fact that he won’t join the team till he’s completed his schooling at Stanford. He’s been able to get familiar with coach Chuck Pagano’s offense in mini camp but he’ll need more time than that if he’s going to do well in his rookie campaign. What helps Luck is that he’ll already be comfortable with TE Coby Fleener. The continuity built due to their time at Stanford should only get better with NFL tier coaching drilling them day in and day out.
Quarterbacks will be an interesting topic with Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill. The Browns played off the QB speculation as long as possible before drafting Weeden and causing quite the controversy. Weeden comes into the league at 28 years old and was taken in the first round which means he will be asked to do a lot from the get go. Does this guarantee he will be the starting QB in September, not exactly but one can assume that there’s a chance we’ll see him on the field at some point this season.
With Ryan Tannenhill, his situation is a little different. At this point he is the number three QB behind Matt Moore and David Garrard. It might be best for the Dolphins to sit Tannenhill for a year to get acquainted with this new offense. There isn’t much on the offensive side of the ball to get excited about and throwing Tannenhill straight into the fire could be a bad for business. Dynasty owners who have drafted him can only be thinking the same thing. I drafted Tannenhill in one league with plans to stash him. It’s the patient approach you must have for some rookie regardless if you drafted them in the second round of a rookie draft. Look for both QB’s to be off the board in the second round.
With Richardson much will be asked of his services. He’s a three down back who has made Montario Hardesty an afterthought. He will be the workhorse, the “bell cow” for the Browns if you will. I’ve seen him drafted in dynasty start-ups no later than the second round. It’s really no wonder why as few teams have a full time RB and operate with a RBBC (Running Back By Committee). His value is high and barring a setback *knocks on wood* I don’t see that changing.
Another running back you might see come off the board in the first round is Ronnie Hillman. With Kno-Show Moreno on the way out and Mario Fannin coming off an ACL injury, Hillman only has to deal with Willis Mcgahee for carries. It doesn’t hurt to have Peyton Manning as your QB either. With Peyton’s history of making everyone around him better it will only raise Hillmans value more.
When Justin Blackmon got drafted to the Jaguars most in the fantasy realm breathed a collective sigh. Many hoped he’d land in St. Louis with Sam Bradford and help add some firepower to that offense. When the Jags traded up in the draft it was a forgone conclusion who it was for and most of us thought one thing, this guy will be catching passes from Blaine Gabbert. Again, a collective sigh. As the Jags OTA’s kicked off Blackmon was reportedly working with the first team opposite of new acquisition Laurent Robinson. It looks as though Justin Blackmon has been landing at the 1.05 spot in most rookie drafts with all but one draft where he was taken at the 1.03 spot. This will most definitely fluctuate as training camp nears.
Other notable rookies include Stephen Hill (Jets), Kendall Wright (Titans), Mohamed Sanu (Bengals) and Juron Criner (Raiders). Hill falls into an interesting situation where he has a chance to star. The only other WR stopping him from being the #1 guy is Santonio Holmes, which isn’t a tall order (literally). What could be a potential roadblock is which QB will be throwing to him, Mark “hotdog” Sanchez or Tim “Touchdown Jesus” Tebow.
Kendall Wright has a chance to become the #2 man in Tennessee with only Nate Washington standing in his way. Kenny Britt is the man and that will not change even as he comes back off injury. Look for Wright to be involved with the Titans offense early and often challenging for the #2 role
Mohamed Sanu has a great shot to start opposite of A.J. Green and will battle fellow rookie Marvin Jones for that spot. Juron Criner is a bit of sleeper in my opinion and should be watched very closely during camp. The Raiders WR corps is a bit clustered but with the recent injury history of Jacoby Ford and the sometimes underachieving Darrius Heyward Bey there is a chance Criner could challenge for playing time. Keep him on your radar.
Going back to TE and a dynasty note, I’ve landed Fleener in three rookie drafts at the back end of the first round. Look for him to fall in that range going forward. His value is certainly helped by being reunited with his college QB. What might hinder his value, slightly if at all, is the presence of the other rookie TE the Colts drafted, Dwayne Allen. The Colts plan to use both in double tight packages. Dwayne Allen is definitely worth a roster spot but don’t look to draft him in the first two rounds. Until a clear relationship is developed between him and Luck. I see Allen as more of a handcuff to Fleener or even a guy you can stash on your bench or taxi squad. Stay patient with this one.
Another TE to be on the lookout for is Ladarius Green of the Chargers, with Antonio Gates getting nicked up every year, it seems like, and missing games there is a chance that Green could get a shot at playing time. With Phillip Rivers throwing the ball there’s no reason to think he can’t break out. I’ve seen him fall anywhere from the end of the second round to the beginning of the fourth. His ADP will be interesting to watch during training camp so monitor his situation closely.
Whether you’re a dynasty rookie or veteran the important thing is to trust your gut when drafting. Everyone makes mistakes, weather you whiff on a potential stud or stash a player who doesn’t ever come to fruition, just try to keep things in perspective and don’t fret. You’ll land that box office hit that will lead you to a championship one day. It’s all about patience and a little sacrifice. Keep these things in mind and the rest will fall in place.
Now if you excuse me, I have to return some videotapes.
Dynasty Sports Empire