Part two of the three-part series where I breakdown a fantasy football rookie draft I participated in.
Round 2 –
13. Montario Hardesty (RB – Cleveland) Hardesty fell farther than expected in this rookie draft. He will battle with Jerome Harrison for carries this season. Hardesty could compliment the speedy Harrison in Cleveland’s running game as a physical tailback, and eventually take over in the backfield as soon as this year. If you own one Browns’ tailback, handcuff him with the other.
14. Toby Gerhart (RB – Minnesota) The Vikings drafted Gerhart in the second round (54th overall) to be Adrian Peterson’s primary backup. He led the nation in his senior year at Stanford with 1871 yards on the ground, but didn’t add much to their air attack with 11 receptions. Gerhart won’t have much fantasy value this season (or any season in Minnesota) as long as Peterson is healthy.
15. Colt McCoy (QB – Cleveland) Right now McCoy is behind Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace in Cleveland. Team president Mike Holmgren and head coach Eric Mangini don’t think McCoy will see playing time this season, but there is always an outside shot. It could be a couple seasons before we see if McCoy will make it as an NFL quarterback.
16. Dexter McCluster (RB/WR – Kansas City) McCluster was in the backfield at Mississippi last year, but was drafted as a receiver by the Chiefs with the 36th overall pick. He will see time in the slot and possibly out of the backfield in his rookie year. Not having a true position will take a toll on his fantasy value this year. If the Chiefs opt to use him on special teams, he will have fantasy value in leagues that allow return yardage.
17. Jermaine Gresham (TE – Cincinnati) Gresham should fit into the Bengals system nicely, in time. He will need to improve his blocking, and could lose some playing time to Reggie Kelly in his rookie year for that reason. Carson Palmer will love having a big-bodied target like Gresham in short-yardage and end zone situations.
18. Mardy Gilyard (WR – St. Louis) Gilyard was an offensive and special-teams weapon in college. He could have a prominent role in the Rams’ offense partway through the season, and should have added value in leagues that count return yardage. Gilyard appears to have an instant report with quarterback Sam Bradford.
19. Brandon LaFell (WR – Carolina) LaFell will be given every opportunity to beat out Dwayne Jarrett as the Panthers’ No. 2 receiver. It won’t be a difficult task for LaFell to surpass Jarrett on the depth chart, but outside of Steve Smith no receiver on this roster will have much fantasy impact this season due to Carolina’s quarterback situation.
20. James Starks (RB – Green Bay) Starks is currently third on Green Bay’s depth chart. This is an example of an owner digging deep, hoping a player pans out. He has an outside shot to beat Brandon Jackson in training camp to backup Ryan Grant this season. Starks did miss all of 2009 with a torn labrum.
21. Damian Williams (WR – Tennessee) Williams won’t have much fantasy impact this season. It’s not because he lacks NFL-ready talent. It’s because he’s behind Nate Washington, Justin Gage and Kenny Britt in the Titans’ receiver pecking order. For that reason, Williams is a couple years away from putting up fantasy worthy numbers.
22. Mike Williams (WR – Tampa Bay) Like second-round pick Arrelious Benn, Williams is in a situation with few road blocks in the way. He will be given every chance to have impact on the Bucs’ offense in his rookie year. There are questions regarding his character, however. Williams left the Syracuse football team seven games into the season, and his stock fell on draft day as a result.
23. Joe McKnight (RB – NY Jets) Shonn Green and LaDainian Tomlinson (in that order) are ahead of McKnight in the Jets’ backfield, and touches will be scarce for the rookie. If he ever does become a fantasy caliber running back, it will be years down the road. McKnight showed up to minicamp out of shape, and didn’t make the best first impression on the Jets’ brass.
24. Jordan Shipley (WR – Cincinnati) The Bengals continued to replenish their offense by drafting Shipley in the third round (84th overall). He is tough and has above average hands, but lacks the overall speed and talent to excel as a receiver in the NFL. Shipley should settle into a career as a solid Brandon Stokley-like slot-receiver.
Round 1 – Round 3