2013 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Names to Know
Gridiron Experts finally has fuel for the fire. We have all been waiting for the NFL Draft, and after our Day one NFL Draft grades article we decided to to cut right to the most interesting fantasy football names to take note of for our day two article. As you may know, day two of the NFL Draft focused on the 2nd and 3rd round, the following are some of our writers early impressions of the new fantasy additions.
Also, make sure you check our final 2013 NFL Draft grades coming real soon.
Justin Hunter (WR) Tennessee
Fantasy Factor: Hunter will line-up opposite of Kenny Britt and push 2012 1st rounder Kendall Wright to the slot.
Jody Smith: We figured the Titans were trading up for a bigger need, cornerback, but this moves makes sense because the Titans really need to improve their passing attack. Hunter has tremendous upside as an outside receiver.
Shawn Luskey: Before injuring his ACL, Justin Hunter was grabbing comparisons to A.J. Green. This is a player with a very high ceiling. Hunter was the top performer at the combine in vertical jump and broad jump which he can pool with soft hands and height to beat defenders.
Bob Talbot: Before McShay even made the comparison, the striking resemblance to A.J. Green caught my eye. Hunter is a deep threat who can go up and get it. He adds an element of explosiveness the Titans haven’t had at the receiving position in years.
Tyler Ertz (TE) Stanford
Fantasy Factor: Hard to handicap what Chip Kelly’s diverse attack will do on the pro level, but Ertz has the skill-set to be the team’s top tight end, over Brent Celek and the newly signed James Casey.
Jody Smith: True to his nature, Chip Kelly is focusing on adding more weapons and elements to his offense. Ertz was the highest rated tight end at this spot. Look for Philly to focus on their defense next.
Mike Rodriguez: Chip Kelly wants targets that can not only make plays, but can also block. The Eagles really have never really had two solid starting tight ends on their roster at one time, and now they have three with the addition of free agent James Casey (FB/TE). This Eagles offense will look nothing like what we are used to seeing, but hints of a multiple tight end package could be in the works. In an post-draft interview with Kelly, the new Eagles head coach loved the idea of mis-matches with size. Tyler Ertz does exactly that.
Giovani Bernard (RB) UNC
Fantasy Factor: It was obvious that the Bengals were looking to find a back to compliment BenJarvus Green-Ellis. They’ve been linked to Eddie Lacy for some time, but Bernard compliments BJGE better and should make an impact in the return game as well. Bernard will have some additonal value in PPR formats. The Bengals have the potential to become a dangerous offense.
Jody Smith: Some had Gio as the best overall back in this draft, but his fantasy value will be kept in check as he enters the dreaded “running back by committee” backfield with the bigger BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Mike Rodriguez: I really like this pick, Bernard was tops on my board even above the fan favorite Eddie Lacy. The Bengals have really become masters of finding value in the last three years. I liked their draft a lot.
Bob Talbot: Bernard is a very versatile back with deceptive quickness. Can’t say I’m not surprised Lacy wasn’t the first RB off the board, but he’ll be a nice dose of lighting to Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis’s thunder.
Manti Te’o (ILB) Notre Dame
San Diego Chargers
Not fantasy realted, but we added thoughts on Manti Te’o for those looking for our opinion.
Jody Smith: Te’o is a very good player who has been unfairly criticised for the distractions. Lack of speed could make him a bit of a liability in coverage. Not sure that he’s a natural fit in the scheme the Chargers are expected to run, but it’s hard not to root for the kid.
Bob Talbot: Te’o was a top 10 pick before the National Championship and fake girlfriend fiasco. The ball seems to find this guy. He’s got great instincts, good ball skills and he’s a great form tackler. If he can improve his ability to get off blocks and gain the respect of his teammates, this could be a steal.
Geno Smith (QB) W Virginia
New York Jets
Fantasy Factor: One of the big QB battles to watch in camp. Best early guess is that Smith will be groomed to play behind David Garrard initially, as Rex Ryan is essentially playing for his job. If Geno wins the starting job outright in camp, he has a huge arm and nice athleticism, but lacks consistency and pocket awareness. Early value is as a low end QB2/3.
Shawn Luskey: Geno Smith is the most athletic QB in this year’s draft class. Smith makes cautious throws to avoid interceptions and can drive the deep ball. He is a highly competitive individual who might be just what the Jets need. There is one problem, what about Sanchez and Tebow?
Jody Smith: Big arm, but questionable awareness, accuracy and leadership ability. Hard for New York to pass on the upside, as QB is a huge need.
Bob Talbot: “It won’t be easy for Geno to thrive with the current state of the Jets offense, but in time this could prove to be a real steal for the Jets. All the tools are there. The Jets just need to focus on building the right pieces around him.
Robert Woods (WR) USC
Fantasy Factor: The Bills have been lacking a reliable sure-handed target opposite Stevie Johnson, Woods has long arms and has a real knack for making plays in traffic
Mike Rodriguez: Woods is very versatile, the Bills should be able to find a spot for him quickly. He gets out of his breaks quickly and has soft hands. The Bills 2013 draft class leans heavily to fixing their offense and passing game.
Jody Smith: Buffalo has next to nothing behind Stevie Johnson and Woods was being mocked into the bottom of the first round. Solid pick for the new look Bills.
Gavin Escobar (TE) SDSU
Fantasy Factor: Jason Witten caught 110 balls last year. Then there’s still Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and now Baylor rookie WR Terrance Williams to contend with. Escobar is highly unlikely to have any real fantasy football value this year.
Mike Rodriguez: The love for adding Tight End depth continues. The Patriots seem to be trend setters and the Cowboys much like the Eagles have bought into the concept of having big sure-hand targets. Escobar is a good pick-up
Jody Smith: Exhibit 2013B for why Jerry Jones should step aside and hire a real GM. Not only does this not fill a need for Dallas, Escobar wasn’t even the best tight end available. Not a good draft haul for the Cowboys so far.
Le’Veon Bell (RB) Mich St
Fantasy Factor: Sleeper alert: Bell has the clearest path to a starting gig of any of the running backs taken so far. Better yet, he’s also a solid blocker with good hands. Has the makings of one of those mid round, RB3/4 picks that pays off in a big way for fantasy owners.
Jody Smith: Pittsburgh has a glaring need for a starting tailback, but surprised they passed on Eddie Lacy here. Still, the Steelers remain one of the most solid drafting teams in the NFL and deserve the benefit of the doubt here. Bell has a clear path to immediate fantasy relevance.
Mike Rodriguez: Getting back to basics: Le’Veon Bell is a big durable running back that fits what the Steelers use to do weekly -pound the rock. With the loss of Wallace, Pittsburgh snags a workhorse RB rather than a WR to get their offense back on a more balanced attack. Fantasy owners will be watching him closely moving forward.
Vance Mcdonald (TE) Rice
San Fransciso 49’ers
Fantasy Factor: Limited. McDonald isn’t near the athlete that Vernon Davis is and Davis virtually disappeared for a six week stretch after Colin Kaepernick took over.
Jody Smith: The 49ers are having a tremendous offseason, but not sure why the traded up for a second tight end, when they underused Vernon Davis.
Montee Ball (RB) Wisconsin
Mike Rodriguez: Love this pick, one of my favorite running backs in this draft class. Fearless between the tackles and doesn’t run out of bounds. The Broncos use the draw play more than most teams, and Montee Ball fits the mold perfectly.
Jody Smith: Big Ten plodder who should be the favorite to be the goal line back, which is always a prosperous fantasy position for Peyton Manning led teams. Should spell the end of Willis McGahee’s run with the Broncos.
Shawn Luskey: Ball is a guy that can make a catch out of the backfield and is a three down back. In my opinion, Ball has the best vision of the RB’s and his patience will play to his advantage in the NFL. It seems like there will be a no show for Knowshon.
Aaron Dobson (WR) Marshall
New England Patriots
Jody Smith: Dobson impressed in the Senior Bowl. He’ll get a chance to get some playing time in New England, but with the Pats’ history of missing on receivers in the draft and with the way the passing attack is predicated on attacking the seams, Dobson may only see a handful of targets.
Eddie Lacy (RB) Alabama
Green Bay Packers
Jody Smith: A lot of draft pundits had Lacy going to the Packers in Round One, so this is an outstanding value pick to get him almost forty picks later. Lacy is an excellent all-around back who can catch and block. He’s an immediate upgrade for a team that needed one. Now if we can just convince the Packers to give him more than 15 carries a game…
Bob Talbot: The Packers have sorely needed a running back for the last few years. As good as Rodgers is, even he can’t handle the pressure Green Bay’s predictable pass-heavy offense has faced two seasons running. If the Packers can establish the run, Rodgers will become even more lethal through the air.
Christine Michael (RB) Texas A&M
Hard to imagine Michael having much fantasy value in a crowded backfield for a contender. Best to avoid unless you’re in a deep dynasty league.
Jody Smith: With Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin already in the backfield, you have to question the logic here. Pete Carrol and Company deserve the benefit of the doubt, but running back was not a need for the Seahawks. Looks like they stuck with the “best available player” strategy with this selection.
Travis Kelce (TE) Cincy
Kansas City Chiefs
Jody Smith: Andy Reid never seemed to utilize the tight end position very much while he was in Philadelphia. With newly acquired Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki already in the fold, it will be hard for Kelce to get onto the field, much less make a fantasy impact.
Mike Glennon (QB) NC State
Tampa Bay Buc’s
Fantasy Factor: Don’t be surprised if Glennon gets some starts this year. Greg Schiano has already waivered on his support for incumbent Josh Freeman. Considering how badly Freeman played in 2012’s second half, Glennon could be given a shot to take over and might be a long shot to win the job outright in camp.
Bob Talbot: Seems like the Bucs are sending Josh Freeman a wake up call. Glennon has been widely regarded as a top QB prospect. His height gives him the ability to see over the line. He’s surprisingly mobile as well, showing great ability to make tough throws on the run. He’s got an NFL arm. If Freeman doesn’t get his act together, it could be Glennon making the deep throws to Vincent Jackson come season’s end.
Terrance Williams (WR) Baylor
Jody Smith: Another questionable pick for Jones. Despite their more obvious needs, Dallas has added a second tight end and third wide receiver so far. Williams is a talented wide-out and should fit in well here as a local star, but will there be enough balls to go around?
Keenan Allen (WR) California
San Diego Chargers
Bob Talbot: Hell of a draft for the Chargers. Coming off a knee injury, there is some concern about Allen. However, he’s an exceptional route runner with great hands. He won’t blow you away with his speed, but he’s deceptively elusive. His strong frame allows him to create separation and win one-on-one battles down the field. He should be able to line up both inside and outside the numbers at the next level. The battle for WR spots is wide open in San Diego too. Allen could be a mid-season sleeper in fantasy.
Marquise Goodwin (WR) Texas
Fantasy Factor: Developmental pick for Dynasty owners, but worth monitoring his progress in camp before selecting in a redraft.
Jody Smith: Goodwin is a track athlete who is very raw. He’s going to take some time to develop into a real football player. Has elite level speed, which is something Buffalo’s receiving corps needed. Graded as a 4th-5th rounder. The Bills haven’t made the playoffs in 14 years and still seem content to gamble throughout this draft.
Markus Wheaton (WR) Oregon St
Jody Smith: Having lost Mike Wallace to Miami, we knew that the Steelers would address their receiving corps in the top half of this draft. Wheaton was graded as a mid-second round prospect and has the downfield skill-set to help replace Wallace. Another great pick for a team that routinely hits on players like this.
Jordan Reed (TE) Florida
Bob Talbot: With Fred Davis’s health in question, Reed is a nice fall back option for the Redskins. He’s a gifted athlete for his size, great after the catch, and very good at finding the holes in defenses. He’ll have to improve his blocking if he wants to see the field though. RGIII is an asset that needs protection.
Stedman Bailey (WR) W Virginia
St. Louis Rams
Bob Talbot: Using picks to pair college teammates together seems to be a trend in the draft this year. The one-two punch of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey certainly helped Geno Smith’s numbers at West Virginia. Perhaps this tandem can help Sam Bradford reach the potential scouts saw in him when he went #1 overall. Bailey is a great vertical threat that should help free up some space in the slot for Austin to be even more effective. The Rams might be winning this draft.
This article was written as a group effort by our team. Make sure you bookmark Gridiron Experts today to stay update on all our content!