NFL Draft Winners 2
NFL Draft Reaction
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Dak Prescott: The fantasy world has always had a strange relationship with Dak Prescott. He’s been a consistent fantasy contributor from the very beginning, and been a top 10 QB in all four seasons that he’s been in the league. Yet, doubts remain.
The Cowboys QB certainly shows inconsistency on the field, he’s had a tendancy to be somewhat boom and bust for fantasy owners and that seems to have bled into perennial underrating.
There was without doubt a period when he struggled with a poor supporting cast, but since the acquisition of Amari Cooper he’s been fantasy dynamite and finished last season as QB3.
Entering the offseason there were concerns around his contract extension, the possibility of Cooper leaving in free agency, the retirement of Travis Frederick and doubts over whether the team would prioritise upgrading the secondary through the draft. The draft however, did nothing but add weight to the case for Prescott as a top five QB.
Not only did the Cowboys grab Cee Dee Lamb with pick 17 but they replaced their pro-bowl former Wisconsin center with another Badger in Tyler Biadasz, who looked a steal at the end of the 4th round.
I suspect that doubts will remain. That’s good news for you, draft him in the 5th round and don’t look back.
Miles Sanders: The Eagles are totally committed to a running back committee approach so Sanders will never be a top tier RB. Right? Wrong. The Eagles have done almost nothing to bolster running back depth in the offseason and, right now, will enter the season with Sanders being backed up by dynamic but undersized Boston Scott, Superbowl 52 hero Corey Clement and a host of undrafted free agents.
Sanders had an outstanding rookie season, despite only emerging as the starter late in the season he wracked up 818 rushing yards, 509 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. With Jordan Howard now in Miami the path is clear for the former Penn State back to establish himself as the undisputed lead back.
Another big help to Sanders is the Eagles sudden desire to create a sprint team at wide receiver. With a healthy Desean Jackson, rookie Jalen Reagor and a solid (if often injured) back up in Marquise Goodwin is looks likely that Philadelphia will be much more able to stretch the field, creating lighter boxes and significantly more space underneath- Sanders is a likely beneficiary of both.
Right now, Sanders is being slept on, but if you need any more convincing go and compare his rookie stats with those of Christian McCaffrey and tell me he’s not worth an early second round, start-up pick.
Leonard Fournette: The Jaguars hate Leonard Fournette. There have been rumours that they been trying to trade him forever. He seemed to suggest he wasn’t full bought into the move to Gardner Minshew as the team’s starting Quarterback. So, clearly the team want to move on from him. Well, no.
Right now Fournette remains atop the depth the chart. Not just atop but more or less in his own continent at the top. The team did nothing to address the position in free agency or in the draft. Fournette will be backed up by second year backs Ryquell Armstead and Devine Ozigbo who combined for 44 carries last season.
The disparity between rhetoric and action is dramatic when it comes to Fournette and the Jags. Whether there was simply no buyer, or they actually still see him as a lead back is open to debate. What’s not open to debate is that despite the offseason noise, he’s the starting running back on a team with a questionable Quarterback and a desire to build around their defence.
TY Hilton: It would appear that reports of TY Hilton’s fantasy death may have been exaggerated. Last season wasn’t a success for Hilton, he missed 6 games and saw his production hit as the Colts offense ground to a halt under Jacoby Brissett.
Enter Philip Rivers. The veteran QB will enter his 17th season in the league, but his first outside of the Chargers organisation. There are undoubtedly sceptics who thinks he’s finished but, if he has anything left, he couldn’t have landed in a better spot to show it. Reunited with former offensive coordinator Frank Reich, now the head coach in Indy and former Quarterback coach Nick Sirianni. Both had success with Rivers in the past.
On top of an improvement at QB, Hilton will finally find some support in terms of offensive weapons. The team spent their top two picks on offensive support in the form of receiver Michael Pittman and running back Jonathan Taylor. The team are clearly high on Pittman and if he can draw coverage from Hilton it can only help the 30 year old receiver. The addition of Taylor will likely help in play action and if the line can protect Rivers he is never shy of throwing the ball down the field.
A lot depends on Rivers but on the surface Hilton looks like a good candidate for a bounce back season.
James Connor: Connor owners entered the offseason with a sense of dread. It seem inevitable that the oft-injured Steelers back was destined to be usurped in the either free agency or the draft. With the Pitt graduate entering the final season of his rookie contract and an injury plagued 2019 that saw him miss six games the writing appeared to be on the wall.
All, however, is not always how it seems. The Steelers did draft a running back in Maryland speedster Anthony McFarland but he looks more of a compliment to Connor than a straight replacement. It seems that the 24 year old is going to get one more chance to prove that he is the Steelers back of choice.
There is risk in dynasty. If Connor doesn’t stay healthy then the Steelers will likely move on, but if he does he’ll likely be an affordable long term option for the team and could solidify his position for the next few years. He’s a risky buy, but one you should consider.