The Den Returns!! Has it already been a month since the NFL Rookie Draft? Indeed it has. My mailbox has been full of messages, I appreciate and read them all, even if I haven’t had enough time to respond to every one of them. I’m busily going thru what happened back in mid-April and I should be rolling out the first of at least three (possibly four) articles ranking each and every one of the offensive players selected in the NFL Draft. The first one will be Quarterbacks, probably ready for print mid-week next week. Thanks for your patience and continued patronage!!
In the meantime, I know a ton of you have been looking for something – ANYTHING from me. I decided to put together a “mock dynasty rookie” draft to hold you over until the heavy analysis comes out shortly. I know some of you have already started, or will be starting your drafts in the coming weeks, hopefully this can give you a sort of second opinion that you can use to your advantage. Keep in mind, this is a list that is strictly for dynasty league rookie drafts. Your specific situation may dictate that your personal list will need to be different.
For instance, if the two quarterbacks on your roster are named Collins and Warner, you probably will want to look to the quarterback position for your top selection. If you are stacked at all positions and the league requires a tight end, then maybe Winslow is a guy that can help you hold onto your league’s title. Stacked at RB and set at QB, then WR might be your desire. I think you know what I’m getting at here…as much as I love the RB, in some situations it makes sense to draft elsewhere. Another thing to keep in mind is backing up your starter. If you have Fred Taylor, you might want to strongly consider Greg Jones, etc.
A note about individual defensive players: Most of you faithful readers of the Den know where I stand on defensive players. I don’t like them. Their performance is nearly impossible to predict, there are a ton of them, and guys come and go on a week to week basis. Problem being, in most dynasty leagues (including those that I am in), they are a necessity and often times their weekly performance can affect the outcome of your matchup. Let me reiterate my strategy, I have never had a problem in finding defensive players either just before the first week of the regular season, or even after the season has begun. Wait to see who is performing well, then bid a dollar to pick them up. Someone ups your bid to two, go to the next guy on your list.
What I’m getting at regarding this article is that you won’t see any defensive players listed (of course, I’m only running thru two rounds worth of players so that shouldn’t really be a surprise). Quick story, last year I ran an experiment, our dynasty draft runs four rounds and I didn’t have a pick in either of the first two rounds. With my third and fourth round picks, I went for defense. I don’t remember who I ended up with, but both guys were taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Point being, I don’t remember who they were because they were dismal fantasy performers. Yes, most of the third and fourth round picks are forgettable no matter what position you draft for, but offensive players will always have a better chance of being decent fantasy performers. Let me throw out a couple names from my league’s third round last year: Domanick Davis, Anquan Boldin. I think those guys did pretty well.
In any case, this is a year where there really isn’t a clear cut top player, or even players. Any of the guys in the top ten are very likely to be fantasy contributors either this year or next. If you are at the top of round one and can move down a couple notches while acquiring a future first round pick, do it (see also San Diego’s fleecing of the Giants).
Good luck to all (except those of you reading this that are in my league). As always, comments, questions, and blatant omissions, sound off here: firstname.lastname@example.org
RB Julius Jones, Dallas – Come on, you didn’t think I would have a non-RB at the top of this list, did you? Many may be surprised by this ranking, but I’m getting word that he will be the starter in Dallas.
WR Roy Williams, Detroit – Will put up numbers in 2004 and beyond.
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona – Another that will put up numbers this year and beyond.
RB Steven Jackson, St.Louis – His prospects for 2004 are not great, though he could steal some TDs. Marshall has held off other first round picks in the past.
QB Philip Rivers, San Diego – Who doesn’t want to throw the ball in San Diego?
TE Kellen Winslow, Cleveland – In a tight end required league, you have to seriously consider him here – or even higher.
RB Kevin Jones, Detroit – The Lions had a nice draft, another guy in a good situation.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh – Long term prospect with a bright future.
QB Eli Manning, New York Giants – In for a rude awakening in 2004.
RB Chris Perry, Cincinnati – Will the Rudi story last beyond 2004? I wouldn’t bet on it.
RB Tatum Bell, Denver – I know, many have him ranked higher, I don’t.
QB J.P.Losman, Buffalo – Long term prospect.
RB Greg Jones, Jacksonville – Nicknamed ‘Tank’ for a reason. Someone always takes TDs away from Taylor, this guy will, too.
WR Lee Evans, Buffalo – Should see action right away.
WR Reggie Williams, Jacksonville – How many Williams’ are in this draft?
RB Cedric Cobbs, New England – Will probably go higher in my league due to all the Patriots fans, he belongs here (yes, I’m picking 16th).
WR Michael Clayton, Tampa Bay – Decent shot at producing in 2004.
WR Mike Jenkins, Atlanta – Nice offense to be in.
WR Rashaun Woods, San Francisco – There is a definite need for WRs in San Francisco.
RB Mewelde Moore, Minnesota – Another RB in the Vikings mix.
WR Darius Watts, Denver – If Lelie doesn’t pan out, will be ready to step in.
WR Devery Henderson, New Orleans – So many WRs, so little time.
WR Keary Colbert, Carolina – A nice complement to be used in the future.
WR Jerricho Cotchery, New York Jets – Ok, I just like the name and the potential surnames for my Week In Review.
WR Carlos Francis, Oakland – Could surprise.
QB Matt Schaub, Atlanta – Long, long term prospect, but worth taking a chance on here, especially if you own Vick.
WR Derrick Hamilton, San Francisco – Competition will be tough, but could emerge.
RB Michael Turner, San Diego – Tomlinson owners would be wise to look here.
WR Bernard Berrian, Chicago – Starting to get a little thin on this list.
WR Devard Darling, Baltimore – Who knows for sure.
RB Jammal Lord, Houston – Anytime you can add the Lord to your team HAS to have a benefit.
TE Benjamin Watson, New England – Many will take him higher, don’t you be that owner, doubtful he’ll produce in 2004.