Whose Fantasy Stock Took Big Hits
by Utter-Fantasy Writer & illustrator Doug Bowles
HC Jeff Fisher surprised everyone on day one of the NFL Draft by selecting RB Todd Gurley with the Rams #10 overall pick of the 1st round. Running back Zac Stacy was more than surprised by the selection…..he was “pissed”, and immediately requested to be traded. RB Stacy, who was 3rd on the St. Louis depth chart after having entered the 2014 season as the Ram’s starter, suddenly became inconsequential. His request was granted BTW, and Stacy is now a Jet.
Many veteran player’s fantasy stock took big hits the weekend because of the NFL Draft, some took minor hits and Utter-Fantasy has decided to take a look at some of them, team by team.
ARIZONA- RB Andre Ellington- ( Medium hit)- The Cardinals selected RB David Johnson in the 3rd Round. Johnson was the 9th overall ranked RB by Utter-Fantasy in this year’s draft. He is 6’1″ 224, he runs hard but does lack breakaway speed. Ellington had better stay productive and healthy in 2015 if want wants to stay the starter.
ATLANTA- RB Devanta Freeman- (Big Hit)- The Falcons selected RB Tevin Coleman early in the 3rd Round. Coleman was the 5th overall ranked RB by Utter-Fantasy in this year’s draft, and a good 2nd round prospect. He 5’11” 206, he is durable and a good receiver out of the backfield, which Atlanta loves. Coleman is a superior runner and hurts Freeman’s fantasy value a ton. Currently Freeman is listed as the starter, but if the Falcons really beleived in him, why wasn’t use used last season when grampa Steven Jackson struggled to get even 60 rushing yards in any game.
BALTIMORE- TE Dennis Pitta- (Big Hit)- The Ravens selected TE Maxx Williams early in the 2nd Round. Williams was Utter- Fantasy’s #1 TE prospect in this year’s Draft. Pitta, who has struggled to stay healthy, was hoping for a re-bound year. That’s not going to happen now. ( The selection of WR Breshad Perriman in the 1st round by the Ravens doesn’t hurt WR Steve Smith’s fantasy stock, as he needs someone opposite him to draw away coverage, but the rest of the Baltimore’s receiving corps were crushed by the selection.)
BUFFALO- RB LeSean McCoy- (Small Hit)- RB Fred Jackson ( Medium Hit)- Buffalo selected RB Karlos Williams in the 5th Round. Williams was Utter- Fantasy’s #15 RB prospect in this year’s Draft. Karlos Williams has size and power, and could steal goal-line TDs from both McCoy and Jackson.
CAROLINA- WR Philly Brown/ WR Jericho Cotchery/ Jarret Boykin- (Big Hit)- The Panthers selected WR Devin Funchess early in the 2nd Round. Funchess was Utter-Fantasy’s #9 ranked WR in this year’s draft. He’ll become the Panther’s #2 wide receiver and at 6’4″ 232, a huge red some target.
CHICAGO- WR Marquess Wilson- (Huge Hit)- The Panthers selected WR Kevin White with the #7 overall pick in Round One. White was Utter-Fantasy’s #2 ranked WR in this year’s draft. Wilson would have been a WR top sleeper for the 2015 fantasy season. Wilson is now just a low end #3 WR.
CINCINNATI- TE Tyler Eifert- (Small Hit)- TE Gresham unsigned free agent (Huge Hit)- The Bengals selected TE Tyler Kroft in the 3rd Round. Kroft was Utter-Fantasy’s #8 ranked TE in this year’s draft. Still a free agent, TE Gresham, who is recovering from back surgery, had hoped to resign with the Bengals, but this selection likely ended his chances.
CLEVELAND- RB Terrance West/ RB Isaiah Crowell- (Medium Hit)- The Brown’s selected RB Duke Johnson with the #77 overall pick in Round Three. Johnson was Utter-Fantasy’s #4 ranked RB in this year’s draft. Johnson is 5’9″ 207…and has explosive burst. He’s a one cut runner, but also has had fumbling issues. If used as a change-of-pace back, West and Crowell’s stock won’t be hurt as much. HC Pettine is well-known however for giving up on RBs early, so if Johnson establishes himself, West and Crowell’s stock could be hit hard.
DALLAS- RBs- ( no hit)- The Cowboys did not select an player on offense until the 7th round ( TE Geoff Swaim). Most prognosticators had Dallas selecting an RB in Round One. Utter-Fantasy has RB Joseph Randle as the Cowboy’s current #1RB.
DENVER- TE Owen Daniels- (Medium Hit)- The Broncos selected TE Jeff Heuerman in the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft. Heuerman was Utter-Fantasy’s #3 ranked TE in this year’s draft. Although HC Gary Kubiak has coached TE Owens for years, and bought him to Denver from their stint in Baltimore, Heuerman is a young 6’’5″ tight end that is strong and tough to tackle. If QB Peyton Manning gets chemistry with Heuerman early, Owens fantasy stock comes crashing down. What’s going in Ownens favor is HC Gary Kubiak, who has coached Owen’s nearly his entire career.
DETROIT- RB Joique Bell- (Huge Hit)- The Lions selected RB Ameer Abdullah with the #54 overall pick in Round Two. Abdullah was Utter-Fantasy’s #6 ranked RB in this year’s draft. Before the selection, Bell was the guaranteed starter and workhorse for Detroit, likely getting 15-23 carries a game in 2015. Expect a bigger RBBC approach in 2015, hurting everyone’s fantasy stock.
GREEN BAY- WR Davante Adams- (Very Small Hit)- The Packers selected WR Ty Montgomery with the #94 overall pick in Round Three. Montgomery was Utter-Fantasy’s #23 ranked WR in this year’s draft. A questionable call for GB in Round Three, as the Packers had other needs in the draft. QB Aaron Rodgers already has one year working with Adams, so Montgomery shouldn’t be much of a threat.
HOUSTON- WR Cecil Shorts- (Big Hit)- The Texans selected WR Jaelen Strong early in Round Three. Strong was Utter-Fantasy’s #5 ranked WR in this year’s draft, and a great move for Houston. WR Cecil Shorts, formerly of the Jaguars, has just signed a two-year, $6 million contract with Houston and likely hoping to be their #2 WR for 2015. That won’t be the case now.
INDIANAPOLIS- WR Donte Moncrief- (Big Hit)- The Colts surprised many and selected WR Philip Dorsett with the #29 overall pick in Round One. Dorsett was Utter-Fantasy’s #13 ranked WR in this year’s draft. Moncrief has a mediocre 1st year ( compared to the other WRs selected in the 2014 NFL Draft) but Coach Chuck Pagano said Donte will have “more opportunities” this season. ( Dorsett’s selection could be a big hurt for TY Hilton is 2016 as well)
JACKSONVILLE- RB Denard Robinson- (Huge Hit)- The Jaguars selected RB T J Yeldon with the #36 overall pick in Round Two. Yeldon was Utter-Fantasy’s #7 ranked RB in this year’s draft. Robinson was recently profiled by Utter-Fanasty and hoping to be the starting RB for 2015. Expect a bigger RBBC approach in 2015, hurting everyone’s fantasy stock.
KANSAS CITY- KC WRs other than Maclin-(huge Hit)- The Chiefs did not select an player on offense until the 3rd round and it was WR Chris Conley, that the KC offense desperately needed. The selection of WR Conley doesn’t hurt recently acquired WR Jeremy Maclin’s fantasy stock, as he needed someone significant opposite him to draw away coverage.