Since it is NEVER too early to pontificate about fantasy football, assuming we have a season of course, I wanted to provide the FIRST of at least a 3-part series discussing the fantasy football implications of the now-concluded 2011 NFL Draft. I am going to cover the QBs, RBs and WRs/TEs for sure and if I get around to it before I head off on a much needed vacation, I might kick some DST implications. One caveat I have is that if the lockout isn’t settled quickly, I don’t see many rookies having much of an impact this season at the skill positions. OLmen, DLmen and certain CBs will probably be okay, but the NFL is hard enough for rookies, let alone rookies who miss valuable time practicing with their teams.
As always, you can email me at [email protected] if you are as sad as me and are already considering fantasy football. I know my guy Hunter is probably on his 3rd or 4th mock draft by now. Let’s get to it…after the jump…
Let’s start with the QBs…as you know there were 4 QBs who went in the 1st round alone, which was probably at least 1 too many as far as I am concerned, but hey, what’s done is done.
- Cam Newton – Panthers – The new face of one of the worst teams in the league without a strong veteran mentor to tutor him will make it especially difficult for Newton to assimilate into the league quickly. Not to mention, a completely new staff in Carolina and none of the players will get much time in the system if the lockout isn’t settled quickly. Also, if he isn’t the next JaMarcus Russell, and I am not convinced he isn’t, he is at least one year away from making any meaningful contributions.
- Jake Locker – Titans – If any rookie QB will make an impact it might be Locker. He has all the tools and he should get playing time right away. He also has Kerry Collins to lean on. That said, he is still a rookie, so not someone I would pin my fantasy football hopes to.
- Blaine Gabbert – Jaguars – With David Garrard still under contract, Gabbert will likely ride the pine his rookie year, so unless Garrard gets injured, Gabbert will be useless for fantasy this year, although I think he has some strong upside down the line.
- Christian Ponder – Vikings – Does anyone else think the Vikings panicked and draft Ponder too early? I sure do, but since he plays for the Vikings, I am happy about it as a Bears fan. He may be given the reins early, but he will struggle, especially in the NFC North with 3 stout defenses to play 6 games against. Yes, I consider the Detroit defense stout.
- Andy Dalton – Bengals – With Carson Palmer on retirement watch, the Bengals drafted Dalton to lead their team. I think Dalton will be a better pro than Ponder and was a solid pick by the Bengals. However, it will take time and if Ocho Cinco and T.O. are no longer with the Bengals, he won’t have a lot of talent to lean on in Cincy.
- Colin Kaepernick – 49ers – Jim Harbaugh will be a great mentor for the young QB out of Nevada, but he will have a lot of learning to do and not much time to do it. Also, Harbaugh still likes Alex Smith, at least this year. I expect Kaepernick to be on the bench in year 1.
CAN I GET AN AMEN?!?!?!?!?!
The DeCon has spoken, so let it be written, so let it be done…