After months of analysis and projections leading up to the April 25-26 NFL draft followed by days of draft recap and team grades, we focus on what really matters to us; how the draft affects our fantasy football leagues. While we may have thoughts on the absurdity of the contracts signed by high draft picks, it has no effect on our fantasy football team’s payroll. Players may have been drafted higher or lower than projected, but that has no impact on where they will be drafted in our leagues. What matters most to us is if the player will play and if it will be this year or in upcoming years. Let’s take a quick spin through the AFC and look at each team’s new additions that could factor into our fantasy football drafts.
Baltimore – Baltimore’s best pick was on the offensive line with G Michael Oher. I cannot see this changing the draft position of any of the Ravens’ three-headed backfield. DE Paul Kruger was a nice addition to an aging defense.
Buffalo – Buffalo added players across the board, except for the offensive skill positions (Terrell Owens was added via free agency). DE Aaron Maybin will be a stud on defense, bumping the defense up a few positions. They did add TE Shawn Nelson who could have a sneaky year catching passes underneath. Hopefully, Owens won’t catch him conspiring with QB Trent Edwards on individual plays.
Cincinnati – The Bengals had a great overall draft, but their www.ufabet improvements on the offensive line OT Andre Smith and defense with LB Rey Maualuga and DE Michael Johnson does little to make their defense draftable or increase the draftability of any offensive players. I do love TE Chase Coffman and will take my chances on him with a late round pick.
Cleveland – Rookie wide receivers rarely do much in the NFL, but the Browns added two that I would recommend taking as a late round pick; Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi.
Denver – The Broncos addressed their biggest weakness; their defense. However, their defense should only be rostered when facing Kansas City and Oakland. RB Knowshon Moreno is worth drafting, but I would not draft him too high as Denver signed 4 free agent RB’s so I don’t see Moreno as their primary back.
Houston – The Texans added a few starters on defense to help out Mario Williams. The jury is out on whether or not it makes the position draftable or not because they were the 27th-ranked fantasy defense in 2008.
Indianapolis – DT Fili Moala helps the defense immediately, but the player to focus on is RB Donald Brown. Brown quietly lead the NCAA in rushing yards in 2008 and will step in right away for the Colts. Joseph Addai is still the number 1 running back, but has proven to be injury-prone, so Brown will get reps right away to minimize Addai’s touches. He should be selected in middle rounds and a few rounds higher in Keeper Leagues.
Jacksonville – The Jags grabbed a pair of offensive tackles to help restore their running game. This should keep Maurice Jones-Drew as a second round pick. WR Mike Thomas is worth a late-round flier.
Kansas City – The Chiefs signed a few good players on defense in DT Alex Magee and LB Tyson Jackson, but they will not make their defense worth drafting.
Miami – You will read a lot about how well QB Patrick White will fit into the Fins’ Wildcat offense, but how many touches can you realistically expect? They grabbed 6′ 5″ WR Patrick Thomas outta USC to help their passing game, but if their offense does not make Ted Ginn Jr an every week starter, Thomas has no chance.
New England – Much like Dallas, New England worked multiple trades to fill multiple holes, but none of them will help us in the fantasy world. No offensive players to note and their D will not change draft perception with the new additions.