Who will be the most popular person in this picture come Week 8? The former wide receiver turned quarterback fell to the Miami Dolphins after his stock rose in the weeks leading up to the Draft. I don’t see his value off the jump, but as with Weeden, do you draft a QB No. 8 overall to back up Matt Moore/David Garrard for 16 games? Without Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess is the team’s top receiver with Brian Hartline and tight end Anthony Fasano fighting for targets. Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas may be in for a busy 2012. Projections (as starting quarterback): 2,900 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. >>> Sign up for Fantasy Football!
Fantasy Football Rookies – Undrafted
Back in 2005, Lance Moore went undrafted out of Toledo. In 2011, the New Orleans Saints’ wide receiver ranked inside the Top 15 in touchdowns among WRs. Other impact fantasy football players who went undrafted include Arian Foster, Mike Tolbert, LeGarrette Blount and Doug Baldwin. My undrafted sleeper pick this year is Denver’s Eric Page. The slot machine, also out of Toledo, has a great chance to replace Eddie Royal on the Broncos roster. – Ryan Fowler
Andrew Luck – Colts (No. 1 pick overall)
The cupboard was pretty empty in Indianapolis. Then the 2012 NFL Draft took place. After drafting Luck, the Colts selected six more skill position players. Right now, Luck is working with Donald Brown, Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and fellow rookies T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener on offense. I have him as the 24th ranked fantasy quarterback. With Cam Newton fresh in the minds of many owners, I expect him to receive a nice boost this summer. Projections: 3,400 pass yards, 23 TDs and 12 INTs.
Robert Griffin III – Redskins (No. 2 pick overall)
The Washington Redskins have some weapons for RGIII in year one. I’ve been preaching from the pulpit that if Fred Davis can stay out of trouble, he’s an elite fantasy tight end for Griffin to throw to along with newcomer Pierre Garcon. That’s just the passing game. I’m very curious to see how the quarterback’s mobility impacts the team’s already crowded backfield. I have Griffin ranked as the 21st ranked fantasy quarterback. Projections: 3,000 passing yards, 475 rushing yards, 25 total TDs, and 17 INTs.
Trent Richardson – Browns (No. 3 pick overall)
Cleveland was willing to part ways with three draft picks to guarantee Richardson ended up in Brown and Orange. The Browns then worked on the offensive line to keep him from becoming black and blue. My recommendation to draft him as a fantasy running back is muted a bit because he faces two of the top rush defenses in the Steelers and Ravens four times in 2012. Currently, Richardson is hovering somewhere between the 30th and 35th fantasy running backs. I could see him rising to the mid-20’s by August. Projections: 975 rush yards and seven rush touchdowns.
Justin Blackmon – Jaguars (No. 4 pick overall)
Who was happier Thursday night: Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne or Maurice Jones-Drew? By far the worst passing offense in the NFL last season, the Jags now have Laurent Robinson, Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis (a year removed from double digit touchdowns) available in the passing game. This pick should also open up some rushing lanes for MJD who felt the wrath of opposing defenses when they loaded up the box. Before he was drafted, I had Blackmon as the 53rd ranked wide out, but now he’s cracked my top 35. Projections: 775 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Michael Floyd – Cardinals (No. 13 pick overall)
If you listen closely, you can hear the footsteps closing in on Early Doucet and Andre Roberts. The Cardinals second and third options in the passing game have enjoyed ample time to make a splash within the offense. Blame the quarterback and/or o-coordinator, but Floyd joins a team ready to open up the field for Larry Fitzgerald for the first time since Anquan Boldin suited up for the birds. With Kevin Kolb at the trigger, Floyd falls somewhere between the 40th and 50th ranked fantasy wide receiver. Projections: 625 receiving yards and four touchdowns
Coby Fleener – Colts (No. 34 pick overall)
After releasing Dallas Clark and losing Jacob Tamme to free agency, what better way to welcome your new franchise quarterback to Indianapolis than by taking his starting tight end from college? Fleener and Luck hooked up 34 times in 2011 for 667 yards (19.6 YPR) and ten touchdowns. I think if he can achieve half those stats in his rookie season, he’d be sitting pretty among fantasy tight ends. Right now, I have him lurking around Ed Dickson and Jermaine Gresham in my tight end rankings. Projections: 550 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns
Alshon Jeffery – Bears (No. 45 pick overall)
Prior to his season-ending injury, Matt Forte was close to 40 percent of the Bears’ total offense. Heading into 2012, Jay Cutler now has a few options to move the chains. The arrival of Brandon Marshall will cut into Forte and Michael Bush’s run production, but with Johnny Knox (?) as the team’s second option, Jeffery has a great chance to bump him out of that spot and make an immediate impact. Projections (as third WR): 425 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Stephen Hill – Jets (No. 43 pick overall)
After taking Brandon Weeden in the first round, I thought the Browns missed an opportunity by not drafting Jeffery or Hill. At 6 foot 4 inches, Hill replaces Plaxico Burress as the Jets’ second wide receiver. If Santonio Holmes decides to just go through the motions in 2012, Hill could rise to Mark Sanchez’s top target (yes, even over Dustin Keller). Projections: 675 receiving yards and five touchdowns
Brandon Weeden – Browns (No. 22 pick overall)
We still have to wait for Colt McCoy’s role to be defined by Cleveland, but let’s assume a first-round quarterback has earned a solid shot at starting year one. Let’s multiply his chances of starting when said QB is 28-years-old and will turn 29 this season. At the moment Weeden would need to make chicken soup out of chicken droppings as the Browns lack of a top receiving threat. Projections (as starting quarterback): 2,900 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.