In just about every recent rookie draft, there was a clear, no doubt about it, first overall selection. Hindsight notwithstanding, a quick look at the last three had Ryan Matthews, Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson as the consensus top rookies to be drafted. With very few to no detractors, these three were at the top of every rookie ranker, reputable or nebulous, that was out there. I tried everything to do a deal for the Matthews pick. My 1-3, 2-3 AND 3-3, in that same draft, was turned down. I was flabbergasted, shocked and stunned. Instead, I got stuck with C.J. Spiller. Now I’m turning down offers of similar ilk. And so it goes.This year I draft at 1-3 again. A fortuitous happenstance from a recent trade has mired me in the same quandary. Even though most rankings have in the top slot, to follow the consensus convention doesn’t seem as simple as past years. It is very hard if not darned near impossible to turn around a dynasty league football team that competes for money against talented fantasy killers. If you pick first, your team finished last and stinks.So ask yourself the question: Is the Tavon Austin juice worth the squeeze? It seems like a huge dynasty risk to put first overall faith into a 5’8″ (on a tall day), 175 pound (after a binge at Taco Bell) receiver. Most NFL players work out with dumbbells heavier than 175lbs.
If you’re an owner of a Dynasty or multiple keeper league team, the upcoming draft probably has your head spinning. Particularly so if the pick is in the top four.
So what gives? He’s electrically talented. Super fast with the best time at the recent combine. Good hands. He’s aware, coachable, not afraid to go over the middle and by all accounts a great kid who’ll play for the next few years indoors on turf. He’s also the reason why Geno Smith got drafted so high. The short answer is, this isn’t college. The skills are there, but the small stature scares me off, even at 1-3. Is there a smaller skill player in the NFL, or any of the major sports? Soccer? Even if my team is receiver starved I recommend you pass at 1-1 to 1-4 and opt for a running back, insteadThis year’s crop of RB’s doesn’t have a dead-ringer fantasy stud and the running back who would be the unanimous first selection is fresh off two major knee surgeries. One so horrific some onlookers lost their cookies. Most of the buzz about this group is apologetic. He ran a 4.6 but his situation is good. As is the case with Monte Ball in Denver and Le’veon Bell in Pittsburgh. They really needed a go-to RB so they drafted two as in Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin. I thought these two were among the best of the entire class. Love ’em separately, have no idea what to do with them together. Or, his injuries were really bad and back to back and I can’t wait a whole season for an if, as in Marcus Lattimore.Then there’s Giovani Bernard. At 205 pounds he’s quicker than he is fast, significantly faster than his competition for carries, Benjarvis Green-Ellis. Bernard is the more talented back. His draft slot issue is that his situation is not as good as Bell’s, Ball’s and Lacy’s. It’s just that there always seems to be a but every time I make the argument in my head, about all these rookies. Also, there’s no inclination to trade up from 1-3, so while I think Bernard is the best of the bunch, if I’m stuck with Eddie Lacy, Le’veon Bell, Monte Ball or, if he falls, Giovani Bernard, it will be fine. So here’s my 2013 NFL rookie running back ranker for the top 10. Giovani Bernard – Situation not the best but the law firm should be out of his way by 2014 or sooner.Eddie Lacy – Franklin muddies the water but Lacy is the better back.Le’veon Bell – Best situation as Pitt pounds the rock and lack of depth at RB leaves Bell as bell-cowMonte Ball – Least of the best. Fox insists Ball’s his guy. Hillman will get his reps as the primary backupMarcus Lattimore Gore’s 30. Lattimore’s rehabbing. If he hits he’ll be the man over James and Hunter 2014Jonathan Franklin Nice talented back who will get his COP touches and can go full if Lacy stumblesChristine Michael Big, fast, talented. Should pass Turbin on depth chart if he can keep his head straightZac Stacy – Late pick by the Rams. Wouldn’t surprise if he became the starter.Mike Gillislee – good in his own right but lack of blocking makes Miller a Dolphin risk. Will see actionKnile Davis – A must handcuff for Jamal owners. Bryce Brown-like. He fumbles. A LOT. Can he fix it? The assumptions here are based on standard scoring but where PPR is a factor, please make the necessary modifications as you evaluate.