By Harold Studer
The first round was pretty evenly split between RBs and WRs. The second round has a close split as well, but features some players in positions that may reflect what their owners were trying to accomplish after the first round. The teams that took one of the top three WRs come back at the end of this round and choose some of the more consistent RBs, while teams that went RB, tended to come back after the second tier of WRs. I’ve broke down my thoughts on each of them and where they were taken in my latest 10 team standard mock draft.
2.01 – Dez Bryant – ADP 12.72
Last year was a lost season for Dez. Injuries hampered his production, and when he was playing he was attempting to catch passes from sub par QBs. Tony Romo is returning from his injury and Dez should be a full go this season. With the addition of a talented RB in Elliot, the Dallas offense should be firing on all cylinders. An obvious number one WR, his upside isn’t on the same level as the possibilities for the guys at the beginning of round one, but this could possibly be one of his best seasons as a pro, so far.
2.02 – DeAndre Hopkins – ADP 12.44
Nuke had a career year and fantasy owners were loving his production last season. He was undoubtably one of the only offensive weapons Houston had, but this year they have added Lamar Miller to the backfield and Brock Osweiler to run the offense from under center. I think there will be some initial growing pains while bringing all the pieces of this offense together. So if you aren’t able to take him at this point in your draft, maybe keep an eye out for his owner feeling down on him early in the season. He will return to form and lead many fantasy teams to the playoffs.
2.03 – Lamar Miller – ADP 14.52
A new back in a new offense. Given the past results of fantasy RBs in that same situation, that statement should be enough to make you wary. Once again, I think the offense will have to find its way early and there may be some worrisome weeks to begin the season. There is a high upside for Miller if you consider the workload he is supposed to get compared to his touches in Miami. I wouldn’t take him this high in the second round and would prefer some of the RBs taken later on over Miller here, but I would consider him a low end RB1 with upside potential.
2.04 – Devonta Freeman – ADP 15.00
This mock draft occurred prior to the news coming out of Atlanta about the Falcons wanting to keep Freeman fresh by limiting his carries. This kind of news should drop him a few spots in drafts, and possibly into the next round. We all must remember he wasn’t slated to be the starter last season and took advantage of an injury to Coleman. Shanahan typically favors a single back system, accounting for his workload last year once he was the starter. So this situation might be one that shakes out during camp and preseason, drafts that occur at a later date should be adjusting more to the RB projections at that time.
2.05 – Allen Robinson – ADP 16.54
The Jaguars passing attack surprised everyone last season and the beneficiary of all that production was Robinson. Tied for most receiving TDs (14) and 1400 yards on only 80 receptions, his potential could be at an elite level if given more opportunities. The Jaguars however added Chris Ivory, and focused on greatly improving their defense. Given the array of offense weapons and a stronger defense I expect a small regression from Robinson, but not enough to justify not taking him around the same time as Dez or Nuke.
2.06 – Jordy Nelson – ADP 17.67
Coming off the injury last year, fantasy owners are hoping Jordy returns to form and helps solidify a Packers offense that looked lost without him last year. Whether this is too much to expect from him or not, he is undoubtably the number one receiver in their high power offense. The consensus is that the ship will right itself and all will return to what we remember, otherwise he shouldn’t be drafted here. I think he is the first WR in a tier of guys that fall behind the WRs taken earlier in this round and could easily move up and down in draft position amongst all the guys to follow below.
2.07 – Eddie Lacy – ADP 19.17
Another part of the Green Bay offense that had a down year last year. Lacy was going in later rounds of mock drafts earlier in the off season, but the hype train is starting to help his ADP climb again. After becoming last year’s RB scapegoat for burning fantasy owners, Lacy spent his off season refocusing and slimming up. He should be ready to return to form, and I expect him to post numbers similar to his two seasons prior to last year. It wouldn’t surprise me to see his ADP swap with the two taken before him in this draft before the season starts.
2.08 – Jamaal Charles – ADP 19.02
A fantasy monster when he is on the field, Charles’ season was also marred by injury last year. Like Peterson, Charles has shown the build and ability to come back from injury before, and should produce at a top fantasy RB rate when on the field. There is belief that Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware will vulture opportunities from Charles, which probably explains his slide to the late second round. Andy Reid will continue to lean on his RBs, so there will be plenty of opportunities, and Charles will get the majority of those based solely on his talent and tenacity.
2.09 – Mark Ingram – ADP 22.76
Ingram was having himself a sneaky good fantasy season last year until getting banged up in the latter half. Slowly becoming more of the feature back in the Saints typically pass happy offense, he has become a consistent producer. Taking him at this spot is done to secure a safe set of fantasy points from your number one back if you took a WR early, or to use him as a safety net number two behind a RB with question marks, like Elliot or Gurley.
2.10 – Doug Martin – ADP 21.78
Martin has had some up and down seasons in Tampa Bay. When he has been good he produces top end fantasy production for his owners, but when he is bad he can sink any promising teams chances at the fantasy playoffs. Last year Martin finished as a top five RB, and should continue to have success as the Tampa offense transitions with a second year QB and may try to involve the passing game more. I expect a slight regression from last year’s numbers, but still a viable number one back if you went WR early, or a sure way to lock up your RBs if you grabbed one of the first round guys.
Next four picks: Alshon Jeffery, Cam Newton, Keenan Allen, Brandon Marshall