The NFL Draft is officially in the books…Now can we talk fantasy football? Top rookie fantasy storylines Round 2 edition.
Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers
After losing backup tight end Ladarius Green in free agency to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chargers selected CPGM’s Top tight end prospect in the 2016 draft Hunter Henry. In a position class full of question marks, Henry was the best all around receiving and blocking tight end of the bunch. The caveat for playing with a great QB in Phillip Rivers in a great system that targets the tight end is that old man Antonio Gates has nine lives. Fine wine Gates has held off Green for targets the last two seasons when it seemed as if there was a changing of the guard. Negative!!! Now with Green likely to replace retired Heath Miller as starter in Pittsburgh, Henry is sure to have his fantasy owners facing the same frustration playing alongside Gates. I would not recommend Henry until later in your fantasy drafts. Those of you who draft Gates as your TE1 should target his handcuff Henry towards the end of the draft.
Sterling Shepard- New York Giants
OMG!!! Does anyone else notice the opportunity ahead of the new slot dynamo Sterling Shepard in New York? Think Victor Cruz in his prime but with Odell Beckam on the outside drawing double coverage every play. Shepard should eat early and often playing in Bob McAdoo’s west coast offense that allows Eli Manning to be decisive and get the ball out of his hands quickly. Shepard’s strength at Oklahoma was being an explosive slot receiver than can easily beat man-to-man defense quickly and also his ability to find the sweet spots against zone defenses. This selection for the Giants makes absolute sense and your fantasy draft day selection of Shepard should also. Shepard provides the best value of all the rookie WRs, hopefully the word doesn’t get out to all your opponents.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans
There could of been better landing spots for the Heisman Trophy winner to get more carries this season but the Titans added Henry in the second round, and stuck to there draft theme to get more physical. The most physical back in the draft will be eased along behind the newly signed Demarco Murray in Tennessee. Yes, it is a little bit worrisome for Murray’s and Henry’s fantasy numbers but if you watched Murray last season you can see a light at the end of the tunnel for Henry. I expect Henry to be the guy down the road therefore do not over draft Henry unless you are drafting in a dynasty league of course.
Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints
The former Buckeye is a sleeper name to pay attention to in your fantasy football drafts. My first impression of Michael Thomas was he’s alright but can he separate at the next level? A closer look at the overshadowed Thomas shows a player who is very deceptive with his movements who can be more than just a possession guy at the next level. Now in New Orleans playing in Sean Payton’s offense with QB Drew Brees throwing him passes and a departed Marques Colston, makes for an interesting fantasy football addition to your roster. If not for the Giants drafting Shepard, Thomas would have garnered more attention in fantasy circles. But that might be a good thing for savvy owners to get him at a bargain. Thomas quietly led the Buckeyes receiving corps in college and can do the same in New Orleans.
Christian Hackenberg – New York Jets
Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals
Another wide receiver sleeper gets drafted in the second round in Tyler Boyd of the Bengals. You could argue that the second round wide outs can potentially out-produce the first round guys. Just like Shepard to the Giants and Thomas to the Saints, Boyd gets drafted in a great position as the number 2 receiver opposite A.J. Green. The Bengals lost Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu this offseason in free agency and urgently needed to address the position. The run on first round receivers caused the Bengals to go in a different direction (CB William Jackson) at pick 24 but they still get a quality receiver in Boyd who possesses strong hands and toughness. Boyd is a name to watch later in your fantasy drafts who can give you WR3 value once he gets acclimated to his role and the speed of the NFL.
Roberto Aguayo – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you have read my fantasy pieces in the past you know that I am a strong believer in waiting until the last pick to select your kicker. Often times if the league permits it I will not even draft a kicker; I’d rather wait until the last possible moment to scoop one up from free agency just before the fantasy week locks. With all that said Roberto Aguayo will be a fantasy difference maker, year 1. The former Seminole is as accurate as it gets and will be a big boost for a Buccaneers team who lost some really close games last season because of kicking. Although most of us hate kickers, they’re often the difference between a win and a loss in your fantasy matchups. Think about what the Bucs gave up to acquire Aguayo in the 2nd round (a 3rd and 4th round pick), he will be a factor for them and for your fantasy team. Book It!