Clive Walford – Oakland Raiders…The Oakland Raiders continue to surround Derek Carr with pass catchers which Oakland severely lacked last season. In the first round the organization drafted Amari Cooper, CPGM’s top rated receiver in the 2015 draft class and in the third round they added Clive Walford, CPGM’s top rated tight end in the 2015 draft class. It will be an interesting season to watch as this Raiders’ roster has the most talent it has had since reaching the Super Bowl in 2003. Lofty expectations for a team still building but the organization is definitely heading in the right direction. Walford will provide a security blanket for Carr who adds toughness to the position. He is a great route runner who will be able to get open and provide the Raiders with a short to medium range threat with the ability to gain yards after the catch.
Fantasy Value – TE2
Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks…The Seahawks traded up in the third round moving up 26 spots to draft Tyler Lockett, a dynamic playmaking receiver that the Seahawks hope can fill the shoes of Golden Tate who joined the Lions last off-season. Like Tate, Lockett will have an immediate impact in the return game but unlike Tate he will have to prove himself within the offense to get snaps. The Seahawks have a plethora of young targets in the offense and also added their biggest target via trade this off-season, Jimmy Graham. Russell Wilson loves to share the wealth to his receivers making Lockett an unreliable option in fantasy football.
Fantasy Value – WR5
Jaelen Strong – Houston Texans…The standout receiver from Arizona State, Jaelen Strong, was a borderline first round draft pick before questions about a hand injury started to circulate. Even after being cleared by doctors Strong fell all the way to the third round where the Texans drafted what can possibly be the steal of the 2015 draft. With superstar All-Texan wide receiver Andre Johnson departing to the Colts this off-season Strong has an opportunity to step in right away and produce opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Strong has the height and strength teams covet with an uncanny ability to make contested catches. If he can clean up his route running Strong has the potential to be a playmaker in this league.
Fantasy Value – WR4
Telvin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons…Tailor made is the best way to describe the Atlanta Falcons’ draft pick of Telvin Coleman in the third round. The Falcons needed a back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme gets a guy in Coleman whose one cut running style with home run speed goes together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. This combination can be fantasy gold for owners if everything goes as planned but not everything is roses for Coleman. He will first need to earn the snaps in the offense as anyone who has ever owned a Shanahan running back in fantasy knows that each week is a roller coaster. Secondly, the Falcons improved in many areas in the off-season but offensive line was not one of those positions. Personally, I would take a chance on Coleman in the middle rounds because he can be a game changer for your team.
Fantasy Value- RB 2/3
Chris Conley – Kansas City Chiefs…Chris Conley did what at the combine? A four-year contributor at the University of Georgia Conley’s production on the field didn’t warrant him much attention until he ran a 4.35 40 at the combine. He also managed a 45-inch vertical leap, and 139-inch broad jump. His amazing combine moved him all the way up the draft board to the 76th overall pick. Now we will find out if Conley is a workout warrior? Or a viable NFL receiver? Good news is that he joins a receiving core in desperate need of playmakers but the bad news is that he plays with a quarterback in Alex Smith who doesn’t push the ball down the field and under-utilizes his receivers’ speed.
Fantasy Value – WR6
Duke Johnson – Cleveland Browns…Although Duke Johnson, the most prolific running back in the University of Miami’s history has three down back capabilities; the selection to the Browns who already have second year backs Isaiah Crowell and Terrence West on the roster will handcuff Johnson as a third-down, change of pace back. Couple that with the quarterback situation for the Browns, I am fearful Duke won’t reach his potential early on. If he ever gets his opportunity to show his talents as an every down player he could potentially make an impact in fantasy football. Until then I would stay clear.
Fantasy Value – RB5
David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals…Here is a guy I like as a sleeper in fantasy leagues. David Johnson opened eyes against in-state rival Iowa last season racking up 203 receiving yards and again at the senior bowl with his natural route-running and hands out the backfield. If and when his running mate in Arizona Andre Ellington gets injured he will be an instant waiver wire addition to your teams especially in PPR leagues. Johnson needs to get better in the running game in terms of hitting the hole with a purpose but head coach Bruce Arians will more than likely get Johnson involved in the offense in some capacity early on.
Fantasy Value – RB4