Now that the draft is said and done with and we’ve commenced Organized Team Activities (OTA), we’re learning a little more about the new faces in football and what their roles will be in the NFL. What budding fantasy football minds are wondering is which players are worthy of a draft day heist? The best we can do is assume based on the strengths of the player, and the strength of the team. That’s why I’ve constructed this Fantasy New Guys guideline (inspired by the military use of FNG, but I’ll let you figure out that acronym)! There are a ton of hopefuls and longshots out there so let’s get down to brass tax.
Fantasy New Guys: Quarterbacks
We don’t have to dig too deep here. Sure, quite a few quarterbacks were drafted this year, but most are bench fodder and developmental prospects. There are only two quarterbacks that are sure to start week one. Maybe you’ve heard of them? Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota? Ringing any bells? If not, let me ding them for you.
Jameis Winston, TB QB– Winston has all the confidence in the world in his abilities. That’s great. What most people fear is that he’ll relapse into seafood crime sprees again. What a heinous offense!? Aside from crab kleptomania, there were some troubling times in college where we imagined his freshman fervor was a fluke, but he reminded us time and time again, with his fourth quarter comebacks, he has the heart and drive to make throws requisite of a NFL quarterback.
Out of the two quarterbacks, Winston is set up with a better supporting cast. Mike Evans is blossoming into a next level talent, venerable Vincent Jackson is what he is, a strength receiver with height who will secure your passes, and another massive body in Austin Seferian-Jenkins who looks to make the leap into sophomore stardom, but Winston suffers from a foggy backfield and an offensive line that allowed 52 sacks last year. He’ll have flashes of brilliance, possibly a bright future, but there isn’t enough intrigue to urge a respectable draft pick. Dynasty leagues: Yes. Re-draft: Worth a shot as Mr. Irrelevant (last pick in the draft).
Marcus Mariota, TEN, QB– A few facts you need to know here:
- Mariota has rushed for 700+ yards every year in college ball.
- Titans Head coach Ken Wisenhunt likes to implement a heavy run game.
- Quarterback Zach Mettenberger ran for four yards in six full games
- Jake Locker retired, and Charlie Whitehurst is clipboard Jesus.
The gates are unhinged and the starting path is clear for Mariota to take off with the job. Mention of the run game is essential here since the Titans two lead running backs, Bishop Sankey and Shonn Greene , ran like cows in a quagmire and couldn’t run for a combined 1,000 yard effort. Mariota has been lauded for having a high football IQ, so if he isn’t going to make the pass he’ll tear up the turf. Think Cam Newton in his rookie year circa 2011. Cam ran for 706 yards, 14 touchdowns. Oh yeah, and he threw for 4,000+ yards. Now, I’m not saying that Mariota is Cam Newton, but whilst in Oregon Mariota posted completion percentages of 68.5, 63.5, and 68.3 while compiling 4,454 passing yards in his Heisman effort. No slouch, that youngster is. There is no way I’d hitch my cart to Mariota as my starting fantasy quarterback, but in the deeper rounds I wouldn’t mind casting a line.
Disclaimer: If I’m building around one of these quarterbacks for a real NFL franchise, I’m going Jameis Winston every time.
NEW CHALLANGER APPROACHING!!!
Bryce Petty, NYJ QB– Ugh. That’s how short the list is in the quarterback department. There will be no storied history, urban legend, or mention of grandeur of Petty here, just a peculiar circumstance in which he finds himself. His contenders are a journeyman Harvard grad, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who can’t find a home and another guy, Geno Smith, who gets picked off more than salmon swimming up a creek. Head coach Todd Bowles isn’t willing to hand the keys over to anyone quite yet, but if he relinquishes this offense, to the rookie it will be worthwhile to keep an eye on him. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are excellent receiving options so if Petty can get on the field it could get interesting.
Thank you for reading the first portion of Fantasy New Guys. Tune in for next week’s article when we take an in-depth look at the rookie wide receivers.
Main Photo INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 21: Quarterbacks Bryce Petty #13 of Baylor, Marcus Mariota #11 of Oregon, Nick Marshall #12 of Auburn and Jameis Winston #15 of Florida State gather for a photo during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)