Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fantasy Outlook- Prospects- Round One (Part 1 of 2)

Two years ago, Reggie Bush was the top rated RB and was taken by the New Orleans Saints in the Rookie Draft. Bush was considered to be the most talented offensive player at the time and most figured that he would be able to immediately translate his collegiate success into NFL glory. However, the Saints struggled mightily as a team last season and Bush was unable to avoid his own troubles as well. Meanwhile, an RB named Joseph Addai was taken much later in the first round of that Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He stepped into a situation where the Colts were a team primed to make a victorious Super Bowl run and benefited tremendously.

So much of a prospect's fantasy fortunes can depend upon the team that drafted him. Good players can become great ones in the right system. On the flip side, great players can sometimes fight a losing battle in the wrong ones.

Here's a look at where the prospects were selected in the 1st round of the '08 Draft and their current situations from a Fantasy Perspective:

Matt Ryan-QB-Selected 3rd Overall by the Atlanta Falcons- Ryan has his work cut out for him. He was drafted to be the new face of the franchise after the Michael Vick fiasco, but he does not have either the offensive line nor the complementary receivers to succeed right now. His Pro path could be a rough one.

Darren McFadden-RB-Selected 4th Overall by the Oakland Raiders- McFadden must have been gnashing his teeth when his name was called. Not only does he step into a dysfunctional team dynamic, he'll also have to likely share carries with possibly Lamont Jordan, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush. He wanted to be with a team where he was the clear #1 RB, not one of the herd.

Jonathan Stewart-RB-Selected 13th Overall by the Carolina Panthers- Stewart has a fine situation in Carolina. He'll share touches with DeAngelo Williams, who has not shown he has the ability to commandeer the starting job. The Panthers also bolstered their Offensive Line by taking T Jeff Otah and could be on their way to establishing a very strong Running game.

Joe Flacco-QB-Selected 18th Overall by the Baltimore Ravens- Flacco has a similar situation to Matt Ryan. He is going to be expected to quarterback a team in transition without an intimidating array of receiving options. His mettle will be tested early and often and fans hope he's not the second coming of Kyle Boller, another strong armed QB who hasn't made the transition to the Pro game successfully.

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