Monday, May 5, 2008

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

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:

Felix Jones-RB-Selected 22nd Overall by the Dallas Cowboys- Jones steps into a very familiar situation here. He played foil to Darren McFadden at Arkansas and he'll play the change of pace RB to Marion Barber with the Cowboys. With Dallas' strong offensive line, his transition to the Pro game will be less pressure-filled and he'll likely be one of the best rookie RB's next season from a fantasy perspective.

Rashard Mendenhall-RB-Selected 23rd Overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers- Willie Parker owners can cry in their beer all they want, but picking up Mendenhall was a very smart choice by Pittsburgh. The Steelers now have two backs who can share the load between the 20's and a goal line back (Najeh Davenport, provided he can remain healthy) to pound the ball in. Mendenhall's fantasy numbers will not be over-the-top great, but he could be heir apparent to a coveted role in Pittsburgh for years to come.

Chris Johnson-RB-Selected 24th Overall by the Tennesee Titans- Johnson joins a crew that already has last year's draft choice Chris Henry and 2006 pick Lendale White vying for supremacy. Johnson is fleet of foot (he ran the fastest 40 yard dash at the combine), but he projects as no more than a 3rd down back right now. Of course, neither White or Henry have shown the ability to remain injury-free, so he could end up seeing more touches than expected.

Dustin Keller-TE-Selected 30th Overall by the New York Jets- As stated before in this blog, Keller was a curious choice by New York (given the fact that they already have a decent TE in Chris Baker and all the WR's from the draft were still available). He will likely play an H-back role similar to the one Chris Cooley occupies in Washington. Keller's fantasy numbers will largely depend on how the Jets choose to utilize him near the end zone.

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