It doesn't really make any sense to write about fantasy football before the draft happens. Even though I've been doing mock drafts for a couple of months now, and have found the draft rooms full since roughly the beginning of March, there's not really much one can say until the NFL draft is finished. In fact I am writing this in advance of day two of the draft, the first round having proven very incomplete in forecasting which offensive players will be sleepers, busts, or breakouts in 2014. I feel Blake Bortles value was crushed by being drafted by Jacksonville, and Johnny Manziel's could soar after being drafted by Cleveland. I've given up on rookie wide receivers, and not a single running back was taken in round one. That will change tonight when rounds two and three happen. The three running backs of interest are Carlos Hyde, Tre Mason, and Bishop Sankey. Any one of the three's value could skyrocket tonight, depending on what team drafts them, or plummet if they end up as a back-up, or on the leaner side of a time share. they also could affect the value of running backs like Rashad Jennings, Shonn Greene, DeAngelo Williams, Ben Tate, Toby Gerhart, and who knows who else might be surprised to find they've had their role reduced by a younger, cheaper rookie?
It seems like a perfect fit for the Tennessee Titans to take either Tre Mason or Carlos Hyde with the 42nd pick, followed by the Giants at the 43rd pick selecting whichever back the Titans leave on the board. In both cases a back set to benefit enormously by an increased workload (Shonn Greene, Rashad Jennings) will wake up tomorrow in a time share, maybe even as a back-up. The Ravens go off at pick 48, and it would make perfect sense for them to take the next best running back on the board, Bishop Sankey, but as a Bears fan I hope either Mason or Hyde fall and the Bears acquire them with the 51st pick.
The quarterback mix em up is far more complex than the running back situation. With Bortles, Manziel, and Teddy bridgewater already off the board, Bridgewater going o the Vikings, it would appear the Texans, Cardinals, and Raiders are next up on the quarterback train. Derek Carr will be the plum tonight, and the Texans have the first shot at him. With the move last night at the end of the draft the Vikings made to secure Bridgewater, the Texans have one less choice. After Carr, only Jimmy Garropolo and Tom Savage would be considered anything but developmental prospects.
So, how will it all shake out in terms of fantasy football? The wide receivers will be what they always are, impossible to predict. As far as quarterbacks, Bortles value got flattened, and Manziel will be everyone's darling in keeper leagues. Teddy Bridgewater needs to be named the starter in Minnesota to have any value, and Carr, Garoppolo, and Savage have an uphill battle to have any value in the 2014 season. That leaves the three top running banks. Carlos Hyde, Tre mason, and Bishop Sankey, along with Johnny Manziel, perhaps Eric Ebron at Tight End in Detroit, and maybe a couple of wide receivers, are the only real difference makers in this year's fantasy football draft.