Mike Clay

Offseason Low Down

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Still sittin' pretty?

Friday, May 04, 2012


Back on April 16, I posted an article here at Rotoworld called ‘Sittin’ pretty…for now’. In that piece, I investigated all 32 offensive depth charts in the hope of uncovering sleepers for the 2012 fantasy football season. I focused on players who were currently sitting in a situation that would allow them fantasy success and predicted if they’d maintain that upside following the draft.

Today, I’m going to examine the current fantasy stock of each player I highlighted in that piece. We’ll find out which players received a boost in value based on the draft selections made by their team. We’ll also take a look at those players whose stock took a major hit.

Browns RB Montario Hardesty

Predicted Post-draft outlook: Ugly

To quote myself, “If Cleveland takes Trent Richardson with pick 1.3, you can forget about seeing Hardesty more than a dozen snaps per game.” The Browns did go ahead and draft Richardson (after trading up to 1.2). Hardesty drops to No. 2 on the Browns’ depth chart and you have to imagine his roster spot is in jeopardy if he doesn’t have a strong camp and preseason. It’s more likely that he sticks as Richardson’s backup, but don’t expect to see him handling more than a half dozen snaps each week. An injury to projected workhorse Richardson is Hardesty’s only path to fantasy relevance in 2012.

Updated outlook: Ugly

Panthers WR Brandon LaFell

Predicted Post-draft outlook: Ugly

The Panthers waited until round four to add a wide receiver and the player they did add, former Arkansas Razorback Joe Adams, is an undersized slot receiver. This bodes well for LaFell, as Adams is not a threat to steal work on the outside. LaFell is still going to have to deal with David Gettis, who may have beaten him out for reps a year ago had he not torn up his knee. LaFell’s prognosis is better than anticipated. The 2010 third-round pick has the tools for a breakout in year three of his career, but remember that he struggled to beat out Legedu Naanee last season. He’s a late-round lottery pick at best.

Updated outlook: Fair

Raiders RB Mike Goodson

Predicted Post-draft outlook: Pretty

My reasoning here was that the Raiders would be unable to add a quality No. 2 back without a pick on the first two days of the draft. It turns out that they did not add any running backs via the draft, which means that Goodson is still the favorite to land the backup job behind Darren McFadden. Although he’ll see some competition from sophomore Taiwan Jones, Goodson should be in line for 7-to-9 touches on a normal week. Goodson’s bigger appeal in fantasy football is as a handcuff to the fragile McFadden, who has eclipsed 113 carries in a season only once. When you’re loading your bench with upside backs late in your draft, Goodson should be on the shopping list.

Updated outlook: Pretty

Broncos WR Andre Caldwell

Predicted Post-draft outlook: Pretty

Surprisingly, the Broncos decided not to add a wide receiver in April’s draft. It’s possible they’ll still sign a free agent, but none of the available veterans really stand out as a strong force in the slot. That leaves Caldwell to compete with soon-to-be 36-year-old Brandon Stokley. Give the edge to Caldwell. It seems likely that Denver will use plenty of two-tight end sets (with Jacob Tamme working the slot), but the third receiver will be on the field enough to put Caldwell on the fantasy radar. He’s not a flashy player, but there is value in opportunity. He’s worth consideration as a WR5.

Updated outlook: Pretty

Giants WR Jerrel Jernigan

Predicted Post-draft outlook: Pretty

Okay, here’s my big miss…although I feel comfortable completely blaming the flow of the draft. Somehow, highly-regarded Rueben Randle fell to the Giants at the end of round two, which was too good a value for them to pass up. Although he’s considered to be a bit of a project, Randle is too talented to not be the favorite for the No. 3 wide receiver job. This is a job that helped Mario Manningham to 52 catches, 712 yards, and seven touchdowns in 16 games a year ago. Jernigan, Ramses Barden, and Domenik Hixon will all push for reps, but are unlikely to make an impact in 2012. Jernigan has a good shot at the No. 4 job, but his primary focus will be the return game.

Updated outlook: Ugly


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Mike Clay is a football writer for Rotoworld.com and the Founder/Managing Editor of Pro Football Focus Fantasy. He can be found on Twitter @MikeClayNFL.
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