by Derek of The Sportmeisters
Just days before the NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars have made moves that might affect the way they draft. What I am here to discuss today is the fantasy implications of those moves.
The Atlanta Falcons Trade 2010 Second Round Pick To The Kansas City Chiefs For TE Tony Gonzalez
WOW! This trade came out of nowhere. There have been rumors that Gonzalez has been asking for a trade for months now, but nothing was really ever said about it. Well, on Thursday he got his wish. This trade makes Atlanta’s offense an even bigger threat than it already was. Let’s see the guys that are affected by this move.
QB Matt Ryan – Ryan now has another weapon to throw to and, with a full offseason to get accustomed to each other, should develop a good rapport with Gonzalez.
I have yet to do actual rankings for this season’s fantasy draft, but this trade would put Matt Ryan up into my top 12 QBs, whereas, before the trade, he would have been outside my top 15. Ryan could be a nice sleeper to grab in the middle rounds.
RB Michael Turner – Turner was already a Top 10 RB, so this doesn’t really change his first round draft status, but it will help him improve his monster 2008 season by having one of the best blocking TE’s opening more holes or drawing the Safety out of the box, leaving only seven, instead of eight.
WR Roddy White – This is the guy that will move up the most on my draft board. White had a monster 2008 season and has proven himself to be an elite fantasy WR. Look for him to be one of the first WR’s taken in the second or third rounds.
WR Dwayne Bowe – This is the only guy that will be affected in Kansas City. Without Gonzalez, Bowe should see more balls thrown his way, especially with the new pass happy Offensive scheme of new Head Coach Todd Haley. Look for his draft status to rise, putting him in the fifth or sixth rounds.
TE Tony Gonzalez – Gonzalez would have been a top five TE anyway, but now, having a better Offense around him, he moves safely into my top three, behind only Jason Witten and Antonio Gates. Expect his draft status to stay around the sixth or seventh rounds.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Sign T Tra Thomas and WR Torry Holt
These moves look to be good ones for a team that had no real receiving threat last year and had the worst luck with an unhealthy O-Line. Let’s look at the fantasy implications of these moves.
QB David Garrard – Garrard gets a small boost from this, depending on if Holt can return to number ine WR form. He is still around number 15 on my board and this is without doing actual rankings.
Thomas will help keep Garrard off his back (he was sacked 42 times last year) and We will have to wait and see how Holt looks in OTA’s and Training Camp, so as of now, Garrard looks like a middle to late round sleeper/backup.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew – Jones-Drew already got a boost when the Jaguars released RB Fred Taylor and the signings of Thomas and Holt provide another. Thomas helps create holes for a team that was 18th in the NFL in Rushing. Look for MJD to be drafted very early, possibly in the first round.
WR Torry Holt – This all depends on his health. If Holt comes back to form, he could be a top tier fantasy WR. However, if he looks like he did last year, he will be just another bust. Wait and see how he looks in OTA’s and Training Camp before planning on drafting him and as of now, I would say he is a possible middle to late round sleeper.
Those are my thoughts on the latest news in the NFL. If you have any questions or just want to discuss anything about Fantasy Football, feel free to email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.