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One fascinating fact about each of the top 32 NFL draft prospects

For The Win

Because the first round of the NFL draft usually consists of a handful of guys you’ve heard of and way, way more that you haven’t, FTW made a list of 32 of the top prospects for this year’s annual NFL selection show and came up with one fascinating fact about each that you can use to wow your friends at your draft party or local watering hole.

If you’re an NFL fan who dabbles in college football, chances are you’ve heard of exactly four players prior to all the draft coverage (Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper and Todd Gurley), so consider this an introduction to the other 28. Oh, and since we don’t pretend to have a clue about what the draft order is going to be — with the exception of Winston at No. 1 — the following list is arranged completely at random.

1. Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

(AP) (AP)

Fowler was set…

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Watching the N.F.L. Draft From a Fantasy Football Perspective

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, with Cris Carter, left, and Michael Irvin, right, should immediately pay fantasy dividends because he figures to start right away in the N.F.L. CreditCharles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

After an eventful college football season, months of anticipation and analysis, and the scouting combine, the N.F.L. draft is finally upon us. Any fantasy football player knows that rookies can become the underrated picks who win you a championship. With an eye toward the 2015 fantasy season, here is what we are going to be looking for on draft weekend.

The 2014 N.F.L. draft class was a bonanza for fantasy owners, producing five of the season’s top 25 receivers. At running back, Jeremy Hill and Tre Mason led a class with mixed results. This year’s class might not produce quite as much talent, but there is still plenty of fantasy potential.

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The 25 players selected in the first round of the 1990 N.F.L. draft. The players were the first group chosen after the N.F.L. let college underclassmen enter the draft.The 1990 N.F.L. Draft Class: Some Thrive, but Just as Many StruggleAPRIL 29, 2015
From left: Jeff George, Junior Seau, N.F.L. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Blair Thomas at the draft in 1990.The Class of ’90: Where Are They Now?APRIL 29, 2015
Scouts timing defensive back Josh Shaw in the 40-yard dash at the N.F.L. scouting combine in February. One website that collects mock drafts already has more than 350 posted.N.F.L. Mock Drafts Are Often Accompanied by an OopsAPRIL 29, 2015
For a rookie to have fantasy success, it takes talent and opportunity. The most talented receivers need a competent quarterback to throw them the ball, and running backs need the right scheme and offensive line around them to succeed. Going into last season’s draft, Sammy Watkins was the clear top prospect at wide receiver. But landing in Buffalo with E.J. Manuel throwing to him made Watkins’s season a slight disappointment, as he finished 25th among wide receivers in fantasy points. On the other hand, Jordan Matthews landed in the high-octane Philadelphia offense and ended a spot ahead of Watkins in fantasy scoring despite being drafted 38 picks later.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are two of the best quarterbacks to enter the draft in recent memory, but rookie quarterbacks often struggle compared with running backs and wide receivers. At running back, Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon are the clear top two options and the rookie backs most likely to earn a starting job. Each has been graded as a first-round pick by most draft experts. Behind them there are many prospects whose fantasy value will rely mostly on opportunity.

Amari Cooper is likely to be the first receiver off the board, which is not always a good thing. Depending on where he lands and who his quarterback is, he may not be the top fantasy receiver. Other top options will be Kevin White, DeVante Parker, Jaelen Strong and Breshad Perriman. Each is likely to be a first-round pick and will definitely be relevant for fantasy drafts this season.

Sometimes a better way to project rookie fantasy potential is to reverse engineer the process by finding the teams with the most unstable skill position starters. At running back, the Patriots lost Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen and have historically been willing to use new running backs, so that situation is wide open. Adrian Peterson could plausibly be traded, leaving the Vikings with only Matt Asiata, who averaged 3.5 yards per carry last season. The Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray and his 392 carries from last year, and the Chargers’ three running backs are Branden Oliver, Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead, none of whom deserve a starting job.

At receiver, there are a lot of good potential landing spots for rookies. The Browns, the Ravens, the Texans and the Chiefs are good examples of teams that could use help in their receiving corps, so if any of them draft a talented prospect, that rookie could step in and have a huge immediate impact.

Of course, neither talent nor opportunity can help players who are stuck on injured reserve, so following prospects with injury histories on draft day is key. N.F.L. teams are not necessarily acting with the same goals as fantasy owners. They might be overly sensitive to long-term outlooks given the recent troubles of Josh Gordon, Justin Blackmon and Johnny Manziel, but that does not mean fantasy owners should be scared if a high-upside running back talent falls on draft day.

In this draft, Boise State running back Jay Ajayi has a checkered injury history that teams are reported to be worried about. The concerns are all long-term and should not affect him in his rookie year. The team that drafts him is likely to want to get value early in his career, so the injury concerns may actually be a fantasy positive.

There are a lot of variables that affect a rookie’s fantasy stock. Although we are five months from the regular season, the draft is a time when talent pours into the league and many questions are answered, for both N.F.L. and fantasy owners.

Source: NY Times

Number crunch: Best, worst Week 12 fantasy matchups

nflvia Number crunch: Best, worst Week 12 fantasy matchups – NFL.com.

NFL 2014: Our Five Best Bets for Week #11


As a side-note for those of you in Fantasy Leagues, remember that this is the last week for making trades in most leagues. Good luck to all… Here now are this week’s Five Best Bets.

*Home team in CAPS

BROWNS -3 over the Texans- For Cleveland and their fans, this week is one of historic proportions as it is the first time a Browns team has been in first place in the AFC North this late in the season in 20 years! With quarterback Ryan Mallett making his first NFL start for the Texans, we’re surprised the spread is as small as it is especially with a banged up Arian Foster and Jadeveon Clowney.

Falcons (pick) over the PANTHERS- Normally the Falcons aren’t  a good bet when on the road but besides beating the Buccaneers by 10 last Sunday, Atlanta is just a better team than Carolina who is coming off of a 24 point loss…

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