2018 NFL Draft 1st Round Recap | 2018 Fantasy Football

by Nick Ercolano April 29, 2018

2018 NFL Draft 1st Round Recap | 2018 Fantasy Football

I feel like I've been waiting 16 years for the 2018 NFL Draft to come and go.

Now it has. Well, the most exciting part has, the first round. Shout out to anyone that joined the live stream last night, that was really fun, it's actually up on my channel - YouTube says over 1,600 people were on it, so that was dope. Y'all are the best and I'm going to be doing that every Sunday during the NFL szn, and I'm working on a package that has weekly live streams too so stay tuned like sirius xm b.

We're going to take a look at all of the skill players drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and what their 2018 fantasy football outlooks might be.

Baker Mayfield - QB (Oklahoma)

Drafted By Cleveland Browns
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 1

 

  • I'll start by saying the Johnny Manziel comparisons are just lazy.
  • I like this pick a lot. I do. Baker is a really good QB, very accurate, a true, born leader that's fought through so much, he won't crack under pressure.
  • So listen to some of these numbers - from PFF - 80.6% adjusted completion %, 64.4% adjusted deep ball completion %, both led the country. Led the country in QB rating under pressure in 2015, 2016 AND 2017.
  • He's 6'1, 215, gets knocked about his size, but he's bigger than Russell Wilson, about the same size if not a little bigger than Drew Brees.
  • Per Graham Barfield: Last season, 94% of all pass attempts in the NFL traveled between 0-19 yards downfield. You don't need Josh Allen's arm to succeed in the NFL.
  • That being said, this is a fantasy football channel, so I'll stick to that kind of analysis from here on out.
  • They have Tyrod, and as stated multiple times, he's their starter.... for now. Would I bet money on Baker starting a few games at some point this year? Absolutely.
  • Where can I see it happening, I guess it depends on when Tyrod struggles and their schedule, but they have their bye in Week 11, before the bye they play at Pitt, and then against KC and ATL, 3 possible games to lose heading into the bye, let Baker get the nod right before the bye and they play Cincy in Week 12? I could see that.
  • Have to love the weapons he has there now between Gordon, Landry, Njoku, David Johnson, Hyde, Corey Coleman. You're not drafting him in redraft leagues, but I could definitely see him making noise once he's in the lineup.
  • He's my dynasty QB1 right now,


Saquon Barkley - RB (Penn State)

Drafted By New York Giants
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 2

 

Saquon Barkley 40 yard dash

  • Where do I start. Jeezus.
  • So, you can look at his measurables all you want. Not sure it matters anymore, everyone knows he tested off the fucking charts.
  • Let's talk about his fit as a Giant.
  • Got a lot of questions, is a top-10 pick now? Absolutely.
  • 300 touches is a guarantee if he's healthy.
  • I still have no idea why they brought in Jonathan Stewart, but neverthemore. They have J-Stew, Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins. Vereen and Darkwa are both gone via FA. The Giants total team carries last year, 394, among the lowest in the NFL, largely due to them trailing.
  • We have to take a look at the offensive line, of course, a really weak spot for this team. And although it took a ton of scrutiny, and was bad, they dealt with a lot of injuries, they had 9 different starters over the course of the year. The surprisingly ranked 15th in RBing and 10th in PBing per FO, but PFF had them graded out 26th overall, but they were middle of the pack in terms of yards before contact for running backs. They lost Justin Pugh in FA, but they were able to snag former Pats LT Nate Solder for a cool 4-year, $62M, so now at least Ereck Flowers doesn't have to play LT. When it comes to a bad line, yeah it sucks, but if the offense can be at least average and they should be given the talented weapons, and Barkley sees enough volume, I'm not worried about the line nearly as much as most people are.
  • I think it's important to take a look at the coaching changes, they bring in Pat Shurmur as the HC and Mike Shula as OC. Shurmur's bounced around the league a lot, but was the OC in Minnesota last year. Their MO was the ground game, 31.3 rushes/game, only Jacksonville ran the ball more than the Vikings. He was also the OC in Philly from 2013-2015, where they ranked #1 in rushing attempts, #9 and #11. You know what he wants to do. Shula, a former QB coach, has been the Panthers OC for the last 5 seasons. They haven't given him much to work with in terms of RB personnel, and with Cam as a running QB, but the Panthers under Shula have been one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL over the past half decade.
  • We look at scoring opportunities. You have to think the Giants back bounce on this side of the ball, at least a little bit, I mean 15.4 PPG last year is Cleveland Browns esq, actually, the Browns were the only team to average less. Taking a look back at least year, their running backs (+ Eli), had 12 carries inside the 5, 24 inside the 10 and 50 RZ carries. Nothing to get crazy excited about, but Barkley should see 90% of these, and be successful with them considreing his wiggle and body size.
  • What I'm hoping, is they use this kid correctly. They need to utilize him in the passing game on early downs, get him in space, not just on 3rd downs. Without Perkins on the roster, Barkley is the only natural pass-catcher here which is great.
  • If you're with me in that Saquon touches the rock 300 times next year, listen to this. Six running backs had 300+ touches in 2017: Bell, Gurley, Shady, Gordon, Hunt, Fournette. Those six finished as RB1, RB2, RB4, RB5, RB7, RB8.
  • And I'm going to go more in-depth in terms of where I'd draft these guys in a video once the draft concludes, I'm going to do my top-12 overall rookie fantasy players. I'm not gonna do this type of video for every round. Shit would be asinine. 
  • He's your easy 1.01 in dynasty this year, and I'll be seriously debating him between pick 5-7, David Johnson through Fournette and Kareem Hunt.

Sam Darnold - QB (USC)

Drafted By New York Jets
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 3
  • Like this pick a lot if I'm a Jets fan. I think Darnold was my favorite prospect as a QB, but fantasy wise there's nothing that intrigues me about this. They have veteran Josh McCown there, it's possible they use him for a bit while Darnold gets acclimated. They don't have much in terms of weapons.
  • He's off my redraft board.

Josh Allen - QB (Wyoming)

Drafted By Buffalo Bills
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 7
  • The Bills, sitting at pick 12, moved up 5 spots in exchange for the 12 and both of their second round picks, they got the 255th pick as well.
  • Bruh, imagine going to school in Wyoming and you're about to be an NFL "star" (prospect), life is about to get good, and then you wind up in Buffalo lol.
  • We're gonna see Allen going through a table on Barstool's Instagram in October.
  • Allen goes to a situation arguably worse than Darnold. The Bills have Kelvin Benjamin as their WR1, honestly, Allen might be a better WR than Benjamin. Zay Jones, Charles Clay, they lose 3 offensive linemen this summer in Eric Wood, Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn. They bring in A.J. McCarron this offseason, so it'll definitely be a QB competition throughout camp.
  • Everyone knows Allen as the tall, big-armed QB, he's 6-5, 225. But like I said before, quoted from Graham Barfield, 94% of NFL passes were thrown between 0-19 yards last year. Short and mid-range accuracy is far more important in today's NFL. 
  • He's a high-upside pick for sure, accuracy is a concern, but he's got good athleticism. I've heard comparisons all the way from Brock Osweiler to Carson Wentz. I'm excited to see how it plays out. I'm staying away from Allen for the time being, although I'd probably have him ranked as my rookie QB3 right now.

Josh Rosen - QB (UCLA)

Drafted By Arizona
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 10
  • Long term, I like this move a lot. Rosen is as pro-ready as about any QB in the draft. They ran a pro-style of offense at UCLA, lots of anticipation throws and play action. But, with Bradford there, it's unlikely he's their opening day starter. But it's also unlikely Bradford plays in all 16 games, especially behind this offensive line.
  • They don't have much in terms of weapons, it's best to stay away from Rosen in all redraft. In dynasty drafts, Rosen would be my 2nd QB off the board behind Baker. 

D.J. Moore - WR (Maryland)

Drafted By Carolina Panthers
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 24
  • No skill players picked from 11-23. 
  • This wasn't a tough one to predict. The Panthers needed a sound, legit WR, and that's what they got in D.J. Moore. 
  • Steve Smith, former Carolina great, was commentating the draft, and he absolutely loved the pick - said CAR's been searching to replace him ever since he left, and they did with this pick.
  • You know what's hilarious though. If you guys don't follow freezing cold takes on Twitter or IG, go do that, it's the best account out there.
  • I literally can't watch any analyst make a statement anymore without imaging it as a video clip that is going to use in 3 years. I love D.J. Moore, but when Steve Smith said "They've never been able to replace me, until now" - all I could think was... finish him.
  • Anyways, I hope that's not the case.D.J. Moore Panthers
  • Moore, also coming from Maryland, is naturally linked to Stefon Diggs as a comparable player. Which I really like, but he's also bigger than Diggs is at 6-0, 210. I also like the comparisons to Golden Tate and Pierre Garcon.
  • Basically, it's saying he runs good, but not great routes, has strong hands, and is great with the ball in his hands. He can play outside or in the slot,
  • Big 10 WR of the year, 80-1,033-8 despite having 4 different QBs. Insane 53.3% of Maryland's total receiving yards and TDs in his time at Maryland. That 53.3% is in the 97th percentile of that stat.
  • The problem I guess, with Moore's fantasy outlook right now is that they added Torrey Smith in FA. And Jarius Wright. They'll have Curtis Samuel back. Gotta feel for that guy, think that moves him to the back-burner. Moore will likely rotate in and out of the lineup, moving all over the field and compete with Smith for snaps on the outside while Wright is in the slot. And of course, they have McCaffrey and Olsen who command a lot of targets.
  • On top of that, the Panthers have been one of the more run-heavy, and pass resistant teams over the last bunch of years.
  • Norv Turner is their new OC, so I figured I'd look at what I could find there. He was the OC in Minnesota from 2014-2016, the only stats I could find that were good was that Minnesota lined up in 3WR+ sets at about 63% of their plays, which is middle of the pack, maybe a couple of slots lower, so it's not necessarily great for Moore's outlook.
  • He's a great dynasty pick for sure, but redraft I would definitely pump the breaks. 

MARTAVIS TRADED TO OAKLAND FOR 3RD ROUND PICK

  • Might as well cover this since we're all here. Great move for Oakland, there's about a 4% chance you're taking a WR in the 3rd round of the draft that is as promising as Martavis. 
  • The change of scenery definitely can't hurt. He's still super young, just 26. It's an interesting dynamic now, with Jon Gruden as the coach. They now have Cooper, Bryant and Jordy. Bryant's probably going to be the third most targeted guy on an okay passing offense.
  • I'll say, I'm not sure how this is going to work, but I'm really excited to see who they put in the slot. If it's Cooper or Jordy. I think whoever that ends up being, is the only guy I'd want here in fantasy.
  • Derek Carr took a step back last year and to be honest, as excited as this team might be for Madden, it might be a wide receiver group I'm fading in fantasy. 
  • What do you guys think? I'm not quite sure what to make of the situation tbh, drop a comment down below.

Hayden Hurst - TE (South Carolina)

Drafted By Baltimore Ravens
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 25
  • I actually kind of hate this pick tbh.
  • I mean, I guess it was a pressing need for the team, but idk, fantasy wise. I'm good.Hayden Hurst Ravens
  • Had it been last year, sure there was so much opportunity available, and don't get me wrong, he's stepping in and should be the starting TE, at least the pass-catcher but he's 25 years old, and they brought in Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead, Joe Flacco sucks. Rookie TEs rarely make an impact, and I don't think Hurst will be the one who is an Evan Engram type outlier.

Calvin Ridley - WR (Alabama)

Drafted By Atlanta Falcons
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 26
  • God dammit I wanted Maurice Hurst bad, but at least he's still on the board. I hope we trade up to get him. I wonder if anyone got a screenshot reaction of me when they picked Ridley last night. Please tell me someone did.
  • Anyways, the more I sit on this pick, the more I like it for us to be honest. Another explosive playmaker opposite Julio Jones is a beautiful ting. Let Sanu slide into the slot where he's had success.Calvin Ridley Combine
  • Ridley graded so bad at the combine. Had he graded well, he probably would've been a top 15, maybe even top 10 pick.
  • He's very good at separating from defenders, a really good deep threat, and great YAC ability. They lost Taylor Gabriel in FA, which doesn't necessarily open up a ton of targets (51) but he'll eat into Sanu's target numbers who averaged a surprisingly high 6.4 targets a game.
  • Right now I'm looking at Ridley as a WR4/5 in redrafts. I think I have Ridley as my WR1 in dynasty over Moore for now.

Rashaad Penny - RB (SDSU)

Drafted By Seattle Seahawks
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 27
  • This is where things start getting interesting. Huge surprise pick here by Seattle. Penny was actually going off with odds as 50-1 to be the second running back drafted.
  • Let's first hold a moment of silence for Chris Carson *takes out tissue*. So disrespectful.
  • I get it, the Seahawks have trust issues, they can't rely on ANYONE to stay healthy in their backfield. They've been searching for their Marshawn Lynch and they think they found it in Penny.
  • Penny is looked at as a true featured back, and a lot of people had him as the outright RB2 in this class behind Barkley.Rashaad Penny Seahawks
  • You take a look at the measurables and you see right away, he has the size 5-11, 220, and the speed (4.46), 92nd percentile weight-adjusted speed score.
  • He really can do it all, other than size/speed, good burst, agility, keeps the feet moving. The knock is him playing at SDSU, smaller school, worse competition. And he did what you'd expect someone to do at a school like this: led CFB in rushing with 2,248 yards, he scored 25 touchdowns last year, he's also an incredible kick returner, bringing back 7 throughout his career. I mean, 7.8 ypc... 
  • I want to bring up these Tweets, from Scott Barrett of PFF, who you should also definitely be following:
  • And I talk about him a lot, my man Graham Barfield, and it's because there is no one better in the game better at identifying rookie running backs for fantasy then he is. His yards created column is revolutionary, and Penny graded well. Specifically in between the tackles. "Penny was also explosive in between the tackles as his 5.90 YC/A on inside carries is fifth-best in Yards Created history behind Joe MixonAlvin KamaraKareem Hunt, and Ezekiel Elliott in that order." 
  • The offensive line is obviously an issue in Seattle, but I like the idea of him running behind Wilson and getting a big workload. 
  • Given the draft capital invested, this makes Penny a top-20/22 back, with upside. I'm looking at ADP data on MFL10, I would take Penny over Derrick Henry. Depending on where Derrius Guice falls I still make take him over Penny, I'd still take McKinnon over Penny, I would take Penny over Hyde and Kenyan Drake.

Sony Michel - RB (Georgia)

Drafted By New England Patriots
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick
31
  • A shocking pick, "since selecting Laurence Maroney in the first round 12 years ago, the  had only taken three RBs inside of the top-150 overall picks prior to this year’s NFL Draft." He just might be my second favorite rookie fantasy RB now. I actually LOVE this spot, and I love Sony Michel. The Pats know what they're doing, there's all of the rumors of the knee bone bruise or whatever, they say, fuggit, we ride him for 4 years, get that 5th-year team option and we're not signing him to a second contract anyway.
  • Ok, so he's got this knee thing. Well, he played in 39-of-40 games over the last 3 years for Georgia...
  • He plugs immediately into Dion Lewis' role, makes both Jeremy Hill and Gillislee redundant, one or both of them definitely ain't making the team. I think it turns into a Michel, Burkhead, little bit of White RBBC, spearheaded by Michel. 
  • I mean, there's no way NE goes RB in the first and doesn't plan on letting the man spin. One of the best parts about this is their other pick in the 1st, at 23, they take Michel's teammate from Georgia OG Isaiah Wynn.Sony Michel patriots
  • He didn't test out at the combine off the charts like his college teammate Nick Chubb, but Michel was really fucking good in college. He averaged 7.9 ypc in 2017, and scored 16 touchdowns. Yes, against the SEC. They have Burkhead and White, but Michel doesn't need to come off the field. Ever. He's excellent in pass-blocking, huge check mark for the Patriots, and although he only caught 9 passes last year for the Bulldogs, he caught 48 in the 2 seasons prior.
  • Most importantly, he graded off the charts in Graham Barfield's Yards Created data, and I quote, "Every facet of Sony Michel's Yards Created data screams that he is a standout player. After Barkley, Sony Michel has the second-best odds to become a featured player both as a runner and receiver in the 2018 class."
  • Maybe you're asking why I lean on his analysis so much - because you know who his favorite RBs were last year? Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt.
  • I think what's most surprising about this pick, is that if there is one major flaw to Michel's game, it's ball security, he lost the ball A LOT in college, obviously, Uncle Bill isn't a huge fan of RBs with ball security issues.
  • I'm saying DO NOT be scared away from Michel, because you picked Gillislee last year, or you're scared of this RBBC. Michel should see upwards of 250 touches, and in this offense, his TD upside is through the roof.
  • Lot of questions about goathead. Still, like him. I never expected him to be the bellcow here, or handle the majority of the rushing work, he's still a sleeper in PPR leagues and will probably be pushed down even further now. He'll have plenty of involvement in this offense still.

Lamar Jackson - QB (Louisville)

Drafted By Baltimore Ravens
Round Selected 1
Overall Pick 32
  • Love this pick. LOVE IT.
  • Sucks for fantasy right now, he'll probably sit behind Flacco for at least a year. Flacco isn't guaranteed any money past this season, so....
  • If Jackson gets on the field in 2018, I love him in fantasy. I really do. But I don't expect it.
  • But I love the longterm view of Jackson, going to the Ravens, he has Marty Mornhinweg and Greg Roman, who were Michael Vick and Colin Kaepernick's OCs at one point during their careers. Mornnhinweg runs that west coast style offense, I'm really excited to see Lamar Jackson play man. I'd be pumped if I'm a Ravens fan.
  • He's a close 3rd, might even by my dynasty QB2.

If you liked what you read you can check us out on:

YouTube - https://bit.ly/2rZZK5X | Nick Ercolano

Twitter - https://twitter.com/Nick_BDGE | @Nick_BDGE

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