Some fantasy football die hards are already drafting for the coming season, in some cases its rookies only and others are starting an early draft. In this NFL Draft Rookie round table we will discuss some Sleeper IDP players.
FFHD brought you the Pre NFL Draft Roundtable a few weeks back and you can check those out here – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. It went so well that we brought back most of the guys, added a few more voices to the party to focus on the 2012 Rookie Sleeper Receivers.
- Pro Football Focus – Jeff Ratcliffe
- Dynasty Football Warehouse – Dan Heins and Jeff Melbostad
- Dynasty League Football – Eric Dickens and Tim Stafford
- Fantasy Knuckleheads – Greg Brosh
- NFL Draft Geek - Nolan Vasan
- Second City Fanatics – Matt Lane
- IDP Manor – Gary Davenport
- Roto Rankings – Scott Whitfield
- Average Joe – Josh Hreha
- Fantasy Football Help Desk - Mike Novick
IDP Manor – Gary Davenport -
Bobby Wagner and Alfonzo Dennard
Linebacker Bobby Wagner has a decent shot at beating out veteran Barrett Ruud to start in the middle for the Seattle Seahawks, and the Utah State star could crack the Top 25 at his position if he can stick in the nickel.
Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard had a disastrous offseason that led to his nearly going undrafted. However, the 2011 Big Ten defensive back of the year actually lucked out from a fantasy perspective by landing with the New England Patriots, who need all the help in the secondary they can get.
Dynasty League F. – Eric Dickens -
Nick Perry and Malik Jackson
I’m definitely not an IDP guru, but I really like the fit for DE/OLB Nick Perry in Green Bay and DE Malik Jackson in Denver.
FantasyKnuckleheads – Greg Brosh -
Zach Brown and Stephon Gilmore
IDP’s (provide two total): Provided by Tom Diggs – IDP Fantasy Section
I have to admit that I am not a Zach Brown fan. He is extremely fast and can chase down RBs and TEs all over the field which makes him extremely valuable and versatile in today’s pass-happy NFL. That said, he does not take on blockers well. In fact he doesn’t do so at all. There were plenty of whispers and giggles around the internet where analysts made claims such as “Brown is allergic to contact.” That is not something you typically want said about your 2nd round pick. However, Titans DC Jerry Gray has already hinted that he sees Brown as their starting WLB over Will Witherspoon from day one. If so, Brown should jump up to at least 6th on this list and maybe even higher due to opportunity alone.
Gilmore is already being expected to contribute immediately and could enter the year as a starter. The Bills are already touting his ability to successfully cover TEs and that could be big news in the AFC East. He could see a lot of Gronkowski, Hernandez, Fasano, Egnew, and Keller as a result. I am not entirely sold on Gilmore’s meteoric rise in the NFL Draft, but he will certainly be given every opportunity to be on the field to help compile stats.
Pro Football Focus – Jeff Ratcliffe -
Demario Davis and Sean Spence
A lot of people are unfamiliar with Davis, as he played his college ball at Arkansas State. This kid can flat out fly around the field, and has good size at 6’2.” With Bart Scott on the down-slope of his career, Davis will get an opportunity to play as soon as this season, and could even challenge Scott for the starting job in camp. David Harris has not been the most productive fantasy LB over the past few seasons, but Davis has the tools to be very effective in your IDP lineup. He’s worth a pick in rookie drafts, especially if you miss out on the first four guys – Kuechly, Kendricks, David, and Wagner.
Dynasty owners of Stevenson Sylvester need to take notice of this selection by the Steelers. Sylvester got the opportunity to play last season and was unimpressive. With James Farrior out of the picture, Larry Foote has the early edge to play along side Lawrence Timmons in the middle, but Spence may give him a run for his money. Perhaps the most instinctive LB in the draft, Spence has speed and impressive athleticism. Like Davis, he’s an upside LB you want on your roster in dynasty leagues.
Dynasty F. Warehouse – Jeff Melbostad -
Quinton Coples and Dont’a Hightower
Coples has the skills to dominate off the edge like a Julius Peppers but can also be moved to the inside or out to linebacker. Despite his size he’s athletic enough to be played and succeed all over the place. This should ensure that the Jets can keep him on the field for every down. That will help his production tremendously and make him a valuable fantasy asset in my opinion. Rex Ryan will find a way to maximize his potential.
Hightower gets drafted by New England who desperately needs defensive help at the LB spot (among others). Hightower is a talented backer who has a great ability to rush the passer. If he plays ever down he could prove a great asset in IDP leagues that favor sacks.
Average Joe – Josh Hreha -
Luke Kuechley and Mark Barron
Luke Kuechley – LB CAR – This is the complete package from an IDP LB standpoint. He is a natural MLB, and has every needed instinct to play, and excel. HE will move Beason back to OLB, and this kid has the potential to become the next Brian Urlacher.
Mark Barron – S – TB As good a safety prospect to come out in years, will step in and be an immediate impact player for the lowely Bucs D. Has drawn amazing comparisons, has the speed, power, instincts and ball skills to be an elite IDP Safety for years to come, and is a sure thing as a rookie.
Dynasty F. Warehouse – Dan Heins -
Luke Kuechley and Mark Barron
Luke Kuetchly- (Carolina) Great position and great situation. He is a really solid player and a ball hawk. Should be near the league lead in tackles his rookie season. I see him with a “Chad Greenway” floor. Ceiling could be really high.
Mark Barron- (TB) Again most IDPs are so tackle-focused that I have to go safety here over CBs like Claiborne and Kirkpatrick. Great situation and has a good mentor in Barber.
NFL Draft Geek – Nolan Vasan -
Luke Kuechly and Dont’a Hightower
Kuechly is just a tackling machine, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get near 100 Tackles as a Rookie. Dont’a Hightower will be moved around by the Patriots, in base 4-3 and 3-4 sets, but is also a very good pass rusher who will get more than a few sacks.
Second City Fanatics – Matt Lane -
Melvin Ingram and Luke Kuechly
Melvin Ingram (DL). Will start right away for San Diego and make an impact as a pass rusher. Underdrafted IMO. Luke Kuechly (LB) Not exactly a sleeper, but one of the few LBs who will make it into the top 20 based purely on total tackles.
Roto Rankings – Scott Whitfield -
Lavonte David and Chandler Jones
I love the potential here for Tampa Bay Buccaneers weak side backer David. In a division that is both strong at QB and RB, the plays are there to be made for David. In addition to playing the run and coverage; look for TB to use his speed to get after the quarterback with the loss of Bowers to Achilles.
Chandler Jones of the New England Patriots is another great dual threat. Because of his versatility at both a down lineman and also a stand up pass rusher who can drop into coverage against TE’s; means he will be on the field more and that means more opportunities. Hard to call Chandler Jones who was a first round draft pick a sleeper, but I feel that his actual production will far exceed other DL rookies.
Fantasy Football Help Desk – Mike Novick -
Andre Branch and Courtney Upshaw
Andre Branch will be on the field a lot as I see the Jaguars offense struggling again this season. I look for Branch to have better numbers this season than Jabaal Sheard did last season. Branch will start right away and is really the only true defensive end I would look at in this rookie draft.
Lets hope all IDP owners noticed that Terrell Suggs went down with an injury. Early reports were saying out all season but now I am hearing he may try to come back this season. I honestly can not see him making it back on the field this year. Upshaw will get trained by Suggs and gets to play in a defense with tons of weapons. He will silently be a solid machine on the field this season and will eventually take over Suggs spot in the Ravens defense.