Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fantasy Football Outlook: How the 2011 NFL Draft Affects Next Year

If you are as avid a football fan as I am then you have probably been paying very close attention to what’s happening during these final few weeks leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft. The NFL’s Scouting Combine just wrapped up and we now have a little bit better idea of which players might go where and at what position.

If you tuned into the combine, you may have also seen the future of your fantasy football team. You may have seen some of the skill position players out there trying to make a name for themselves in front of NFL scouts, coaches and general managers and it’s a good bet that most of the guys that you saw will somehow affect the way that you draft your fantasy team from next year forward.

You can bet that some of those players at the quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end positions will be of some value this coming season but just where does a person select a rookie (in their fantasy draft). There are many of us who sit and wonder if we should even take a rookie in our fantasy drafts.

There have been some rookies in recent history that have impressed right out of the gate. Some more recent productive fantasy players include the St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford, Dallas’ Dez Bryant and just a few years ago Baltimore (then Arizona) wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Selecting a rookie early in your draft is almost always a huge gamble unless that rookie is guaranteed to start on a team that has a great offense and can help that rookie start out with success right away. Running backs and wide receivers that walk into good situations can excel and could be worthy of a high draft pick. Quarterbacks, even if they are stars coming out of college and are heading into good situations in the NFL (as starters) shouldn’t be considered until later on in your fantasy drafts.

So if you are already planning for your fantasy draft next season (despite the fact that the NFL and the Players Association still haven’t come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement) you might want to consider keeping an eye on some of the talent that will be coming out in the draft this year and think about it more as your fantasy draft gets closer.

In the coming days and weeks we will take a deeper look at some of the prospects that will be coming into the NFL through the NFL Draft and which players you should be interested in and which ones you should stay away from.

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