It’ll takes years of player development and performance before we can accurately judge the 2017 NFL Draft but what good has patience ever done anyone? You’ve got a fantasy draft coming up in a few months! Let’s take a look at some of the big rookie names that’ll be in play come August.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
As you’ve no doubt heard, the 2017 NFL Draft was not a strong one for quarterbacks. Apparently, that little tidbit didn’t make its way to the Chicago Bears who went full Leeroy Jenkins and barreled headfirst into an insane trade for the 2nd overall pick in order to snag Mitchell Trubisky. It’s entirely possible that, before he’s even snapped the ball once, Trubisky is already more hated in Chicago than Jay Cutler ever was. Read that sentence again. It doesn’t seem possible and yet, after signing Mike Glennon to a preposterously lucrative free agent contract, the Bears went all in on Trubisky and, well, here we are. This is what self-combustion looks like in the NFL. There is no fantasy value here. Trubisky likely won’t start until mid-season and has no one to throw the ball to. Apologies to the Kevin White truthers out there.
Verdict: Expect confusion, conflict and chaos in the Windy City. Hard pass.
Almost nothing in fantasy hurts worse than being let down by one of your top picks. In Dead or Alive, we’ll take a look at some of 2016’s most underwhelming performers and try to predict how they’ll fare in the upcoming season. (But if you get burned again, that’s totally on you.)
After a stellar 2015 season that saw the Carolina Panthers make it to the Super Bowl, hopes were astronomically high for 2016. Cam Newton was coming off an MVP year in which his top wide out was Ted freaking Ginn and the Panthers’ stud wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, was primed to make his return after missing an entire year with a torn ACL. Things were looking up on offense and, even with the (bewildering) offseason departure of one of the league’s top defenders, Carolina was still projected to have one of the game’s top defenses.
Then the 2016 NFL season actually started and that once-promising future turned into one disappointment after another. Cam Newton looked like a shell of his 2015 MVP self. Their defense gave up an average of 25.1 points per game. And Kelvin Benjamin? Despite the fact that his season totals were similar to his breakout rookie year, he was maddeningly inconsistent — only twice did he score a touchdown in a game where he also had at least 55 receiving yards.
…only six of the top 70 most targeted receivers in the league finished with a worse catch rate.