Three and Out is a weekly column here at RotoViz featuring some quick hitting fantasy football food for thought. Every week I will cover three topics featuring facts, stats, projections, player profiles, ADP updates, draft strategies, tips and the latest news from around the fantasy football world. Think of this as a 5-Hour Energy for your fantasy brain.
Brandin Cooks to the Saints – BUY No player drafted in round 1 was helped more than Brandin Cooks. I am a big proponent of smaller WRs needing to play with elite QBs to increase their chances of success in comparison to larger WRs. Cooks enters a situation where he may be 4th on the pecking order for targets but in New Orleans’ high volume pass attack that may not be a problem. Gone are Darren Sproles, Lance Moore and the 153 targets they received last year. The Saints are likely to fill those rolls with a combination of Kenny Stills and Cooks. I would expect Cooks to get plenty of opportunities to go deep. Per Pro Football Focus, Drew Brees has led the NFL in deep passing yards over the last 3 years with 3453 yards. In the most recent rookie mock by Jon Moore, Cooks went at 1.7. I feel comfortable moving Cooks as high as 1.4. Cooks’ 2nd place finish in our WR Prospect Tourney isn’t looking so bad after all. I had Cooks ranked 4th in the RotoViz Pre-draft WR Rankings and after last night I remain confident in that assessment.
The Bills trade up for Sammy Watkins – SELL This isn’t as much of an indictment on Watkins as it is in what Buffalo gave up to get Watkins. I think Watkins will succeed on volume alone in Buffalo. Giving up a 1st and 4th in 2015 to get Watkins will put pressure on Watkins to perform at a Julio Jones level. That may be difficult to do with E.J. Manuel at quarteback, who’s AY/A was 5.8. That is a full yard less than Geno Smith who I mentioned in last weeks edition. The domino effect of Watkins going to the Bills makes for a murky situation for owners of Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods. Johnson could possibly be had on the cheap and may be a decent addition with a change of scenery as he seems to be the odd man out with the arrival of Mike Williams. It will be interesting to see how things shake out during training camp. While I don’t think this selections effects the ADP of Watkins, other WRs in the first round landed in better situations.
Tampa Bay selects Mike Evans – HOLD Nothing really changes here for Evans. The Bucs look to re-create what the Bears did last year with Alshon Jeffery an Vincent Jackson. Its unlikely that teams will have two DBs that can match up with the size of Jackson and Evans. That is sure to leave one of the duo with a significant size advantage. Moving into a situation where he doesn’t have to be the man from the start should benefit Evans greatly, considering he has only been playing football for 3 years. “The Bears South” wouldn’t be complete without the theft of Josh McCown who put up an overall AY/A of 8.2 last year in Chicago’s offense. A further look through the new AYA App shows that McCown had AY/A’s of 8.9 and 11.38 while throwing to Marshall and Jeffery in Chicago. Evans should not have to worry about getting the ball in volume or positive match-up situations. Nothing has changed for the WR who ranked 3rd in this class in the Phenom Index. Evans is still worthy of the top pick in rookie drafts.
Two moves that I didn’t mention were Odell Beckham to the Giants and Kelvin Benjamin to the Panthers. Other members of the staff will have more to come on those players. Question for the week…has anything in the first round changed how you view the value of the WRs drafted in round 1? Let me know in the comments section below.