Editor’s note: This column will be updated throughout Day 1 of the NFL draft (ESPN/WatchESPN) with the most recent selections at the top.
The NFL draft is finally here, and we’re ready to cater to your fantasy needs, as the draft marks the start of the 2016 fantasy football calendar for many fans.
During each of the three days of the draft, Mike Clay will provide instant fantasy analysis of players’ values for the upcoming season and beyond.
In the midst of an offensive overhaul, the Texans added Fuller to a list of offseason acquisitions that also includes QB Brock Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller. Somewhat of a one-trick pony, Fuller has 4.32 wheels to go with his undersized 6-foot-0, 186-pound frame. He’s going to be used primarily as a deep threat, but is a good route runner and will be put in position to make plays with the ball in his hands. While DeAndre Hopkins hogs the short and intermediate targets, Fuller will stretch the defense. With intriguing Jaelen Strong also in the mix, and considering the Texans’ questionable quarterback situation, Fuller has the looks of a boom/bust flex option in 2016. He’ll be an interesting weekly option in DFS tournaments.
2016 projection: 55 receptions, 851 yards, 4 TD; 5 carries, 29 yards
Texans updated skill players outlook:
QB: Brock Osweiler
RB: Lamar Miller
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins
WR2: Will Fuller
All sorts of speed.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 29, 2016
The top wide receiver off the board slots right in as Cleveland’s No. 1 wide receiver … unless suspended Josh Gordon returns. Coleman is a threat on all levels of the field and is versatile to the point that he’ll be handling deep shots, bubble screens, carries and returns. With the Browns so devoid of talent, Coleman is a strong bet to lead the team in targets and receptions in 2016 (followed by Gary Barnidge and Duke Johnson Jr.). If Gordon returns, Coleman’s volume will take a hit, but he’s good enough to sustain a significant role. The obvious main concern here is the team’s quarterback situation, but Week 1 favorite Robert Griffin III is sure to look Coleman’s way early and often. For now, view him as a solid flex option.
2016 projection: 75 receptions, 992 yards, 4 TD
#Browns should put Coleman at X receiver and give him 4 or 5 routes to run. Cater to his talent, speed. Allow him to be a playmaker.
– Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 29, 2016
Veteran deference might get Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris the early first-team looks in camp, but it won’t take long for Elliott to take full control of the Dallas backfield. The former Buckeye sports 4.47 wheels and stands 6-foot-0, 225 pounds. He’s a terrific rusher, solid receiver and arguably the best blocker among incoming running backs. Behind the Cowboys’ elite offensive line, Elliott, who is only 20 years old, is in for what should be both an efficient and high-volume rookie campaign. Elliott should be on your radar as a fringe top-10 fantasy running back this season.
2016 projection: 259 carries, 1,175 yards, 7 TD; 52 receptions, 442 yards, 2 TD
Healthy Romo & Dez, that O-Line… May I introduce you to Ezekiel Elliott, fantasy superstar? (Sorry DMC & Morris dynasty owners)
– Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) April 29, 2016
Wentz is 6-foot-5, 237 pounds and nearly two years older than Goff, but he is bigger, more athletic and has shown better accuracy. Wentz projects as a quarterback who will add value — and fantasy points — with his legs, but he’s unlikely to see much work in 2016. The Eagles are committed to Sam Bradford as their Week 1 starter, and Chase Daniel was also signed during the offseason. If the Eagles are eliminated late in the season, Wentz will get some work, but he’s extremely unlikely to add much fantasy value in Year 1.
2016 projection: 64 of 109, 721 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT; 12 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD
If Goff and/or Wentz are good, nobody will care about the cost. But we won’t know if they’re good for a few years. Dynasty picks, not 2016.
– Eric Karabell (@karabellespn) April 29, 2016
Goff is set to compete with Case Keenum and potentially Nick Foles, but he shouldn’t have much trouble earning the team’s Week 1 starting gig. Regardless, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound pocket passer is unlikely to generate much fantasy production in 2016. With a rookie passer, Jeff Fisher calling the shots and Todd Gurley in the backfield, expect a low-volume, low-scoring, run-heavy offensive attack in Los Angeles. Goff isn’t worth drafting in 2016 fantasy leagues but is obviously worth stashing in dynasty.
2016 projection: 273-of-460, 3,077 yards, 15 TD, 14 INT; 36 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD