The National Football League just finished the 2017 draft and some surprising twists could have a profound effect on the upcoming fantasy football season. One of those actually involves last year’s starting quarterback who will now head to the commentary booth.
Jay Cutler is out of Chicago, that fact has been known for months now. He’ll take the mic and become a play-by-play announcer. However, the Bears seemed to be content with former Tampa Bay backup Mike Glennon as their signal caller for next season. That was until they did a surprising leapfrog from the third the second pick in the draft. A move with no other reason but to guarantee they could snag former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Seriously, if you’re so interested in a player that you push yourself into a spot where no one can steal him away, you must have bigger plans for this kid than what the NFL fortune tellers predict. No one in the fantasy football world should be the least bit surprised if the 6’2, 225 pound prototypical NFL QB is starting for Duh Bears much sooner than some think. Fantasy owners looking for a bargain quarterback should draft Trubisky, because he will eventually be starting for a team that will be playing from behind, a lot.
The second top five draftee, one of three offensive players in the top five, quite contrary to pre-draft projections, went to Jacksonville. No one was surprised by this pick though, as the Jaguars have been a woeful running team since, well, since Maurice Jones-Drew left town. In 2016 the Jags ranked in the bottom 10 in total rushing yards per game, and only a pair of touchdowns ahead of the NY Giants for worst TD production out of the running back position.
Drafting LSU star Leonard Fournette was a foregone conclusion, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be lost on the formalities of the draft. Fournette is a 240-pound bruiser, who will fit perfectly into the system of head coach Doug Marrone. Marrone has experience in developing offensive lines, and Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles would welcome some diversion to keep pass rushers off his back.
Fournette is a skilled pass catcher, so it’s likely he’ll immediately be the four down back for the Jaguars. With 4.5 speed on display at the NFL combine, and a penchant for shedding tacklers, it’s also unlikely the backfield in Jacksonville will be a timeshare situation. Fournette may be an immediate workhorse, an essential these days when teams have tendency to split opportunities draining the appeal of the once invaluable fantasy running back.
Many high production offensive players from last fantasy season are still going to be relevant in 2017. However, take a break from setting your MLB lineup, so you don’t let these two newly drafted rookies slide too far down the board before you snag them up. Shoot, grabbing them both may not be a bad move.