The NFL Draft is over, and I like the new format. It made the first round quicker and the second day more interesting with Round 3.
Here's an overall assessment of how I thought each team did based on the impact for Fantasy leagues in 2008. We're just looking at skill players here.
Feel free to share your thoughts.
Arizona: Taking WR Early Doucet in the third round will give the Cardinals a replacement for Bryant Johnson. You're not going to draft him in most leagues, but he could be a valuable waiver wire guy if Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin get hurt. RB Tim Hightower is not going to replace Edgerrin James. He's more of a special teams player.
Atlanta: I'm not thrilled with Matt Ryan going to the Falcons. I would have preferred him in Baltimore. But he will be the face of the franchise down the road. This year, consider Ryan a low-end Fantasy option, and Chris Redman will likely still start the season. Harry Douglas will compete with Michael Jenkins and Laurent Robinson for playing time opposite Roddy White, but don't plan on drafting Douglas in Fantasy leagues. RB Thomas Brown and TE Keith Zinger are backups with no Fantasy value.
Baltimore: The Ravens miss on Ryan but take Joe Flacco instead at No. 18. I don't like this pick at all. I think Flacco could be good down the road, but with their aging defense, the Ravens are saying we're going to live with Kyle Boller. That's not a good thing. Consider Flacco a notch below Ryan this year in Fantasy leagues. Ray Rice also was an interesting choice. Rice will steal some carries from Willis McGahee, but I don't see Rice doing much to help your Fantasy team. WR Marcus Smith and WR Justin Harper will compete for the No. 3 spot behind Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, but neither is worth drafting in Fantasy leagues. And RB Patrick Allen is a backup.
Buffalo: I love the Bills taking James Hardy in the second round. Finally, a tall receiver to play opposite Lee Evans. Hardy is going to make Evans and QB Trent Edwards better in 2008, and you should draft Hardy as a No. 4 Fantasy option. TE Derek Fine could find playing time behind Robert Royal, and RB Xavier Omon and WR Steve Johnson are just backups.
Carolina: Dave Richard loves Jonathan Stewart so much that I'm starting to see the light. If he wins the starting job, he will be like Stephen Davis was for the Panthers back in the day, and that was pretty good. Stewart appears to be the starter, which means you'll want to draft him as a No. 3 Fantasy option with A LOT of upside. TE Gary Barnidge could find playing time, but don't draft him in any leagues.
Chicago: The Bears made some subtle picks that could be good in 2008. RB Matt Forte will push Cedric Benson for the starting spot, and if that happens you'll want Forte as a No. 3 Fantasy option, making Benson someone to avoid until the later rounds. WR Earl Bennett could end up being the No. 1 option since Marty Booker is terrible. TE Kellen Davis won't have a role on offense, and WR Marcus Monk is a backup.
Cincinnati: The Bengals loaded up at wide receiver in case Chad Johnson bolts. Drafting Jerome Simpson in Round 2 and Andre Caldwell in Round 3 will give them a replacement for Chris Henry and a possible second starter if Johnson is traded. TE Matt Sherry is a backup, and don't expect much from WR Mario Urrutia.
Cleveland: With now picks in the first three rounds, they couldn't do much. So don't count on TE Martin Rucker or WR Paul Hubbard to have any Fantasy impact in 2008.
Dallas: The Cowboys passed on Rashard Mendenhall to take Felix Jones, which shows how much interest they had in the former Arkansas back. Jones will complement Marion Barber and could be a nice sleeper in Fantasy leagues. You can also expect Tashard Choice to see some time as well, but don't draft him in any leagues in 2008. TE Martellus Bennett might be a deep sleeper if he gets playing time as the No. 2 option behind Jason Witten.
Denver: The Broncos needed help at WR and took a chance on Eddie Royal in the second round. If Brandon Marshall's arm is bad from the cut, Royal will pay immediate dividends. Otherwise, don't expect much from Royal, but he's someone to watch on the waiver wire. I like Denver trying to help QB Jay Cutler with some weapons. RB Ryan Torain could play a role since it's the Broncos.
Detroit: The Lions might have gotten the best rookie for Fantasy play when it comes to RB Kevin Smith. I'd rather see Rashard Mendenhall with the Lions, but Smith will compete with Tatum Bell for the starting spot. Smith could be a No. 3 Fantasy RB with upside. WR Kenneth Moore is not worth drafting in Fantasy leagues. Mike Martz is gone, so extra receivers behind Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson and Shaun McDonald won't matter much.
Green Bay: The Packers made some nice moves that will pay dividends down the road but not much in Fantasy leagues in 2008. WR Jordy Nelson will likely compete with James Jones for the No. 3 role, but he'll still be behind Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. QB Brian Brohm also will sit behind Aaron Rodgers this year. And TE Jermichael Finley will replace Bubba Franks, but he's No. 2 behind Donald Lee. None of these players should be drafted in 2008, but in keeper leagues, they have some extended Fantasy value.
Houston: The Texans are obviously sold on Kevin Walter and Andre Davis because they didn't draft another wide receiver. They did, however, draft RB Steve Slaton, which could mean bad things for Ahman Green. Look for Green to remain the starter, but Slaton should be drafted as a No. 4 Fantasy RB with upside. We know Green is injury prone, so Slaton could play at any moment.
Indianapolis: The Colts made some subtle moves that are interesting. TE Jacob Tamme and even TE Tom Santi could see playing time as replacements for Ben Utecht, but they won't have much Fantasy value. But RB Mike Hart could be a great, late Fantasy addition as a backup to Joseph Addai. With Kenton Keith's recent arrest, Tony Dungy might not have much patience. If Hart is No. 2, then draft him with a late-round Fantasy pick. And the Colts did draft WR Pierre Garcon in the sixth round, but that they didn't take a WR earlier means Marvin Harrison is probably healthy and ready to go in 2008.
Jacksonville: The Jags addressed most of their offensive needs this offseason, so the draft was spent on defense. RB Chauncey Washington will be a backup and has no Fantasy value.
Kansas City: The Chiefs made solid draft picks, but no one who will help your Fantasy value in 2008 unless there are injuries. RB Jamaal Charles is a solid player, but he will sit behind Larry Johnson and potentially Kolby Smith. The same goes for RB DaJuan Morgan. TE Brad Cottam is a blocker but has good hands. And WR William Franklin and Kevin Robinson will compete for playing time, but you're not drafting secondary receivers for the Chiefs in your Fantasy league.
Miami: The Dolphins did little to help your Fantasy team in 2008. QB Chad Henne may start, but he's not a good Fantasy option right now. And RB Jalen Parmele and RB Lex Hilliard aren't playing over Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams any time soon. The Dolphins did make two trades over the weekend, getting TE Anthony Fasano from Dallas and giving up RB Lorenzo Booker. Fasano should be a TE sleeper.
Minnesota: I like the Vikings taking QB John David Booty. He could eventually start but not this year. WR Jaymar Johnson is a backup and has no Fantasy value in 2008.
New England: The Pats start thinking about the future with QB Kevin O'Connell, but he's obviously not playing in 2008. And WR Matt Slater has special teams written all over him. Don't draft either of these players.
New York Giants: I like what the Giants did by taking WR Mario Manningham, and he will compete with Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss for the No. 3 spot. You can spend a late-round pick on Manningham, and he may be productive. QB Andre Woodson is just a backup.
New York Jets: The Jets needed a tight end, and Dustin Keller is a good one. He could start right away and should be considered a solid sleeper in all leagues. QB Erik Ainge is worth taking in deep keeper leagues, and WR Marcus Henry is a special teams player at best. The Jets not getting Darren McFadden means Thomas Jones remains a great Fantasy option in 2008.
Oakland: If you play Fantasy Football, you wanted to see Darren McFadden with the Jets. Now with Oakland, there is a cluster of running backs with Justin Fargas, Michael Bush and Dominic Rhodes (LaMont Jordan will be released). McFadden is a No. 3 Fantasy option at best. Fargas will definitely get carries and limit how good McFadden will be in 2008. WR Arman Shields and WR Chaz Schilens have minimal Fantasy value.
Philadelphia: The Eagles got the receiver they needed in DeSean Jackson, who is small but adds another weapon to Donovan McNabb's arsenal. Consider Jackson a No. 4 Fantasy option with upside. The Eagles also added RB Lorenzo Booker in a trade, and he could have value in leagues where receptions count.
Pittsburgh: The Steelers complicated many Fantasy leagues by taking RB Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. Willie Parker will remain the starter, but look for Mendenhall to fill the Jerome Bettis role and play on short-yardage situations. Parker won't be getting many touchdowns, but Mendenhall won't get many yards. Look for Parker to be a low-end No. 2 Fantasy options, and Mendenhall is a low-end No. 3 on his own. WR Limas Sweed will make Ben Roethlisberger better, and he will take away some catches from Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.
St. Louis: The Rams needed a WR with Isaac Bruce gone, and they took plenty of them in Donnie Avery, Justin King and Keenan Burton. Whoever wins a starting job, and they will compete with Drew Bennett and Reche Caldwell opposite Torry Holt, could have significant Fantasy value. Keep an eye on what develops, but Avery will have the best chance to succeed. If you have Marc Bulger, you like this draft because he was getting some help.
San Diego: The Chargers took RB Marcus Thomas in the fifth round, and he could be the new backup to LaDainian Tomlinson if Darren Sproles doesn't pan out now that Michael Turner is gone. Look for Thomas to compete for the job, and if he wins it, spend a late-round pick on him or handcuff him to Tomlinson.
San Francisco: The 49ers did little to help your Fantasy team. They took WR Josh Morgan in the sixth round, and he will be a backup and special teams player. Ignore him in all Fantasy leagues.
Seattle: It was interesting that the Seahawks passed on wide receivers in this draft, meaning they really like Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu. They needed a tight end, so consider John Carlson a decent sleeper in all leagues. RB Justin Forsett has minimal Fantasy value.
Tampa Bay: Michigan fans might not like WR Dexter Jackson (he's from Appalachian State), but he could play a role for the Bucs. If he's given extended playing time, which is likely since Tampa Bay has a weak receiving corps, consider him a late-round draft pick in most Fantasy leagues. QB Josh Johnson gives Tampa Bay 45 quarterbacks on the roster. Ignore him in all leagues along with RB Cory Boyd.
Tennessee: The Titans need help at wide receiver. So what do they do? They wait until Round 4 to take Lavelle Hawkins, who will make little impact in 2008 and doesn't help Vince Young much. TE Craig Stevens also won't do much in 2008 with Alge Crumpler around. As for RB Chris Johnson, he's a good player who did well at the Combine. But he will play behind LenDale White, who also saw his value nose dive with this pick. This draft made RB Chris Henry an afterthought.
Washington: The Redskins made sure QB Jason Campbell was happy by adding WR Devin Thomas, WR Malcolm Kelly and TE Fred Davis with their first three picks. Thomas and Kelly should be considered decent Fantasy reserves, and Davis is a deep sleeper in 2008 since he will be playing behind Chris Cooley. Washington added QB Colt Brennan, but he isn't expected to play in 2008.