Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft is here, and we’ll give you the skinny on anyone with fantasy value coming out of the second and third rounds.
37) WR Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills
The Bills sorely needed another weapon, and Jones is a heck of one. He has the all-time FBS record for career receptions, snaring 158 in 2016 alone, as a glorified possession receiver. He brings size (6-2, 201 pounds), enough speed (4.45 40 time), and pedigree (NFL linebacker of a father, QB for an uncle). Jones is a focused, driven football player with impeccable character. He has WR5 draft value with upside to be a fourth/flex choice during the year. In the long term, Jones is a WR2 in PPR.
40) WR Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton gets a home run target with the blazing Samuel. Losing Ted Ginn Jr.’s speed is no longer a concern. Samuel plays all over the field and in the backfield. He rushed for eight touchdowns in 2016 and can be used in a number of ways. There is long-term upside but little appeal in 2017. He’s a flier in drafts and could be a frustrating gamble in standard-scoring and TD-only formats as a rookie.
41) RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Adding Latavius Murray to join Jerick McKinnon wasn’t enough for the Vikings. Cook brings explosiveness and long-term potential for a three-down back, if desired. McKinnon is a free agent after the season and may not see much work in 2017. Murray’s contract provides an out after this year. Cook should be the 1b to Murray’s 1a as this season plays out, if not right away. It all comes down to his camp. Minnesota’s upgraded offensive line only helps, too. Cook is about a fourth back in this year’s drafts, assuming everything plays out accordingly, but has he long-range upside for RB1/No. 2 fringe value.
44) TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams
Everett is a large wide receiver or a small tight end at 6-3, 239 pounds. He was a former basketball player and is relatively new to football, so there will be preliminary growing pains. He has the all-around tools to be a starting tight end and a quality fantasy contributor in the two- to three-year window. Consider him a wild flier in 2017 drafts.
45) TE Adam Shaheen, Chicago Bears
Shaheen, from Ashland University (Ohio), will take time to mature as a player. He’s incredibly athletic for a 6-6, 278-pounder. Shaheen also has a basketball background and should translate nicely, in time, to the fantasy game. Avoid him in 2017 drafts, but mentally tuck away the name for 2018 when Zach Miller enters free agency.
48) RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
The off-the-field concerns are worth noting, and so is Marvin Lewis’ track record with successfully coaching troubled players. Mixon is a poor man’s Le’Veon Bell and can do it all. Bruising running back Jeremy Hill will be a free agent after the season, but his one-dimensional mold limits his roster value. Giovani Bernard is coming off an ACL tear and can be eased into action. Mixon is a flier RB3 or safer No. 4 this draft season and a viable RB1 beyond.
53) QB DeShone Kizer, Cleveland Browns
At 6-4, 233 pounds, Kizer brings much-needed size to the quarterback position in Cleveland. He is athletic and has a big arm to deliver the ball to Cleveland’s young stable of receivers. The former Golden Domer needs time to develop, but he offers promise for a team that is (slowly) trending in the right direction. Even if he manages to start in 2017, Kizer has no fantasy appeal outside of flier plays in DFS. Give him a year or two to marinate.
62) WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Despite learning wideout Martavis Bryant (UFA in 2018) would be reinstated by the league, Pittsburgh’s front office felt compelled to add another receiver. This USC product comes with minor durability concerns and knocks against his speed (4.54 40 time). He plays faster than he times. At 6-1, 215, Smith-Schuster has the strength and hands to win contested balls. He is heady and aware, which should help make him a regular fantasy contributor in the next couple of years. He is a shot in the dark for 2017 in cavernous leagues.
67) RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Fantasy owners will be frustrated in 2017. There is some method to the madness, though. Kamara is a quick-twitch type who can play all three downs. He’s most likely a third-down guy in ’17. Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram are no strangers to injury, as is Kamara. Peterson is a total mystery at this point, and Ingram could be on his way out before the 2019 season. Kamara will see receiving work and is a PPR flier (with modest upside) as a late-round pick this year. His best days are a season or more away.
69) WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
At 6-2, 204 pounds, Kupp brings decent size to go along with excellent hands and precise route-running skills. He is much quicker than fast, running only 4.64 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Rams have a lot of mediocrity going on at receiver, so Kupp should be in the mix for targets in 2017 if he can get ahead of the adjustment period. He’s a late-round gamble in single-year drafts his summer.
72) WR Taywan Taylor, Tennessee Titans
Taylor will get a legitimate shot at competing for the slot role as a rookie. The Titans added wide receiver Corey Davis in the first and the position was still a concern. Taylor is quick-footed but not overly fast in the straightaway. He excels with the ball in his hands in short area and can be used as an extension of the running game with timing passes around the line of scrimmage. Should he earn the slot role this summer, Taylor is a flier fantasy pick in deep leagues. Realistically, you won’t play him until 2018.
79) WR ArDarius Stewart, New York Jets
Arguably the weakest receiving corps in the NFL gives Stewart a chance to start immediately. Eric Decker is returning from a major injury. Jalin Marshall flashed but was an undrafted free agent. Quincy Enunwa runs hot and cold. Robby Anderson played well enough and should compete. Stewart (5-11, 204) is a reasonably athletic, intermediate target. His competitive drive will take him far, but quarterback play may limit Stewart out of the gate. He’s a late flier in most formats.
82) WR Carlos Henderson, Denver Broncos
Henderson will be buried behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders without a designed play, assuming he beats out Cody Latimer. Henderson is a well-built receiver who reminds a little of Randall Cobb and/or Josh Reed. He will force offensive coordinator Mike McCoy to design quick-hitters to get the ball in his hands. Avoid Henderson in 2017 in conventional setups.
84) WR Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Godwin has a strong lower body and above-average speed (4.42 40 time) for a 6-1, 209-pound frame. He displayed a nose for the end zone and can contribute on special teams. The Bucs are assembling weapons around Jameis Winston, and Godwin will have a real chance to play at least a niche role in 2017. With a strong camp, he’s a matchup play in DFS this season.
86) RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
Hunt can be a special player but has shown to be inconsistent, especially his weight. On a positive note, Hunt is a great fit for Andy Reid’s system. The committee approach gives him a shot to be a third-down and change-of-pace type with Spencer Ware. Hunt’s build doesn’t translate as well between the tackles as it should, but he makes up for it with plus-elusiveness. Gamers should take note: Hunt may be a flexed fantasy back as the season wears on, provided he can beat out Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller.
87) QB Davis Webb, New York Giants
As long as Eli Manning is vertical, Webb won’t be in consideration for the G-men. In the long haul, he has upside but will need to become more comfortable with pro-style elements. The arm is alive and well, and Webb has great size (6-5, 229 pounds).
89) RB D’Onta Foreman, Houston Texans
Good news for Foreman, bad news for Lamar Miller’s fantasy value. Foreman, a much larger, more powerful back than Miller, could immediately have a sizeable role that cuts into Miller’s workload. Miller is a big-play producer and doesn’t need a high volume to be effective, so at least there’s some silver lining. Foreman (6-foot, 233 pounds) offers virtually nothing in the way of third-down contributions, and he’s a terrible blocker. Despite his size, he prefers to avoid contact. Short-yardage and goal line work could be his best role as a rook. Think about him as a handcuff and fourth fantasy back.
96) WR Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Size, wingspan and body control … Golladay checks in at 6-4, 218 pounds. This pick gives Matthew Stafford a huge target for the red zone and a project who could eventually become a WR2. Don’t expect too much from him in terms of 2017 fantasy production, at least not from a consistency perspective, but his future is bright.
98) WR Chad Williams, Arizona Cardinals
Williams has a fine opportunity with the Cards as they are starving for playmakers behind Larry Fitzgerald. Williams will need to show he is capable in a hurry of making the jump from Grambling State to the NFL, although he played better than anyone could have expected against Arizona last year (13 receptions, 152 yards). Williams should be in the mix, but his ability to refine his routes will be the judge of just how much. He is a deep flier in 2017 with an optimistic outlook for 2018 and beyond.
100) TE Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans
Smith is an H-back type who is better split than inline. He is athletic with soft hands and can make plays over the middle. The Titans need depth at the position and someone to groom behind Delanie Walker (33 in August). Smith has no draftable value in 2017 but could make a dent in the next year or two if given an opportunity.
104) QB C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers
There is nothing exceptional about Beathard. He sees the field well and has a savvy mind while playing in a pro-style system. In time, Kyle Shanahan can mold Beathard into the “serviceable” conversation. He is accurate and mobile enough for Shanahan’s system if nothing else. Starting for a fantasy team is miles down the road for the Iowa product.
105) RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
The local kid gets a shot with the Steelers. He’s a powerful back who doesn’t shy away from contact. Conner, 6-1, 233 pounds, is a little upright but has shown all of the heart in the world in his return from cancer. He could chip in as a spell in 2017 and have a hint of value at times. Conner is a late-round dice roll whose long-range worth is predicated on Le’Veon Bell’s contract status.
106) WR Amara Darboh, Seattle Seahawks
The Michigan wideout doesn’t stand out in a crowded receiving class. He’s rock-solid over the middle and has plenty of size at 6-2, 214 pounds. He’ll flash the occasion eye-opening catch. Barring an unforeseen training camp performance, Darboh shouldn’t be in your single-year fantasy plans come draft day.