Dynasty League Football

Uncategorized

2011 Draft Revisited

Cam_Newton

2011 Rookies Revisited or “How I was Completely Wrong about Cam Newton”

I thought I’d take time off from analyzing the 2012 rookies for a look back to 2011. Hindsight is 20/20 and I’m man enough to admit my mistakes. I rank them plus I give you what I thought during the NFL draft process and what I think now. Then the inevitable (and enjoyable) debate can begin.

1. AJ Green, WR CIN
For those who read the DLF forums, it’s no surprise I’m claiming this one in my win column. I was high on AJ Green from the start and said that he was the most talented offensive player in the draft. I also said that he was a “once every five year” NFL prospect and the best since Megatron. While some of that needs time to bear out, AJ Green was and is my number one most valuable 2011 rookie.

2. Cam Newton, QB CAR
As right as I was about AJ Green, I couldn’t have been more wrong about Cam Newton. I told everyone that would listen that he would bust. I am still mystified how a player can come from a spread offense with a limited playbook and accomplish what Newton accomplished as a rookie. I passed on him at the 2.04 in my main league and instead took Kendall Hunter. So that tells you all you need to know.

3. Julio Jones, WR ATL
My 2011 point of view was that he was an elite NFL prospect but not on the same level as AJ Green. I felt that he would be a solid WR2 for fantasy but couldn’t break into the top-10 and certainly not the top-5. I think I was wrong here. Julio Jones is better than I expected. Frankly, I think a strong argument could be made to move him to number two over Cam. His ceiling is higher than I anticipated. I’m still concerned about his durability, but the measureables have translated very well to the NFL. He’s become very hard to obtain via trade.

4. Mark Ingram, RB NOS
I’m a bit of a fantasy traditionalist and still lean toward building my teams around RBs. At a minimum, I’ll break ties in favor of RBs in almost all cases. I felt Ingram was a clear cut top-3 selection and a viable option at the 1.01 in both PPR and non-PPR. I also said that I would lean toward Ingram over Julio because of the historical success that the first RB taken in the NFL draft has had in fantasy. I think I was generally right about Ingram. However, I found it surprising that his owners were disappointed by the 2011 production. The learning for me was that recommending a player for the 1.01 inherently is setting expectations for a lot of owners of elite level production. I thought it was relatively obvious that New Orleans would be a RBBC and therefore Ingram is capped as an RB2 for the near term. People expected more. I could have been clearer in my analysis.

5. Demarco Murray, RB DAL
I didn’t have strong opinions on Murray. I felt he was an end of the first, top of the second guy and I was worried about his durability. My feeling was that he was in the mix with Delone Carter, Kendall Hunter, Daniel Thomas and that it was sort of “owner’s choice”. He flashed a bit more than I expected, but then immediately got hurt as expected. I have him ranked at five because I feel he is a player who, when healthy, could win you games. Don’t expect to ever get 16-games out of this guy but in a committee approach for your flex player, he could be a difference maker.

6. Greg Little, WR CLE
I had Little as my WR3 and right behind Ryan Williams in my post draft rankings. I felt it was reasonable to take him at 1.05 but that Leshoure was a legit choice too. I’m basically giving Little a pass on 2011 because I don’t think much can be taken from the anemic Browns offense. The raw talent is there; let’s see what happens with the QB situation and the team as a whole before we judge this one.

7. Torrey Smith, WR BAL
My contention has been that the 2011 draft class was relatively weak. At this point, we begin to get into the “crap shoot” prospects. I liked Torrey Smith in this range but had him behind Jon Baldwin. He’s got great speed (obviously) but I’m not sure he’s a complete receiver. And I’m fairly sure that Flacco couldn’t exploit his talents if he was. I think dynasty owners should expect boom/bust production. Sort of a rich man’s Robert Meachem. For the near term, the Baltimore offense will run through Ray Rice and is limited by Flacco’s ability. Smith is capped as a WR3/4, but if the route running improves his prospects are good.

8. Titus Young, WR DET
Had him as a late first but my opinion is improving. I worried that Stafford couldn’t stay healthy and was unsure how that would impact the passing game. Stafford had a tremendous year, Megatron is as advertised and Young is well positioned to emerge as a solid fantasy WR3. I don’t think he has quite the upside of Torrey Smith, but he is probably the safer pick in the short term.

9. Kendall Hunter, RB SFO
Had him at the end of the first/top of the second. I felt the demise of Gore was over stated and that Hunter would be stuck riding the pine for a while. I was also concerned about his body type and whether it really fit with a Jim Harbaugh offense. Remember this is the guy that succeeded with Toby Gerhart as his primary back. But I liked what I saw. My opinion remains the same – until Gore is done Hunter is a handcuff.

10. Randall Cobb, WR GBP
While I respected the talent, I felt he might be a gadget guy. I had him behind Baldwin, Smith, Young, Hunter, Murray, Thomas, etc. and said I didn’t want him until the mid-second. I sold him short. He’s more talented than I expected and his athleticism has translated quite well to the high-octane Packers passing game. It’s a crowed WR core but Cobb has the skills to emerge. I think we will see him worked in to the offense more and more in 2012.

11. Denarius Moore, WR OAK
Didn’t like him and still don’t. So why am I putting him at number 11? Simple answer: he’s trade bait. My issues are less with Moore as a player and more with the Oakland team and offense. When Carson Palmer joined the team, he was much ballyhooed on the forum. I kept saying that I wanted no parts of him and went so far as to say I could name twenty better QBs to own. Moreover, the WR core is crowed with guys that all sort of seem similar to me. It’s a mediocre version of New Orleans. That said there are plenty of dynasty owners who are high on Moore. To each his own, but I’m taking him at eleven and shopping him immediately.

12. Jon Baldwin, WR KCC
I was high on him after the draft. Had him lower than Little, but above Smith and Young. It meant something to me that Kansas City took him in the first round. While he flashed talent, he also demonstrated the character issues that plagued him during college and in the pre-draft process. This draft class was weak and I’ll take my chances here with the raw talent and the opportunity that will likely be afforded to Baldwin.

Noticeably Absent:

Ryan Williams/Mikel Leshoure – Passing on them in the first round purely because of the injuries. I had them both top-6 after the NFL draft. But until I see something positive, I’ll take all the guys listed above before them.

Daniel Thomas – Never liked him and still don’t. All he did was confirm that he was repeatedly over -drafted purely because of situation. Ironically, the situation didn’t turn out all that great anyway.

Leonard Hankerson – I don’t know what to make of him at this point. Benched for the beginning of the year, only to come in and get injured. Washington seems to be a mess, but there is probably upside in Hankerson for what he likely costs in a trade. Maybe he’s an offseason buy low.

Follow me @dynastytim to get my daily dynasty comment about this or that regarding the NFL draft. Or hit me up on the forums here at DLF. There’s nothing I like more than to talk about the draft process and dynasty in general.

30 Comments
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
30 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric Lukazewski
10 years ago

Great post. Can’t fault most of these rankings except I would put Roy Helu in the top 10 – before Hunter. I know he was caught in Shannahan’s RB roulette, but them cutting ties with Torrain tells me they have confidence in him being a bigger part of their offense going forward.

I think you could bring Andy Dalton in to this discussion too.

tstafford
Reply to  Eric Lukazewski
10 years ago

When I was reviewing the article with friends before submitting not including Dalton was the number one question. I just think his upside is limited. Seems like a low end QB1 is the highest his owners can hope for. And as for Helu, you nailed it.

Sensai_John_Kreese
Reply to  tstafford
10 years ago

Yessir, was going to post exactly the same thing about Helu. Also, Jon Baldwin sucks. He sucked at Pitt, and that wont change.

Thank you guys for doing stuff like this in the offseason. Dont get this kind of insightful stuff out of Andy Behrens, or that idiot Brad Evans over at yahoo.

Paul
Reply to  Sensai_John_Kreese
10 years ago

Still think Julio Jones should have went 1.01 last year and would redraft it the same today. Still plays in a dome, has the better QB who has proven it for multiple years now, and Mike Brown still writes AJ Greens’ (and his teammates) checks.

Other than Helu and taking off Cobb it’s a solid list though.

Also, Baldwin has a really high ceiling. If Bowe leaves he becomes their WR1 and it may be coming with a new franchise QB as well. He’s Kenny Britt 2.0 and we’d all take that at the end of round 1.

meineymoe
10 years ago

Great list – can’t really argue. Like you, I am a fantasy traditionalist and really wanted to make Ingram the 1.01 pick, but in the one league where I had the first overall, I selected AJ Green. Probably a lot of it due to the influence of this forum!

-oo-

VoiceofUnreason
10 years ago

The Daniel Thomas hate is ridiculous here, it’s almost as bad as the Demarco Murray hate was before he broke out. Mayock had this guy rated as his #2 back. Perhaps you were down on him but it doesn’t mean everyone was. Sorry, but I’ll take the opinion of NFL scouts over fantasy owners.

He’s a solid buy-low as people have just lost their minds. Bush is always hurt and, I’m not guaranteeing anything, but nothing was shown last year other than a nagging hamstring. But just like all the hate by this site for Demarco Murray (don’t pretend it was all injury concerns either) he’s being given zero chance basically. I’ll take him long before Hunter, even if they were both on the same team. There’s no reason he can’t be a solid #2 back. He has plenty of talent.

It’s guys like this where the site is getting a real group-think mentality.

Paul
Reply to  VoiceofUnreason
10 years ago

The hate stems from the fact that he was thought of with the top 3-4 guys and proved NOTHING on the field. The other guys have actually flashed talent against NFL defenses. I don’t own him in dynasty but did draft him in a redraft league. When drafted he was thought of as 3-5th round talent taken in the second along with injury issues. I agree he should be taken ahead of Randall Cobb and I’m not a Titus Young fantasy fan but he’s late first round material redrafted. I’m seeing a worse version of Beanie Wells.

Greg G.
Reply to  Paul
10 years ago

I think Titus Young is a breakout candidate next season. He really started to gain Stafford’s trust down the stretch. With teams loading up to stop Megatron, Young will surely benefit. Burleson has been passed.

Paul
Reply to  Greg G.
10 years ago

Just realized Jake Locker was omitted. Personally feel Locker would be worth 1.5-1.10 in a trade if you were going for a first this year.

TStare
Reply to  Paul
10 years ago

Agreed with the Locker post. I would probably slide him in right after Little at 1.07. he showed enough in his limited action in his rookie year to be excited about his future. His ceiling is high with a strong arm and also added rushing stats. I could see him turning in a top 15 QB season next year if he wins the training camp battle with Hass.

CokeAndBacardi
Reply to  VoiceofUnreason
10 years ago

Mike Mayock on April 20, 2011:

5. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
He’s my No. 1 quarterback.

Camperhead
Reply to  CokeAndBacardi
10 years ago

Mayock wasn’t the only one. Year One was definitiely ugly, but I can’t see any wisdom in bailing on the guy this soon.

Admin
Reply to  Camperhead
10 years ago

Agreed. While I think ranking him as the #1 QB last year, and especially now given what we’ve seen from Cam and Dalton, might be overly optimistic, I still think Gabbert can mature into a solid NFL QB given the proper tools and training. Hopefully he doesn’t lose his confidence after his really terrible first season. I seem to recall a time, not so long ago, when it was assumed a rookie QB would take a few years to develop. Give him another year or two, and let’s see how he handles himself.

Ray
Reply to  VoiceofUnreason
10 years ago

The forum talked me out of taking Murray and talked me into trading Ryan Mathews. Majority of advice from this site has been spot on and informative. Keep up the good work you can’t get em all right.

Sensai_John_Kreese
Reply to  Ray
10 years ago

i had 5 first round picks last year and failed to land either Newton or Murray, i understand.

Luckily i later traded for Newton

o0flipz0o
10 years ago

Curious to know what Cobb’s trade value is in a 16 team league in terms of draft picks?

Paul
Reply to  o0flipz0o
10 years ago

Mid to late first.

Reply to  o0flipz0o
10 years ago

High 2, not more- need lots of balls to go around in GB.

meens
10 years ago

acting like ingrams season wasnt way worse than expected is false. pierre thomas was supposed to be the footnote. instead he outplayed ingram obviously with sproles outplaying both. i loved the prospects of ingram last year but he failed to impress all season long. i dint see the depth chart changing in the next 2 years
my rankings would be as follow.

cam
julio
aj

demarco
torrey
denarius
ingram

titus
locker
dalton

at the 1st sign of pre-injury form id have williams and leshoure inserted right behind ingram

Josh G
Reply to  meens
10 years ago

I think yer knocking Dalton down a lil low if you ask me…

meens
Reply to  Josh G
10 years ago

i think he is a better nfl player than he is a fantasy player. im interested in locker for the rushing potential. i also thing locker has a better offense with a healthy britt

tebow
10 years ago

it used to be that wrs took 3 years to break out and rbs right away impact but the tables have turned. with pass protection at a premium rookie rbs wont get their shot till they can block and pick up blitzs so its hard to judge a rb until he gets trusted with a full load.also these guys dont turn into men until around 25 so dont get scarred off of guys that get dinged when they are 22-23 because they are still kids learing to take care of themselves. a rbs prime is 25-27 so if you can pick up a spiller or stewart right now go get them,they are just hitting their prime when talent meets manhood

meens
Reply to  tebow
10 years ago

all depends on cost. how much do you pay for stewart at this point? how old will he be by the time he is the undisputed head of an attack. people forget to mention that cam, deangelo and stewart all averaged over 5 yds a carry. why would they change anything. he might not become the head of a rushing attack until hes 27 or possibly older. gore is entering his age 29 season and not 1 owner in my league will give a first rd pick for him. i consider stewart a sell. spiller is a guy whos value could go either way, if an owner offered me 2 average future 1sts or a WR2 of the steve johnson, miles austin value than im selling him too

Sensai_John_Kreese
Reply to  meens
10 years ago

This would make more sense if JStew werent a free agent at the end of this upcoming year. If you are selling him now, you are gonna feel awful when he is a high second round pick next year in dynasty drafts.

meens
Reply to  Sensai_John_Kreese
10 years ago

assuming he doesnt re-up with carolina or get franchised. its definitely a possibility hes a stud. i decided to cash out last season as soon as deangelo re-signed for 2 1sts. i’m happy with that. hopefully i hit on someone i can start for the majority of their career rather than intriguing bench depth. he limps of the field every couple games because of those feet too. maybe he cant hold up to alot more carries? noone seems too mention that

Sensai_John_Kreese
Reply to  meens
10 years ago

well if you got two firsts, i cant see fault in that.

Camperhead
10 years ago

Woe to those of us who bought the Delone Carter hype.

tstafford
Reply to  Camperhead
10 years ago

While I’d be concerned if I owned Carter, the jury is still out. New coach, new OC, new everything. My bet is they have a fairly open competition to see what they’ve got in Brown and Carter.

10 years ago

This was a very good read. I feel like if I was charged to write an article of the same nature, mine would come out eerily reminiscent to this one. I was at the front of the bandwagon about A.J. Green being a dynamic talent and a lot of forum folks just didn’t want to buy into the hype. To a smaller extent, I beat the drum over Julio Jones as well. But on the flip side, given the extensive history with rookie quarterbacks and their (lack of) success as well as the fact that it was a strike-shortened offseason, I couldn’t have been more off on Cam Newton. I totally missed the boat there.

Long time dynasty veterans know to always exercise patience, and it’s always proven unwise to write players off based on a limited set of data points. However, I don’t think the comments about RB Daniel Thomas were out of line. Just about every other player mentioned in this article flashed some talent at various points, and many folks were never that high on Thomas to begin with. I find that most DLF members are aware of the “group think” and consensus mentality and the trap of falling into “cookie cutter” rankings, and they do take extra pains to argue their points of view and stick with their intuitions. I’d like to encourage VoiceofUnreason that if he’s so unhappy with the site, he’s free to take his ball elsewhere. And don’t let the door hit you in the you-know-what on the way out!

Coach
10 years ago

i think denarius moore is pretty good and has a lot more potential than titus young and randall cobb. also would take helu over kendall hunter.

To Top