Darwin Thompson: When the Chiefs bring
in a running back, fantasy owners should pay attention.
6.01 – WR Keesean Johnson, ARI
Johnson becomes the third receiver Arizona has added this weekend,
pretty much cementing the Cardinals will be going full "Air
Raid" and lighting up the desert sky on Sundays. Unlike the
two receivers Arizona drafted before him, the first pick of the
sixth round will probably spend all of his time on the perimeter.
Johnson broke most of Davante Adams' records at Fresno State in
large part to his ability to win in contested-catch situations.
Johnson probably isn't going to challenge Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella or Hakeem Butler for the top four spots on
the depth chart, but he may be seen as a replacement for Fitzgerald
should he retire after the season. Given the volume this offense
figures to feature, Johnson may be worth a stash in deeper dynasty
6.09 – RB Trayveon Williams, CIN
Cincinnati presumably drafted Mark Walton last year with the idea
he could take over for Giovani Bernard when he becomes a free
agent in 2020, but he couldn't stay out of trouble and may be
done in the NFL. It's doubtful the Bengals will have a deal with
the "knucklehead factor" with Williams, who I compared
to Justin Forsett and Danny Woodhead. Williams became the first
true freshman in Texas A&M history to run for over 1,000 yards
in 2016 before leading the SEC with 1,760 yards last season, doing
so at 206 pounds. Outside of lacking game-breaking speed, he is
a complete back who runs physically despite his size and a player
capable of taking over change-of-pace duties from Bernard in the
likely event he moves on after the season. For that reason, Williams
is worth taking in the third or fourth round of rookie drafts
even if he is off the redraft radar at the moment.
6.34 – WR Kelvin Harmon, WAS
Harmon generated second-round buzz throughout the spring among
media pundits, so the receiver-needy Redskins have to be happy
they are getting a player like him who regularly wins in contested-catch
situations. The North Carolina State product is not an overly
explosive athlete (4.6, 32.5-inch vertical, 117-inch broad) and
isn't going to provide much after the catch, but he offers good
physicality in all aspects of his game and is among the best blockers
at his position in the class. With so little in front of him,
Harmon could find himself on the redraft radar in the unlikely
event he beats out Josh Doctson in training camp, but he's a better
bet in the third or fourth round of rookie drafts in the likely
event Washington decides to decline Doctson's team option for
6.39 – RB Rodney Anderson, CIN
It's not very often a team decides to draft two players at the
same position in a round, but Cincinnati likely saw too much value
in Joe Mixon's former college teammate to ignore him any longer
despite his lengthy injury history. Anderson is a player who reminded
me of a cross between Arian Foster and Latavius Murray, boasting
the former's one-cut ability, patience and lack of durability
to go along with the latter's power and straight-line explosiveness.
Joe Mixon is firmly entrenched as the featured back in Cincinnati,
but a healthy Anderson would give the Bengals a high-end runner
capable of producing in a big way if the former is injured for
any length of time. With Anderson coming back from a torn ACL,
Cincinnati could be tempted to redshirt him for a season before
possibly having him shoulder some of Mixon's load in 2020. Anderson
is not a great bet for redraft value, but dynasty owners should
strongly consider him as early as the late part of the second
round of rookie drafts.
6.42 – RB Darwin Thompson, KC
As we have seen under HC Andy Reid, fantasy owners need to pay
attention when Kansas City brings in a running back. Thompson
is a slippery runner who is probably going to be too small at
5-8 and 200 pounds to push for regular work. A bit of a Dion Lewis
clone with a bit more power and contact balance than one might
expect from a player his size, he will probably be asked to work
as a pass-catching threat behind Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde
as a rookie - although should be noted he doesn't block particularly
well at this point of his career. His landing spot dictates dynasty
owners keep him on their radar. He also belongs on redraft radars
as a player who Reid may decide to use as a "move weapon"
if/when the team moves on from Tyreek Hill.
7.04 – RB Mike Weber, DAL
Although Dallas burned a fourth-round pick on Memphis' Tony Pollard,
it is much more likely Weber ends up serving as the high-upside
handcuff to fellow Ohio State product Ezekiel Elliott. Weber came
out of the gates on fire to begin his college career by winning
the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award, but it quickly became
the J.K. Dobbins show thereafter. Weber sees the field well and
is a capable pass-catcher, but his future fantasy value will be
tied entirely to Elliott's health. Elliott's redraft owners will
want to take Weber late and his dynasty owners may want to do
the same in rookie drafts, but he is unlikely to come into any
long-term value in Dallas.
Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.