NFC Draft Grades: Fantasy Impacts
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NFC Draft Grades: Fantasy Impacts

Our expert grades each team in the AFC and looks to the fantasy impact of their additions
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Arizona Cardinals

27- Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State

52- Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

84- Kareem Martin, DE, UNC

91- John Brown, WR, Pittsburg State

120- Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech

160- Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama

196- Walt Powell, WR, Murray State

Grade C+

Deone Bucannon was a bit of a reach with the 27th pick, but I like him and think he can have an immediate impact on the Cardinal D. Their whole draft is pretty much high risk/high reward guys. Niklas has upside, but at the same time may never be better than Housler or Carlson (better players were available at pick 52). Kareem Martin is interesting (I like the pick) and he has a lot of upside. Josh Brown is nothing to write home about and neither is Walt Powell; I don't see them being notable contributors on the Arizona depth chart. Logan Thomas is a freak athlete once believed to be a future top 10 pick, but just never put it all together. He has freakish size and speed, but just quite frankly wasn't a very good QB. Ed Stinson is good system fit and could potentially add depth. I would have liked to see a team as good as the Arizona Cardinals go with some safer picks that could help them make a playoff run this year.

Fantasy Impact

Very little fantasy impact in this draft for Arizona. Bucannon could be a sleeper in IDP leagues. You could take a flyer on Brown or Thomas as deep sleepers in dynasty leagues, but don't expect any immediate impact this upcoming season out of this draft for Arizona.

Atlanta Falcons

6- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

37- Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

68- Dez Southward, DB, Wisconsin

103- Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State

139- Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame

147- Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue

168- Marquis Spruill, OLB, Syracuse

253- Yawin Smallwood, MLB, Connecticut

255- Tyler Starr, OLB, South Dakota

Grade B-

Jake Matthews was a great pick and will immediately improve the Atlanta offense. Hageman is a great athlete and can make an impact on Atlanta (who need all the help they can get on that D-Line). They couldn't stop the run or rush the passer last year. I believe they should have gone Kony Ealy, but Hageman is a solid pick-up. Southward was a bit of a head scratcher that high, but again not a bad player. I love the Devonta Freeman pick. A lot of very good running backs fell a long way this year. They ended with a slew of mediocre linebackers and a corner. Prince Shembo has the most potential, but not so sure any of those guys make an immediate impact.

Fantasy Impact

Expect the Falcons offense to be more productive with Matthews on the line. I have a feeling they won't have a top 10 pick next season. Devonta Freeman has value in dynasty rookie drafts, and I wouldn't be surprised if he starts making an impact this season. Freeman is player to keep an eye on. Hageman's athleticism could give him some value at DT in IDP leagues.

Carolina Panthers

28- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

60- Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

92- Trai Turner, G, LSU

128- Tre Boston, S, North Carolina

148- Benne Benwikere, CB, San Jose State

204- Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford

Grade A-

Everyone knew the Panthers had to take a wide receiver in the first round, and boy did they get a good one. Benjamin is a big bodied WR coming off a National Championship winning touchdown catch. The scary thing is he's not a finished product and has room for improvement. Kony Ealy is a first round talent and the second best DE in this draft. I would take him over players like Anthony Barr who went 9th overall. Unbelievable that Ealy fell to them at pick 60. Turner is another great value pick at 92. He has potential to crack the Panthers' front five in the near future. They also added some depth to the secondary and grabbed a RB with their last pick.

Fantasy impact

Kelvin Benjamin immediately becomes the Panthers' #1 WR and I would not be surprised to see him as the top rookie WR in this draft. He is a huge target and Cam can throw him open whenever he needs. Watch out for Ealy in IDP leagues. With all the talent around him, offenses can't key in on him and he could have a big year. Don't expect anything out of Gaffney as there's a good chance he won't even make the final roster.

Chicago Bears

14- Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

51- Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU

82- Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State

117- Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

131- Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota

183- David Fales, QB, San Jose State

191- Patt O'Donnell, P, Miami

246- Charles Leno, OT, Boise State

Grade B

Fuller is a top level corner who many had as the top rated defensive back in the draft. He should make an immediate impact in the Bears secondary. The Bears desperately need help stopping the run and added two DTs with their second and third pick. Ka'Deem Carey has the potential to be a very good running back in this league. I know, I know, it's just a punter, but they added a very good punter at pick 191. Charles Lenois good value at 246.

Fantasy impact

Fuller could have some impact in IDP leagues as the Bears always tend to get a lot of turnovers. Ka'deem Carey may be a very good pick in dynasty leagues, and a solid handcuff for Matt Forte. If Forte gets hurt, he has potential to be a major factor.

Dallas Cowboys

16- Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame

34- Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

119- Anthony Hitchens, OLB, Iowa

146- Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh

231- Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford

238- Will Smith, MLB, Texas Tech

248- Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor

251- Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois

254- Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon

Grade B-

I love the Zack Martin pick. Jerry Jones showed shocking discipline taking the best player over the much flashier pick (Johnny Manziel). I was honestly impressed with Jerry Jones allowing that pick to be made. The Cowboys needed a pass rusher and traded up to get Demarcus Lawrence. Not who I would have taken, but they have the right idea with the pick. The major issue is they have to stop the run and improve the secondary, and they didn't address either area until pick 238. The Cowboys needed a DT and just didn't go get one. They also really could have used secondary help before Ahmad Dixon at pick 248.

Fantasy impact

No notable players to draft, but Martin could improve the running game and help keep Romo upright and healthy.

Detroit Lions

10- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

40- Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

76- Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas

133- Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State

136- Larry Webster, DE, Bloomsburg

158- Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton

189- T.J. Jones, WR, Notre Dame

229- Nate Freese, K, Boston College

Grade B+

I love the Ebron pick. That's exactly who I thought would be the perfect fit in Detroit, and is a great second option to Megatron. Although he can't block, so that's why they re-signed Pettigrew. Great pick! After that they did a good job addressing their needs, but went with a lot of players that need to be developed and have bust potential. Van Noy could be very good, but disappointed this season at BYU. I do like the Nevin Lawson pick. He could make an impact at the nickel corner position this year. Reid could also develop into a solid DT. I also don't hate drafting a kicker at pick 229, as there's nothing worse than having a bad kicker.

Fantasy impact

Ebron immediately becomes a top tier TE. There are a lot of targets in Detroit now, but also plenty of throws to go around. Expect big things this season from Ebron. A must draft in all leagues. In IDP leagues, that D-Line could free up Van Noy to wreak havoc in the backfield. Not a bad sneaky pick if you're looking for an IDP sleeper.

Green Bay Packers

21- Ha'sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

53- Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

85- Khyri Thorton, DT, Southern Miss

98- Richard Rodgers, TE, California

121- Carl Bradford, LB, Arizona State

161- Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State

176- Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin

197- Demetri Goodson, CB, Baylor

236- Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State

Grade B

I was very happy to see Green Bay resist a pass catcher and get defensive help in the first round. Ha Ha has some off the field questions, but has potential to be a great safety. Adams still has some work to do, but in due time will completely replace Jarrett Boykin. I expect him to be better next year than this year. Richard Rodgers has the talent to step in and become the starting TE this year. He is a similar player to Jermichael Finley, let's just hope he can catch the ball. They also added a lot of depth on the defensive side of the ball. I didn't love that they drafted 3 WRs. They could have added some O-Line depth or took a flyer on a raw pass rusher.

Fantasy impact

Clinton-Dix is a strong pick in IDP leagues at Safety. Expect him to have an immediate impact and add more big plays to the Packers' D. Adams is a must draft in dynasty leagues, but I don't expect too much out of him this year (although he does knock Boykins off your draft board). Rodgers is a sneaky pick at TE. If he earns the starting job, he has the potential to make an impact in a pass happy offense.

Minnesota Vikings

9- Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA

32- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

72- Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

96- Jerrick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern

145- David Yankey, G, Stanford

182- Antone Exum, DB, Virginia Tech

184- Kendall James, CB, Maine

220- Shamar Stephen, DT, Connecticut

223- Brandon Watts, LB, Georgia Tech

225- Jabari Price, CB, North Carolina

Grade B+

This was a case of good pick / bad pick for the Vikings, but they got a lot of great value. I did not like the Anthony Barr pick at all. I believe it was the worst pick of the top 20. However, to come back and steal the best QB in the draft at 32 was a tremendous decision. Crichton was also a solid value at 72. Yankey and Exum were steals where they were picked. I don't like the Jerrick McKinnon pick, but they got solid depth on the defensive side of the ball late.

Fantasy impact

Teddy Bridgewater will have a major fantasy impact, not only for himself but for his receivers. I expect Cordarrelle Patterson to be a breakout star this year, don't be afraid to reach for him. Barr could have an IDP impact as could Crichton and Exum on a much smaller level. Mckinon is nothing more than a potential handcuff that may not perform even if Peterson goes down.

New Orleans Saints

20- Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

58- Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska

126- Khairi Fortt, OLB, California

167- Vinnie Sunseri, S, Alabama

169- Ronald Powell, OLB, Florida

202- Tavon Rooks, OT, Kansas State

Grade C+

I wouldn't advise trading up for a WR in this particular draft. With that said, Cooks is so good and a perfect fit. He can replace Lance Moore and he is about 20 times better. Still, they lost a 3rd round pick to get him. Jean-Baptiste makes a lot of sense for this defense. They also added some defensive depth after that. Some upside, but nothing spectacular.

Fantasy impact

Cooks is an immediate star in this league. He should be drafted in all formats.

New York Giants

12- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

43- Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

73- Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse

113- Andre Wiliams, RB, Boston College

152- Nat Berhe, S, San Diego State

174- Devon Kennard, OLB, Southern California

187- Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame

Grade B-

Odell Beckham has the potential to be a great player in this league. He is a can't miss star. Richburg was a solid pick to help sure up the line. Bromley has a good shot to get in the Giants' rotation on the line as well. I love the Andre Williams pick. He is a great back that fell further than he should have and is a great pick for the Giants. I don't see the rest of their draft doing too much anytime soon.

Fantasy impact

Odell Beckham is going to be a star in this league and should be drafted in all formats. Andre Williams right now is the best running back for the Giants. He is a must draft in dynasty leagues and a strong sleeper in all other formats.

Philadelphia Eagles

26- Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville

42- Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

86- Josh Huff, WR, Oregon

101- Jaylen Watkins, CB, Philadelphia Eagles

141- Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon

162- Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

224- Beau Allen, DT, Wisconsin

Grade C

Marcus Smith is a very good player, but was a bit of a stretch that high. I love Jordan Matthews and I really like Huff too. I would have liked to see them go Corner before they picked up a second WR though. They picked up a few solid defensive players later in the draft, but I would have liked to see them do more to really improve that D.

Fantasy impact

Matthews and Huff could both have an impact on that offense. Matthews could be the top receiver in Philly this season and should be drafted in all formats. Huff is a nice sleeper in dynasty leagues. Marcus Smith can immediately have a big time impact in IDP leagues.

St Louis Rams

2- Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

13- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

41- Lamarcus Joyner, S/CB, Florida State

75- Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

110- Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State

188- E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri

214- Garrett Gilbert, QB, SMU

226- Mitchell Van Dyk, OT, Portland State

241- Christian Bryant, S, Ohio State

249- Michael Sam, DE, Missouri

250- Demetrius Rhaney, C, Tennessee State

Grade A

If there are winners and losers in the draft then the Rams won. Just top to bottom great players. They drafted a tremendous OT in Robinson, and now may have the scariest D-Line in the NFL by adding Aaron Donald. Lamarcus Joyner can be an immediate player in that secondary. Mason is a great running back. They also added great depth with their other picks. Getting the SEC defensive player of the year at pick 249 is great value. Sam slipped due to his sexual preference, but who Sam kisses goodnight has no effect on how he plays football. He improved on a poor combine at his pro-day, and has a high motor and is a good football player. Only reason they don't get an A+ is because I would have liked to see them grab a WR.

Fantasy impact

Expect improvement (and hopefully health) from Bradford this season. Tre Mason is a handcuff and sleeper in dynasty drafts. Stacy is the man in St. Louis, but don't sleep too long on Mason (he can be special). Aaron Donald has an immediate impact in IDP leagues.

San Francisco 49ers

30- Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

57- Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

70- Marcus Martin, C, USC

77- Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin

100- Brandon Thomas, OT, Clemson

106- Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina

129- Dontae Johnson, CB, N.C. State

150- Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida

170- Keith Reaser, CB, Florida Atlantic

180- Kenneth Acker, CB, SMU

243- Kaleb Ramsey, DE, Boston College

245- Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma

Grade B

I don't love the Jimmie Ward pick in the first, but it isn't a bad pick. The Niners had a lot of picks and drafted a lot of talent, but I'm not so sure they attacked their needs like they could have. Hyde is a great running back, but not sure it was really a pressing need that high in the draft. I really like what they did with their O-Line and in that division they're going to need it. I'm not high on Ellington and think their front seven won't improve much from this draft. I do like what they did in their secondary, but would have liked to see them go corner a bit earlier.

Fantasy impact

Carlos Hyde is a solid dynasty pick, but most likely won't have a major impact this season. Gore is the back and now Lattimore is healthy, I'm not sure how they all fit in. Ward can have some IDP impact. With Crabtree, Boldin, Stevie Johnson, and VD don't expect much from Ellington anytime soon.

Seattle Seahawks

45- Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado

64- Justin Britt, OT, Missouri

108- Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA

123- Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama

132- Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College

172- Jimmy Staten, DT, Middle Tennessee State

199- Garrett Scott, OT, Marshall

208- Eric Pinkins, S, San Diego State

227- Kiero Small, FB, Arkansas

Grade D-

I don't know what the Seahawks were thinking with those first two picks. They are both injury prone and big time reaches. The Richardson pick was AWFUL. They should have drafted Allen Robinson as the perfect replacement for the sure handed Golden Tate. Marsh is a solid player, but not so sure he was a need. Kevin Norwood could be a good player. They added some depth on the O-Line and defense, but that's about it. I would have liked to see them add a Corner as well. A fullback is always a nice value grab at the end of a draft.

Fantasy impact

Richardson and Norwood are both dynasty sleepers. I believe Norwood is the better pick.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

38- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

69- Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

143- Kadeem Edwards, OG, Tennessee State

149- Kevin Pamphile, OT, Purdue

18- Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming

Grade A-

The Bucs started the draft by grabbing the best offensive player in the draft. Then they added another BIG weapon in Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That is a big offense with Evans, V-Jax, and Seferian-Jenkins. They added some RB depth and I love that they addressed the O-Line with the rest of their picks. They didn't have a lot of picks, but they made the most of the picks they did have.

Fantasy impact

Mike Evans is a big time talent and should be drafted in all leagues. Seferian-Jenkins is a late round sleeper at TE. Charles Sims could be a deep sleeper in dynasty leagues.

Washington Redskins

47- Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford

66- Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

78- Spencer Long, G, Nebraska

102- Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson

142- Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane

186- Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

217- Ted Bolser, TE, Indiana

228- Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas

Grade C-

They get a little break because the reason they don't have a first round pick is RG3. Murphy is a solid value and I really like Morgan Moses. After that, I don't really see anything special.

Fantasy impact

Seastrunk could be a very deep sleeper in dynasty leagues. I see nothing of value besides that.

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Mark Morales-Smith
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Point Pleasant NJ
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2014
Here at Toolbox I specialize in NFL Mock Drafts. For the last decade, I play in an ultra competitive PPR IDP football league with several championships under my belt. You can find me on DraftKings playing NBA and NFL. Formerly a high school football scout, I'm now an athletic director for a youth sports camp and train almost every day as an amateur MMA fighter. My goal is to go pro in the next 2 years. I'm a father of 4 regular guy who loves sports and fantasy sports.
I'm here to help with your fantasy decisions and am readily accessible. Any questions, just let em rip!

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