A few things crossed my mind, my fragmented, scattered little mind. All of this NFL Draft stuff is behind us, so I get a chance to breathe, reflect and look forward.
A recent rookie-only draft in which I participated made me think about an All-Rookie Fantasy Team for the 2013 season. I am not talking about long-term worth but immediate impact to be found in fantasy football drafts.
Tyler Wilson, Oakland Raiders
I don't see EJ Manuel making a big difference for the Buffalo Bills in Year 1, but Wilson has enough around him in an equally weak division to have a chance The weather is nicer, and he has some talented youngsters at wide receiver that he can work with. I suspect he wins the starting job in training camp or no later than by midseason. Should it be the latter, of course Manuel has more fantasy value by virtue of a large playing time discrepancy. Avoid drafting Wilson if he doesn't win a job. Should he, look for a QB3 price tag with the occasional spot-play consideration for this gunslinger.
Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
It is hard to not like Bell and his situation. He is an astute receiver out of the backfield and has some size to pound between the tackles. Bell is a fleet-footed, north-south runner with a nose for paydirt. He is a good fit for Pittsburgh's offense and this team's situation. Bell should be a low-end No. 2 fantasy running back in drafts.
Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones has made it clear that DeMarco Murray isn't going to be a full-time, three-down back for the 'Boys this year. He needs help, and Randle will be that guy. He also has a strong chance at seeing extensive playing time by way of Murray's fragility. I see RB4 value in fantasy drafts.
Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
This one may seem too easy for some fantasy footballers, but the No. 8 overall pick has size concerns and has to acclimate himself to an NFL way of life. Austin will be catching passes, presumably from the slot, because of his size (5-foot-9, 175 pounds). Lucky for us, St. Louis will run a three-wide base set in 2013. If DeSean Jackson can play on the outside, Austin shouldn't have a problem with his quick first step and ability to beat a jam. I see WR3 value with a chance for No. 2 production in PPR leagues for Austin.
Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots
Dobson was a somewhat surprising second-round pick, but he will be in a great situation to succeed in New England. The Patriots have one of the best quarterbacks in league history to help ease him into the NFL, and what else does New England have at the position? I have a feeling he will start from Week 1 on in the X spot and contribute enough on the outside to have fantasy relevance as a flex play.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Cincinnati Bengals first-round choice Tyler Eifert seems like the no-brainer choice here, but Reed is in a good situation to exceed expectations and will come at a much cheaper price for fantasy owners. He was a third-round pick and could wind up starting if all goes well. Fred Davis (Achilles') was re-signed, but he is coming off a catastrophic injury and was a bit of a disappointment when he was on the field last year. Logan Paulsen was OK, but I see the athletic Reed standing out because of his ability to be flexed into the slot and moved around the field. He is only draftable if he wins the job in camp.
Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins
The improved Miami offense should put Sturgis in plenty of field goal situations. All of that is assuming he beats out veteran Dan Carpenter in training camp. Spending a fifth-round pick, or usually any pick, for that matter, on a place kicker usually means the team is serious about giving him a chance.