The second round is where you’re most likely going to shut some doors. I know it sounds scary, but it’s unavoidable. If you go RB, RB, then you’ve shut the door on having an elite wide receiver. If you go WR, WR, then you’ve definitely shut the door on having an elite running back.
In my draft with The Athletes Hub, I decided to go RB, WR with the tenth and 11th pick. Which way is the best way to go?
- Matt Forte, RB Chicago Bears: He was the fourth best running back last year. He is still a workhorse for his team, but it’s also the Bears. There will be some games that Cutler turns the ball over a lot, and will have to go to the air to try and catch up. What about Forte’s 102 receptions last year? Marc Trestman isn’t in Chicago anymore, so it’s tough to say how the Bears will utilize Forte in the passing game. He’s still a decent option, but the receptions will certainly come down. If my last pick was either ODB or Julio Jones, I’m picking Forte to start my well rounded team.
- Calvin Johnson, WR Detroit Lions: Guys like Johnson are why I’m worried about going WR, WR. Johnson could certainly miss some time, given the fact that he is a bit of an injury risk. He’s like an Arian Foster in my eyes. You know he may miss a couple games, but when he’s in, chances are he’ll have a great game. Another thing I like about Johnson is that the Lions certainly have a better passing game than their running game. Ameer Abdullah showed he can be solid, but let’s see it consistently before we make any snap judgements on this team. I think it’ll be another good year for Johnson and the Lions, early second round is where I like him.
- DeMarco Murray, RB Philadelphia Eagles: DeMarco Murray goes to show us why running backs with decent backups don’t get as much love. Murray on the Cowboys would certainly be my number 2 pick, possibly number one overall guy. That’s just not the case this year, as he went to the Eagles who also signed Ryan Mathews. Also, the Eagles run a fast paced offensive, so we’ll possibly see Murray and Mathews come in and out a lot. Bottom line, Murray won’t get near the amount of carries he did in Dallas. He’s still a good option, and is on the third highest scoring team a year ago. If you followed my round one advice and went with Thomas at tenth, take Murray to give you that good RB, WR combination.
- Jeremy Hill, RB Cincinnati Bengals: I can’t wait to see what this guy can do as the featured back in Cincinnati. In his first full game as a starter, he took 24 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns. He topped 140 yards four times last season. On the downside, he’ll be sharing carries with Gio Bernard, with not many goal line chances. Also, if you want to handcuff him by picking up Bernard, you’ll have to do it soon. Hill is a good guy to have, he can score from anywhere on the field, which is why I have him at number 16 overall.
- LeSean McCoy, RB Buffalo Bills: LeSean McCoy is typically a top 10 back, if not top 5. The move to Buffalo is what kills it for me. This guy is great, but I don’t see him being the really good player we’ve come accustomed to. He was the 13th best last year on a better offense, playing weaker defenses as far as divisional foes go. That being said, it’s tough for me to root against this guy. He’s going to spend every game with a chip on his shoulder, showing what fools the Eagles were for trading him. He may share a few carries with Fred Jackson each game, but that’ll be short lived if Jackson can’t stay healthy. I can make the case to rank him higher, or lower, but I’ll stand at fifth in the second round.
- Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay Packers: Jordy Nelson is nothing short of amazing. He’s on the highest scoring offense and has arguably the best quarterback in the game throwing to him. Nelson and Rodgers have perfected that back shoulder throw. Nelson is easily the first option for Rodgers, but Randall Cobb isn’t too far behind. Despite having a good teammate on the other side in Cobb, Nelson will get his fair share of targets. If he’s available, I have zero issues taking Nelson in the middle of the second round.
- A.J. Green, WR Cincinnati Bengals: Say what you will about Andy Dalton and the Bengals, but the truth is Dalton is decent during the regular season. It’s no doubt that Green gets his fair share of targets either. Even missing four to five games last year, he still had 116 targets. I expect the Bengals to have a little bit of a better offense this year. If you’re looking for instant gratification, they play the Raiders Week 1. Green has a lot to prove this season. He’s in the final year of his deal with the Bengals. I like Green at number 19 overall in a contract year.
- Justin Forsett, RB Baltimore Ravens: You really can’t hate on this guys age. Up until recently he hasn’t been used a whole lot. Another thing I like about the Ravens offense, is their Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman. Forte had 102 receptions last year under his command. I’m not saying that’ll be the same case for Forsett, but his receptions will increase. He’s the main back on a decent offense, and their divisional foes don’t exactly have lights out defenses either. It should be another 1,000 yard year for Forsett, I’ll take that to go with a top five back that I drafted at fifth (using these rankings).
- Andrew Luck, QB Indianapolis Colts: You could flip flop here with Aaron Rodgers and I wouldn’t criticize you. Personally, I think the Colts have more weapons than the Packers. The Colts are a deeper team at running back, wide receiver, and probably tight end. It’ll be another close race, but I like the fact that Luck will play the Titans and Jags twice. There’s no doubt Luck or Rodgers will have a big year. I give the very slight edge to Luck.
- Alshon Jeffery, WR Chicago Bears: Jeffery has become the No. 1 man in the receiving corps, due to Brandon Marshall’s exit. Ignore the noise about the Bears being really bad, it’s not true (from a fantasy perspective anyway). The Bears as a team were 15th in passing yards, and ninth in passing touchdowns. Jeffery was the 12th best receiver last year. He was the second option when Marshall was around, and Forte got a lot of looks as well. Marshall is gone and I don’t see Forte stealing many looks this year. Look for Jeffery to have a nice season.
- Aaron Rodgers, QB Green Bay Packers: Rodgers is as close to a sure thing as it gets in fantasy football. He looked good in their first preseason game with 117 yards in one quarter. The thing I like about the Green Bay Packers the most is that you can’t just worry about the pass, because they have Eddie Lacy in the backfield. The Packers are the most well rounded offense in the NFL. Most teams can’t even the stop their passing game when they know the pass is coming. Aaron Rodgers threw for nearly 4,400 yards last year and 38 touchdowns. Look for number 12 to have another great season. I typically don’t like taking quarterbacks this early, but Rodgers is definitely worth the late second pick.
- Randall Cobb, WR Green Bay Packers: I swear I’m not a Packer fan, I’m just calling it how I see it. Randall Cobb being the No. 2 man on an Aaron Rodgers team is better than most No. 1 guys. He racked up more points than guys like Mike Evans, T.Y. Hilton, and DeAndre Hopkins. Despite Jordy Nelson being the main man in Green Bay, Cobb still puts up exceptional numbers. He usually plays against weaker corners because they’re focused on Nelson. The Packers resigned him to a four-year deal, now he has to prove that he’s worth it. Take Cobb at the end of the second round to have some nice building blocks for your team.