The NFL Draft is one of the most exciting times of the year for Fantasy Football owners, as they see what team and situation the top rookies will end up in. But there's also the other edge to that sword - how will the influx of rookies impact other guys around the league?
As usual, there were plenty of surprises during Draft Week, including the St. Louis Rams snatching Todd Gurley with the No. 10 pick. Add in free agency, and there are plenty of top fantasy options from 2014 that don't look so appealing heading into the 2015 season.
Trust us, we're just as upset as you. Krinch is the vice president of Joique Bell's fan club and Tre Mason is a favorite of the CSN Fantasy crew.
Joique Bell (RB), Detroit Lions
This one pains me. I've been a huge advocate of Joique Bell the last few years, but now I'm officially resigning as President of his fan club. Bell was given the opportunity to be the lead back in Detroit and fell flat on his face in 2014. He rushed for a career-high 860 yards, but was only able to muster up a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry. After catching 50-plus passes in 2012 and 2013, Bell only hauled in 34 receptions and wasn't much of a factor in the team's passing game, losing out on targets to rookie running back Theo Riddick. Bell also finished the season with a -2.0 rating (33rd among NFL RBs), according to ProFootballFocus.com. After jettisoning Reggie Bush earlier this offseason, the Lions used a second-round selection on Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah which spells bad news for Bell. It won't be surprising to see Abdullah eventually take over as the starter for the Lions, possibly as early as Week 1. While Bell was a sleeper in fantasy drafts last season, he has way too many negative factors going against him to be a relevant fantasy player in 2015. (Scott Krinch)
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Julius Thomas (TE), Jacksonville Jaguars
There's always one big free-agent signing that doesn't turn out the way the player's new contract says it would. That guy this year is Thomas. He leaves Peyton Manning for Blake Bortles and is suddenly no longer surrounded by not only a quality quarterback, but other impact receivers. Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee don't exactly strike fear in any defense. Bortles' stats at the end of the year were painful. Over the last six games, Bortles did not throw for over 225 yards once and only threw three touchdowns over that span. Thomas doesn't have that "Gronk" type impact where he can manhandle a double-team. Let him slide in your drafts late this summer because he's not going to put up the same numbers he did in Denver. (John "The Professor" Paschall)
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Tre Mason (RB), St. Louis Rams
You could argue that nobody's stock fell further than Mason's after the NFL Draft. A week ago, the 21-year-old was entering his second pro season as the presumed No. 1 back on a rising Rams team after showing some solid potential in his rookie year with 4.3 yards per carry and 5 TDs. But the Rams spent their first pick on Todd Gurley and just like that, Mason is a backup again. Gurley is a beast and while he's not exactly a fixture of health, he will get the heavy majority of carries in St. Louis when he is healthy, meaning Mason is nothing more than a handcuff in Fantasy. Sighhhhh. (Tony Andracki)
Philip Rivers (QB), San Diego Chargers
Rivers finished 12th among quarterbacks in standard fantasy leagues a year ago, bordering on QB1 status thanks to a hot start. But I didn't like how Rivers ended the year (11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his last eight games compared to 20 touchdowns and five picks in his first eight games) and now not only does he lose Eddie Royal to free agency (Chicago), but he gets himself what should be a featured RB1 in Melvin Gordon, who the Chargers traded up to grab in last month's NFL Draft. I love the situation Gordon finds himself in (and plan on targeting him in most of my leagues), but he only caught 22 passes in his four years (45 games) at Wisconsin. Granted, four of those receptions went for scores because he's really good at football (and probably life), but it doesn't give me lots of faith in him helping Rivers all that much. Yes, Rivers is in a contract year and will look to earn himself more money on a new deal this year, but don't overpay for him because of it. I'll take a guy like Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan before I think about Rivers. (Mark Strotman)