If you cannot wait for fantasy football (and football in general) to be back, you aren’t alone. After the 2017 NFL Draft comes and goes at the end of the month, we should have a really good picture of the fantasy football landscape for drafts later this summer. So where are the best fits for the top prospects from a fantasy football perspective? Let’s go over the quarterbacks and running backs first, with the wideouts and tight ends later this week. [Note: we are strictly talking about the best team fits to make a fantasy impact in the first year]
Deshaun Watson: Jacksonville Jaguars
Cleveland is the team that comes straight to mind as the best situation for any of these quarterbacks, but the Jaguars have all the pieces in place to compete, and just need a quarterback that can win games. Deshaun Watson certainly fits the billing, and would have a talented trio of wideouts in Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, and Allen Hurns to throw to. If Jacksonville drafted Watson at #4, I have no doubt that he would beat out Blake Bortles for the starting job.
Mitchell Trubisky: San Francisco 49ers
Brian Hoyer is a nice stop-gap starter, but the Niners might find themselves hard-pressed to keep the second overall pick out of the lineup for too long. Remember, last season the Eagles said Carson Wentz was going to be the third-string quarterback all year, and he started in Week 1. Trubisky would have a bright offensive mind as his head coach, which could lead to a certain amount of success, though it would be surprising if Trubisky turned into a fantasy option as a rookie no matter where he lands.
Christian McCaffrey: Philadelphia Eagles
McCaffrey to the Eagles might be the best fit in the draft from a real-life and fantasy perspective. Head coach Doug Pederson likes running from both multiple tight end sets and spread/shotgun formations, and McCaffrey had a ton of success running everythingat Stanford. He would be the centerpiece of the Philly offense if they take him with the 14th pick.
Leonard Fournette: Cleveland Browns
I don’t buy the report of Fournette being in play with the first pick, but man would he be a good fit in the tough AFC North. Cleveland built their offensive line into a real powerhouse this offseason—on paper at least—and could open plenty of holes for the powerful LSU product.
Joe Mixon: New York Giants
As an Eagles fan, I have to admit that I would be a little frightened if the rival Giants take either McCaffrey or Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon. Plugging a great back into New York’s offense would make the line and Eli Manning both look better. Mixon fits the billing and has the ability to make a huge impact as a runner and receiver, especially with Beckham and Marshall being the priority of opposing defenses.
Dalvin Cook: Washington Redskins
The Panthers need a long-term solution at running back and still haven’t been chosen here, but that’s because Jonathan Stewart’s presence makes them an undesirable spot for a rookie to make a first-year fantasy impact. Rob Kelley showed flashes in 2016 for Washington, but the Redskins should have a more direct path to playing time than a rookie would have with the Panthers. Cook needs to hold onto the football if he wants to live up to expectations, though.
D’Onta Foreman: Oakland Raiders
Oakland has been connected heavily with the retired Marshawn Lynch, but until he is officially a Raider, the team needs to search for an early-down pounder to replace Latavius Murray. Murray turned into a high-floor RB1 down the stretch in 2016, and Foreman would be an ideal replacement and could flirt with 1,000-1,200 yards behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. Foreman rushed for 2,000 yards last season at Texas.