First, a reiteration: I don't watch much college football. I've seen a few of these players but not enough to truly judge their talent levels. Fortunately, this is not necessary for fantasy football. Value is highly dependent on situation. Situations can be analyzed independently of player ability, taking into account player type, and some faith in NFL offices to analyze talent.
CJ Spiller-Buffalo-Round 1
A lot of hype around Spiller will probably lead to him being overdrafted. Regardless of talent, he is at best the lead back of a losing team in a tough decision. More likely he splits carries. Worst case he is a 3rd down back. I will be steering clear.
Ryan Matthews-San Diego-Round 1
The true fantasy gem of the draft. Much like Chris Johnson 2 years ago, Matthews is entering a perfect scenario. Any half-decent running back would put up good numbers here. I don't expect Norv to continue the devotion he showed to LDT but there will be plenty of red zone chances. He has zero competition for the spot and the top passing attack in football will get him those shots. This is a top 12 back by season's end.
Jahvid Best-Detroit-Round 1
Wake me up when the Lions aren't another terrible team in a good division. Will he even wrestle the top spot in Motown away from Kev Smith? Potential late round flier, but that is all.
Dexter McCluster-Kansas City-Round 2
Probably not worth a flier. I doubt he has the talent that Charles does. They don't have a good line. Sure a schedule of soft run defenses is nice, but....there is really nothing to be excited about here.
Toby Gerhart-Minnesota-Round 2
A perplexing pick. Why not just keep Taylor. Peterson has never split carries. One play that I have seen and like from a talent perspective, but in Minnesota he has handcuff value only.
Ben Tate-Houston-Round 2
Here is a pick with some fantasy value. Houston needed exactly what Tate brings, and he should fit in nicely with Slaton in a timesplit. He should also be the recipient of goal line carries, a problem for Houston last year. He will put up points this year, probably the second highest scoring fantasy rookie.
Montario Hardesty-Cleveland-Round 2
Too many backs on a bad team to consider drafting a Brown. The only thing he does is ruin the value of Jerome Harrison.
Joe McKnight-New York-Round 4
There is some value here, given that Shonn Green is injury prone, and Tomlinson is finished. More of a mid-season pick up than a late-round flier, though. Wait and see.
Sam Bradford-St Louis-Round 1
There is rarely a reason to draft a rookie qb. Bradford is no exception. They may let him learn, and even if he plays, he will play for St Louis. Unless you are in a league that qbs score points for sacks.
Jimmy Clausen-Carolina-Round 2
Clausen could be the exception. He finds himself in a very good position, behind a good offensive line with a big downfield target and a running game to take the pressure off. If he gets a chance to start, he could produce right away. We should have a better idea about his role close to the season but he could a flier or even a starter in deep leagues.
Jermaine Gresham-Cincinnati-Round 1
Real life starter on day 1, solid fantasy backup. Talented guy provides a real threat for a Bengals team that I like.
Ron Gronkowski-Patriots-Round 2
Potentially a good situation, but it seemed like they were talking about this guy as a project as opposed a immediate impact player. Draft at risk.