The New York Giants selected the athletically gifted Odell Beckham Jr. with the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft. While the Giants are excited about what Beckham can do for their offense and special teams, should fantasy football owners be as excited?
The answer depends on the type of league you are playing in. If you're in a dynasty league that's just starting up or participating in a rookie draft for your dynasty league you should be very excited about Odell Beckham Jr. If you're only doing the casual eight- to 10-team redraft league then Beckham is a name to stash away for next year.
I have Beckham rated as my sixth overall rookie in dynasty rookie drafts. He's my fourth overall wide receiver, but it was a very close call putting him ahead of Jordan Matthews. In dynasty start up leagues DynastyLeagueFootball.com has Beckham rated 62nd overall, but the separation between the highest ranking and the lowest is a little startling as one writer has him rated as the 95th overall player in startups and another has him rated as the 38th. That's a huge difference of opinion on a player that has become something of a lightning rod in fantasy football circles.
No one can argue with the fact that Beckham's combine workout showed outstanding speed and agility, but his height/weight ratio and strength (or lack thereof) has some experts backing off of Beckham as being a potential top 10 wide receiver in the NFL.
Here's a graph from MockDraftable.com that shows his athletic prowess as well as some scary player comparables.
When I watched Beckham in college I saw a fast player who could be very good at the next level as a kick returner and slot receiver. I really didn't see an outside wide receiver because of his lack of height and the fact that he didn't produce huge touchdown numbers while he played in the SEC. His senior year he managed eight touchdowns, but didn't lead the team as Jarvis Landry had 10. His return skills may be the best in the draft class, but return skills rarely help fantasy football owners. He's always ripped off big chunks of yards in the passing game because of his long speed and his run after the catch ability, but he will probably never be the stud fantasy receiver owners crave because of his poor red zone production.
There are fantasy analysts who fear the worst with Beckham. They see comparables that make him an average NFL wide receiver who doesn't make a fantasy impact. There are other fantasy analysts who think Beckham could be a slightly taller version of Antonio Brown. I'm somewhere in the middle to top range when it comes to Beckham's fantasy ceiling. I take offense to comparisons to Ted Ginn Jr. and I also get offended when I hear people say he could be better then Victor Cruz. Beckham could very well become a better NFL and Fantasy player than Cruz, but I think that's a little much to say right now.
I'm avoiding Beckham in early offseason drafts and instead looking to cash in on Rueben Randle's lowered draft stock as he is actually going off the board behind the Giants's newest rookie wide receiver. On FantasyFootballCalculator.com Beckham's average draft position is almost a full round ahead of Randle's (11.03 to 12.01).
People tend to let the rookie hype give them temporary amnesia when it comes to drafting rookie wide receivers. Last year I watched Tavon Austin (a great kick returner/slot receiver) go as high as the seventh round in redraft fantasy football leagues. People were drafting him that high even though the Rams had not had a receiver top 800 yards in a season since Torry Holt was still hauling in passes in St. Louis. Can you imagine the owner who drafted Austin over DeSean Jackson or Josh Gordon last year? Who knows, one of them may have even played in The BIG Blue View fantasy football leagues.
So in short I would buy on Beckham in dynasty fantasy football leagues and even in keeper leagues where you give up a late-round pick to keep the player drafted there for the next season. I would not buy on Beckham to make a big fantasy impact this season in redraft fantasy football leagues.
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