I'm back and well rested from my vacation so here we go...for every dynasty owner, the last week before the draft is a very exciting time. Every draftee had their workouts and game tape dissected. Now, we just sit and wait for their NFL destinations to be determined. I keep on preaching that talent is more important than scheme; however it cannot be the only consideration. Since this is my pre-draft evaluation, the analysis is strictly based on talent. I am breaking down my top 50 dynasty rookie fantasy players and I am continuing with my top 11-20:
11. TE Coby Fleener - He has moved to the #1 tight end position in the past few weeks as his main competition (Dwayne Allen and Orson Charles) turned in slow times in the 40 as well Charles' recent DUI charge. Fleener is great in space as he likes the free release off the line, but is not a good candidate to be an inline blocker. He can get good separation from linebackers and safeties, but needs to be more physical and add weight on his skinny 6' 6" 240 lbs frame. Fleener has excellent hands and has a big height advantage against any defender that attempts to cover him.
12. WR Stephen Hill - He played on a run-first team with very limited targets, but his star is shinning as brightly as other former Georgia Tech wide receivers Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas. Hill has great burst, good body control, grabs the ball at its highest point, and shows power by breaking tackles in the open field. He is very limited in his route running as he ran mostly go-routes. Hill demonstrated in the run-first offense his ability to be a good run blocker, and has room to build on his frame to be a more dominant physical presence. To me, Stephen Hill is a jacked-up Torrey Smith who may need time to adjust to the NFL, but has the potential to be a #1 fantasy wide receiver.
13. LB Luke Kuechly - He is the James Laurinaitis of this class as Kuechly is always around the ball, but seemed to make his tackles a few yards down the field. Kuechly uses his good vision to help him flow to the ball quickly and wraps up well. He isn't very physical against blockers as he sometimes lets them get into his body and is not a strong defender against the passing game. I doubt he will ever be a top 5 fantasy linebacker, but he has the upside to be in the top 15.
14. DE Melvin Ingram - He is a defensive player that is rising up every NFL and fantasy team's wish list. Ingram is a high-effort player that never gives up on the play. He is very powerful against blockers by using his hands/arms well to keep them off, and applies pressure on the quarterback. Ingram isn't as natural versus the run, but can occupy at least one blocker and should command double teams. I like Ingram more as a defensive end/defensive tackle as I do not think he will be as effective in space if drafted as an outside linebacker. Ingram, in a defensive linemen role, could be the next premier IDP.
15. RB Isaiah Pead - He made his impression at the East-West Shrine Game with his good punt return skills. Pead transfers those talents to his running back game as well with quick acceleration and decision-making. Too bad, he doesn't always make the best decisions as he tends to take his carries outside often and he runs too high at times. Pead is more of a third-down back with good hands as he needs his offensive line blocking well to run inside. I think he is a cross between Danny Woodhead and Darren Sproles.
16. WR Alshon Jeffery - He is a physical play-maker who fights the jam well with his hands. Jeffery attacks the ball at its highest point, has good balance, and does a great job contorting his body to make the difficult catch. He can run block and isn't afraid to mix it up physically, just ask CB Alfonzo Dennard. Jeffery takes a long time to get to full speed and has issues gaining separation from defenders (when I say issues, I mean he rarely gets breathing room). Alshon Jeffery is the biggest question mark at wide receiver, so be careful drafting him.
17. QB Brandon Weeden - He is a very polarizing prospect with him being a 28-year-old rookie and a former professional pitcher. Weeden looks very comfortable in the pocket when he has little pressure. He does tend to throw to spots on the field instead of reading how his receivers are running their routes. I tend to think that Justin Blackmon's huge catch radius helped out Weeden. In a dynasty league, he needs to be a starter by the beginning of next year to be worth this choice. Weeden could be as productive as Matt Schaub in the right situation and is clearly the 4th best 2012 rookie QB.
18. LB Dont'a Hightower - He is also climbing up the draft boards both in the NFL and in fantasy. Hightower flows to the ball using his great vision, quickness and speed. He is a sure tackler and is effective separating the ball from ball carriers. Hightower, sometimes, gets caught up in the wash and cannot disengage blockers. He plays a bit stiff in the passing game and may have issues against the more athletic tight ends and scat backs he will need to cover. Hightower may become a top 20 fantasy linebacker, but I don't see any upside past that.
19. DE Quinton Coples - He may be the most polarizing defender in this year's draft as he can be a nightmare when playing motivated. He was far more effective his junior year where he spent some snaps at defensive tackle. As he demonstrated at the Senior Bowl, when Coples' motor is running he can be extremely effective at the line of scrimmage applying pressure on the quarterback and jumping up knocking down passes. Too bad, he was not consistent showing these skills throughout his senior year. Coples has a very quick step, but needs to use his leverage better against offensive linemen. As stud defensive ends are hard to find in fantasy, I would draft Coples on talent alone in the second round of an IDP rookie draft.
20. RB Chris Polk - He is a physical, powerful runner who has great downfield vision. His hands and aptitude in the passing game are the best in this class. Polk is not the most nimble back, takes a bit of time to build up his speed, and has some trouble making defenders miss. His conditioning is a concern as he came to Senior Bowl pudgy; however, at the combine he was in better condition. In the right system Polk could be a Matt Forte/Fred Jackson type of guy, but in the wrong system he could be Issac Redman.
Andy Miley is the host of Dynasty Blitz Podcast on Blog Talk Radio, Dynasty/Keeper Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Alarm and can be found on twitter @AndrewMiley