Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It seems as if we will have plenty of time to continue our analysis of the 2011 NFL Draft as to pertains to the fantasy world, what with all the legal proceedings dominating the news and not productive talks, so it's time to evaluate rounds five through seven of the draft.
There were a total of 40 skill position players taken over the final three rounds of the draft which included; five quarterbacks, 16 running backs, 12 wide receivers, six tight ends and one kicker.
Let's look at a few of the key picks who might get on to the field often enough to have fantasy value.
Ricky Stanzi, KC - Matt Cassel is signed through the 2014 season and certainly will be the starting quarterback from Day 1 of 2011. But for those in keeper leagues, you could question whether the Chiefs will be willing to pay Cassel $7.5 million in 2013 and $9 million in 2014. If Stanzi progresses quickly or Cassel fails to improve, there could be a change under center in a couple of years. Barring injury that would seem to be a logical schedule for Stanzi which means no fantasy value for the former Iowa Hawkeye in 2011. In the meantime, he should certainly be able to beat out Tyler Palko and Brodie Croyle for the backup role.
T.J. Yates, HOU - Like Stanzi, Yates should not see the field in 2011 barring catastrophic injury at the quarterback position. Matt Schaub is a fantasy star, though he didn't play like one in 2010, as the team used its running game (read Arian Foster) more than ever. Yates will have to perform well to step ahead of Dan Orlovsky and Matt Leinart as a rookie, but neither has shown to be "start-worthy" over their careers and the team could opt for youth behind Schaub.
Nathan Enderle, CHI - The Bears already have their starting quarterback of the present and future in Jay Cutler and Enderle will fight with Caleb Hanie for the backup role. On the other hand, given the porous Bears offensive line from 2010, a good backup could see the field next season as Cutler was hit/sacked early and often last season.
Greg McElroy, NYJ - Mark Sanchez is and will be the starter in New York, but all McElroy does is win football games, including the national championship game in January of 2010. Mark Brunell is ready to hang it up after a long career and Erik Ainge and Kevin O'Donnell haven't shown to be anything great.
Johnny White, BUF - White is a talented running back/receiver, but the Bills drafted C.J. Spiller just one season earlier and they would seem to have similar characteristics. With Fred Jackson and Spiller in front of him on the depth chart, White will have little fantasy value in his rookie season.
Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL - Rodgers could get the most playing time of any fifth, six, or seventh round draft choice because there is an opportunity to be had in the Falcons' backfield. Michael Turner is a solid running back, but the team needs a receiving back and Turner is not that guy. Turner had just 12 catches in 2010 and has averaged seven receptions per year in his three seasons in Atlanta. Rodgers was not only a very good runner at Oregon State (788-3,877-46 for his career) but caught 151 balls in three seasons. Rodgers should become the team's third down back, over Jason Snelling, and see the field on a regular basis.
Dion Lewis, PHI - Lewis is a small, quick back in the mold of LeSean McCoy, who ironically is also from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2009 he became the first player since Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick to earn Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season. He could spell McCoy as soon as he learns how to block blitzing linebackers.
Evan Royster, WAS - The Redskins running back situation last season was filled with injuries to Clinton Portis, Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams. Royster will compete with fellow running rookie Roy Helu for the backup role to Torain, but given Torain's injury history the winner of the battle could see plenty of playing time.
Kealoha Pilares, CAR - The Carolina Panthers have had no passing game whatsoever since quarterback Jake Delhomme was run out of town. They could also lose their best receiver in disgruntled Steve Smith. The QB position has been filled with No.1 overall selection Cam Newton and Pilares could be in line to develop alongside the young quarterback as his slot receiver. Pilares was the only receiver selected in the draft by a team who's No.2 receiver was running back Mike Goodson. Pilares could have some fantasy value in his rookie season if Newton develops quickly.
D.J. Williams, GB - Jermichael Finley is the No.1 tight end in Green Bay, when healthy, but he also could be a free agent after the 2011-12 season. With little in the way of pass-catching tight ends behind Finley, Williams could become the No.2 tight end and given that Finley will be playing on a surgically-repaired right knee, who knows?