No limit Texas Hold em' is the Cadillac of poker. In fantasy football, the hand a player is dealt can play a big role in his value — at least in the short term. After all the individual analysis of the rookies throughout the offseason. After all yelling and throwing popcorn at the TV during draft day, both the teams and most sought after rookies were finally dealt their hands after Day 1. Several players were dealt better hands than others, including two receivers who you'll likely want to throw your chips into the center of the table on for 2015. One wideout is a sure-fire draftee in redraft and dynasty leagues, the other is stepping into a good situation where he will likely be making an impact a little further down the road as a rookie.
Breshad Perriman , WR (Baltimore Ravens)
Quality of Fantasy hand dealt: Pocket Aces
Why he's fantasy worthy in Year 1: No wide receiver is stepping into a better fantasy situation in Year 1 than the speedy WR out of UCF. The Ravens are in dire need of his services and the franchise has a long history of stability which should help Perriman develop without unnecessary drama getting in the way. Perriman will play on a Baltimore team that emphasizes balance which should keep him and also a canon-armed quarterback in Joe Flacco that can take advantage of his 4.2 speed.
This past offseason, the Ravens lost deep threat Torrey Smith to San Francisco. Smith accrued 93 targets last season, so it's not out of the question that Perriman sees at least 80 looks from quarterback Joe Flacco. Smith saw 95 targets and wound up with 841 yards and 7 touchdowns in his first season with Baltimore, and he was only competing with Anquan Boldin for targets. Perriman, like Smith, will also be competing with veteran Steve Smith Sr. for targets, but he's still an instant WR2/3 candidate in 2015 due to the amount of the targets that will be available to him.
Now, you can have all the targets in the world but if you can't catch a cold than your fantasy value will be rendered useless. Also, it's funny how a team can end up drafting a clones of the player they let go of in the offseason. Perriman, like Smith, is a speedster who also struggles to catch easy passes from time to time. We'll ere on the side of optimism and say he'll make up for it because of his speed.
Fantasy advice: Perriman is a no brainer draft selection if you're drafting in redraft and dynasty leagues. He's got the best possible starting hand of anybody.
Nelson Agholor , WR (Philadelphia Eagles)
Quality of Fantasy hand dealt: Ace-Queen
Why he's fantasy worthy in Year 1: The Eagles now have a job opening that reads '143 targets available' and the resume of rookie Nelson Agholor out of USC is as good a bet as any to fill the team's No. 2 void at wide receiver. At 6'0, 198 lbs, Agholor has drawn comparisons to former Eagle Jeremy Maclin and rightfully so considering Maclin was also 6'0, 198 lbs. Both possess 4.4 speed with Agholor being a bit more explosive out of his breaks than Maclin.
The one thing I've noticed as a difference between the two is their demeanor. Agholor is a much more cerebral player than Maclin, even Chip Kelly has used the term 'growth minset' to describe Agholor's approach to the game. if you watch some of his interviews, Agholor often stresses constantly improving and getting better, but he goes further than that and actually gives concrete examples on how he has improved his game every step of the way. It's impressive to see somebody at his age who can articulate what he's doing on the field to that of a technician, and that's what Agholor brings to the table that we didn't quite see from Maclin.
Jordan Matthews also brought a similar 'get better' mentality throughout his rookie season that really generated buzz during the team's training camp in July and August. reports out of camp were glowing so bright you'd think Matthews would be the best rookie wide receiver of 2014. It didn't quite turn out that way, but Matthews caught at least one pass in 15 out of 16 games as a rookie and finished with a more than respectable 872 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The two downsides to Agholor's potential as a instant fantasy player is the quarterback situation in Philadelphia and his undersized frame. As of right now, it appears Sam Bradford will be their No. 1 quarterback heading into camp. Bradford didn't play a single regular season snap in 2014 and will be learning a new system under Chip Kelly. His reputation for injury (seven games played over last two seasons) has resulted in a 'wait and see' attitude for most and it'll be tough to invest in a guy like Agholor if there's nobody around to throw him the ball. Yes, I know, Tim Tebow is there. Stymie yourselves!
Also at just 6'0, 198, Agholor will likely struggle against bigger corners. We saw how Jeremy Maclin could get shut down at times by Richard Sherman-type corners and Agholor might have a similar problem.
Fantasy advice: You'll need to monitor the quarterback situation in camp and Agholor is more undersized than Perriman which will likely result in some bad games against bigger, more physical cornerbacks. Still, Agholor has big-play ability and is stepping into a situation with plenty of targets available. He's worth a very late-round flier as a bench guy in redraft leagues.