FFL '05: NFL Draft Fantasy Analysis

How will the top picks in the 2005 NFL Draft affect your fantasy strategy? We fully review the first round from a fantasy perspective, and also offer insight on skill position picks from the second round.

1. Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco: He doesn't project to be a fantasy superstar, but he'll be very solid, because he's smart, makes great reads and is mechanically and technically sound. Will have to adjust to more complex schemes in the pros and doesn't throw a great deep ball, but he's a solid keeper pick who should be a quality fantasy starter by his third or fourth pro season. Not worth anything more than a late-rounder in yearly leagues, but has great intangibles and will be very dependable when he is fully acclimated to the NFL. Future fantasy comparison: In terms of purely statistical output, he could be close to Jeff Garcia during his best years with the 49ers.

2.Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami: The newest Fin could quickly become a fine all-around performer. Brown's excellent pass-catching skills immediately make him a very enticing fantasy selection. He could be overworked a bit initially if Miami doesn't surround him with more offensive talent. But Brown definitely will be a first-year success, even if extra defensive attention means he might be a bit statistically inconsistent. In his first year, he's a definite standout No. 2 fantasy RB with the ability to be a good No. 1 fantasy back when Miami surrounds him with some better talent. Look for him to be a fantasy workhorse who gets a lot of touches. In terms of statistics, he could end up being the most productive all-around RB in this draft in a few years. He's versatile and has great numerical promise. In 2005, he projects to be a good late second-round pick for yearly leagues. Future fantasy comparison: Durability is a concern, but he eventually could produce rushing/receiving numbers much like Marshall Faulk did in his best years.