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It is hard to believe, or maybe not, that we are past the NFL Draft. For me, and many like me, this signifies the start of the NFL fantasy season. It is not like I have not been following all along, but the reality is talent is only a portion of the equation, with one of the other parts being the opportunity. A guy can be a great talent on his own, but if he goes to a deep team, his likely output drops significantly.
What I am to do with this article is to highlight the potential fantasy impacts of the 2019 NFL draft. We will come back around to team previews as a whole, but for now, I just want to focus on how the draft picks should affect their team.
With all that said, let’s get talking football!
Arizona Cardinals – What better team to start with than what could be one of the most exciting young football teams. The 2018 season was an unmitigated disaster, with such disastrous situations such as benching David Johnson on a third down play due to poor pass protection in a game-altering situation.
That regime was quickly exited and will be replaced by the new hot young thing in former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. What we saw from Kingsbury from his days at Texas Tech was a high-level Air Raid offense whose only hope was to score 50 points a game to eclipse the sure 45 points his defense was going to allow.
Kyler Murray represents a prototypical Kingsbury quarterback in a guy with a high level of mobility and a big arm (re: Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield, former Tech alums). I do believe this is one of Murrays best chances for success, as Kingsbury will surely mold the offense to fit his strengths.
David Johnson should still be a central focus of this offense, but it would not entirely shock me to see Chase Edmonds have some more involvement. I do not think this is a guy who is on the re-draft radar, except for the deepest of leagues, but I could see them designing some special packages for him to catch the defense off guard.
The receivers room was pretty sad last year given the construct of the offense. Larry Fitzgerald had a solid year, and he will be back for what will be his last year. He has not said that I do not believe, but the way this offense will move and how the draft transpired makes me believe they are going with a speedy youth movement.
Beyond Fitzgerald, the acquisition of Murray should be a huge dividend for Christian Kirk. The do it all speedster in his second year out of Texas A&M is one of my later round redraft picks and someone I am prioritizing in start-up dynasty leagues. It would not shock me to see him pop off for a huge YPC and could flirt with a massive touchdown increase.
Early on, I have seen Hakeem Butler being propelled above Andy Isabella on dynasty rankings and I think that is a huge mistake. While many might point to Isabella having unsustainable production, I would point out that Butler plays in what is likely the worst defensive conference in college football with the BIG 12. Isabella is a highly talented route runner who has exceeded expectations at every level. I view Isabella as a slightly better version of Cooper Kupp, who we have seen as a safety blanket, and thus strong fantasy contributor through Jared Goff. That is not to say that Butler cannot have an impact, but I believe he will be the 4th wheel on a team with Johnson, Kirk, and Isabella ahead of him.
Ricky Seals-Jones was hoped to be a big fantasy prospect last year but it never came to pass. Caleb Wilson was drafted out of UCLA and adds immediate depth to the position. This is going to be a situation to monitor in camp, but he could have some upside as a late-round tight end pick
Atlanta Falcons – It is hard to believe that this will be Matt Ryan’s 12th year in the NFL. That makes it no surprise that the early picks in the draft were made to protect him, with the acquisition of improvements along the offensive line.
As is typical for the Falcons, another running back was drafted to replace Tevin Coleman, who departs for San Francisco. Qadree Ollison showed upside during his tenure at Pitt, but I believe he will be the third wheel on a team sporting Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith.
Most of the additions to wide receiver came late in the draft and through the signing of undrafted free agents. Olamide Zaccheaus and Khalil Lewis are the two that pop off the page to me but will have to do some pretty serious camp and preseason damage to even sniff the final roster. However, Zacchaeus is a highly dynamic player who did a little bit of everything at Virginia and could make some noise in certain packages.
Baltimore Ravens – Last year, the Ravens took the plunge on Lamar Jackson, who by mid-season was showing all of us exactly what he could do. The problem is that he never had those big performances we were hoping for. I would argue that he did not have much-supporting staff.
Things change this year with the addition of Mark Ingram at running back. Looking at the roster, I believe he should be the workhorse here, and we have seen what that guy in a Ravens offense can do. I have high expectations for Ingram, who is likely the most talented back the Ravens can use in a number of years.
The woes at receiver will hopefully go away with the acquisition of both Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. The best part here is that we are definitely looking at two distinctly different receivers who I believe can complement the other. Brown should be the biggest fantasy asset and should be taken early in dynasty drafts. He is dynamic, having the ability to mark short yard catches turn into long plays, as well as using his speed to get open way downfield.
Boykin has more size and uses his physicality to make plays. He is a grinder that I think will alternative big performances with Brown. These were two of my favorite receivers coming into the draft and I think they both have solid upside with Jackson at the helm. I would just caution that the Ravens do like to run, so that does limit their ceilings somewhat.
The Ravens also signed a trio of talent wideouts as undrafted free agents in Antoine Wesley, Sean Modster and Jacksons former teammate Jaylen Smith. Again, all three of these players will have to put together solid off-season’s to be on the roster and have no fantasy appeal as of this writing.
Buffalo Bills – Buffalo went after their quarterback of the future last year and Josh Allen was a great fantasy asset at points. He is not afraid to run which is something that should be music to our ears in fantasy.
The team made interesting decisions in the draft, to say the least. After adding Frank Gore and then TJ Yeldon just days before the draft, they added dynamic back Devin Singletary from FAU. This certainly looks like a confusing situation, but I would still take shots at Singletary in dynasty drafts as I think he is talented. At this point, he is not in consideration for redraft leagues.
The team then opted to draft Dawson Knox, who is all intangibles and size because he had no college production. The team doubled down on the position in taking Tommy Sweeney, who I like more between the two having actually seen him contribute in a meaningful capacity at Boston College.
The only receivers taken were David Sills and Nick Easley, who both have some potential, especially given the state of the receiving room in 2018.
Carolina Panthers – The Panthers were one of the least exciting teams from a draft perspective, though it is not surprising considering I believe the majority of their production will center around Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, and DJ Moore this year. We all know the draft price for guys like Newton and McCaffrey, but I think we will still get a discount on Moore this year.
The management has to plan for Cam Newton being either injured or ineffective as they drafted Will Grier in round 3. There were rumors that Newton could miss a large portion or all of the season with a shoulder ailment, and his style of play is concerning when it comes to probability of injury. Grier is a speculative add in dynasty formats as he has two very good playmakers around him, and we saw what Taylor Heineke was able to do in Newton’s absence last year.
Jordan Scarlett was drafted in the fifth round and Elijah Holyfield was an undrafted free agent. I think both could compete for the back-up to Christian McCaffrey, who also gets a lot of use and thus will become more injury prone as the years go on.
Terry Godwin was taken in the 7th round and will be used as depth but something tells me we may be hearing more about him as the offseason goes on.
Chicago Bears – The Bears did not have a pick until round 3, at which point they replaced Jordan Howard with David Montgomery. There is no question that the talent is there with Montgomery and he is a guy who immediately gains value in both redraft and dynasty formats based on how we saw this offense run last year. He is still many ticks below Tarik Cohen, but he has the potential to pay early dividends.
The Bears receivers can be a bit of a headache, with production being split amongst many different options. That could be even worse this year with the drafting of Riley Ridley and the acquisition of Emanuel Hall as a UDFA. The latter was a major headscratcher, as he entered the draft as a potential higher round draft pick and left undrafted. I have not been able to fully research why this happened, but this is a talented receiver who can add something to this team.
In the early going, I would probably consider both receivers to be late-round options in deep leagues at best. In dynasty formats, I would tick both of them up a bit more, as I do not think they will be on the sidelines for long.
Cincinnati Bengals – Definitely one of the most disappointing teams of 2018, this is a team that dealt with a ton of injuries, so there is little shock as to the result.
Their offensive line play has been pretty poor the past few seasons, pushing them to draft more protection up front for Andy Dalton… or someone. One of those someones could be NC States Ryan Finley. The Boise State transfer had a very good career and possesses the talent to be able to unseat Dalton at some point this year.
Tight end Drew Sample was drafted because he can be a hybrid player. He has the size and physicality to be able to block edge rushers, while also possessing the speed and versatility to break off and run crisp routes. Given the injury situation perpetually at the position, there is some appeal to Sample coming into the year.
Traveon Williams and Rodney Anderson were both drafted as depth at the running back position. Both of these players were very good college players and bring a toughness that could lead to one of them getting meaningful snaps alongside Joe Mixon. Neither are on the re-draft radar, but in dynasty leagues, one of them is likely to be drafted.
Wide receiver Stanley Morgan can definitely add depth to the position for the Bengals, but it will take a great offseason to be discussing as an option in either format.
Cleveland Browns – I do not know what world we live in where a draft has come and passed, and we are not talking about what the Browns did on offense. That is the byproduct of having a good front office, but who would have ever thought those things were positively correlated?
I guess in a sense we can say that the Browns drafted Odell Beckham with the 17th pick in the draft. Obviously, the Browns now possess one of the most fantasy-friendly offenses in the league. WHAT IS GOING ON???!
Stay tuned for our team by team breakdowns for more on the Browns.
Dallas Cowboys – Another team that really did not have any huge holes from a fantasy perspective did Cowboy things in the draft. They worked on their defense and tried to plug a hole on their offensive line.
They did take two running backs in the draft, both with interesting profiles. Tony Pollard was a swiss army knife at Memphis, having a monster 2018 as a running back/receiver/kick returner/open heart surgeon. This type of addition to the Cowboys could be a big deal. The ability to move someone around the field like they can with him cannot be understated.
Mike Weber brings a different profile altogether. He is more of a typical grinder who provides another capable back-up and alternate to Ezekiel Elliott. I suspect he will not see nearly as much playing time as Pollard. I do not think that Weber is really on the redraft radar, and still ranks rather low on the dynasty radar. However, I have a significant issue early on in a guy like Pollard who could do enough to keep himself relevant in fantasy formats. His relevance lies only in dynasty drafts for the time being.
The team also brought in two UDFA receivers in Jalen Guyton and JonVea Johnson that could contest for special teams jobs and thus put them on the radar for some potential use in the offense. Neither are on the drafting radar in either format.
Denver Broncos – The Broncos took another stab at finding their quarterback of the future. I am definitely not talking about Joe Flacco, but rather in Drew Lock. He is built like a quarterback of the future, combining a good arm with mobility. He is not going to be like most of the guys that the team has used in the past or who they have now. I think this is a good thing.
Alongside Lock, they also signed UDFA Brett Rypien out of Boise State. Nephew of Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, Brett showed a great amount of talent while a Bronco. I think this was a great move. Lock obviously has to be looked at as the 2nd or 3rd dynasty rookie quarterback this year.
The team also drafted Iowa tight end, one of two taken in the first round from Iowa, Noah Fant. His game is much less centered around the protection game, but definitely as a receiver. He is an oversized slot receiver many have said and though inconsistent at times, possesses the skills to improve the position immediately for the Broncos.
Detroit Lions – The other tight end drafted from Iowa belongs with the Lions at the 8th pick. This is the second time in five years the team has taken a tight end in the top ten in the draft, the other being Eric Ebron. Certainly, the Lions hope that TJ Hockenson will turn in better results for the team than they saw with Ebron.
The opportunity is there. The Lions need a reliable tight end and they got more than that in Hockenson. This guy is a mauler. It looks like he takes serious joy in taking edge rushers and linebackers to the ground in the most vicious way possible. In this way, he is a man after my own heart. He also broke out in a big way in the passing game this year. This is a serious upgrade for Stafford and Hockenson tops my boards for dynasty tight ends and will be a guy who I look at later in redraft leagues.
Outside of that, there are a few late round picks and UDFAs that do not impress me much and will not be on our radar.
Green Bay Packers – The Packers definitely did not have a very interesting draft from a fantasy perspective. The big win here is the acquisition of Jace Sternberger, who I really view as a guy who can be a top-level tight end in the NFL.
The tight end position has been a wasteland for the Packers since Jermichael Finley in something like 2010. We have been excited for a few different players but nothing has really panned out. I really think Sternberger could be the exception to the rule and I will be using him in dynasty drafts where I need to draft a tight end.
They also drafted Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams who will add yet another piece to an already crowded Green Bay backfield. It seems like this is an organization always dealing with injury issues, so he could end up being a waiver wire pick during the season. Nothing before, though.
Houston Texans – Imagine being a team with a dynamic quarterback and two amazing wide receivers. I say two because one is always injured at all times. This is why the Texans needed to work on their offensive line, and have done so. I expect more from Deshaun Watson this year.
Outside of that, the team picked up Kahale Waring, who promptly caused Ryan Griffin to go into a fit of rage intoxicated in his hotel room and get arrested for punching a hole in the wall. They also took on three UDFA receivers in Johnnie Dixon, Tyron Johnson and Stephen Louis and I have to admit those are three talented guys. I am not sure how it will shake out but we have seen constant injuries to Will Fuller and some to Keke Coutee last year, so at some point this year we could be picking one of them off the waiver wire.
Indianapolis Colts – It seems like we have been on a run for the last few teams where they were really little fantasy implication from the draft, and that looks to continue with the Colts. While they did a good job of addressing their needs, basically just drafting an entirely new defense, there is one gem.
Wide receiver two for the Colts has not really been there for a few years (or more) now, so picking up a dynamic receiver in Parris Campbell gives Andrew Luck someone outside of TY Hilton to get the ball to. Campbell is a big splash play threat with great speed and saw his route running improve through the 2018 season.
I like this addition for the Colts with Hilton getting on in years and this could force the defense to be a little more honest with another fast, dynamic player on the field. Couple this in with the backfield and I think this is a team that can make some fantasy noise in 2019.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Yawn. The Jaguars made picks that helped their team but does not really inspire a ton of confidence for fantasy. Josh Oliver from San Jose State was their top offensive weapon at tight end, but he is not in my opinion with the class of Hockenson, Fant or Sternberger.
One telling pick was a late round pick of Ryquell Armstead. Due to the injuries and legal woes of Leonard Fournette, this could be a security pick to make sure there is some talent left in the backfield after the departure of TJ Yeldon.
The team also took Gardner Minshew, who pushed for the Heisman for awhile at Washington State last year. It is always tough to tell if an Air Raid quarterback is one that can make it at the next level, but I do think there is talent there. He is a guy I do not mind taking late in dynasty drafts if I can and stashing.
The team also signed a host of UDFAs. Three of them have particular appeal in terms of players to watch in the offseason: Tyre Brady, Dredrick Snelson, and Papi White. All of those receivers flashed in college on their respective teams and it would not shock me to see one or more of them on the roster. Not yet for their fantasy impact, though.
Kansas City Chiefs – It was not difficult to see what the Chiefs were going to have to do based off of Tyreek Hill. Because he is highly unlikely to play this year and perhaps all season, the Chiefs needed to get some insurance at receiver because, well, they do not really have any reliable depth behind him.
The Chiefs grabbed Mecole Hardman in the late second round to act as a Tyreek Hill replacement, at least they hope. This is an exact fill in for Hill, as Hardman has top line speed, great movement and acts as a return man. There is very little question the team was looking to draft a carbon copy. Will it work? It definitely can. He is a priority for me in dynasty leagues as of now, but it could change in the summer. There is some intrigue even in the early going to grabbing him in the late rounds of redraft as well.
The team grabbed several others as UDFA signings. There are four guys: Cody Thompson, Felton Davis, Jamire Jordan and Jamal Custis that have some intrigue through training camp but presently present no value.
The Chiefs also looked to add depth at the running back position, drafting Darwin Thompson out of Utah State and then adding in James Williams from Washington State. Both have great collegiate tape and would not surprise me to see one or both contribute in 2019. Contribute is one thing; having meaningful fantasy impact is entirely different.
Los Angeles Chargers – The Chargers were a fun team in 2018, with ultra-reliable Melvin Gordon III leading the charge. I suspect things should stay the same this year with targets and production isolated between Gordon, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and hopefully Hunter Henry, you know, the guy who had a huge 2018 according to Stephen A. Smith.
The draft did nothing to change my opinion on this. The team did draft Easton Stick, which would make sense considering they have an aging star at quarterback. Some interesting news came out this week that the team could consider designing packages for Stick like the Saints have packages for Taysom Hill. Is that enough to move the needle for me? I think it does a little in dynasty leagues. Someone will have to take Rivers place and if you can afford a spot to hold Stick, I would strongly consider it.
Everything else the team got through UDFA signings looks unexciting from a fantasy perspective, so this should be a very easy team to breakdown moving into the regular season.
Los Angeles Rams – From one exciting fantasy team to another, but keeping in the Bay Area, we move over to the Rams. This draft was not one that pops off the page at all from a fantasy perspective, with the team only drafting one single offensive skill position player.
That player was a super productive player at Memphis in running back Darrell Henderson. With CJ Anderson retiring, there is a perceived need to back-up Todd Gurley. The team spent draft capital with a sixth round pick in John Kelly last year, someone who draftniks had a hard on over but seemingly lost it over the course of the season.
Is this a condemnation on Kelly? Or is this just a reaction to losing what ended up being a more than capable backup? I would tend to side with the latter, but it will be interesting to see how training camp plays out.
From my perspective, I was never as big on Kelly as most. He had an uneven college career and just as much as I raise my eyebrows for a guy with a ton of collegiate production (like Henderson), you would be negligent if you did not do the same for a guy with little resume (hey, Dawson Knox!)
For now, I will likely be spending higher dynasty draft capital on Henderson because as we know virtually anyone who steps into the lead running back role for this Rams offense can be an overnight superstar.
Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins, for as bad as they are, made almost no noise at all during the draft itself.
That is not to say that the team walked away from the draft empty handed, either.
The team traded a second round pick for Josh Rosen. I do not think this is a player bereft of talent, but I do think it was a player who was in a bad situation in a bad coaching staff in Arizona. Is Miami going to be the same thing?
Miami probably put itself in a bad position by trading for a Rosen, though it was a good football move overall. If Rosen is good, the team has put itself in a position where it does not tank to get a player to help it get to the next level. By all appearances, this is not a team that is contending for anything in 2019.
They also added Myles Gaskin in the draft because, why not? The Dolphins love to load up their running back room and they do not appear to believe in a work horse of any kind. Despite believing that Gaskin has talent, this is a stay away situation for me in 2019.
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings have a pretty set core for their offense in 2019, but they did make one pick that was telling of how they feel about Dalvin Cook.
In the third round, they drafted Boise State running back Alexander Mattison.
Now, I am certainly not sitting here saying that after two years they are throwing in the towel on Cook. What I am saying is that he has two injury plagued seasons under his belt and with Latavius Murray heading over to New Orleans, there was a need for a back-up in Minnesota.
This is an interesting situation, because we saw Murray have big games without Cook last year, and even still saw production with him in quite a few. This is a good situation for the fantasy stock of Mattison.
I am not going to call him someone to put on the redraft radar yet, but I have moved him up quite a bit on my dynasty board.
The team also drafted some depth at receiver in Dillon Mitchell and Olabisi Johnson, two guys with solid college pedigrees. I suspect we will not hear anything from either of these guys in 2019.
New England Patriots – The Patriots are never in rebuild mode. This year will be different, however, as we all know one of the greatest tight ends of all time, Rob Gronkowski, retired. While he might not have looked like the player we all knew and loved last year, he was still a big piece of this offense.
The team did sign Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt Lacosse in the offseason, so they did not focus on the position in the draft.
Because we know Josh Gordon cannot get his life right, the team had to use a first round pick on NKeal Harry, who was amazing at Arizona State. He should immediately give a boost to the offense and is one of my favorites in dynasty drafts, as well as being someone I am not afraid to take shots on in redraft leagues.
Curiously, the team drafted running back Damien Harris out of Alabama in the third round. This will certainly have some kind of an impact on Sony Michel, who I am dropping a bit lower. We know the Patriots will use a myriad of running backs anyway.
Once again the Patriots have drafted the potential heir to Tom Brady. Jarrett Stidham was taken in the fourth round and will be a guy I go after in dynasty formats. Yes, we have seen guys like Ryan Mallett come and go, but the biggest difference here is that Brady is now into his forties and time is not on his side.
New Orleans Saints – The Saints just did not have a lot of draft capital, so their picks are less than spectacular.
They did draft Alize Mack, tight end out of Notre Dame, but to me, I do not see much upside there.
One guy I really like that they got as an UDFA is Lil Jordan Humphrey out of Texas. He had a big year and I think he could be a contributor on this offense. I am a little hesitant to do anything in regards to fantasy drafts, referring only to dynasty formats. I do not think he is there yet, but I would watch to see if hype builds into the summer.
New York Giants – After passing on Sam Darnold last year to take Saquon Barkley (who is going to be a legend for what it is worth), the Giants doubled down on their stupidity by drafting Daniel Jones to replace Eli Manning at some point.
Look, I am not going to say that Jones cannot be a good quarterback. Dwayne Haskins certainly looks to be the better player at this point, but at the end of the day, both of these guys need to get on the field and actually show something. I am not putting Jones near Murray or Haskins, and he might even be below Lock for me.
The rest of the Giants draft was mostly to try to fill holes on the defense, but they also drafted Darius Slayton, who will be given every chance to earn playing time early on in his career. To me at this point, though, he is not someone I am looking out for in any format.
New York Jets – The Jets have done work in the offseason and should be a more dynamic team in 2019. This did not extend to the draft, though, as the team did not select a single offensive skill position player.
They did sign Wake Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch as an UDFA. I believe Dortch to have significant athleticism and talent, enough that I think we could see him as a contributor to the Jets earlier rather than later. Again, this is someone I am not sniffing in redraft leagues, but in dynasty leagues, I think there are some potential opportunities that could force him into production, and thus is on my radar in those formats.
Oakland Raiders – While the Browns have been the team over the last several years that polarized the football world coming into the NFL draft, the mantle was passed on to the Raiders. There was really a lot of confusion about what we would see the Raiders do, but overall, I think they did alright.
Really, the only important move for fantasy that they made was drafting Joshua Jacobs out of Alabama to play running back. With the season ending injury today to Isaiah Crowell, this becomes even more valuable. Jacobs is realistically one of the top two picks in this year’s dynasty formats, and there is no doubt that he is in the conversation in redraft leagues, specifically considering how we have seen some first round running backs perform in fantasy over the last few years. All of those guys have more proven production than Jacobs, but he enters a highly favorable situation.
Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles are definitely working their way to becoming a frustrating team for fantasy purposes.
Case in point: the drafting of Miles Sanders in the second round. After acquiring Jordan Howard, having Jay Ajayi return from injuries and seeing Jordan Adams, Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, Charlie Brown and Snoopy have production in the offense, the brass decided with their second pick to take Sanders.
Unless the team plans to get rid of 80% of their backfield after the 2019 season, it is tough to imagine a route to consistent production for Sanders. Usually, we can see a second round pick having a decent size of the pie, but I really do not see it here. I absolutely could be wrong, but I am staying away.
The team also draft JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who is a monster and should see success at the next level. This team did struggle finding consistent WR2 help and I think this immediately plugs a hole. I will certainly be buying in on him in dynasty leagues.
Pittsburgh Steelers – What a difference a year can make. Well, two years, I guess. Prior to the 209 season, we were looking at a loaded team. Now, we have some questions after losing both Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell, something I did not truly believe we would see.
The team did draft Diontae Johnson from Toledo, who will add immediate depth at the receiver position. I am going to hold off on my perspective of him until I see the camp battle between he and James Washington, but he could be on the dynasty front as well as very late and speculative in redraft leagues.
The team added in Benny Snell in the fourth and then used a UDFA signing on Trayvon McMillan, so the running back position has depth, but not any that we should really be looking at. Snell has small appeal in dynasty formats as a result of being the back-up on a team that heavily uses a single running back.
Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks are going to be predicated on the run, but that does not mean the passing offense cannot be prolific.
To get to that point, Seattle took three shots at the wide receiver position, and all of them actually have big upside.
DK Metcalf fell to them at the final pick of the second round. He has a lot of talent, though questions about how he will truly develop in the NFL. Still, he is the best of the three and should be on your radar early in dynasty formats.
Gary Jennings is another highly talented receiver who could contribute to this offense. He can do a little bit of everything.
John Ursua is one of my favorites and I think he has the potential, albeit a long shot potential, to dethrone Doug Baldwin, who is often injured anyway.
I think that the last two probably need to be all the way off the radar for now.
Travis Homer, running back from Miami, was taken late in the draft, but should not have any upside for fantasy purposes.
San Francisco 49ers – The Niners took an offensive stand in the draft, but I am not quite sure I get it. Sure, it is not like the receivers currently on the roster are elite level receivers, but they are still developing players.
The team drafted Deebo Samuel in the third and Jalen Hurd in the fourth. Both of these receivers I believe are high upside receivers, but the question is how they will mesh with the already existing unit. I am holding off my judgement until a little deeper into the training camp/preseason process.
The team also drafted tight end Kaden Smith from Stanford, but he will just be a secondary piece to George Kittle at the position and thus not someone I am falling in love with.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – As crazy as it may sound, almost all of their offensive impact is through the UDFA process. The biggest issue with these players is that many get exited quickly and they cannot be counted on.
There were a few that caught my eye, the first being quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. I always thought what he truly lacked was consistency. If he can work on that, he could at some point in the future be a threat to Jameis. Nothing fantasy worthy here right now.
The team also took half a dozen wide receivers on, including Demarkus Lodge from Ole Miss. I believe he could stick around, but still is not someone on my radar.
Running back has been a pain point in this offense, really only having some consistency with Doug Martin a few times in the span of a 4-5 year span. Bruce Anderson from North Dakota State was brought in, and if he sticks around, I am taking some speculative stabs at him in dynasty formats.
Tennessee Titans – The big news for Tennessee is the drafting of AJ Brown, who can hopefully do what about half a dozen different receivers could not do in the past five years: open up the offense.
Brown brings a ton of upside as a guy who can act as a possession receiver but can also get open in coverage. This is a huge add to this team and he should pay fantasy dividends immediately, though I feel like we have told this story before. He is a top tier option for dynasty formats and someone to watch through the summer in redraft leagues should we see reports of him popping off.
Washington Redskins – The draft was definitely alphabetically bookended by the two top offensive drafts. We will see a new look for both Arizona and Washington.
Washington did not have to use any equity to move up to get the player they wanted in Dwayne Haskins, as he fell to them at 15. He was considering either the top QB in the draft or second best by most experts (a term I laughingly use very loosely), and is again one of the top options to consider in dynasty leagues and someone to punt with in redraft situations.
The team also got his college teammate Terry McLaurin, a move I wonder why more teams do not make. This will be an instant upgrade to the offense who lacked reliable playmakers. Additionally, Kelvin Harmon was drafted and these are two guys who have upside in this offense. I am not going to prioritize these guys in dynasty drafts until I see how camp goes.
The team also drafted Bryce Love, who is likely to do nothing more than add depth behind Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice.
Thanks for reading!