I can’t think of a single event more exciting for fantasy players than the NFL draft. Value can change at the drop of a hat, and overreactions can be found absolutely everywhere. Navigating the noise will determine your odds of winning the Title Belt or the Toilet Seat. So who were the draft day winners and losers?
This draft in particular, had a massive impact that we will be sorting out throughout the offseason, all the way to Week 1. But there are some clear-cut winners and losers we can see now who are worth calling out and discussing. Now is the time to get you ready to dominate your leagues!
I’ll alternate between winners and losers so there’s not a super depressing end to the column (not that you’re going to read that far anyway, but I like to be optimistic).
Jalen Hurts Gets a W for the Draft Day Winners and Losers
The fantasy community has been throwing dirt on Jalen Hurts since he joined the league, but now he is set up to make a run at the overall QB1 spot with the A.J. Brown addition. He won a second time when the Eagles didn’t add anyone to the quarterback room. So for those in dynasty who didn’t panic-sell with all the narratives flying, you can now celebrate what should be a massive season coming for Hurts.
The apparent concern is DeVonta Smith. The Eagles already passed at the fourth lowest rate, and Hurts 48.5 QBR was 19th. Now Smith must split those low-value, limited attempts with one of the best receivers in the league. I am not calling him out specifically as a draft-day loser but he certainly takes a hit.
Hurts is now a solid buy as the talent is undeniable and will eventually breakthrough in his career. Start making some offers and hope that they let Hurts throw it more in 2022 and beyond.
Michael Carter Isn’t Dead, but He Is Badly Wounded
It was pretty evident Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker would take a wrecking ball to a player’s value. Most suggested Michael Carter as the most likely candidate to see his value crater, but now we have that as proof. If you had Carter on your roster before this, feel free to have a good cry because this is absolutely not good. Far from Hall being one of the winners, Carter has done the opposite as one of the biggest draft day losers.
However, don’t sour on Carter completely.
The market will overcorrect hard, and you could land a talent for pennies (speaking of draft day losers) on the dollar. If you don’t have Carter, now is the time to throw out some offers. I have him as a flex play with low-end RB1 upside in the event of an injury. We know the wide-zone run scheme goes through plenty of running backs not named Derrick Hen… Oh, wait. Nevermind.
Baby Hands Pickett is One of the Winners, While the Quarterback Class Collectively were Draft Day Losers
The Steelers passed over fantasy community darling Malik Willis as they grabbed local kid Kenny Pickett to be their quarterback of the future (and quite possibly the present as well). Add George Pickens to the mix, and there is draft capital and weapons for your new rookie QB1. The class as a whole had a pretty rough week, but Pickett may save your dynasty team if it needs quarterback help.
Now pump the brakes a little bit in dynasty as there are blue-chip prospects in this draft that should all go before Pickett. The earliest he should go is the 1.08, and even that could be a stretch. Don’t stray from the golden rule:
Draft for talent; trade for need.
Check-In on Your Patriots Fan Friends Because They Are Not O.k.
Listen, I am not saying Patriots fans deserve sympathy after decades of dominance. I am just calling out what has to be one of the least inspiring drafts I have seen in a long time. Two guards, two running backs, a projected seventh-round wide receiver, and some under-sized corners is a strange way to help add to a team falling further behind in the AFC East.
I can’t remember being more confused by a team’s decision since Mike Ditka posed with Ricky Williams in a wedding dress. Bill Belichick is really testing the “In Bill We Trust” mantra for sure.
Along with a poor draft, some questionable decisions on the coaching staff make this team very difficult to trust or rely on in fantasy.
Poor Mac Daddy deserves better than this after a solid rookie campaign. Let’s hope this isn’t the end of moves for a team that might miss the playoffs.
Losers Relied on the Rookie Class for Quarterbacks While the Hoarders Are the Biggest Draft Day Winners
Remember the league mate who hoarded quarterbacks during your startup, and you laughed at the terrible strategy? Well, I’ll bet you can guess who is sitting on a goldmine right now. Using later picks on Davis Mills and Derek Carr looks like an absolute genius move now as others scramble for replacements.
They heard laughter and comments, but the day of reckoning is upon us! Get ready to pay a ton for quarterbacks, as your draft picks won’t help you. I’d value any starting quarterback at a first-rounder and go from there. So, who needs Marcus Mariota?
Ryan Tannehill Stans Probably Want To Sit Down for a Minute
Ryan Tannehill has been a value for many years and last year saw a massive rise in ADP. However, everything has all come crashing down for the veteran quarterback. Following Tannehill’s subpar 2021 season, the Titans traded Brown, then added Willis. Sure, they drafted Burks, but everything else was a horror show for those rostering Tanny.
I’d love to give you good news, but there isn’t much. It was just a tough weekend all around. Tannehill will now have to hope that Willis is the project that his draft capital indicates and Burks is the stud the fantasy community believes he is. I love Robert Woods as much as anyone, but if the offense is even decent, it won’t be a result of a 30-year-old receiver coming off an injury.
Remember all the panic around J.K. Dobbins? That Was Fun
Dobbins comes out as a colossal winner both this draft and the entire offseason. It started with the Melvin Gordon rumors and continued with a high number of pre-draft running back visits for Baltimore, causing the young star's considerable drop in value. However, after just adding a pass-catching back, I think it is safe to say that Dobbins has been a steal this offseason. Hopefully, you took advantage when you had the chance.
On top of not adding a running back, the Ravens also parted ways with their top receiving threat, adding to the belief this team will lead the league in rushing again. Nothing but gold for Dobbins in this news cycle!
Other winners from the draft:
That dude who talked for like 20 minutes (absolute legend), Davis Mills, Skyy Moore, Christian Watson, Treylon Burks, James Cook, and Dameon Pierce.
Other losers from the weekend:
Chase Claypool (that was cold-blooded), Rashaad Penny, all the QBs, Devin Singletary, Juju Smith-Schuester, Justyn Ross (terrible story), Commanders fans, and whoever usually parks in the lot where they held the draft.
It was a fantastic weekend full of ups and downs, but I hope all these kids crush it and keep raising the bar in the NFL, even those who went to the god-damn Jets. Now go win a Championship Trophy!
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